Monday, March 10, 2014

Many Blessings :)

Dear Family!

This week has been going quite well. These past few weeks have been a little harder for me so this past week I decided that I was going to write down some of the miracles that I see to remember that this is God's work and that he is helping us out. Well let me just say WOW! It has been so great. To share a few of the things that I have noticed: We went to go and contact a former investigator named Cliff this week. He mentioned how he had had a baptismal date beforehand but baptism just did not feel right at the time. After talking to him for a minute, he said that he was not interested in learning more. We kept talking to him and found out that he had some unanswered questions about what we believe but that he couldn't quite remember what his questions were. As he was saying this, I got the thought to ask him if he would like us to share our message with him again so that he could remember his questions. He paused, and the agreed! We go back in about a week and a half. (He wanted some time to review some of the previous material that missionaries had given him.) I am super super stoked to teach him!!

Then, another time we were in the car going to contact another former investigator, we said a quick prayer in the car asking that we would be able to at least meet the person who lived in the house and have a gospel related conversation. Well, at the house we went to, we were able to do just that! The person didn't want to hear our full message, but I still feel like it was a success. Then, yet again, as we were going to contact another former investigator named Gary, we said a prayer asking that we would be able to meet him and talk to him. After we knocked on the door, guess who answered. Gary! He ended up not wanting to hear our message either, but still, our prayer was answered! This past week we were also able to go and rake leaves for 3 hours at a less-active member's house. He didn't really want us to come at first, but we convinced him. After helping him for that long, he invited us into his house and showed us all the pictures of his family and agreed to listen to our message! I'd say that those 3 hours were very much worth it!! 

One experience that I did not have this week but that I still found very powerful was about a girl in the ward that I am serving in. Her name is Taylor. She has had several issues with her kidneys and as of right now, she only has one kidney that works around 30%. I'm not quite sure of the exact situation, but I know that she has been needing a transplant for a while. This past week she went to the doctor to have another evaluation to see if her insurance would allow her to have the transplant. It was denied. Her family and everyone in the ward/everyone she knew was pretty devastated. They decided to have a special prayer for her. Two days later, the insurance company randomly changed their mind, so now, Taylor can get the transplant that she needs! Prayer is great and I am so grateful for it!! There have been so many more experiences like that, but I'll just leave it at those for now. I feel like seeking the Lord's hand in my life this week has really helped me to remain positive even after we get rejected 15 times in a row.

In the South there are a lot of misconceptions about what Mormons believe. One of the most common things that we come across is polygamy. We always, as quickly as possibly, tell people that we no longer practice that once they ask. However, there are always times as missionaries when we are placed in situations that can give people the wrong impression. This past week, my companions and I had an interesting experience when we were going out to try to contact a former investigator. As almost always is the case, the person who we intended to see no longer lived there. We were able to talk to the person who did live there though. He was a young man, probably in his early twenties. As we were talking to him, we identified ourselves as missionaries, gave him the brief run-down of our message of how God has restored His gospel today and asked what His beliefs on God were. At the end of our conversation, we asked if he would be interested in learning more and if there was another time that we could come back to share our message with him (by this time it was getting rather dark out). Judging by the look on his face,  he had zoned out on what we were saying about being missionaries and had only tuned in when we asked if he was interested in us coming back. I'm sure the whole situation of 3 girls, who were dressed up nice, as if for a special occasion, coming on knocking on his door, asking for a time to come back and talk really helped with the whole convincing people that we do not practice polygamy....

My companions are great. Sister Wynn is so diligent! During my language study, she is always making sure that she is using her time productively to work on the area book or calling people. She is great! It really helps out a lot. Sister Liebing is so patient and kind! She has recently started helping me out with my language study. It has been SUCH a blessing to me. I feel like it has helped me further my language abilities much farther than I could have on my own. I read a chapter out-loud in Portuguese and ever few verses I stop and translate. She helps me out and corrects me when I get things confused. I am so grateful for her sacrifice for me. I feel that my ability to speak Portuguese has improved so much since she has begun helping me!! 

One of the people that we go and see is named Tracey Rice. She is a less-active member in the ward who we are working on re-activating. For the past few weeks, we have been teaching her the lessons. They have been going pretty well. It's really quite funny when we go over there though because each time, without fail, for a good 15 minutes she will sit there and psycho-analyze me trying to figure me out. I guess that I never really knew that I was that hard to figure out.

Love you all!

Sister Spencer

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