Did you know Heavenly Father answers prayers? I feel like this has been my #1 sermon my whole mission… HE HEARS US! It’s so neat. But more on this later…
We started off the week pretty good. We had a member come to a lesson with us (Well, Sister Conder and I… we were on exchanges). We were able to visit Jose! We met him during the Hour of Power when we almost got kidnapped and met that crazy lady, Linda. But Jose is a senior in high school and is getting ready to graduate and go into the military. He said his family probably wouldn’t listen to us, but we were welcome to talk with him. We finally set up this appointment and it was AWESOME. Jose lives in the random two neighborhoods of the ward where they go to a different high school. Enedina, who was just baptized, is the only member of our ward who goes there (cause she doesn’t even live in our ward boundaries… long story!). Well, she’s the only Mormon he knows. He says he loves her example and wonders how she can be so kind in such a horrible world! Jose is amazing. Our lesson went so well. He was honestly excited to read the Book of Mormon and pray about Joseph Smith! I am THRILLED for him. He accepted a loose baptismal invitation. We have another appointment with him TONIGHT! We are excited.
On Tuesday we had a great miracle. We were able to meet with an inactive member, Brother Tony Garza. He hasn’t set foot in church since he was 10! He works for a mining company based out of Australia so he gets to do a ton of world traveling. He has two kids, River and Brook, who of course haven’t been baptized… The sisters haven’t been able to visit him for months because of all his traveling. However, we finally got in! He made it clear he wasn’t interested in coming to church, but then we got talking about what we do as missionaries… I asked if he’d be willing to let us come and teach lessons to him, and he said he’d talk to his kids! Whoa! I didn’t mean to involve the kids, but that’s okay too! (: Then our member, Sister Smith, invited Brook to Activity Days. It just so happens River has motorcycle races on Wednesday nights and Brook needs something to do. Well, the very next night was Activity days… AND THEY WENT! From what we’re told, she loved it and Brother Garza was very happy. Sister Smith gave them a tour of the building and Brook would say stuff like, “So when we come on Sunday, where do we go first?” Well, they weren’t at church yesterday, but that’s okay. We have made significant progress! We are excited.
On Wednesday we had some great lessons! Shelley came to a lesson with us and did AMAZING! Her testimony to this guy, Matt, was perfect. She really enjoyed going out with us so we hope to do it again soon.
We also got to meet with a member’s husband with a member, Brother Naegle. This guy, Josh, is legit. He’s into nutrition and workouts, he plays on the church basketball team and softball team (even though he’s not a member), and he does sports commentary for the Mountain West Conference in Las Vegas! WHOA! He’s super cool. His wife, the member, swears her life on DoTERRA Oils and is a huge animal lover. Basically, we all hit it off really well. We are so excited to work with him and teach him more!
So we just made it through 3 days of the week, have had 4 members out with us, and have 3 new investigators. MIRACLES! This is huge. Last week we taught 3 less active/recent convert lessons annnd that was it. zero new investigators. zero member presents. And we had sacrificed so much by being on our bikes! This week we were majorly blessed for our hard work and efforts. And it’s only up to Wednesday! We have so much more to come.
On Thursday it was a rough day. I was sick in the morning so we stayed in for a bit, then we finally got out on our bikes. IT WAS FREEZING. As in, 35 was the high for the day. Humidity cuts through you when it’s cold! Holy cow. But then… It started to rain. Our faces were so frozen it felt like hail was hitting us. It hurt so bad! Our hour of power wasn’t fruitful this week, but that’s okay. We can do better this week!
On Friday we had an ice storm. It was so bad in parts of the mission that President Crawford told everyone to stay in their apartments until further notice. So we deep cleaned, cooked, did various things… We were inside most of the day doing paperwork. However, when we were able to leave, 5 elders (3 from fall creek, and our 2 zone leaders) came to our area to blitz it. We sent them to the wealthiest part of our area. Sister Stoff and I are afraid to track there because we don’t know what to say to people who seem like they have it all. So we made the elders do it (: WOW. Heavenly Father answers prayers! The Fall Creek elders taught 2 lessons and set return appointments; that makes 2 new investigators! We are thrilled to meet them this week. Our zone leaders also taught a lesson, but didn’t set a return appointment for us since they didn’t know our schedule. Well… Let me tell you something.
Heavenly Father often answers your prayers through other people. He has the ability to align other people’s lives with our own. For the past week I have been praying VERY specifically. I’ve said, “Heavenly Father, help me this week to find a family with a mom and a dad with 3 kids. But please make sure one of the kids is at least baptism age”. Well we’ve been working and working, and still hadn’t found them. However, our zone leaders did! They found a mom and a dad with 3 kids, the oldest being 14. They only got to meet with the Dad and 14 year old daughter, but they cried as they told us how spiritual their lesson was. This family is so prepared! The daughter even asked them a profound question and said, “could I find my answer in the Book of Mormon?” WOW. She is so ready! We all cried even more when I told them how they answered my prayer.
“God is preparing people to receive your testimony of restored truth. He requires your faith and then your action to share fearlessly what has become so precious to you and to those you love” – President Eyring
As Alma taught, “Everything denotes there is a God”… There is a God! He hears and answers our prayers. I know he does. I’ve seen it for myself! It still warms my heart to think: my specific prayer was answered. AND it was answered so quickly! A week of praying? That’s not long at all. When you have a righteous desire Heavenly Father will help you fulfill it.
On Saturday Sheri Dew came and spoke to 18 Houston Stakes. Wow – talk about powerful! She taught about locking onto absolute truths. There were 4 that she talked about. 1) Mortal life takes us to Godhood 2) We each have a divine errand 3) We are not supposed to go through life alone, and 4) Everything is about the Savior. It was amazing. There is so much more to each of those topics, but really… think about them! Something that she said that struck my heart was, “Heavenly Father won’t make us learn anything. Agency authorizes the Spirit to teach us.” Whoa! To even feel the Holy Ghost, we have to exercise our agency and let it touch our hearts and teach us. I know that sounds like a “no duh” but it was amazing to me.
I really loved this week. This was the best week. We have been blessed to fill our teaching pool with 5 new investigators! We also have a lead to my miracle family. WOW! What a week of miracles!
Last week was seriously just the worst… but I can really see how heavenly father will bless you for your efforts. Maybe not immediately like we’d hope. but He always will.
I love being a missionary! I love working hard. I love being here in Summerwood! The Summerwood ward mission plan states that for the second half of 2013 and the first half of 2014 they will have a total of 12 convert baptisms. So far they have 6! Sister Stofferahn and I are blessed to have been a part of 3 of those… However, with the influx of faith we’ve gained this week, and the hard work we’re putting forth on our bikes, we have decided that we are going to get those other 6 baptisms before we leave Summerwood! Why not? We know Heavenly Father helps us fulfill righteous desires… We have a family of at least 3 to work with, 5 other investigators, plus MORE people that are waiting to be found… We can do this! Heavenly Father requires our faith; WE HAVE FAITH! We are becoming more fearless and are putting it into action.
Oh, just for laughs… On Saturday I had on sweater tights. They’re glorious. Except… I managed to walk 4 blocks with my skirt stuck up behind my backpack, but had no idea because I couldn’t feel the brisk air cause of my tights. EMBARRASSING! I was waving at passing cars, talking to people… It was stuck for quite some time. GAH! I was mortified when Sister Stoff noticed. We died laughing though… Oh man.
Thanks for all the love, prayers, and emails! I miss y’all very much. Thanks for everything you do!
— Sister Stockinger