On Tuesday, we had our Mission Leadership Council, which is really where everything started turning around. There is such a wonderful spirit there, and I love any opportunity to hear from President Winder. Our training was on finding people to teach (based off of ch 9 of Preach My Gospel). However, as President Winder was talking to us about different strategies and ideas we can use, Sister Gummow and I couldn't help but start to feel discouraged again about our area. We honestly felt like we had tried everything. Then, President Winder promised us that if we were diligent, we would be able to find a new investigator before our Zone Meetings on Friday. Sister Gummow and I both felt the power of that promise, and we knew we could do it. I know that President Winder is inspired and that he is called of God to lead this mission. He also promised us that this experience would change the rest of our missions.
At that point, everyone in the meeting was asked to separate with their companions and find a place in the building to pray together. We ended up with the maintenance closet :) It was pretty much the only room left! We still were able to have an amazing experience, though, as we poured our hearts out to Heavenly Father and asked Him to help us, guide us, and soften the hearts of those we would meet during those next 2 days. It was truly amazing. It was then that we saw our first HUGE miracle! We checked the phone, and there was a voicemail from a member of our ward. When we listened to it, we started crying almost because she was calling to tell us that her friend wanted to take the missionary discussions!!! MIRACLE!! We were speechless. The friend couldn't meet until the next week, though, so we didn't get to count her officially as our "new investigator." However, it gave us the assurance that God knew us. He knew our area and the people we were working with. He had already been preparing people to hear our message. We left that meeting with the faith we needed to get through anything the world had to throw at us.
Well, MLC didn't end until about 5 pm on Tuesday night, and we already had appointments booked that night--no time for finding. We had faith, though, that we would continue to see miracles. Wednesday, we had planned to go on exchanges, so I was in our area with Sister Johnson (amazing missionary). We worked hard that day, but despite our diligence, we weren't able to find someone willing to hear from us.
You can imagine how anxious Sister Gummow and I were Thursday morning when we got to our area, knowing that we only had 1 day to find our promised new investigator. We knew that the Lord would do His part. We just wanted to make sure that we were doing everything in our power to be where He needed us to be. We made a goal that we would pray every hour to know what Heavenly Father would have us do. Let me tell you, I have never worked so hard in my entire life. We saw miracle after miracle. We talked to so many people. We were bold and confident in ways that I had never seen myself capable of being. We began to see what President Winder said about our missions changing forever. Again, though, we went hours without having the opportunity to teach anyone. At around 4 pm, as we were walking into an appointment (about the only one we had all day), Sister Gummow turned to me and said, "I just realized that since the Lord is trying to teach us patience, we probably won't find anyone until around 8:50 at night." Although she was half joking, she actually turned out to be only 10 minutes off! That day was the biggest turning point for me in my mission. I can't even describe the feelings that we had throughout the day. When it was drawing close to the end of the night and we still had nothing, I usually would've gotten discouraged a little bit. However, I knew that when I got on my knees that night, I would be able to tell Heavenly Father that I did everything that I could. I could tell Him that I did everything that He asked of me. I decided that I wanted every day of the rest of my life to be just like that.
Anyway, fast-forward to 8:40 at night, and the day has pretty much gone the same. Insane amount of miracles and following the promptings of the Spirit, but we hadn't found anyone to teach! We were driving to an apartment complex to try another potential investigator when our bishop from the YSA ward called to tell us that someone had brought a non-member to sports night at the church and that she had agreed to meet with us! Sister Gummow almost started crying as I drove as quickly as I could to the church building. We got there, met Lisa and taught her about the Book of Mormon. It was amazing. We knew that God was watching over us and blessing us.
Friday, we had Zone Meeting which was also amazing! We had to direct the meeting for about 20 minutes, but it turned out OK. Wow. I'm running out of time! I'll make this short.
The rest of the week was SO GOOD! We went on exchanges on Sat, and we found another investigator yesterday! We were just reeiving so many blessings! We don't know what to do with them all! To top it all off, today we got Sister Rogers as a companion. It's a little bitter-sweet becasue her ompanion had to go home today to have surgery, but I'm excited to spend the next 2 weeks with a FloMo buddy. It's gonna be a party!
Sorry this email turned into a novel :)
The average day. Gotta love the hair.
This is the family we spent Christmas with. They are awesome!
The family we live with was sick, so someone made this sign. I thought it was hilarious.
The sun on a super foggy day.
Ok. There's this house that has the FUNNIEST Christmas decorations. They put half of their tree on the roof, so it looks like the tree just busted through the ceiling!