Monday, October 26, 2015

Finding Week

On Tuesday we had exchanges with the STL's.  I learned how to street contact better.  

I thought that the reason we weren't finding investigators was because people didn't want to talk to us, but as it turns out,  I was trying to find people the wrong way . .   If there is a wrong way...

Anyway, before this week we had only found two new investigators . . .this week we found eight!  

I won't share every experience, but I will share one.  On Friday night we were out late.  We had about 20 minutes before we had to head back, so we pulled up to a street to get out and walk.  There was a big buff black kid who walked up to our car and told us that we were parked outside of his house.  He asked us if we needed anything and we said that we really wanted to share a scripture with him.  He said that would be fine, and so we got out of the car, and he walked over to his friends to smoke weed for a second...  My companion was across the street looking at the house number for a potential investigator and he just started running over to her (he was limping) and I freaked out.  I thought he was high, so I told my companion to get in the car.  She was freaked out was kind of a scary street for us to be on at night.  We probably shouldn't have been there, but anyway we got in the car to leave and this kid came up and told us he needed the scripture.  He was really serious about it so we got his address and told him we would come back later. 

The next day, we went to the same street to try the same potentials, and he just happened to be outside again.  He seemed normal (not on drugs) so we talked to him.  He is 19 and going to college, studying accounting.  He doesn't have family around, he lives with a friend, he works and pays for everything himself, he was raised in a boys home, and had just torn his Achilles yesterday.  We listened to him for awhile and then started talking about our Heavenly Father.  We taught him how to pray, and we told him that God does love him, that he is his Father, and is always there for him.  He started to tear up, but the most powerful moment was when he looked at me, still wondering if I was telling the truth.  I could see the wheels spinning in his mind, and I knew he was just trying to take everything in.  He looked at me straight in the eyes and I could tell he was wondering if I was telling the truth.  I said "I PROMISE".  

I knew it.  I could promise him that I wasn't lying.  He told me there was something in my eyes that made it real, and he absolutely broke.  I want him to be converted, and I want to help him, but even if he doesn't get baptized, someone now knows with me that Heavenly Father is really there. He needed to know he was real, and I ended up being the tool in that process. 

We had many experiences this week that were wonderful, but even if we only had this one, it would have been totally worth it.  I love being able to testify every day that God is real and He knows us individually.  I'm excited for this upcoming week and I hope everyone has a good Halloween!

Love, Sister Webb

Monday, October 19, 2015

Finding Hapiness

Hey, thank you for all of the letters and emails!  They mean the world today.  I love getting letters, especially because I can get them any day of the week!  

This week went by really fast. I hope next week goes by fast too.  On a sad note, the mother and daughter we committed to baptism dropped us this week.  That has been disappointing. We are going to drop by and figure out what happened tomorrow or Wednesday I think.

We have exchanges tonight with the Sister Training Leaders (STL's)  It will be good to go out with a different companion and I'm excited to get to know the STL's better!

Saturday was a really fun day.  We got up and did personal and companion study.  Then we went to a zone service activity. We ran the booths at a carnival type thing, and me and my companion did face painting.  It was fun for the first two hours, but the last three hours were a little long.  It was fun being with the zone though, and I love working with little kids.  They were so excited to get their faces painted!  After that we stopped by a home with two less active girls. They are twins and they are 16.  They go to different schools and one of them was going to homecoming that evening!! So we stopped by to see her dress and stuff.  She looked really pretty, and she was really excited.  Then that night the district did a movie for investigators and less active members at the church.  We watched The Restoration and that was a ton of fun.  We brought Eric.  He is less active and a recent convert.  (This is not a normal missionary day by the way... and it was fun!)

Anyway, my insight this week revolves around happiness.  I've been thinking about the movie "Inside Out", and about the relationship of the characters, Joy and Sadness.  I've come to recognize that many times you can't live and be satisfied in one state or the other.  In mortality you need both, but God didn't send us here to be sad.  2 Nephi 2:25 says that "men are that they might have joy".  Because of the fall we can experience joy and sorrow.  Part of our purpose here on earth is to have joy. There are times when joy will seem distant.  It's important to realize that God does not create that distance.  We do.  Our loving Heavenly Father wants us to be perfectly happy. That's why we have the plan of happiness.  That's why He sent His Son. So we can reach that end state of perfect happiness with Him and our families. It's important for us to experience sorrow so we know what it is, but never forget how close you are to joy.  Sometimes it comes in the form of ice cream at a friend's house, or a good book and a blanket. 

I feel like I have finally found that joy out here.  God has blessed me more than I deserve.  I need Him.  I love you all, and I hope everyone has a good week.  Keep writing me.  

