Monday, October 20, 2014

Best Week Ever! (for real this time)

     Oh my goodness! So much happened this week and I'm just praying that I can type it all out for you. Gosh, I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll just go from the beginning of the week and culminate with Sunday (the climax).

     Monday we went out to hike 4 miles in 9 Mile Falls. It's honestly hikers paradise. We hiked "Painted Rock" which we thought was going to be a hike to a bunch of cave paintings or something, when in reality it was just one rock that has a few drawings on it that at first glance looks like graffiti. But I honestly was going for the scenery along the way anyways.

     On Tuesday we had specialized training and it was so inspiring. Not to mention we got to watch "Meet the Mormons" which was SO well done! Not gonna lie- I cried. It's amazing how diverse everyone is and yet by following the same gospel our lives are transformed into something incredible. I think that is the real test right there. No matter who you are, where you live, or what your culture is; as you embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, your life is richly blessed and others notice the type of life you live. By their fruits ye shall know them, right? Well, that night we went on exchanges with the sisters in the 5 Mile Prairie ward. Everyone I go on exchanges with this transfer actually goes home at the end of it. So it's been interesting picking their brains. We taught Danielle again and saw Courtney (from the Air Force Base) at Institute. You guys, we gave her a Book of Mormon a week ago and by Tuesday she was already in Jacob 2! Then a few days later she texted us saying "Did you know you can watch General Conference all the way back to 1972?! And you can read the talks even further back?!" Then, come to find out that she went with Marcus (the guy in our ward who is also on the military base) to see "Meet the Mormons" and she invited her roommate to come watch it with them, and she came! She's already a missionary and she's not even a member of the church! I think that's the definition of Elder Bednar's talk from this last conference.

     The next day, while still on exchanges, we found a new investigator. Brad was a little bit skeptical. He's only been a Christian for 4 months and he's gone on a "mission trip" to Germany with a group of good people who I guess along with humanitarian work, perform miracles, like healing the blind, etc. So the whole priesthood authority thing is completely foreign to him. We saw him 3 times this week. He has SO many questions. At this point I think he's merely curious and not looking to actually try it out himself. And after Sunday (I'll get to that later) we may not be teaching him any more. After we exchanged back, Danielle had her baptismal interview. It was originally planned for that day because she was going to be baptized this weekend, but she's not for sure getting baptized on November 8th. But she wanted to keep the interview appointment anyways to show she really was committed. She did great and was so excited to tell everyone she ran into that she did it!

     Thursday was weekly planning and we had to cut it short for our appointment with Brad. That lesson was a train wreck. We went wrong in so many places- we never got to start with a prayer or do "How to Begin Teaching" and it was just all over the place. Gah. I have a testimony that those things are important. I knew that before- rookie mistake. But yeah... it was a rough lesson where essentially I was just fielding his questions the whole time. Thursday night we went on ANOTHER exchange and honestly this was the most miraculous exchange I've been on. We taught 10 key indicator lessons that day! TEN! To give you an idea of how many that is, last week we taught 15 key indicators lessons for the whole week... so yeah. Amazing! We met with Amelie, who is from Germany and staying with a family in our ward and is interested in taking the lessons and wants it for her family. She's so great! We definitely had to teach so simply with her because of the language barrier. Lyndi (the recent convert with anti-Mormon parents) brought her sister to her lesson that night!! That's huge! And her sister loved it. Lyndi said Lori was crying on the way home. I know she'll eventually come around, but that it's probably so hard to feel in the middle with her sweet, new convert sister and her anti parents. Only time will tell.

     Okay, I need to tell you about the two coolest people we met while on the exchange. One was Ruth. She's this awesome 55 year old black lady from Detroit who goes to a Baptist church and was just such a hoot to talk with! Honestly, she believes everything we do! She just would say the most hilarious stuff. Like she talked about how Christ told us everything we need to do and that she doesn't work on Sundays, etc. She quotes Romans 1:16 and goes "That's salVAtion! You think I'm gonna miss out on that? Uh uh!" And as we were talking with her she'd just yell out AMEN! and HELLO! So funny. She took a Book of Mormon and said she'd read it and meet with the missionaries. She said, "I'm gonna read this and pray and ask God about it and whatever He tells me, I'm gonna do." Well, yeah! That's all we want you to do! She was great. We'll see what comes of it.

