Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Fathers Day - a day late!

Well hello!  We had a lot of UN-planned teaching opportunities this week! That was great.  We were leaving the house of one of our less-active members and some lady was walking her dog.  I made a quick comment about how it was smart to be walking at night when it was only 87 degrees and not 100.  That led into a 35 minute conversation touching on religion, backgrounds, beliefs and more.  She had actually been to Gig Harbor before, knew a little bit about mormons, and was nice to chat with.  She wasn't interested, but we did have a very positive interaction with her and that always makes me feel better.
The second one was when we were going to go see one of our sisters in a Care Home since she was recovering from surgery.  We walked into her room to see that she had actually been moved, but her roommate was still there.  So we asked her how she was doing and let her know that we were missionaries for our church.  She told us right away that she was a Jehovah's Witness and was baptized about a year and a half ago.  I didn't want any confrontation so my mind switched into 'find common ground' mode.  I asked about their beliefs and validated her faith in God.  When she asked us to read a verse from her bible I felt stupid because it was really...different and the chapters and verses were set up all weird.  When I went to tell her about the resurrection and the spirit world (that was what our conversation was about) she points her finger in my face, goes stone cold still and says, "You're wrong" very loudly.  I was shocked.  Really? I thought to myself.  Why is heavenly Father placing me in the paths of all of these nay-sayers of my religion? I just listened and bore simple testimony.  She again denied it and said, "We'll see where we end up..."  And I said, "Yes, and when I see you there I will hug you anyways!  Because I've been raised to never tell someone they are wrong or make them feel bad."  I was slightly teasing and slightly letting out some of the anger that was bubbling up.  But the Lord has blessed me with the ability to bite my tongue (helpful) and places in my head the thought, "If anything, how can I bring this individual closer to Christ or build them up?"  It has been a good thing for me to learn.
Lastly, we were visiting yet another lady who is in a clinic also, and as we were visiting with her the attending nurse walked in and sat down.  She completely opened up to us about her life and the woe's and trials she felt she was going through.  We were impressed to just sit and listen.  After doing so she said that she appreciated that we didn't get all preachy on her and just listened.  Little did she know that I had a scripture up my sleeve.  I asked her to read Mosiah 24:13,14 and tell us what it meant to her.  She loved it!  We referred her to and asked her to watch two specific videos that we felt impressed to have her see.  It is amazing to see who the Lord puts in your path and for what reasons.  Not everyone you talk to will want to see you again, accept a return appointment, or need any other help, but knowing that what you say to them may have an impact is enough for me.

Funny story for the week:
We went to go see this cute little 95 year old lady named Lucille at her apartment in the senior center.  We usually talk about the ants, or clouds, or encourage her to walk outside and get fresh air.  Well we sat outside this day and it was HOT, HOT, HOT.  We are just dripping sweat and she doesn't ever want to go back inside.  I said something funny and we all laughed, and then Lucy goes, "Oh you're full o' prunes!" WE died!  IT was so funny. I took it as a compliment from an old person.

Spiritual Highs of the week!
This week our investigator Ginny got baptized!  We were so excited and happy for her.  She has gone through a lot, and overcome many things, but she made it and many people were there to support her.  After she came up out of the water she threw her hands up in the air and said, "Yeahhhh!" Everyone laughed.  Prior to this event, I had accidentally ran my toe over with a fully loaded chair rack that we were trying to move out of the chapel.  Oh it was SO painful. So there I am hobbling around with an ice pack strapped to my foot- what a dork.

Dinner Celebration
Wednesday we had our 'Goodbye Zone Conference' which was the HARDEST thing ever.  We had to say goodbye to our mission president and his wife :(  They are leaving next week to go back home and we are welcoming a new mission president into NC.  It was an emotional meeting, but also a spiritual one.  When it was over, and just before lunch we got to line up and give them both hugs.  All the sisters were crying and so was Sister Bernhisel.  The Elders and President Bernhisel were just smiling and taking it all in.  We got to hug them both and when I hugged President I choked up!  He squeezed me and gave me what I call a 'dad hug' one that I have been so long without.  I truly owe my first 9 months of growth to the Bernhisels and all they have done for me and this mission.

Zone Conference Luncheon

I love being able to boldly declare the Saviors love and doctrine to both people I know and don't know.  The name tag as well as being set apart allows for the spirit to reveal and prompt us as to what to say and do.  I really hope I can keep that desire when I no longer have the name tag or obligation of being a full time missionary. 

I love you so, so much and hope that your fathers day weekend was a blast!
Miss you dearly!
Sister Mallory Golden

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