Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Next time you'll leave in handcuffs"

This week has been the fastest transfer week I've had on the mission.  This is my fourth official area, but my third major one. So much has happened when you meet so many different people.  Here are some highlights of each day:
Monday:  P-day was spent shopping all day and we had a bonfire mainly for an elder who was going home.  In the mission it is custom for elders at the 6th month increments in their mission to burn something.  For example at 6 months, a tie is burnt, 12 months a shirt is burnt, 18 months a pair of pants is burnt, and at 24 months right before you go home an entire suit is burnt. By that point the elders are sick and tired of their suits that they aren't willing to take them home.  For sisters, it is a bit different.  Because we are only out for 18 months, our increments are different.  It is big when you hit 6 months, 9 months (our half way mark), 12 (our year mark) and 18 months when we go home.  There is nothing set in stone for what we burn.  Because the elders were burning stuff, I thought for my 9th month mark, I would burn a skirt I am tired of wearing.  It was a lot of fun.


Tuesday:  Transfer day.  We drove up to Anchorage in 3 hours and were supposed to be in Wasilla by 1:15pm, which didn't happen because there was a delay in flights from sisters flying in from Fairbanks, and you know how girls love to talk.  When we got to Wasilla, we had dinner with some members and then visited with a family who wanted to feed us cake.  I was exhausted by this point with all the traveling.  This tiredness lasted all week getting use to things.  Our beds are sooo squeaky.  We went to the store the next day to get WD40, but it turns out the screws just needed to be tightened so it was better the next night.  I can't believe Sister Williams slept on these squeaky beds for 3 months not doing anything about it. How could she sleep?
Wednesday:  We had a lot of meetings today.  After visiting with a less active, we went to talk to our ward mission leader and later that evening we talked to our Bishop. There are a ton of investigators and less active we are working with, which is wonderful because I am so much happier when I am teaching the gospel.  Funny story that happened at dinner that day:  I love dogs and especially small dogs because I love holding them.  They have a tiny Yorkie.  Eventually the dog warmed up to me to let me pick her up.  Over dinner we were talking about how the owner next week is going to get the dog spayed.  Something happened to interest the dog to jump off me to go and see what was going on.  The second she jumped off, I saw blood on my arm.  It was so hilarious!!  I told them not to worry about it and that I thought it was noteworthy to go in my email home.
Thursday:  We visited with a couple of part member families who we are teaching for me to meet them and I am so excited for the work here.  We also visit a returning less active named Bobby who is blind and is really hard of hearing and will eventually go completely deaf.  He lives alone so we visit him and talk to him mainly on his front deck outside.  He is super funny and does a lot of wood working.  He makes these gum ball machines that look like faces that are adorable.  I asked if he'd make me one and he said he just needs some time. :)
Friday:  We got a call asking if we could help someone clean their house as they were getting ready to move.  We cleaned upstairs and had a lot of fun doing it.
Later we were trying by less actives and this one man opened the door and said, "how many times do I need to tell you to stop visiting us?" Apparently we aren't the best at putting "do not contact" on names we have.  It was funny for us not to laugh when he was getting angry at us.  He said, "Next time you will be leaving in handcuffs".  I don't know why people don't want to be apart of the Church sometimes, but all you can do is love everyone you come in contact with and move on to find those who are ready for us to teach.
Saturday:The Henson family wanted us to come over for lunch Saturday so we could teach their granddaughter about young women's. We had planned our lesson, but when we got there we realized that wouldn't do. Kemalie has been interested in the Church in the past, but right now just wants to "have fun".  This reminded me too much of Dominic before we began teaching him. Kids just need to realize that being a member of the Church is fun. Just because there are things we choose not to do doesn't mean we don't know how to have fun.  We decided to get to know her in a very informal way by playing a game of cards that she finds interest in.  We were there for a while, but if we hadn't none of what happened would have happened. While playing, she brought up a question about people dying and turning into animals. It was a perfect opportunity to teach about our beliefs of Resurrection. Afterwards Sister Williams shared a video about the Plan of Salvation found in our online pamphlets that really allowed her to understand better and ask further questions. After talking, she agreed to be taught more !!!  I smile from ear to ear after having lessons like that where it is guided solely by the Spirit.  I met Ruth Ann later, and she is a non member who doesn't want to join any church.  Slowly I think we'll find her concern and be able to show her that there is a need for religion and a true Church. She took us out to Red Robin for dinner which was awesome.
Sunday:  Brother Henson told the Bishop that I haven't introduced myself in any ward I have been in.  I usually do on fast Sunday's when I bare my testimony, but never invited up to tell the ward about me.  Bishop made sure that was arranged. Church was good and it is awesome to know that no matter where you move to or where you visit, the Church is the same everywhere; the difference is the change of people. Christ's Church is structured, and so is ours to where it is the same in every country. Why wouldn't Christ's Church be universal for all of Heavenly Father's children?  We got invited to a part member family who wanted us to eat some cheesecake they made.  Cheesecake?!  Oh, of course we'll be there for cheesecake.  They also invited the Henson's from the ward and their next door neighbor. 
It has been awesome to share the new Easter Initiative videos with members and non members.  This reason for the season of Easter is all about Christ.  Focusing on how Christ can bring us peace is how we gain that testimony that Christ really is our Savior. Here is a link to the website with the video:

Make this Easter one focused on what's really important. 

Sent from ALASKA!
Sister Shelley Willden    

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