Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Promise

The whole western side of the Pittsburgh mission.
had a really great week!!!It's starting to get colder here, but it's still pretty nice. I'm kinda dreading the cold weather, because normally when the weather is nasty you just stay inside...well not missionaries! But it will be ok.

I was on an exchange this Tuesday. I stayed here in Cranberry and Sis. Hokafonu went to Franklin. It was really weird leading out the area for the first time but I was excited to take on the challenge! Sis Hokafonu will most likely get transferred October 6th...which makes me sad. She's my mama and I don't want her to leave haha! We actually got to teach a woman named Erla who was investigating a little. She's super nice and the elders had taught her the first lesson so we were going to give her a Book of Mormon and teach her the Plan of Salvation. But she is REALLY hard to teach. I don't think mentally she is all there so it was really hard to understand her beliefs and see where she is coming from. We would ask her a question like, "Where do you think your relationship with God is?" and she would go off about the Presbyterian church and where it was and how they always went as kids... so she never would answer our question. In the end she wasn't really interested and we had to leave.

Thursday was AWESOME! Elder Stanfill of the Seventy came and we had training with him and President Johnson with the whole western side of the mission! It was so fun to see other missionaries that I hadn't seen for a long time, like Sister Hamblin from the MTC was there and Sister Schofield! Gees I just love that girl. I feel so blessed to be able to see her so many times on the mission already! The training was really good though. We heard form Sister Johnson first who always brings such a strong spirit into any meeting she speaks at. She just radiates the light of Christ. Then President talked a lot about the standards of baptism and how we need to focus on retention and really "think with the end in mind" which ultimately is the temple. We can just baptize these people and say, ok have a good life, enjoy the holy ghost. But it's as we keep progressing that we help people find continued peace and joy in their lives. 

Elder Stanfill was amazing. He's actually going to be speaking in conference in the Saturday session, so watch and you'll see what I mean! Having a general authority in our mission really changed my perspective. He was just so loving and powerful with all of his remarks. He's actually the newest general authority, so it was amazing to see his humility and how he wasn't afraid to admit that even though he is a general authority he isn't perfect and he doesn't know everything. He talked to us about member retention as well and showed us how the scriptures teach us exactly what to do as missionaries and how we know we will have succeeded! He served his mission in France at the same time President Johnson was serving in France, just in different areas. He talked about how hard his mission was. This kinda caught me by surprise, I guess I just thought that general authorities would have "perfect" missions. But that just goes to show how real the general authorities are. He really brought me comfort when he was telling us to just do the things Heavenly Father asks and He'll take care of the rest. He talked about how as missionaries we are too hard on ourselves and how we need to give ourselves a break sometimes. The spirit in that meeting was just so strong and I knew that he was an ordained man of God and a witness of his son, Jesus Christ. He promised us an incredible blessing that brought tears to my eyes. He said, "I can promise you that when you return to our Father in Heaven you will be greeted by thousands or millions of people who will thank you for helping them get back to our Heavenly Father". What an incredible promise, and I know that's true for all those who aid in this missionary work and family history work. He said there is no other thing we could be doing in our lives here on earth or in our lives to come in the eternities that will be of greater importance. That’s how important this work is and I'm forever grateful I get to be a part of it!

After our training we had a lesson with Jerry that went really well. We had to be quick because he got there really late and we had a dinner appointment to get to. We wanted to go over the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him just to make sure he understood everything. So when we started talking about faith in Jesus Christ we had asked him to read Alma 32 on faith and how it's like a little seed. But he hadn't read and that opened an opportunity for us to ask if this was something that he really wanted to find was true. He said it wouldn't hurt to know, which I thought was incredible. What a huge step of faith. With Jerry, I really do see his desire he just needs to act on it! So hopefully we'll start seeing more progress with him. He's so funny though and always asks if we're staying out of trouble and if we have boyfriends we go see hahahahha! We explain to him that we don't do that kind of stuff on our missions and he said he would be our secret boyfriend... oh Jerry what are we going to do with you!?

Saturday was crazy and we spent the WHOLE day at the church! I think I've been in this church building more than I've been at our apartment! We had two stake activities that we were helping with. Sisterfest with the Relief Society and a Back to School game night for the youth. They both went really well and it was a really long day. But I'm glad we were able to help out and participate in both of them. All of the sister missionaries from our zone were at Sisterfest so it was really fun to talk to them for a bit. Also one of our less-actives came and it was soooo good to have her there!!! It's too bad though, because she's actually moving to Idaho in a month:( But I think it will be really good for them!!!

I'm doing really good though. I'm super happy I'm almost done with training and I feel like I'm way more comfortable with everything! I'm really excited for Conference, Halloween and the leaves to change colors, I've heard it's absolutely beautiful! I'll be sending a ton of pictures:) 
LOVE LOVE LOVE Sis Douglas❤❤❤

Gees I love this girl!

Comps for just a little longer.

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