What a crazy week!
Tuesday afternoon we went to Gulfport to meet our new mission president. President and sister Olson are great. they are still learning the ropes but what else would we expect right? They introduced their family and talked about their expectations. It is good to have them here.
After the conference we went and did some service... Sister Garry cut one of the elder's hair. That was an interesting experience and i am glad i was not the one cutting. Too much pressure for not knowing what the heck to do.
We then drove to Biloxi and met up with the sisters there. We had about 45 minutes to work before the end of the evening so we went tracting for a bit. I was with sister Frandsen and we had a great thirty minutes of tracting.
Funny story: We walk up to this house and the only door is on side. So we have to walk through the car port, past the car. We knock on the door and we wait... Right before i go to knock again sister Frandsen goes, "Oh!" I turn around and there is a guy sitting in his car, talking on the phone, and just watching us. Awkward!!! Then it was even more awkward because he just sat in the car while he talked to us.. He wasn't interested.
Then we went to the next house. There was a lady sitting outside who saw the whole thing next door. She expressed that she was sorry people were so rude. She appreciated our hard work. After talking with her more we found out that she was a Less Active that had just moved there. We were able to get her contact information and she was willing to talk with the sisters again!
The next day also went well for exchanges. That evening we drove to Ocean Spring for another exchange! The night before i had slept on an air mattress and was so ready to be able to sleep on a bed again. That exchange was also fun! I was with sister Barney and she is a trooper. She has been out the same amount of time as sister Burgess (which has already been six months..) and turned 19 right before coming out. They are in a car share and it was their week on bikes. It had been a good minute that i haven't had full access to a car.. that was an interesting experience. She didn't like biking so we walked everywhere. But we are about to leave the apartment after lunch and it starts to down pour. She goes inside grabs her rain jacket and two umbrellas and says, "Lets go!" What the!!! That would not have been my first choice. I probably would have called a member to see if we could do service or something but she wanted to go out. So i put on my happy face and we left. The rain only lasted about 30 minutes thank goodness! My shoes were soaked though and we had a meeting that night. So i had to throw them in the drier before sister Garry came to pick me up so we could go.
We have a stake correlation every month. I don't know if i have told you about it. But it is really beneficial to have. Our stake president is really on board with missionary work too!
By the time we got home it was time to pack and get to bed so we could be ready for the weekend.
Friday morning we woke up did our studies and then drove to Pervis Mississippi. Some of the sisters there were getting a new car. So we left our car with them and then drove theirs the rest of the way to Jackson. I love MLC for the fact that i get to see so many awesome missionaries. It was a lot of fun being able to be around the Olson's! We got to know them a lot more.
This MLC focus was Preparing with a Purpose, hence the title of this email. Friday night was a great meeting. President Olson asked us a bunch of questions on where we thought our mission was in certain aspects. He called it taking inventory so that he can know what he wants to do.
Saturday was also really good. We talked a lot about our missions music rule. We are only allowed to listen to music sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in General Conference. It has been a big debate with the missionaries wanting it changed. We discussed it for almost two hours. What principle we could teach if we changed it, what we would change it to, why we should keep it. After we all voted and decided that our mission needed it to stay where it was. President Olson just sat back and listened until we had made a decision. He then stood and said that he thought that either choice would have been fine with him. But that our missions goal was to raise that bar. He spoke about Moses coming down and giving the people the law. That they were not prepared to live the higher law and so they were given the 10 commandments. He voiced that he felt that is what our mission needed. We need to continue to raise the bar so we can be prepared for what the Lord would have us to do.
I loved the theme of this MLC. It is a great thing to do in every aspect of life. We should be preparing, and we should always have something we are preparing for. Striving for the best in all things. I am so grateful for my mission and all that i have learned!
Keep being amazing people. I love you all! Thanks for you examples, love, and support. Have a fabulous week!
Love, Sister Erika Kelly
I just realized i didn't write anything about Sunday.
So last Monday we met one of our neighbors. She just moved in and is from Brazil. Her name is Inia and is working here. We told her who we were and she said we could come over any time to teach her. She just wanted to get settled first. We gave her our card and then she said she would text us so we had her number. Fast forward to Saturday. On our way home she texted us. We told her that she was more then welcome to come to church with us the next morning. and she came! She only stayed for sacrament but really enjoyed it and wants to come back. We are teaching her this Friday!
Well because we were out of our area most of the week we only had finished an hour and a half of tracting and we are suppose to get 7 each week. We were determined to get it. Well we talked to the ward council about it and the relief society asked for volunteers. We got two people to come out with us so we could go on splits. We went for an hour and ten minutes and because we were split it counted as 2 hours and twenty minutes. Thank goodness because the rest of it was so hard to get!
But we saw a lot of blessings while tracting. We had found these apartments in the middle of nowhere that we tracted. Our very last door ended up being a less active member. She was born and baptized in New Zealand. Her grandma was a member, and she made it seem like she was never really active. She then moved to Australia. She met with missionaries but never was active. She has since gotten married to someone in the military and moved to the states. They just recently moved to the coast. The were previously living further north and missionaries had also tracted into her there. She says, "you are my second set of missionaries to knock on my door since being here. I think it is a sign." We are going to teach her sometime this week.
Second blessing! We were on our last hour of tracting and i was DONE! I said a little prayer in my head that i needed some add strength to finish with a positive attitude. The very next door let us in for the remaining hour! It was perfect. The Lord truly blesses us!
Okay, now that is all i have:) LOVE YOU