Well, this week has been different, in a good way as well as in a bad way. Let me first start by explaining the title of my email. Your trainer in the mission field is your “Dad”, he teaches you and shows you how to become a missionary. As of today I no longer am companions with Elder Spotten, we got Emergency Transferred. We have been going to the doctors these past weeks because of his injury, he was told by the doctor that he needed to start Physical Therapy and after two weeks if it’s not feeling better, he needed to get an MRI back in Utah where he was from.
The PT he was given takes 2 hours, that was 2 hours away from the Lords work that we couldn’t lose. Our mission president thought it would be better for Elder Spotten if he came down to an area near the mission president to help another missionary who was struggling, they have been given a new assignment as service missionaries working at the bishop store house and after that closes they will go to the temple for the remainder of the day. After two weeks if he still isn’t better he will be honorably released from his mission. It’s sad to see him go but the Lord has a plan in store for him. My new companions name is Elder Klingler, he is an amazing missionary and we are excited to get out and do a lot of work!
Now, this week I wanted to share a story of an experience I had Monday night. So a while back Elder Spotten and I drove down a neighborhood that was SUPER redneck sketch ville, I had bad feelings about it and thought if we knocked them we would get shot or something. Well, this was a while ago on July 6th, well on Sunday, July 31, I felt like we needed to knock that neighborhood. Now call me crazy, but I fear no man. I felt like we needed to knock that area, I thought about it for a little then brushed it off, well all throughout church it kept coming to mind, and even in church, the branch mission leader said on his mission in one of the roughest/ poorest areas he had 5 baptisms.
So I thought okay that fits the neighborhood, maybe we will have some luck. Then the thought went away, and that night it came back into my mind, so I told Elder Spotten and we put it in our plans to go tract there. We got lost on the way but we found the neighborhood, as we drove up and down the streets there were freaky weird backwoods rednecks all over the place, EVERYONE was home. I thought, how cool, I get the impression to come here and all these people are home to talk to, then I thought “okay where do we start?” Elder Spotten said he had a bad feeling, like we shouldn’t be there, but I told him that that was the same feeling I had the first time we came here in July, but I realized that it is Satan trying to push us away because he knows there is someone there looking for the gospel.
Elder Spotten said okay and went to find a parking spot, we drove down the road then down another road, there was NOWHERE to park. As we were trying to find a spot to park I was thinking “what am I going to share with them?” I flipped open the Book of Mormon randomly and the first verse I read was Alma 37:34 which read: “Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls.” This just blew my mind…. Literally the Lord spake to me through the scriptures…. I was on cloud nine freaking out haha.
We came back and parked in a little dirt lot road place across the street from a house that was like a barn thing, it had plywood nailed as the doors, it was a beat up trashed old house barn thing and spray painted on the wood was “KEEP OUT!” There was firewood smoking in the front yard of it. After we parked and prayed, Elder Spotten had a bad feeling about parking there so we decided to leave and find a new spot. Every spot we found we had a bad feeling that we shouldn’t park there. Ok, I figured
We ended up driving clear down the road and were planning on working our way up to the hill. We felt like that was a good spot. So we got out and we knocked the first trailer, the person was SUPER nice but wasn’t feeling good so we left. Well we didn’t have anymore pass along cards so I wanted to go back to the car and get some and Elder Spotten wanted to keep going because we were crunched for time, we walked our separate ways yelling at each other in the middle of the street trying to get the other person to follow.
Well I caved in and went to Elder Spotten, he said “trust that the Lord will provide, I’ll hand out pamphlets, I have 5 Books of Mormon we can hand out, it’s fine we will be okay” so just as I caught up to him and he finished telling me that we came to the next house, there was a lady sitting outside. I had pointed her out when we drove past the first time going to look at the neighborhood and made the comment, “there is a person outside let’s talk to her” well now here she was, still outside.
We said hello and she was super friendly, she put her dogs inside and started talking to us, she was in the middle of watching a prayer meeting. She then went on and on talking about these problems in her life and all she was going through and she would cry and tell us how she feels like her faith in the Lord is going away but she doesn’t want it to and that she is going through a lot right now. She told us that the day before she had someone pass away, and that she prays every morning and night looking for help, she even said it was the craziest thing, she had prayed for someone to talk to and help her and now there we were.
And as I’m standing there listening to her the Spirit came over me so strongly, I got chills and my heart stopped beating fast and I became very calm and confident and when she stopped speaking I opened my mouth and said, “What is your name?”
She said, “Patricia”
I said, “Well Patricia, I can honestly tell you and promise you as representatives of Jesus Christ, that we are here right now because of you, and that we needed to tell you that Heavenly Father loves you and He hears and answers your prayers, He is giving you these trials because He’s helping you grow your faith in Him.”
Then Elder Spotten opened the Book of Mormon and shared Ether 12:6. While he was reading that she opened her gate and stood closer to us, she had agreed with the scripture and we asked her if we could come back and share more with her, we gave her scriptures to read and gave her a Book of Mormon and a restoration pamphlet to read. We set an appointment to come back tomorrow and she said she would absolutely read it. She thanked us and said that we had helped her so much. She needed someone to talk to.
The Lord sent us there because He knew that she needed the gospel at that point in her life, and we were able to give her the guidance and counsel that she needed. When we left her house and drove past to go to our next appointment I looked out the window and saw her sitting on the bench on her porch reading the Book of Mormon and had a tissue and she was wiping her tears away. She didn’t go back to her tablet and finish watching the pray meeting or go inside and do something else, she immediately sat down and began reading the Book of Mormon.
It was the most wonderful thing to see. It reminded me of how special this work is, no matter how tough the times may be, the Lord is preparing us to find that ONE that needs Him the most. And He is preparing us the be ready to teach them.
I hope everyone has a great week and I want you to know that the Lord truly does hear and answer each and every one of our prayers, He knows of the trials we have and He knows what we are to learn from them, we have to trust in Him and have faith in Him so that in return He will be able to help us grow closer to Him. Each trial is a stepping stone closer to our Heavenly Father, we just need to make the step and trust He will pick us up of we fall. It’s not going to be an easy pathway but it will be worth it and it will lead us back to Him.
I love all of you so much! Stay safe!