There has been a lot happening this week, so I hope I can fit it all in! Big things first, then maybe some smaller awesome things!
Return and Report was on Tuesday! We drove up too the Weston Chapel (so many miles……..), but had awesome trainings!
Our first breakout was with President and Sister Miller. President Miller got up and started quoting a scripture. He talked about how when we are obedient, we will be blessed.
Then all of the trainees went with Sister Miller and we talked about Adjusting to Missionary Life. It is an amazing handbook written by the Missionary Department and directed by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It identifies certain stresses that we may feel being missionaries and adjusting to missionary life and ways that we can over come them. Physical, Emotional, Social, etc. it covers them all. We talked about how to use it and how it can help us and be a treasured tool.
Then we came back together and the APs gave a training on “Find when you Teach, Teach when you Find” and better ways to start conversations about the gospel while on the street. They also gave some trainings on planning, which were useful.
President got up at the end and challenged each of us there to get a new copy of Preach My Gospel and go from cover to cover in two transfers! I think it is possible and I’m excited to start!
After Return and Report, we had the opportunity to go to the Boston Temple. It was a really special experience, because I was able to go through the temple for a family name that I had found. His name is Her Te Lanfer and he was one of the first people that I had found while doing family history work, but I couldn’t do his name for baptisms because of technical issues, so I eventually shared his name with the temple system. I remembered that we were going this last week, so I talked with a Family Search helper and they said that if his name had not been printed out, I could unshare it and bring him myself! Thankfully his name had not been done, so I was able to do his endowment for him!
While in the temple, I recognized the importance of patterns. Patterns are guides that have been provided for us; maps that show a path that leads to happiness. Jesus Christ is our pattern for being the best that we can and Preach My Gospel is a pattern for being the best missionary we can become. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel or discover that something doesn’t work for ourselves when we have patterns all around us.
When we follow patterns that lead towards happiness, we will be happy. Look around you for patterns, in math, in people, in sports, in everyday life and follow the ones that will lead you towards happiness!
Later that night, we were able to go to dinner with a member couple and their daughter at a Hibachi restaurant and we had a blast! The cook was really funny and the food was fantastic, so that was a great finish to a fantastic day.
On Saturday, we finished up with exchanges (I went with Elder Turley to Plymouth and Elder Evans came to Cape with Elder Woodward) and headed straight to Donna’s house.
Donna is a librarian who works in the Children’s Section of the Falmouth Public Library, where we volunteer at on Thursdays. Missionaries have been serving there for quite a while, so Donna has seen a lot of them, but Elder Woodward has been talking to Donna, especially, ever since he has been transferred to Cape Cod. We were finally able to set up and appointment to come and teach here a little about the Gospel and hopefully teach the first lesson.
When I got in the car with Elder Woodward, there was a mood change. The spirit was immediately and strongly there. Elder Woodward said that he had been praying on what to teach and had felt that this could potentially be a really powerful lesson. We prepared spiritually all the way from the bridge to Donna’s house, and before we went in, we prayed that the spirit would be there.
We went in and had dinner with her family and one of their friends and ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation at the dinner table. After dessert and a lot more questions, we headed outside and talked about the Restoration. As Elder Woodward taught about the First Vision, I could feel the spirit so strongly. It was present and I was just praying that they would feel it as I was feeling it. I testified about the Book of Mormon and then gave the commitment to read and pray about it and promised that if they would, they would know that it is true.
It was a powerful experience for both of us and we hope for them. They ended by talking about how they were thankful we had come and talked about what we believe and how much their church means to them. They go to Cape Cod Church and explained that even though it is kind of a flashy church, that is all meant to help others come inside and hear the real message. They have a big building and car shows on Father’s Day and sell muffins and breakfast inside, but they donate the money to local charities and those just help people come learn about Jesus.
We were excited about their love for the Savior, but got the vibe that it was just a learning experience for them, having us over. We set up a return appointment and are praying that they will take the commitment to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know that it is true!
That is all the time I have for now, but I hope to be able to email a little more later!