Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Journal Entry from 01/16/12 to 01/22/12 - Goals

January 16-22, 2012 It makes sense!
So, in our district meeting we decided to have a goal to have 20 lessons a week, which in turn we are promised one baptism a month. We have averaged 7 lessons a week. They also wanted us to have shorter more frequent lessons with investigators. So, in weekly planning, Gunnell and I said we are doin it! We have faith that it can be done. EVERY SINGLE appointment fell through on Tuesday, including a dinner appointment....Well what the heck? We also had Friday filled up with meetings and a baptism so we wouldn't teach anyone that day either. It was really stressful. A good lesson that we were preparing for also didn't happen. Every planned thing fell through because of various reasons. What the heck are we supposed to do now? We had our Friday meeting with Elder Peiper and instructed that we needed to be finding and teaching the elect. Well, in the back of our minds we knew our investigators haven't truly been progressing. It makes sense to me now because during that meeting we both thought we had to drop most all of our investigators and go back to finding.
Finding really is not one of the funnest things in the world. And it certainly tested my faith. Sad to say I felt like that father in the New Testament who asks Christ, "Help Thou mine unbelief." I know what I know, and to doubt that we could be successful in tracting is the opposite of faith. Then I read how Christ reminds the apostles about how 5 loaves and fishes fed thousands of people and asked why they were hardening their hearts to other miracles. I guess that's what we all do sometimes and none of us have perfect faith. Saturday by far has been the hardest because I did not want to be faithless but believing. Sunday, I felt a renewed strength and I know that it comes through the faith and prayers of my loved ones. But these next 6 weeks are going to be some faith building experiences. I am just ready to teach someone. I know I have things that I need to learn, but I want to be helping someone else and not just myself. All in the Lord's time.

Journal Entry from 01/22/12 - Elizabeth

*Elizabeth came to church today! It shocked both me and Gunnell. (Supposedly the allegations were false against her and she is not going to jail after all) Elizabeth was very active in our gospel principles class which was good. She stayed for all three meetings. I guess that was a little miracle in and of itself! She also, set up an appointment with us. The Relief Society President told us that Elizabeth had mentioned that we had brought some hope into her life. I hope that we can continue to kindle that fire. We have decided we will be her to guide Elizabeth, but only upon request and her own actions. She knows what she needs to do. We will leave it up to God and her because of all the problems that she has been having. So far, I can see His hand. I pray that this fire continues to drive her to action.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Handwritten Letter on 01/10/12

..."Frog Griggin":  Go out in the middle of the night with a little pitchfork and listen for frogs.  When you hear it, stab it with your pitchfork and straight up eat that sucker!  SICK HUH?  West Virginia lingo I guess....

..."My new favorite quote: 'When we make it, it won't be because we have a testimony (because even Satan knows it is real).  It will be because we have become like Him!'"...

*Elizabeth is going to jail for a long time, so we won't be teaching her anymore.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Journal Entry from 01/16/12 - Betty

January 16, 2012 (Golden Investigator)
Betty is the golden investigator. We tracted into her last week and she let us in on a cold day. We left her a Book of Mormon and left with a prayer. She is married with 3 kids. She talked about coming to church before we even invited her to come. But after we taught her about the restoration, we asked her what this would mean to her if these things were true. She said well that would be a really big deal and it is something that would need to be a part of my life for sure.  It is amazing how she is able to recognize the importance.

Journal Entry from 01/16/12 - Rebecca and Beth

January 16, 2012 
We went to visit old *Rebecca and her daughter *Beth was there. Beth was in a car accident and had a speech impediment. She is a musician and when she sang some of her blue grass music you would never be able to tell that she had something wrong with her. We gave her a Book of Mormon to read and hopefully she will read. At least her mom said that she would read it which was really funny.

Journal Entry from 01/16/12 - Barbara's daughter

January 16, 2012
Well, *Barbara's daughter that always rebukes us must have had some sort of change of heart because as she was jabbering her mouth away I asked her some questions. I am excited because we were able to set up an appointment with her and to teach. we also left a study question of why there are so many churches today. I am excited and hope that her heart can be softened. She talked about how she was trying not to judge and I think she was referring to us because we invited her to pray and she prayed for the ability to not be judgemental and I noticed she was crying afterwards. She also said she felt like something was important in store for me and as she said that I thought yup it's me gonna help you get baptized. She also mentioned she liked my challenging questions because it made her think and sometimes we get complacent.