     The other awesome guy we taught on the street was Rick. Oh my gosh. Rick was an answer to my unspoken prayers and I cried after meeting him. We pulled into an apartment complex to contact a referral we were given. While we were pulling up I saw him sitting in his truck with the window down about 40 yards away. In my mind I think "It's weird to talk to people who are sitting in their cars. Just pretend you didn't see him." So we say our prayer and when I get out of the car I have a different feeling. This time I felt strongly to go talk to him. We walked up to him and started talking about family history and he honestly didn't even answer the question we asked him but just started talking about God (it's incredible how people immediately recognize us as servants of Him). He talked about his trails (which were a lot, and they were hard!) and we testified that God was aware of him. We had him read Mosiah 24:33 and he just said "I know that. I know that's true!" He tells us that he and his wife have been married for over 30 years and they've looked for different churches all along. He said most recently he was listening to Mennonite missionaries and then the Jehovah's Witness. He said he's gone to different non- denominational churches and none of them have felt right, but listening to us just feels right. He just looks me in the eye and says something that I will never forget-  "We've been waiting for you to come!" I was so shocked. I didn't think I'd ever hear someone utter those words to me. With tears in his eyes he asked us to come teach him and his wife. We told him about the elders that serve in the family ward and he actually asked if we could teach him because he feels his wife would be more comfortable with young women teaching her. We go to see them on Tuesday morning and I am so excited! He told us how he was just sitting in his truck feeling so frustrated with his life and then we walked up to him and he just knew it wasn't a coincidence. We testified to him that God knows him perfectly and placed us in his path and inspired us to go talk to him. We said a prayer and after it he said "I can't wait for you to come back on Tuesday! I know you meet a lot of people every day, but please don't forget about me and my wife." I could never. My whole mission I've been wanting to have someone say something like "Where have you been? I've been waiting for you!" God knows me perfectly. I was just so overwhelmed with that fact as we walked away that I started to cry. God cares about what we care about and He knows each person's needs. He knew exactly how to meet Rick's needs with my dreams, and a miracle occurred.

     Okay, so that's not all (I know this is a long email) On Sunday we had FOUR investigators come to church! Four! Which is big for a singles ward because it's not like we can get a family to come. Anyways, I was super nervous because our gospel principles lesson was on Exaltation and our 1st counselor went super deep. He knew there were non members in the class and even singled them out in one of his comments. Gah! I was sweating the whole time. I think Brad is the only one who was super freaked out. Yeah, that's a sign he's not elect. But with time he could have been okay with it. It's the whole milk before meat concept. We hadn't even taught him the Plan of Salvation and that just gets thrown at him. Anyways, the other 3 were fine with it all. But the absolute best part of it all was actually before church. We had an incredible Ward Council where ironically they spent the whole hour going over how we no longer will talk about things in ward council, but people... maybe next week we'll get to the actual people ;) But there was a half hour between that and when sacrament started that we met with Courtney Hartfield and had a lesson with her. I'm running out of time and can't write all the details of everything that's been going on in her life to lead her to this point. But as we were teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, we asked her a question about faith and she starts to cry as she answers. I asked her why she felt so strongly about it and she says "I've known for a while that I needed to focus on strengthening my faith and just hadn't found the right fit. But being here just feels like I'm finally home!" The spirit in the room was so strong!! Like, tangible! We asked her to be baptized and she said she feels torn because she wants it so bad, but she wants her fiance to join as well (he's in the Air Force in Germany and she won't see him for 9 more months) Marcus just boldly tells her, "God has blessings in store for you right now and it's gonna be a long time before you see your fiance. Don't you think you shouldn't wait for those?" (He's awesome!) And she says, yeah. I shouldn't wait. So we committed her to pray about November 1st as her baptismal date and she said she would. I was able to testify to her of how proud God was of her and how she'll be able to help her fiance on his journey towards joining the church. She's unbelievably excited about eternal marriage. She's honestly the most elect person I've met! AH! I'm so blessed! I LOVE being a missionary!

     Anyways, this week was full of so many highs. I don't know if anything will top it, but I'll keep trying.

     Have a great week! I love you all!

-Sister Metcalf



 With Danielle Schimschal

 



With Erik Kemp and Amelie (from Germany)


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