Monday, November 25, 2013

The Work Goes On!

Going into the last week of this transfer! WHAT?!?! Where did the time go! I'll find out in a week if I'm going or staying. I hope I stay.
I keep forgetting it's Thanksgiving! The life of a missionary. It's all the same, year round. Plus it's like 60-80 degrees everyday, so it's hard to remember it's the end of November! Plans just changed with transfers being next week; President is really busy trying to figure out where each missionary will go, so we are going to spend Thanksgiving with the Stake President and his family instead! They are super super nice so we are excited :)
On Tuesday, we had Zone Conference! Incredible! We did all sorts of things: President and Sister Castro spoke, we heard testimonies from the new missionaries (myself included), had lunch, had training, and got to see missionaries we don't see too often as well. It was wonderful. I learned a lot! Here are some take-aways:
-Just like Christ changed water to wine, he can change us! He didn't just turn the water into wine, but the best wine. He will transform us into our best selves if we do what He asks.
-John 4:35... The field is white already to harvest. NOW. Not in 4 months when you learn the language or the lessons.
-We are an instruments in the Lord's hand, a sickle. What kind of sickle are we? Are we sharp? Can He make a clean cut with us?
-Love the people you are talking to. Fight for them! Fighting for them means being persistent and letting them know what this message is.
It was really great seeing Hermana Coleman again. She is going home soon! Her family lives in Katy! She is the Sister I was with my first day here :) I told her to find my family. Maybe y'all can go to her homecoming? She's amazing.
We visited Jessie quite a few times this week. She is so amazing and I love her so much! She was supposed to come to church this week, but the person who was supposed to take her never came. We went by to see her that evening and she was devastated. She wants this so badly. She really loves learning and we mean a lot to her. She says that she prays for us each day: that we'll find good husbands and have good children that obey us. She's a sweetheart! She also likes to give us marriage advice (she was married 42 years).
Wednesday we saw a less active brother in our ward. He has a lot of concerns that missionaries have tried to resolve in the past. He gets hung up on little details. This was my first time meeting him, but Sister X was not excited to see him. We weren't sure exactly what we were going to do besides give him a copy of True to the Faith. I ended up just very boldly telling him that he needed to set aside time each and every day to read his scriptures and to start his study with a prayer. It suddenly became so clear to me as we talked with him. I know that his concerns will not be resolved any other way. Answers are something you have to work for. Pray and ask God, then open up the books and look. I asked him if he would and he kind of avoided the commitment, turning to my companion saying I was like an Hermana he knew a while ago. I then said, "Well, will you do it?!" He said "Wow, she really is the hammer!" He laughed and said that he would try. I promised him that as he made that time that his questions would begin to be answered and also that his relationship with his girlfriend (who is also a member) would be better. I told him we'd follow up with him as well. As soon as we got out of sight, Sister X threw her arms around me and said, "Now that's my companion!" :) We ended the night by walking through a trailer park, looking for a less active in the rain. We finally got there only to be told she didn't want anything to do with the church anymore. Really wet, we returned to the car. All you can do is laugh sometimes. We find ways to enjoy those moments.
We had the opportunity to help a Sister in our ward unload her stuff from a moving pod. Lots of heavy lifting, but it was awesome! Lots of fun.
We had lots of dinners with members this week. One family played a game with us where we drew a picture of something we were grateful for, passed it to our neighbor, and they had to guess what it was. It was a lot of fun :) Makes you feel like your home sometimes. We also had dinner with a partially less active family. The mother texted us afterward and expressed that it was a miracle that her son joined us and talked with us. She was so grateful that we had come and for the message we shared.
Saturday was an interesting day. The first man we ran into, JP, has had several missionaries come to his door. He wasn't interested, but said he'd leave us with a joke:
"It began to rain really hard, and the people began to realize there was going to be flooding. Evacuations started happening. A jeep spotted a man and told him to get in so they could leave. The man replied, "No, the Lord will provide." The water rose and the man had to go to the 2nd story of his house. A person in a boat saw him through the window. Calling to him, he told him to climb into his boat and he would take him to safety. The man replied again, "No, the Lord will provide." The water continued to rise. At this point, the man was on the highest point of his roof. A helicopter spotted him and called to him to grab the rope so they could take him to safety. Once more the man replied, "No, the Lord will provide." Well, the man drowned. He got up to the gate and met Peter. Peter asked what he was doing there. The man said "It was raining and I was waiting, I thought the Lord would provide!" Peter then said, "We send a jeep, a boat, and a helicopter! What else did you want?!" Sister X and I just laughed as we walked away. How ironic. JP is going to get there and say "Where was the truth? Why didn't you show it to me?" The response: "We sent those 16 sets of missionaries! What more did you want?"
A 12 year old in our ward took us to visit his neighbor who had asked him about the church the other day. He is going to be such a great missionary :)
I've learned a lot more about Sister Xayadeth this week! She really is incredible! We decided that after our missions, in 2015, she is going to come visit me and we are going to go to the Houston Rodeo. It'll be fun! Today, before we went grocery shopping, we took pictures in a little photo booth. It's the little things :)
Time is flying. Really, really. Thank you so much for the letters and prayers! They mean so much. I hope everyone has an amazing week. Keep trying to do and be better :)

Sister Shipp

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