Good day everyone! I can’t believe it’s October already!
On Monday, Sister Roberts and I went downtown to the Art Prize event. It was so amazing! I like Grand Rapids’ little big city feel. It was hard to find a place to eat, and the guide we asked just laughed at us and informed us that we were in beer city. (Like I didn’t already know that). Everywhere were breweries, but we finally settled at TGIFs and split some fried potato skins. We saw some great art. My favorite was this basic dome made out of 8 poles and bright, multi colored yarn. It was neat because everyone that visited would write a little something on a hole punched slip of paper, and tie it onto the dome. I love things that bring people form all walks of life to one place. That’s probably why I love big cities, the internet, and The Church. I wrote ‘Mormon.org’ on my slip and took a lot of pictures.
I found out that I will be staying in the area I’m currently serving with Sister Roberts until the end of this mission. My mission president said that we were called to this area because we were tough enough to handle it. I don’t know if this is tough, but we had door knocked and this 90 year old man was like ‘I’m sorry to tell you girls this, but you’re going to hell,” and I just laughed. I know I shouldn’t, but that’s just how I naturally react to people who don’t know what they’re talking about.
We had a tender mercy when a member of our bishopric gave us one of his GPSs to keep. I’m so happy I don’t have to read a map anymore, I can’t even tell you.
Wednesday was my first Zone Training, and guess what? We got to see a pre-showing of MEET THE MORMONS! I was so psyched and super impressed. The movie addressed some controversial questions about the culture of our church in a non direct, yet completing way. It was full of love and respect. My favorite story was the football coach for Navy. It should be in theaters soon so I highly recommend seeing it!
Thursday wasn’t too exciting, other than the fact that I made HOMEMADE FRIED CHICKEN! I didn’t even use a recipe. I just made it from Sister Harrison’s imagination of how fried chicken should be made. Let’s just say it was salty. And floury. And we didn’t have enough oil so we tried to substitute some things…
I also extended my first invitation to baptism, Thursday. This lady has been an investigator since February. However, I had a feeling she didn’t understand our purpose, and the Sisters that had taught her before didn’t clearly explain it. She got offended and angry, so that was an experience. Sister Roberts said I did a good job given the circumstances and she was surprised at the response.
Friday, Sister Roberts and I thought we’d visit a man that we door knocked a few weeks ago and had such a great experience with. He hadn’t requested a return appointment for us to teach him, but was super nice. We arrived at his doorstep and he was super excited to see us again (thank goodness- I thought we’d creep him out). I read him President Monson’s “Welcome to Conference” address from April, and invited him and his wife to watch it this weekend. He told us that after we had visited with him a few weeks ago, he went into his house and told his wife about who we were and what we talked about for those 15 precious minutes. His wife counseled him, saying “Why didn’t you direct them to Devin? He’s been looking for the answers to life since he’s been alive.”
Chis explained to us that “Devin is a night owl and lives in that small house in our backyard. It doesn’t have a driveway or anything.” Talk about sketchy. For those of you who know me, you know I have a wild imagination. That night, I laid in bed thinking of the worst possible outcome. We hardly knew Chris! And this kid conveniently is only awake after 7? Yeah right.
Saturday we went to a member’s house who is just starting to come back to church. The Elders joined us with pizza. I’m not going to lie, it was very hard not to be following along on Twitter this year. I really enjoyed it though. After conference, we thought we’d go visit this young man that Chris had referred us. I was so nervous.
We walked into the backyard toward the shack that stood still. I took a deep breath and knocked on the paint peeling door. 5 seconds later, the door opened. A young man around 20 years old held the door open with one hand, balancing on his crutches. He was significantly shorter than my companion and I (although, we are above average), and had cerebral palsy from the waist down. He was overjoyed to see us and invited us in. I explained that we had some rules that would require us to stand outside, but invited him to grab a chair for himself. He insisted on standing. So stood and for 45 minutes, teaching him the Plan of Salvation about resurrection. The Spirit was so strong. It began pouring rain. I immediately thought of President Uchtdorf’s council in the most recent Women’s Conference.
“Part of our challenge is, I think, that we imagine that God has all of His blessings locked in a huge cloud up in heaven… In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us.”
How true that was. Devin thanked us over and over again, and invited us back. We told him we would bring a female member from our congregation next time so we could meet inside. He was thrilled. Sister Roberts and I walked back to the car, drenched. She leaned toward me, giving me a side hug, her eyes filled with tears.
Sunday we fellowshipped (a fancy, more appropriate word for ‘hang out’) with some other missionaries in our stake and watched Conference at the church house. Two of our less active members that we visit showed up. It was great.
Sister Roberts has never been to a Cider Mill, so I’m taking her today for P-Day! I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember that you are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father whether you choose to believe so or not!
Love, Sister Harrison