Monday, June 30, 2014

Evergreen Ward Round 3

     So I'm staying in Evergreen for another transfer with my companion, Sister Haynes! I'm excited to see what work we can accomplish in this area. Sister Haynes is great and I'm excited to continue learning from her. I can't believe I'm coming up on a year and have only served in 2 areas though. Weird. I guess this is exactly where the Lord needs me though.

     I apologize in advance for the scattered thoughts, but I want to share as much as I can about all of my adventures this week. So last Monday we had another lesson with Jason. He reads the Book of Mormon and is very honest with us, but sometimes I think he just wants information rather than seeking for something more in his life. So we watched "Finding Faith in Christ" (if you've seen the movie, Jason is so much like Jonah- the doubter). At the end of the movie he was saying how Jonah was kind of a jerk. I had to hold in my laughter at that, I guess he didn't see the correlation. But we talked to him about sincerity and real intent and it really started to sink in for him. It was a pretty powerful lesson and I can see him making progress a little bit at a time.

     There's a young woman in our ward, Emily Guinn, who is 18 and decided she wants to go on a mission so she's been coming out with us to lessons a lot. On Friday we had some amazing miracles that she was able to witness. We took her to our first appointment with a new investigator but he wasn't there. So we went to try a less active who I had met briefly before but we hadn't gptten in to share a message. Well he invited us right in and we started talking about the church and his affiliation with it. He stopped going at age 14 because his dad never went so he didn't think he had to. He and his non member wife had a lot of questions about God. We talked to him a lot about the Book of Mormon and used it to answer his questions. Near the end of the visit he said "You guys glow! I can tell you really are Christians and I bet others see it, too." At the end we asked him if we could come teach him the lessons and it seems like he wanted to but his wife kind of shot it down. But then he said, "I can tell how much you love the Book of Mormon. So I will commit to pick it up and read it. And I'll be sure to pray about it." I don't know that there's a better rejection to taking the lessons than that! I loved it. Then we took her to try a potential investigator who we had done service for a month ago. She invited us right in and started asking us questions and we were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon as well. She's born again christian and didn't see why we'd need more evidence that Jesus Christ is our Savior, she was fine with just the Bible. I told her that it supports what is taught in the Bible but that our unique message to the world is that just as God called prophets anciently, we have prophets on the earth today and that Christ's church and it's authority is again on the earth and the Book of Mormon is the proof that we have of that. She invited us to come back and teach her more :) Then we tried Dre, who was busy and set up another time, but as we were leaving I noticed his neighbor gardening and we went over to talk to him. His name is Adam (he reminds me of Steve Meyer) and he's so cool! So cool in fact that I'm going to start a new paragraph about him.

     So Adam loves the Bible but doesn't go to any one church (he hops around) because while he knows there's truth in all churches, he knows that people interpret things differently and so he believes that no one church has it all. He knows that Bible has missing books and things have been lost and changed in translation so he only reads the King James version. His wife is Catholic and he's in his early 30's with a 2 year old girl. He had tons of questions and was super open and had so many questions for us. So we set up to come back and visit him on Sunday to share the message of the Restoration. During the lesson, we really emphasized about Christ's church when it was on the earth and the authority it had. He had lots of questions throughout and was just soaking things up. He has a slightly different view on a few things (like believing in the trinity... and Adam also thinks he baptized himself with a hose- which is a hilarious story for another time) He's a super funny guy and during his lesson I just felt so on fire. I'd never taught so fluidly or followed the spirit so much! At the end we invited him to be baptized, and read and pray about the Book of Mormon-which at that point we're only briefly introduced as being another witness of Jesus Christ- and give him a copy. He looks at it and says "Did you know Christ visited the Americas?" Uh what?! That's our line! I was blown away. We testified that we know He did and that a record of that is in the Book of Mormon. He said he'd heard that before so we marked 3rd Nephi 11 where Christ comes to the Americas. I asked him how he knew about Christ appearing the Americas and he said his he's part Native American and that he grew up with his mom telling him that! It was a story they passed down. Can you believe it??