Letter from Jessica 12/29/11 - Barbara

...We are teaching this old Baptist woman, *Barbara, who is so sweet.  She loves learning about Christ.  It's hard to have actual lessons with her because her stubborn 40 year old daughter hates us.  She is very hospitable to us and kind...but whenever we start teaching she always interrupts and talks about pointless crap and sometimes she'll get up on her high horse and tell us how it is.  Her mom gets annoyed and will look at us and roll her eyes.  So it's hard not to laugh while this woman is chastising us for only saying we are grateful and not saying thank you in our prayers or not memorizing scripture and going off about the millennium.  However the first time she went off on me she said all you do is say your grateful and don't say thankyou.  That's not enough and Honey you haven't been through anything yet because you are young.  But I sat there and listened and just took it with a smile and then when she was done I bore my testimony... 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Letter to Gma Little on 12/26/11

Dec. 26, 2011
Dear Gma & Gpa,
Thank you for the newsletter. I loved receiving it! I am glad you sent the whole thing!
Not many people get baptized out here but on my 8th day 13-year-old *Amy committed to baptism. Her testimony is incredible. I have not yet met her parents but they sound incredibly supportive!
I loved reading Alma 24 today! I think that chapter will help with addictions. We always hear about the first of that story but my favorite is the last half! I love it so much! The Father provides several opportunities for those to truly become converted that they may repent. It is also very important for those of us who have made promises and tasted of His glory to be diligent in being obedient. I love this gospel, it becomes more real to me everyday!
Love you!
Sister Little

Journal Entry from 01/04/12 - Elizabeth

January 4, 2012
We dont know what to do with Elizabeth. She doesn't have a car, no internet, she is all alone, and she is always sick and in pain. I think being alone she also smokes and drinks out of boredom, but what are somethings we can tell her that would give her something to do other than smoke or drink? I mean she probably isn't going to read and pray 24/7, and TV can get boring too, she can't really always go for walks, but maybe we can encourage her to do that.  Also encourage her to write something. She writes poems and such. But maybe she will go on walks. I just dont know and she got in a fight with a less-active member in her apartment complex and the cops were called on her and now Elizabeth doesn't want to come to church in case that woman is there and freaks out and calls the cops on her. If the cops get called again then Elizabeth will be kicked out and she will be homeless. She talked about doing school again but like I said she doesn't have a computer or a way to get to a library or school...I just dont know what to do. I know she has a testimony...but how is she gonna make it work?

Journal Entry from 01/02/12 - Samantha

January 2, 2012
We met *Samantha on December 28, 2011. An hour or 2 before we met her I got a nervous feeling to meet her. I just don't get nervous! Especially the first time we meet people. I soon found out why. We read on her record that she knew the Book of Mormon was true. Before meeting with her I have been having a lot of experiences just teaching by the Spirit. I knew that I wasn't the one teaching. I also learned that Faith is always an action and that the Lord will keep His promises once we do our part. He tells us IF we open our mouths He will fill it. He is the teacher. So I knew that to be true but I understood it better after I met Samantha. After Samantha had read through the Plan of Salvation pamphlet she freaked out and was saying that's of the devil and she would ask all these questions and say no one would answer them, but no one answers because she doesn't listen...I knew that she would not listen because as I tried to teach...I could not and that was weird. I am always very confident and just teach as I am supposed to. I lost my train of thought and my head was like a blank page. Then all I had to lean on was my testimony. All I could do was bear my testimony of the things I knew to be true because that is engrained in my heart and can never be taken away. The Lord is always the teacher and through that I know He teaches and not me.

Journal Entry from 01/02/12 - Tracting

January 2, 2012
We were searching for less active members and one lady wasn't home. So we went to get back in the car and I saw a house across the street with the lights on and I thought we should go there. My companion already started the car and I said hey let's go knock on that door. So we did. This man was super friendly and attended some Pentacostal church, which I hear they do a lot of the speaking in tongues business...he said that was kinda weird and he was the more laid back type. He also seemed like for the start of a new year that he was trying to come closer to Christ. So we offered him a card and a Book of Mormon and said hope to see him again. We should have set up an appointment, but we will just have to stop by again.

