Monday, January 19, 2015

Challenge: Invitation Super Sunday

This last week we had some more crazy weather.  Freezing temperatures, followed by a rain and thunder storm, and then a sunny day of 65 degrees.  I can never get on top of it, it seems like!

So this last week held some very interesting appointments.  We went to go contact a less active family (which is what we usually are doing in this area) and they let us right in!  That was a surprise and a treat at the same time.  They were an older couple- a retired military family as well.  The wife was this little Philippine woman who had quite a temper!  

She told us all the stories of how she had gotten offended at church, how she hates girls because her daughter is rude, and how she is just 'pissed off' at anybody who crosses her path (Yikes).  Keep in mind she is like 4.5 feet tall and has a thick accent, haha.  She had a huge catholic shrine in her living room and pictures from the Catholic church all over her kitchen.  She didn't really understand the scripture or message we shared with them... but she did give us home-made chicken noodle soup (philipino style) and ribs.  The sister from our ward who came out with us asked us if contacting was always that fun.  Haha. it is not.  At least in that way :)

Another day we got to go help a new mom in our ward clean her downstairs to prepare for her in-laws arrival the next day.  Well, this cute little house really needed some TLC... they have a dog who sheds a LOT.  We had to sweep a couple times to get all the dirt and hair up before we mopped... then had to mop a few times to get all the dry dirt off the wood.  We then proceeded to do the other chores that a kitchen usually requires.  It was nice to be able to perform some service in a home, but at the same time I was taking notes on what to do and what not to do in my future home:) It's crazy how much I am learning about being a wife/mother/adult on my mission.   But I am grateful!

That same night we had dinner with one of my favorite members!  Her husband was away training in the field that week, so she wanted us over for some company.  Her two little kids are so adorable, which helps:)  She made an AWESOME Thai dinner and then a 'cultural dessert', which is what we decided to call it after we were all done making it.  It was supposed to be like tapioca pudding... but it turned out more like hot mushy glue looking stuff.  Haha, we all died.  The recipe called for leche fruit and some other random things we had no idea about.  It was a 'cultural experience' we decided:)  "Better to be experienced than not" she said!  She served her mission in El-Salvador and decided she will make us a native dinner next time we come over. I'm excited!

On Thursday night there was a Relief Society activity at the church.  And this was a fun one!  My companion and I were asked to teach - so we prepared a pretty good lesson.  The focus of the evening was on testimonies and how we can build them and increase them.  As we were teaching we related each thing to the take-home hot chocolates the ladies were going to be making later.  So each ingredient they added to their hot chocolate represented a trait or task that was needed in order to complete a testimony.  At the end we went over really quickly some etiquette that comes when sharing your testimony... everyone always needs a little friendly reminder ;)

So my biggest pet peeve is when people ignore the appointments we set up with them the week prior.  We stopped by THREE homes where we had set appointments on Friday, but all of them told us it was a bad time.  Would you like to hear the excuses we got?
1. Oh, well, my wife is feeling a little down and tired right now.  She just got toe surgery and is not up for a visit today.
2. We are actually on our way to....the park.
3. Oh shoot..I actually have something on the stove that is boiling. And if I recall right, it isn't supposed to be I gotta go check on that.  Bye!
Yes.  This is real and happened.  Haha.  I decided I need to get a little notebook and write down all the excuses we get.  
The next lady we went to see told us that if we keep pushing her to come to church she was going to hiss like a snake...I guess she isn't ready! So we slithered out of there... bahah.

On Saturday we were able to go visit a less-active family that NO ONE gets in to see.  Not a missionary, visiting teacher, home teacher or leader can make it through the door.  Well guess who did?!  These sisters.  I don't know how or why, but I know that the spirit softened their hearts, and it wasn't because of US at all.  We commented on how cute their golden retriever puppies were and chatted about their lives.  

We left the gospel talk out for a while.  When they saw that we were interested in THEM, and cared about their feelings and lives, they let us in.  I can now see the importance of loving and having charity with everyone you teach or come in contact with.  Sometimes it is hard, especially when you are a judgmental person like me, but it pays off in the end. is what Jesus would do... (WWJD).

Last Sunday I forgot to tell you that I was asked to give a talk.  It was on the second coming and how we can use the scriptures to prepare us.  The first two speakers spoke for a good 5-7 minutes.  That left me a lovely chunk of time to blabber on and on about the topic.  It actually ended up being okay:) And I love speaking so I didn't mind too much once I got started.  I filled the remaining time and got a few compliments later.

This next Sunday is going to be a pretty great one!  The Raleigh Mission is doing something called 'Invitation Super Sunday' and we are basing each talk, and class on the fundamentals of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is to make it investigator friendly and more understandable for those who do have questions about our church.  This whole last month we have been asking our members to pray about a friend to bring with them for the 25th.  So far each family has a name they are praying on!  So that is great in and of itself! :)   
We can not let the ever expanding gap between the Lord’s ways and the world’s ways deter us to teach and invite for “I say unto you that ye are chosen out of the world to declare my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump. Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom. Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive. And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts.” 
With this wonderful promise I cannot wait for INVITATION SUPER SUNDAY, and our followup!

I love you all and hope you are doing well.  Family scripture study, prayers, and meals are so, so amazing.  I am grateful we did that growing up as best we could.  Family meals are something I always think back on and remember:) You are all great examples to me!  
I challenge you to all invite a friend to church with you this week...that is what I will be doing:) So join me!  Love you all <3
Mallory (Sister Golden)

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