Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Missionary Work: Yes, It's for You

Hey Family!
This week has been pretty interesting. Lots of cool and interesting things have happened.
On Tuesday we had exchanges with the STL's Sister Curtis went to Fairmont with Sister Whitaker, and I stayed here in Bridgeport with Sister Shumway. I was a little worried, because, well I still don't know where everything is and we have an interesting area that we cover. GPS's don't really work out here... it's fun. So we only got lost... like twice. :)
We spent the day in Grafton. We have really interesting cities that we cover. Grafton, Flemington, Shinnston, Anmore, and Bridgeport. they sound like cusses and diseases.
Anywho, Grafton is the slums of our area, nothing to be too afraid of. Just don't be stupid when approaching people. So Sister Shumway and I spent the afternoon looking for Less Active people. Most of them had moved, But along our way we found this really cool guy. His name is Sam. He was super friendly and super helpful, and Sister Shumway carried on a conversation about 70's bands and stuff while I stood there wondering what the heck they were talking about and just smiling. Then they got into his life and how things were pretty difficult at the time and he was taking care of his parents and they had bad health problems. Then tie into the Plan of Salvation. It was really cool, and I don't really know how it happened but it did.
After talking to Sam we went to Dairy King, to take a little break from our lovely 90 degree + humidity day of walking around. Dairy King is like Dairy Queen. Only they use different flavors and supposedly they make everything from scratch and put it into the 'snowflakes' aka milkshake things. Super good by the way. Highly recommend it... if you are ever in West Virginia... and it is still in business. Anywho, I had a nice chat with Sister Shumway. I asked her about how she came on a mission, and her story is pretty legit. While we were talking, Sam (the guy we had just met) called and asked if we had found the guy we were looking for, and that he was going to call later about where our church was. So that was pretty cool. Then a few minutes later, Donald, our investigator called and said that if we were in the area that we could come and stop by. So that was pretty cool. The Lesson with Donald was still just like the previous lesson we had with him. Still doesn't understand priesthood one bit. A lot of people don't understand what the priesthood is. But it was still cool that he called us and told us that we could come over.
Another thing I don't understand is how people can believe in the Trinity... It's just sooo weird. Of Course people probably think it's weird that we are going around saying that we have a Modern day prophet and the Book of Mormon and more.
That evening Sister Shumway and I went and visited Carolyn. Carolyn is pretty awesome, but she is a less active, and she shouldn't be. She knows she should go to church and do a lot of things, But she has had a really crappy past 10 years since she has joined the church. She got married in the temple to a member, and then found out that he was abusive and crazy, so she got divorced. But she has also had a lot of good experiences as well. But the bad ones over shadow the good ones. She has picked up a lot of bad habits and she says she is shooting for making it into the Terrestrial kingdom now. Which is so sad to hear. Why would you shoot for something less... when you know the greater.
The Exchange was pretty cool and I really enjoyed being with Sister Shumway. She is so energetic and bubbly it's crazy. We will both go home in December as well.
Another Interesting thing this week. So another less active that we went and saw, her name is Holly, She is less active because of all of he health problems that she has. Her husband Ron is not a member, but he has really warmed up to the missionaries. Holly was having a really bad day, because their landlord called and gave them a 30 day notice that they needed to move out. They were super upset because the lady had been there earlier that day and said they didn't need to worry about anything, and then as soon as she got home called them up and told them they needed to leave. So it was an emotional house. So, we got Holly talking and she talked about how when she was growing up she lived next to an Olympic diver, and she was taking a diving class. Well The Olympic divers dad was very abusive to him, and so whenever Holly's mom heard there was trouble she would call them up and ask if the son could come and help Holly practice diving. Holly says having an Olympic diver didn't help her one bit on becoming a better diver, but she had a lot of fun with him. A few years ago, this Olympic diver called Holly up and asked her what she appreciated the most that would help cheer her up, and Holly told him that she really loved 'Law and Order: SVU' because she had been herself a rape victim and they were bringing these kinds of things out of the dark. So a few hours later she gets a call and the lady tells her who she is. And it is the main Lady on the show!! Mariska! So Holly has been good friends with her for the past... I don't know how many years. But she has a hat and pictures of all of them. It's SO COOL, and Mariska gives her a call once in a while. Holly is even mentioned in one of the episodes that they have.
Later in the week I got to go and talk to Jerri. Jerri joined the church about 3 years ago. My goodness she is an awesome lady. Jerri is very good at reading people and identifying what needs to be done. In the ward she has recognized that there really isn't any unity among everyone, because no one knows anything about anyone. They all try and stretch out for a moment and try and make a difference but when nothing happens they all stop and give up. She says it would be really difficult for people to come into the church because everyone is so to themselves, that we need to become more focused on those around us. She also talked about how a few transfers ago, the sisters had a lady that was supposed to get baptized right after church, and during church she called and told them that she was just going to get baptized in Oklahoma. They were both devastated and started crying. Some of the members that Jerri talked to expressed how they didn't get why the missionaries were so upset. Jerri expressed that Members just don't understand how much effort and work we as missionaries put into finding people, and to be that close and then have it all fall apart, is a very emotional time. Not only that, but the members are supposed to have a connection with Investigators as well. It's not just a blah moment of "oh, someone is getting baptized. That's cool'. It's so much more! and the members are supposed to be a part of it! They are the ones who stay and become the friends and teachers of those who join the church. The missionaries leave, they all eventually go home. So Members need to kick it into gear and start focusing on those who are around them. Once we have built a solid foundation we are supposed to help those who are around us. If we don't have that foundation, we need to be seeking after it. To discover the importance the Gospel has in our lives, and how much our Savior Jesus Christ loves us. As soon as we discover this for ourselves, why Wouldn't we want to share it with others. We should be excited about these things, How is the word supposed to spread if we are not willing to spread it? But yeah, as a missionary, I have become very passionate about this subject of member missionary work. It is for Everyone. Ask the Missionaries how to start, and if they don't know... then go to Preach My Gospel. It is these key.
Alright so very last thing. I had a really neat experience yesterday. Sister Curtis and I went to the Saltis' to teach a lesson to Paul about Baptism and the Holy Ghost. We started off watching 'You Know Enough', the mormon message. We talked about how we don't know everything and how we are supposed to walk by faith and move forward. Then Paul talked about how he had been thinking about baptism. I don't really remember how the conversation continued, but I remember talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. This was probably one of the most clear to me experiences of the Spirit working through me to teach Paul and Patty. I taught in a way that I had never really thought about before, I taught it simply, boldly and clearly. I can remember just looking into their eyes and talking. It was such a neat experience to be a part of! We asked Paul to think about being baptized on September 20th. He has a lot to work on, but if he puts his faith and his mind to it he can do it. Because through God all things are possible.
Well I hope you are all having a fantastic week! That you take a moment every day to focus on studying Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon and Praying for opportunities to share the Gospel with those around you. If you ever have questions about anything in the Gospel, ask me, ask a missionary, just ask - because if you don't "If you do what you have done, then you will get what you have got"
I love you all!
Sister Karen Call

"Ultimately, all keys of the priesthood are held by the Lord Jesus Christ, whose priesthood it is. He is the one who determines what keys are delegated to mortals and how those keys will be used. We are accustomed to thinking that all keys of the priesthood were conferred on Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple, but the scripture states that all that was conferred there were “the keys of this dispensation” (D&C 110:16). At general conference many years ago, President Spencer W. Kimball reminded us that there are other priesthood keys that have not been given to man on the earth, including the keys of creation and resurrection."   ~Dallin H. Oaks

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