A story relating to the subject line.
So there are several stages of missionary work. The first is finding - you have to find people to teach. This finding is done by tracting, street contacting, referrals from others, etc. Anyways, so recently we heard from our zone leaders about how we are doing as a zone, and one of the zone leaders commented that we, as a zone, "are very good finders."
And I looked high and low for someone with whom I could share this Harry Potter musical reference, but there was none to be found. But now that I've shared it, I'll just pretend I made eye contact and high fives with you for getting that reference, and we can laugh about it together. Unless you didn't get it. Then this is awkward.
So though we, as a zone, are particularly good finders, I, apparently, am really very. Quite. Good....At losing investigators.
Not like them dropping us or whatever...just literally losing them.
The other day Sister Barton and I went to check up on some investigators who we hadn't seen in a little while (owing to the fact that they may or may not have flaked out on not one but two appointments in a row) and to our surprise the house was completely empty and a bunch of their stuff was piled up in front of their house with the trash. So yeah. That was unexpected. And we don't have any way of getting back in touch with them and so yeah.
But hey! This past week we had this incredible experience in we were walking down the street and a car passed us, turned around, and pulled up next to us. There were two guys inside, and they asked if we were from a church, and when we said that yes, we were, they asked what church and if they could have more information. We gave them each a Restoration pamphlet with our numbers and took down their addresses and phone numbers assuring them that we would come and visit, and then like an hour later one of the guys called us and asked if we could come over - and people calling *you* back and tracking *you* down, as a missionary, is really quite wonderful because it's usually the other way around. So of course we said yes and went over and taught him and at the end of the lesson - and it had gone really well - he told us all about how he'd thought a lot about how there should be a prophet on the earth today, after all it's what the Bible says and "it only makes sense" and then he asked about the Book of Mormon and if he could have one. And THEN just after we got out of our lesson with him, his friend called us and asked if we could come and teach him, and let me tell you - having one person call you wanting you to come teach them is pretty spectacular. Having two in one day is just a miracle. So of course we went over and taught this other guy and we shared the whole Joseph Smith story with him (in our mission, we memorize verses 10-17 of Joseph Smith History and then recite that in our lessons) and the Spirit was just so incredibly strong and he thanked us over and over again for the lesson and said he'd learned so much.
So pretty much the moral of the story is this: God is incredible. He sends us blessings and miracles each day, and as long as we are doing the best we can, and working our hardest, and praying to always be where God wants us to be and doing what He wants us to do (not what we want to do) we'll just be stumbling over the miracles in our path.
In other news, the other night we were over at a member's house for dinner and their little girl was playing with Play-Dough, and when it came time for dinner and she had to put her Play-Dough away, she just sort of haphazardly put it in containers without lids or in ziplocs without ziploc-ing the bags, and so I made some comment about how her Play-Dough was going to dry out. At that moment, pretty much everybody in the room turned and looked at me with perplexed expressions. "Oh," I said, "does your Play-Dough not dry out here?" That was when they started laughing, and then I was told that maybe if they left it out and blow-dried it, maybe it would dry up. So yeah. That brings the total of my-awkward-making-myself-look-like-an-idiot moments out here up to approximately 682. And also, Play-Dough doesn't dry out here! Witchcraft.
Another story. The other day we were out tracting, and usually when we tract, those people who actually open their door are genuinely sweet and nice and tell us that we are doing great work and "everybody needs some Jesus-love" even if they aren't interested at all in what we have to say. But the other day this lady opened the door and we smiled and told her all about how we are missionaries and she says back all snappishly "Well I'm Catholic, do you wanna know what my church believes?" and Sister Barton and I looked at each other and then said "sure!" The woman obviously wasn't expecting this, and she kind of stood there, taken aback, and then said "NO" and shut the door on us. Missionary rule #1: you may feel uncomfortable and awkward a lot (that is, most of the time) but just know that usually you're making others feel awkward too - with your enthusiasm about biking on a hot Louisiana summer day, if nothing else - so there's no harm done.
This past week, a member of our ward told me something that really hit me hard. He said that you can tell how converted you are by how committed you are to sharing the gospel. And it's true. As I read the Book of Mormon, I've noticed that that is spot on - what is it that Lehi wanted after he'd partaken of the fruit of the Tree of Life? He wanted to share it with his family. And what was it Alma the Younger wanted as soon as he woke up and changed his ways? He wanted to go and share the gospel with others. If we are truly converted to the Lord, then what is holding us back from shouting it from the rooftops (other than social norms, that is)? So there's some food for thought. Sometimes people say things that are just really deep.
Anyways, I love you all. Thank you so much for all your prayers for all the missionaries - because trust me, we need them all.
Sister Bayley Enright