     I'm running out of time, so a few more random things that happened this week:
1) To try and find more people to teach we drew a Plan of Salvation outline in chalk by the church with our phone number by it.
2) One of our less active families who is working on returning told us they want to go to the temple and asked if we could help prepare them for that. I love helping less actives! :)
3) While singing along in the car, my companion and I had some fun switching the lyrics to sound like missionary songs. It was hilarious!
4) We biked all day one day and my bum is so sore! So the next day we decided to walk... 9 and a half miles. My feet are sore now! p.s.we still have a Chevy Cruz half the week and share it with another ward who has it the other half. 
5) This week while weekly planning we wanted to take a little break and pick a few strawberries from Sister Mulloy's (the little old widow we live with) garden. We open up the door to go outside and no joke, out of nowhere it starts pouring rain! We just laugh. It was God's way of telling us to get back in the basement and finish weekly planning. haha.

     Last cool story for the day. I think I told you about us stopping a kid on his skateboard a few weeks ago. He was literally riding so fast and we just held out a pass along card to start talking to him and he jumped off of his board to talk to us. We then ran into him a week later and shared a message with him on the street. Then this last week we started talking to this random kid who turns out to be a less active and as we're teaching him the skateboard kid comes out and says to his friend Cody, "Hey! You're talking to my friends! I love talking with them!" We chatted a bit more and answered some questions they had and set up a lesson with them for this next week at the church. Everything happens for a reason :) I'm excited.

     Well, I love you all! This church is true! 

-Sister Megan Metcalf

getting ready for bed 
Catching raindrops! The summer storms are wonderful
 Our "city" area. Walking down Adams Road from 8th to 4th street




Nightly planning can be frustrating

waiting for our transfer call to come

 my watch tanline :) 

Our Plan of Salvation chalk drawing

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Preachers, and Nuns, and Iguanas OH MY!‏

     A whole lotta randomness going on this week. First off, I had watermelon soup. It sounds weird, but it was cold soup- just watermelon, mint, lemon, and honey so it was pretty good... but weird. It was at a less actives home, the Worden's. He has had a lot of hard things happen in his life and his testimony is weak. But he loves cooking for the missionaries, and his wife loves any excuse to get us in the home.
Now that the most important news is out of the way (haha) I want to tell you about our experiences this week in talking with everyone. No matter how late we are or where we're going, we talk to everyone we see. And you know what? It's not even awkward anymore. It's natural- and most of the time really fun! Fun story- this week while we were walking to an appointment we saw some nuns getting out of their car to head to the Catholic church across the street. We looked at each other and said "Should we?" and then both just went for it! It was kind of cool even though they weren't too friendly. Obviously they weren't interested. But I can honestly say that I am giving EVERYONE an opportunity to hear the gospel. This week we ran into the guy who was the producer of the movie "Passion of the Christ"- the one that Mel Gibson directed. So Elliott was really cool and it turns out he was raised as a member in the Mormon church up until his sophomore year of high school when his parents went inactive. He went to seminary and everything. At least he's still doing good things with his life. We're going to go back and try and meet with him and his wife. We'll see how it goes. 

     On Saturday we were supposed to go out to another stake and help out with a huge youth missionary day from noon to 5:30pm. So we didn't have to plan anything for that day. Well on the day of the activity we show up at the church and a guy tells us they had a bunch of youth bail and so they didn't need us. So we had 5 and a half hours where we didn't have anything planned for it! It was so stressful that first few minutes trying to figure out what we were going to do that day. So Sister Haynes and I prayed and we felt like we needed to be up in the northernmost part of our area. So we head up and start trying a bunch of potentials up there. We stopped first at a potential investigators home who I'd never met. His name was David and he had a very different view on who Christ was than I had ever heard. The conversation was interesting, but we taught him a little bit and said a prayer with him. The whole time we were talking with him in his front yard, the guy who lives in the duplex next to him was in his garage fixing his lawn mower with his son and was listening. So when we were done with David we walk 4 feet to start talking to the neighbor and he says "I guess it's my turn now?" haha.  Skyler has a 3 year old son. He was incredibly open and it turns out his fiance is a less active as well! It's crazy how many people in Spokane grew up members and fell away later. Anyways, he was interested in learning more so we are going back on Friday to teach him and his fiance. It's funny how I get so used to people not being interested that it takes me back a bit when someone actually wants to listen to us!

