So this last Monday we held an FHE at our church, and a few people showed up, but we shared the Mormon Message videos by Elder Bednar about Patterns of Light. The Theme was "All about Light this Summer night". We watched the videos and talked about them and then we had Freeze pops, glow sticks, and played with beach balls. Freeze pops are otter pops... and if you don't know what an Otter Pop is, then... well... oh well. It was super fun, we just wish more people would show up to these activities that we plan!
On Tuesday, we went and did service at Bedford Christian Ministries, and while we were there we had a guy come up to us and tell us that he was a less active member of the church and wanted to come back into activity... Unfortunately.. he is a welfare seeking less active member, and he has a bad history with our Branch President. Which is unfortunate because you always have that hope that people can change and will change after a few years... but in his case, according to the Branch President, His problems have become three times as bad. Why do all of the weird people find us!?! There has to be an Elect person out here somewhere!! We thought it could possibly be James, or Jim. Because before we taught them a lesson James was talking about how God told him it was time to try and quit smoking again. He has already quit drinking, and other things. So we were like 'he's being prepared!' But after we taught them the Plan of Salvation lesson they totally shot down the idea of the Kingdoms of Glory. That there was only a Heaven and a Hell, and he wasn't going to accept anything else. Jim was a little more open, and he took a Restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon. We also found out that James... is only looking for a religious woman to hook up with, and well, he isn't really "religious woman" material. He wants someone good, but isn't willing to do it himself.
After talking to James & Jim. We went and tried a referral that ended up being a Jehovah Witness. I will just say now that what they believe is SO weird... well, I guess according to the one we talked too. She told us that she didn't want to go to heaven (because only 144,000 are chosen) That she wanted to stay on earth and enjoy it down here. They also believe that the Second Coming has already happened, and that it happened in like 1915 or something like that. The longer we listened to her the more my head hurt, and the more firm my faith became that God is not the Author of confusion and that his Gospel is Simple and very easy to understand. Just thinking about the Discussion we had with that JW makes me laugh right now. Oh, and the New International Version of the Bible Is sooo messed up. It completely changes the meaning of things.
Oh and some other interesting things that happened, we went and tried this referral that was given to us, and the lady came out and was super rude, she yelled that we were trespassing on her property and that there were signs posted everywhere and to get off her land. Well there really isn't any reason to tell someone that is acting like that, that there wasn't a single No Trespassing sign on their property anywhere. We looked for them as we drove down her driveway. We thought that was weird, but then we parked on someone's lawn (because that's what you do out here, there isn't anywhere to park so you just park off the side of the road on the lawn. There aren't sprinkler systems or anything so you don't have to worry about breaking anything) Well... This lady came out and told us to get off her lawn that it wasn't a Darn parking lot. At those moments I just have to laugh. Cause there is no reason to get upset, because perhaps they were having a bad day, or something, but why have my day ruined when I am sharing such an awesome message? The cool thing that happened after these experiences was that we found 5 Potential Investigators, they took pamphlets, and Book of Mormons. We could have gotten discouraged and angry and just left that street or that area because of that one person. But we kept working and we found some really cool people.
On Wednesday we had a meeting of Introduction with our new Mission President. He is super cool! They just talked about their decision and experience on being selected to be Mission President. They talked to Elder Holland and President Eyring. They are both pretty awesome. Sister Salisbury is super quiet.. I may need to get fitted for hearing aids or something. But I'm super excited! The tension of wondering what they would be like is gone now that we have met them, and now there is just excitement because of how energetic they are and ready to go and work. This statement was made: President and Sister Pitt were like the awesome grandparents that we all wish we had, and President and Sister Salisbury are like the awesome parents that our friend has. They really are awesome.
After all of that we went to a less active members house and helped her clean it. Oh my goodness... SO much cat hair! She hadn't cleaned it for a while because of all the health problems she has and she can't really move furniture around. So Sister Nielsen and I did some freaking deep cleaning. We Vacuumed every inch of her house, and threw a lot of random stuff away. After we were all done you could already tell the difference in her house. You could breath better. She was so happy, because she has really bad asthma and she could feel the difference and loved it.
On Friday we went to Franks funeral. It was interesting and different. Frank wasn't a member, his wife was less active, but his son who lives in Arizona is super active. It was interesting to see all of the grief of all the people who don't really have that firm knowledge that we will see our loved ones after we die. One of Franks sons broke down crying during the flag ceremony. Frank was in the National Guard so they came and did a Flag Ceremony for him. After the Funeral they came to our little branch building for a luncheon that our Branch had put together. I am so grateful for the few members who pulled it together. There was some butting of heads about doing it because Frank wasn't an active member and they didn't want to use their money on it... The fact that it was about money really made me angry... But in the end the voice of the people said that it would be an awesome missionary opportunity. And it was. All of Franks family are either Less Active or Non-members. Franks family was so grateful for all we did. It was such a blessing to be able to help them out during this hard time for them. It is amazing what service can do for others.
Another thing that I have been thinking about is how much our times are very similar to the times of Jesus. Everyone out here proclaims to know Jesus Christ and what they expect of him. But they are not willing to listen to the real thing. Just as the Pharisees and Sadducees rejected Christ and his Gospel. So are the people today. They are making a mock, a hiss, and a byword of the Gospel, of the Church of Jesus Christ. I read this morning Helaman 16:22. "And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come." I know that is happening right now, everywhere. Whether we see it or not. Satan is twisting things of what we believe and it's super frustrating. But the more my Faith increases that these things are true. I do not know everything, and in all reality I probably know very little of the big picture. But I know and believe in that which I have.
But I hope you are all doing well and that you are constantly increasing and reaffirming your testimony in Jesus Christ and his Gospel. Keep being awesome!
Live, Laugh, Love, Llamas.
Sister Karen Call
"How can each of us become such a significant influence? We must be sure to sincerely love those we want to help in righteousness so they can begin to develop confidence in God’s love. For so many in the world, the first challenge in accepting the gospel is to develop faith in a Father in Heaven, who loves them perfectly. It is easier to develop that faith when they have friends or family members who love them in a similar way."
~Richard G. Scott