Monday evening was great! We had a lesson with Heather and Cody that night. Well something happened with Cody's mom and so he wasn't there when we showed up. He had left to go talk to his preacher about everything that had happened. So we had the chance to visit with just Heather. She really opened up to us. She has had some crazy stuff happen in her life so we talked about the Atonement and how we can be healed. It was a great lesson and it was the first time we felt like we connected with Heather. (Cody is usually the only one talking) Afterwards we split up for exchanges. I went with sister Rueckert in Florence so i wasn't there, but the sisters finally finished teaching Carl the Restoration! and he prayed at the end of the lesson!!
Wednesday we had a meeting with our entire Zone! That was a lot of fun. We are spread out and so we rarely have opportunities to be all together. But the meeting was great. The Zone Leaders, Sister Dobbins, and I were the one that taught. It was all about Unity. We made it a mini MLC with our Zone. Created ideas of how we could become more unified, what they expect of us as leaders, what we expect of them, and what they expect of each other. I loved the spirit that was there as we communicated and made decisions as a group.
Somethings we decided to do:
Power Hour: Once a week for one hour the entire zone tracts at the same time
Daily Texts: One companionship per day picks a scripture or quote to send to the rest of the zone
Baptism Texts: Whenever someone in the zone has a baptism we text it to the rest of the zone
and my favorite is a mission wide decision! President Olson has the vision of every companionship in the mission having a baptism in the month of November. That would be 100 Baptisms in one month. Our mission has never done that and we are all really excited for it! No Fear November! D&C 6:36, Doubt not Fear not. It will be a great thing, and I am excited to see what our mission can do.
The Clinton Zone
To finish the night we got to go see Heather and Cody again. It was a great lesson! We had asked him how it went while he was meeting with his pastor.... it didn't go well. Which is actually good for us. They loved that church but i guess when Cody had questions for him he wouldn't read from the scriptures. He basically told Cody he knew it all and didn't need to read from them. So Cody doesn't want to ever go back and really wants to come visit us. Now we just need to help Heather want to come. We started teaching them the Plan of Salvation. And it also is surprising to me when people don't know that we lived with Heavenly Father before this life. And I love how as soon as we tell them and bare testimony of it that it just makes sense in their head. We also talked about the feelings of the holy ghost. Cody is very aware of the spirit! It has been fun to teach him.
Thursday was a rather interesting day. One i will never forget. We are really low on miles this month and so we biked most of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. But Thursday we started out with some tracting. We met Angie at her boy friends house. Sister Dobbins and Sister Dutton had met her on Tuesday while we were on exchanges and she let us right in so we could teach her. It was a short lesson because she was headed out. As I was saying the prayer the strangest thing happened. The three of us were holding hand and i was saying the prayer. As i was praying I could tell that Angie was getting emotional. She let go of my hand, and i figured it was so she could wipe her tears away. Well that wasn't her plan. All of a sudden this lady starts to stroke my face.... I opened me eyes and she is just staring at me... Through tears she apologizes. I just closed my eyes and quickly closed the prayer. We got out as fast as possible. And after getting about half way down the road, far enough away so she couldn't hear me i told sister Dobbins what had happened. She had no idea because her eyes were closed! Oh it was the weirdest things ever! haha
Friday we met with Carl again. We taught him about the pre-earth life and he too had never thought about us being anywhere before earth. It was a really good lesson! He opened up a lot and we were able to address some of his concerns. Please keep him in y'alls prayers. He is praying about a baptism date and we really want him to recognize his answer.
Saturday was the Stake Day of Service. That was a ton of fun! We went to the Jackson Zoo and helped clean up. Sister Dobbins and I helped clean out these flower beds. They were filled with leaves and pine needles. We didn't even really do that big of an area but it took hours to finish it all. I was so sore the next few days! But it was a lot of fun to help. We also worked with Elder Durland. He is one of the senior missionaries that works in the office. I talked to him for probably a good 2 hours. I asked him what his life advice was. He said, "Do everything you can to get married. To someone you love." I thought that was great advice. He is a great guy and a wonderful example. I will have to get a picture with him and his wife next MLC. When we finished that we went and helped paint a wall. We got to work with one of the members from Clinton and that was a lot of fun to catch up with her. We also worked with all the sisters in our zone! That was also good to be able to get to know each of them on a more personal level. Before going home we got to walk around and look at all the animals. That was a lot of fun!
The Florence Ward Missionaries
Serving at the zoo
Working with Kara Cothern, a laurel from the ward
That night was the women's conference. We went back with the Florence sisters and got ready at their apartment. Before it started they had a pot luck! That was delicious and I was glad i didn't have to cook. I loved all the talks and how they added the videos. I can't wait to see what the rest of conference brings. Before going home Bishop Eady and his wife took us to Sonic for shakes. They are such great people! Well funny story.... While sister Dutton and I were companions we made up a little song about her favorite thing to get at Sonic so i started singing it. Well apparently the workers can hear you before you push the button and so they heard me singing! When they brought us our orders the waitress asked if we were going to sing it... ah no! All the workers were fighting over who was going to take our order because they thought we would sing it haha that was all funny until Bishop said, if you come back out in 15 minutes they will really sing you something. What the?! So they ended up coming out, all with their phones ready to record us. We sang How Great Thou Art. haha it was funny looking back on it all.
We love Bishop and Sister Eady!
Sunday we were so excited for church! We were planning on Carl, Heather and Cody to all be there. It was rather disappointing when none of them were able to come. Carl slept in. And Cody go sick. But we will hopefully have them there next week.
Oh finally on the last day! Emailing is stressful sometimes! Monday was another great day. We had a training for all the new missionaries and their trainers. They can ask any questions and then the AP's, ZL's, and us STL's answer those questions. That went most of the day. That evening though we went by and taught Cody. It was the best lesson we have had with him. Last time we gave him the Restoration pamphlet to read. He had read it and then we were able to teach about it. We were teaching all about authority and how important it is. He was sitting there thinking and then goes, "So if you aren't baptized by the proper authority it doesn't really count. That makes perfect sense." He expressed how he has been baptized 5 or 6 times but hasn't really ever felt different and now he knew why! He committed to work towards being baptized on the 14th of November! Please keep him and his wife in your prayers! We are really excited for the both of them. But we are going to have to do a lot more teaching with Heather before she is ready. She asked us to come back on Wednesday during the day when it is just her so she can ask questions!
I am so grateful for how much i am learning. This gospel is so amazing! It is the only way we can find true joy and happiness. I hope y'all have a great weekend with General Conference. Come with questions in mind and have an open heart. The spirit will help you know what to do. I love y'all!
Sister Erika Kelly