Journal Entry from 01/02/12 - Qrimsen

January 2, 2011
We visited with *Qrimsen on December 30, 2011. We talked with her for 2 hours...actually she talked to us for 2 hours. We each said one sentence each I kid you not! She was a convert about 20 years ago and became inactive because some mormon guy broke her heart. She told us how she loves listening to the preachers every single day and she gets Christ's doctrine mixed with all the other religions. She told us some weird story how she anointed herself which didn't make sense. Then she told us how everyone in the ward wasn't friendly and they were boring and to basically boring people are not Christian, and she went on and on judging the ward how they weren't talkative and shy and just all this stuff, yet when she first became a member she talked to everyone. She didn't make the effort to go visit with others as well. Then she went on and on how she gave missionaries presents and no one else did so they are not Christian.  I hope that we can find members to help fellowship her more and that we can teach her and that the spirit will soften her heart to forgive others.

Journal Entry from 01/02/12 - Dixon Family

January 2, 2012
Last night we met the *Dixon Family. They are an inactive family. Dad and Mom are both converts and then there are 4 children. We had one of the kids read Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 and none of the kids could explain that to us. We had to really explain it. After that the kids were going crazy wanting us to help them read the scriptures. I gave the youngest boy a tiny book of Mormon and told him if I gave it to him he had to read it. They are a super nice family and I am not so sure why they dont go to church anymore, but they should. All the kids acted like they would love it, and they loved when we came to their home. They shut off all their games, and I dont even know if their parents told them to do so. We will get them to come and get the kids baptized.  I am excited to teach this family and get faith rebuilt there.

Journal Entry from 12/30/12 - Jackie

December 30, 2011
Sister Pitt came with Sister Gunnell and I to visit *Jackie last night. Jackie is an endowed member of the church and is innactive. She had a lot of deaths in her family, her husband being one of them. She told us before last night that she did not believe God had a body of flesh and bones, she couldn't ask for anything when she prayed, and she didn't believe in organized religion. Her ideas were extremely misconstrued to say the least. Then Sister Pitt just started having conversation with Jackie and she opened up her heart. She started dating a man after her husband died and this man abused her. She doesn't feel worthy anymore. We shared our testimonies of the atonement, and of repentance. We also shared with her the need the members have and the need she has to be an active member at church. She said she would come to church on Sunday so I hope it works out. We plan to continue visiting Jackie. Missionary work isn't about baptizing. It's about giving His children a way back to Him. Especially for those who have already made those sacred covenants. We could have been out with non-members, but we find the the Lord works in many ways to bring His children to salvation. Alma 24:27

Journal Entry from 01/02/12 - Elizabeth

January 2, 2012
I don't even know what to say about Elizabeth. After her blessing on Friday night she was ready to give up cigs and we were going to meet with her Saturday and have dinner so she didnt have to have a stupid party night for New Years Eve. She ended up hanging out with her sister. She smoked more than the 4 she said she would and then didn't show up to church like she said she was going to on Sunday.  We went over to her house last night which was Sunday night to see what was going on. She said that she couldn't count how many cigs she had that day and then i saw that she had an empty vodka bottle. The one time she straight up lied to us. ugh!!!! But she doesnt have anyone and so much crap happened to her in her life and it just makes me way sad. She was totally drunk. You couldnt smell it but she said to us "well, maybe I like being unhappy because I am used to it." Then she said she wanted all that the gospel has to offer. She doesn't know what she wants in a state like that, but it really just made me sad how she talked about being alone.  I know she was drunk but this woman suffers from extreme problems and depression being one of the many products of that, but as she talked about being alone, tears just streamed down my face. She knows the Lord loves her and is there for her and all this stuff, but she really just broke my heart when she talked about wanting to erase the sins she has gone through but always being alone. It's really hard trying to explain loneliness cuz we can't always SEE the Lord in His body, but when we choose to see His love and how we are truly not alone we can physically see the blessings in our life and the opportunities we have to change, which in turn brings happiness. 
I love Matthew 3:8 and it talks about the fruits of repentance. A fruit is a product of labors, which with this scripture we can physically see repentant people.

Journal Entry from 12/28/12 - Elizabeth

*Elizabeth has committed to fast from cigarettes as Sister Gunnell and I fast from food and water for 24 hours together. I wanted to make sure I could take a walk in Elizabeth's shoes so I put out all of my treats on my desk as a temptation. I am also fasting from gum which is something I have a hard time going without.  As we studied this morning I realized my heart, mind, and desires were set upon my treats. I learned that if we are making a sacrifice and we dwell solely on the thing we are giving up and not the reason or the blessings that will come then we will miss out on why we fasted in the first place. Our fast will then have been in vain. What does our heart desire? Yeah throughout the day we will think of these things we are missing, but are we dwelling on how much it sucks? Is the blessing worth the sacrifice? I know that it is, and it can be, if God's promises are of great worth to us then we will be willing to give up everything to obtain that blessing.