Love, Jess

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Talking Is My Struggle

This week was better than the last!  It gets easier and easier every day, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

So as it turns out, it's important to talk to everyone. I've learned that the Lord will purposefully put people in your path that you need to run in to, but if you don't get out of your bubble and say, "Hey, we're the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", then you pretty much just missed that chance to teach and invite.  I have also learned that most people don't really care about the missionaries.  So after you introduce yourself and what you are doing, and before you close the door, you have to slip in something about them.  You have to say, "Wow, you really pull off a pixie haircut!" or "Do you have a son, are these his shoes?" or "How many dogs do you have".  If you can strike up a conversation, then you make a new friend.  People see that you're not crazy . . .you may even seem normal.  Plus you can get referrals, and sometimes teach them a lesson if they aren't busy.  

This week we were out knocking and there was a couple on the street.  I didn't want to talk to them because it was hot, it was almost dinner, and nobody was opening their door for us.  I didn't think they would be any different.  But we went up and talked to her anyway.  She works for the FBI and is less active.  Her husband didn't care for us much, but the Bishop had a field day when he found out that we were going to go back and see her later.  

Anyway, I love getting letters and I love hearing from everyone.  I hope everyone has a really good week and I miss you all.  If anyone know's if Rachel Webb is still alive, and if anyone is planning to talk to her within the next week, tell her that it is either death or an email by next Monday.  

Love, Jess
My AWESOME district at the MTC

A beautiful sunset on our street

My and my companion that I love!

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Listening Mission - Week #4

So this week was better than last week.  I'm happy when I keep busy but the second I start to think of home that big old hole in my chest opens back up.  The solution is to not think of home until the hole goes away I guess.  Just keep praying that it will go away fast!  I want to think about home more. 

I've decided that I've been sent on a listening mission.  I listen to people all day long and I'm not kidding.  We visit a lot of people and mostly we just sit and listen to their lives and ask questions about how they are doing.  People really open up to missionaries.  It's pretty incredible.  I don't get to teach investigators and members as much as I thought I would.  I mostly just listen to people and try to help them the best I can.  I'm okay with that though.  People around here have really fun stories.

Here are three experiences from this week:

1) The less active Korean member from last week: So as it turns out, she doesn't like Mormons a whole lot.  She was baptized a member and sealed to her husband, but she doesn't want to be a member of the church.  She asked us to visit her and we went over to her house and listened to her nag about the church for like an hour.  She didn't even ask us what our names where.  Me and my companion think she's a little crazy.  I guess she can stay Jehovah's Witness if she want's.  She's just giving up eternal life and eternal happiness.  Her choice.  Only so much we can do.  

2) There is a less active family that is almost active again.  They are really cool but the dad in the family (who is not a member) has stage four prostate cancer.  I might have mentioned them last week. I don't remember.  Anyway, the son who is about six years old said the closing prayer.  In his prayer, after saying the basic things, he paused for a minute and said, "and please help my daddy to live longer...".  I have never felt my heart break for someone that I don't know very well.  I almost started bawling right there because I felt so helplessl. 

3) We were knocking yesterday and we started walking up to this lady's door and she comes out and says "Come in, come in, I've been waiting for you."  We went inside super confused and apparently every time she is going through a hard time in her life the missionaries come.  Her husband sells drugs, and she doesn't affiliate herself with him.  The cops are after him, and her husband is after her.  The cops follow her thinking that they will eventually catch him if they follow her.  It's a hard situation.  She can't come to church because of people who don't want her to go (and there are big consequences from those people if she does go). And the same thing happens with the missionaries.  It's really hard, but we listened to her for a long time and cried with her.  Then we told her how much the Savior loves her and how much we love her and will help her with whatever she needs.  It's a hard situation but I'm sure the Lord will extend every bit of mercy to her he possibly can. 

4) BAPTISM!  We showed a young mother our church and she loved it.  When we got to the chapel I sat down and thought of a scripture that I had read that morning.  It was about the Savior's atonement. It's 2 Nephi 25:13.  I opened to it and bore one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever given on the Savior's atonement because I have been needing to rely so much on it lately.  I was prompted to then invite her to be baptized and I did and she said yes! So her and her 9 year old daughter will be baptized on October 24th. Keep them in your prayers :)

I'm having fun, and I'm trying to keep busy so I don't think about home too much.  I love getting emails and letters from everyone, family and friends.  It's been such a blessing to be able to rely on the letters to make my day better.  I love the people here, and I have been so blessed as I've been out here.  Keep me in your prayers, you have no idea how much they lift me when I can't lift myself.  I'm sorry if my replies are shorter than what you want but I only have so much time. I love you all.
Love, Jess