     Another story of someone we met this week was this guy named Evan. We started talking to him and he said he was a Pentecostal preacher who likes to corner Mormon missionaries. Red flag! Well we talked for a bit- he was trying so hard to bash with us and prove us wrong. And it was honestly a good test of my patience. I've been studying the Bible a lot lately and just wanted to whip out all of these scriptures in retaliation but rather than that I just testified of what I knew to be true (and my companion did as well). He was trying so hard to pick a fight, but we stood our ground. It ended up being like a 20 minute conversation though and the whole time I kept thinking that this is someone Satan was probably putting in our path to keep us from talking to someone else, so as soon as we had the opportunity to, we bid him farewell and went off on our way. I learned more about being patient and charitable. I know he's trying to do his best with what he knows, but it just isn't Christlike to attack people's beliefs. So I at least was reaffirmed in knowing that the way I approach people and just try to build their faith from wherever it's at is the way to teach. No one feels the Spirit when you tear them down.

     I'm sure you're all wondering how the lesson with Dre went. He is so cool! So we brought a member with us and the lesson was so great! He is super open and asks questions and really just accepted everything we taught! It was a little chaotic during the lesson though. He has 3 kids and they were going nuts during the lesson. Not to mention there was a large (live) iguana that I found halfway through the lesson just crawling right behind my head on the chair I was sitting on... and his dog that I think honestly had ADHD. That little thing was jumping everywhere! I'd put my hand on it to pet it/ calm it down and he'd just kept jumping and jumping and turning. Man, it was frustrating. Hopefully our next lesson with him will be in someone else's home! He has a lot of promise. He wants to be baptized and his wife will be there at the next lesson.

     Also, the Book of Mormon musical is coming out to Spokane. I know it is offensive and makes fun of the church, but the church has great people in the PR department because they've got some amazing plans on how we're going to put a positive spin on all of the publicity it's giving us, etc. I'll share some of that in another email.

     Question: why do you think sometimes God gives us a miracle, but then nothing comes from it in the long run? Sometimes it's sad to have an incredible experience and we think we found a golden investigator but then things don't pan out at all.. anyways. The work here is incredible! I feel myself growing each day! I wish I could be out for 2 years- I feel like I'm just now starting to get on a roll. I love this work so much! I'm never happier than when I'm sharing this message of hope with everyone around me!

     I love you all! Have a great week!

-Sister Megan Metcalf




Outside of the Temple/ our stake center where we email on p-days
Evergreen ward!
Called to Serve!
This is actually a rapeseed farm. It's used to make canola oil...
the field is white... uh... yellow :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Every Mile a Memory

     A few funny things happened this week. One was while we were trying to contact a potential investigator. His house was silent, and as we walked up to his porch he just started blasting ACDC's "Highway to Heck" and didn't answer the door. It was pretty comical. And I'd never quite been told that someone wasn't interested in that way before. :) Another was that my companion and I both sleep talk... and one night we were talking to each other. It was so weird! I faintly remember us planning out a lesson together and her asking me a question about it and then me clarifying it for her. We woke up in the morning a little confused, but both recalling what had happened. Talk about comp unity! Planning lessons for our investigators together in our sleep! haha. The last one was that after church on Sundays we usually stop by less actives and investigators homes and let them know we missed them and find out why they didn't come to church. So one of the less actives we stopped by to see is pretty sarcastic. But when we rang his doorbell, as he came down the stairs to open it and peeks through the window and says "It would be you!" Apparently if there were anyone who was going to stop by on a Sunday afternoon and make him get out of bed, it would be the missionaries. I couldn't stop laughing at that one. We told him we were only doing it because we didn't want him and his son to miss out on the blessings of going to church! Sometimes I get the impression that not everyone likes us coming by ;)
     Some cool miracles that happened this week started off with running into Lili. I'm so sad about her. She got into a fight with her friend who she always comes to church with and so she's been avoiding us and church. We've been trying to set things up with her and she won't respond. We've been praying to be able to meet with her! So one day as we were walking to someone else's house, her car pulls up on the curb and she gets out! So we stopped and talked with her and got an appointment set up. It's so crazy how the Lord plans out our days and has set backs and everything else happen at just the right time so that a miracle can occur later! It's the best! It was an answer to our prayers. Another cool experience this week was during Jason's lesson. I can't remember if I've told you about him already or not. He's a 34 year old single dad who we met on the street. His main hurdle he's trying to overcome is wanting physical evidence that there really is a God. So we've been teaching him a lot of different things and we decided that the best way for him to come to know God is through Jesus Christ. This last week we had his lesson in the Olsen's home. We were teaching him about the Plan of Salvation. During the lesson I felt prompted to share "Because of Him" with him but then thought it might have just been one of my ADHD thoughts. But then immediately after I pushed the thought out, it came back stronger. So I asked the member if they'd pull the video up. It was so powerful! He was tearing up (and he never gets emotional) and I bore testimony of Christ after and how He is the greatest evidence we have that God exists and loves us. And then the member bore his testimony. It was so cool! We have another lesson with him tonight and we're hoping to put him on date.

On Wednesday at ASL class (have I told you about that? Tina Burns in our ward is deaf and hosts a free ASL class to people in the community. Literally every person who comes is a non member, so we go to the class as well) the two women from our ward who usually come and interpret were not able to be there. This is a class of about 12ish non members who we've been able to talk with about the church (and are hopefully passing them off as referrals to the wards they live in this week). So guess who got to be the interpreter this week?? Me! Oh man, it was so fun! It makes me want to get my interpreting license and teach at a deaf school when I get home! :) And it also makes me want to find a deaf investigator! How cool would that be?

     We found 3 more investigators this week. The one I'm most excited about is Dre. Yes, you heard right, Dre. We have a lesson with him and his family on Tuesday and I'm so excited. Yes, he is black. And yes, he is SO excited to hear about the gospel. When we met him and started teaching him he just kept saying. "Yeah! I just wanna know the truth!" And at the end when we wanted to pray with him he was like "Yeah! I love praying! I don't even know how to pray- but I love it! Teach me how!" This guy is so cool. I'm excited to meet the rest of his family this week... While on exchanges in the Belle Terre ward this week I was with a sister and she wanted to go tracting to this tiny little 4 apartment building (I haven't been tracting in so long!) So we went to this complex and start knocking. The first door we knock on is this girl Erika who was so friendly! She invited us to come in and let us share a message about Christ. We told her about how His gospel has been restored to the earth and we have a prophet today and she got so excited and asked us (the other sisters) to come back. It was seriously a miracle! I've had maybe 3 people invite me in while tracting... and one was just to let me use their bathroom! haha. So that was cool.

     Things are honestly so great here. I love working with Sister Haynes. It's so nice to have another sister training leader as a companion. It's helped so much in working with the other sisters in the zone and problem solving. I hope I get to continue having her as a companion. 

     This work in incredible! I absolutely love it each day! I am constantly learning more about myself and Christ. Every single day I feel more and more that this is the Lord's work and I am so happy to be His instrument. This gospel is true. I know that Christ's church and gospel have been restored to the earth and that the priesthood authority to perform saving ordinances is held in this church. 

     Keep reading your scriptures and praying! I love you!!!!

-Sister Megan Metcalf


 


Rapeseed field (used to make canola oil)


The prettiest driveway ever! (To Genera Smith's)


 Green Acres (only half my area is like this, the other half is city. But obviously it's not as pretty so I never take pictures of it) 


With Hermana Taylor at the nerf gun war last p-day


In our basement at Sister Mulloy's


nerf gun fight


Our investigator Lynn makes guitars (he made some for VanHalen and a few other bands I can't remember the names of)



I can't remember if I already sent this one or not of my zone- the East Spokane Zone

Monday, June 9, 2014

Short and Sweet

     This week was great! Our numbers in lessons didn't show it because we had a meeting of some sort every day this week. Well, Monday was p-day, Tuesday w had MLC (Missionary Leadership Council), Wednesday we had interviews with president Mullen, Thursday we had a video chat meeting with our mission president on a new way he wants us to weekly plan based off of Elder Aidukaitis's training from last week, Friday we had zone training, and Saturday I was on exchanges. This next week we'll have more proselyting time, so things should pick up.
      We didn't get to teach too many people, but we found 3 new investigators this week! The first was Ashley. So in this new way of weekly planning we have to plan out what we're doing each hour of the day with backups for the next 10 days. It's intense, but so faith filled. So we put that on Tuesday at 4pm this next week we're going to teach our new investigator (who we didn't even have at the time). And we decided we were going to teach her with one of our members of our ward. So we set up for the member to come with us (but we didn't tell our member we didn't have the investigator yet). Honestly, we were just doing everything we could to make sure we got a new investigator and were just showing the Lord that we were willing to do what it took to get one. And so we taught this girl on the street and set up a return appointment. And she said that she wanted us to come back on Tuesday at 4pm- the exact time we had penciled in to have a lessons with our new unknown investigator! MIRACLE! Hopefully that made sense. But it was such a testimony builder to me that the Lord wants to help us in this work and as we put forth more faith, we will see His hand more.
     Our next new investigator is Mike. Here's how we found him. We have been talking to everyone and even when they're not interested we ask them if they know of anyone who might be. So this guy who clearly wasn't interested told us his neighbor Mike might be. We were on our way to an appointment so a few days later we go try the house. Mike says he's not interested, but both Sister Haynes and I felt like we should keep talking to him. So we talked for a few more seconds and his fiance came down the stairs and said "Oh! The sisters! Come in!" We were so shocked! Turns out she's a less active whose records we don't have. She's in her early 30's and stopped going to church when she was about 15 but has had the coolest experiences the last year or so that have led her to believe in God again. She has an 8 year old autistic son who she said for the last few days has been asking her tons of questions about God that she doesn't know how to answer. She kept saying how crazy it is that we showed up when we did, etc. We told them that it wasn't a coincidence that we were here. So we taught her and her non member fiance and she asked us to come back! So we'll be going back again this week. Our third new investigator is a guy who was excommunicated years ago. He made guitars for Van Halen and a bunch of other bands. He's really cool.

     Speaking of excommunicated. Russ is getting baptized on Sunday! He's the excommunicated guy I was teaching for over 4 months in 9 Mile Falls! He finally got First Presidency approval yesterday and so he's getting baptized on Sunday! I'm so excited! Hopefully I can go to it... we'll see.

     Ward council is getting better and the ward mission leader is starting to step up more. So that's great. The new way of weekly planning that Elder Aidukaitis asked us to do takes SO long, but we're already seeing SO many miracles from it! This week we did service at an old folks home. We decided helping with bingo doesn't fulfill our purpose or help with key indicators, but we're still helping give manicures for an hour each Friday. We get to talk to the coolest old people about their lives and how religion has played a role in it. I love it! I love old people! :)

     I went on exchanges with the Spanish sisters this week. Again, I'm grateful I'm not serving Spanish speaking here. I would have loved to learn a language, but the Spanish work out here is SO slow! But while on exchanges we found a family of 6! How cool is that? It was a miracle for sure. 

     Well, I feel like I'm rambling. This next week will be great I'm sure! Especially since we'll have more proselyting time. Sorry no funny stories this week. I can't remember much other than some slammed doors and people being ornery that we were on their porch. But I love this work! I love this gospel! I wouldn't be out here if this church weren't true. I love you all!

-Sister Metcalf

 Goats that sound like people
Sister Haynes and me 
All of the sisters in our zone
 The product of our super long weekly planning
With Sister Brown at MLC
Sister Jeffrey and Sister Brown at MLC
All of the sisters at MLC
 Ultimate frisbee- the ultimate sport for the ultimate athlete ;)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Another Day, Another Dollar

     Sometimes the hardest part of my week is figuring out what to put as the title of my email. But usually it's picking between which of my 7 skirts and 8 tops I want to wear. I just need to have a set Monday outfit, Tuesday outfit, etc. Elders have it easy. They just have to pick out which tie to wear. #missionaryproblems
     So this week we were walking down the street and saw this high school kid named Mason. He had a walking stick and a shark tooth necklace- so you KNOW we had to talk to him. He was a pretty fun kid. He was really excited to learn about the Book of Mormon and wanted to read it. After we shared a scripture with him and taught him a little bit he said he had to go, so we asked if we could say a prayer with him first. He said he'd offer it and it was the most fun prayer I've ever heard someone offer! He said stuff like "Bless the kids in Africa... I mean, I know you already know they need help, but if you could just help them... I mean, I'm not threatening you or anything. But it would be nice if you helped them." And "Thanks for the atmosphere because it's pretty essential for us to live." This kid was just so fun! He lives in another ward's boundary, so we gave them his address. But it was probably the highlight of my day. Later in the week we went back for a return appointment with a girl, Ally. She came outside and we had a lesson while sitting on her front lawn. It was really comfortable and fun. I had a lesson the other week with a recent convert while we went for a walk. It's pretty fun to mix it up a bit and not be so stiff and formal. Anyways...

     We've been struggling to find new investigators lately. We've been talking to literally every person we see. If they're down a street 2 blocks away, we'll head to them. If they're washing their car across the street, we talk to them. If they're headed into their car to leave, we talk to them. But we're not having any luck finding people who want to learn more. So we decided we'd up our service hours. We went in to help out at an assisted living facility this last week. We helped give manicures to little old ladies and then helped out with Bingo! It was so fun- serving just makes me so happy! The employees asked if we'd come back again, so we're going to go one afternoon a week for a little bit to help out. We also randomly helped people in their yards with weeding. Not only is it great to help people, but they are a lot more open to talking to you as you serve them. (Side note- we had dinner/ service at a members home this last week, the Stolworthy's, and he said his brother married Julia Osmond. Small world!)
     We had stake conference this weekend. It's weird to not take the sacrament on Sunday because I feel like it's this peaceful time for me in the week. I love the sacrament and the opportunity it gives me to reflect on the week, how I can improve, and how well I'm doing at following Christ. The evening session was really cool. They focused on how members can be missionaries. There was a speaker who went over ways to use social media. He talked about all the ways we can use Facebook, twitter, etc. to have an influence on others and just simply share what we believe in a non offensive way. It made me want to just email Jensa and tell her to post a ton of things on my Facebook- haha. I definitely thought that by now they'd let us use Facebook as a missionary tool in Spokane, but I guess not yet. It'll come eventually I guess. Weird to think that it was almost a year ago that I went to the Hastening the Work of Salvation broadcast in Provo. That seems like another life.

     Well, times up. I love you all and I love this Church! I hope you all have a wonderful week :)

-Sister Metcalf
 giant dandelion!
 I get to serve in the most beautiful places! (view coming back from the Ford's)