'Twas an absolutely LOVELY week in Churchill Park South! Sister Baker and I are truly witnessing miracles!
This week we began teaching a man named David. David truly has a desire to come unto Christ, and to feel peace in his life. In the past year, his dad died and he went through a divorce. His two small children and they are his life. These trials have been extremely painful for him. He asked us why God would ever allow us to suffer. We explained to him our knowledge of a plan of happiness and that this life is a time to learn, grow, and prepare to meet God.As we discussed this concept with him, it was like watching a candle grow brighter and brighter. He hung on to every word, asking more questions concerning forgiveness, and how he could become more like our perfect example, Jesus Christ. We taught him about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how the Atonement purifies and changes us. As we introduced baptism, he loved the fact of the sacrament, and being able to RENEW those covenants on a weekly basis. The spirit was so strong! When I invited him to be baptised, his verbal response was a maybe, but you could tell that he was yearning to do so. By the end of the lesson he was saying "I want to change. I want to repent. I want to be like Christ." Oh it was so beautiful! We invited him to read some of the introduction of the Book of Mormon, and to pray about our message. We know he will get an answer because of his faith and desire. He couldn't attend General Conference this weekend, but we are meeting with him tonight at the Bishops!
This week we went to go visit Maurie Lucas, a 75 year old woman who lives in a nursing home. Maurie hasn't been to church in years, and none of her family are members, so we actually didn't even have her church records. But it is definitely by no coincidence that we met her. We talked for a long time, when we asked what made her happy, she cried. She said she is never happy and is constantly in so much pain, and can never sleep because there is another lady who screams all night that she shares the room with. She doesn't have many visitors either and feels like no one loves her. My heart literally ached. By the end of the visit her spirits seemed to be lifted a little and she was excited about the thought of having visiting teachers and for people to bring her the weekly sacrament. We prayed with her and she cried. She said she would start praying again. When Sister Foster and I came back on Friday, (exchanges) she was literally a different person. We had had some bretheren come and give her a blessing, and she said she felt so much more at peace. She had us sing her favorite hymn "I am a child of God" She cried as she sang the familiar chorus "Lead me guide me walk beside me, help me find the way" Maurie then prayed, "I thank you Heavenly Father for helping me, no matter what time I call for help, you always come." *it was so emotional!!!!* "Thank you for sending my people back to me. Thank you for inspiring them to remind me that I am not alone, but through Christ I can find peace and be strong again."
It was during those moments I felt the full purpose of missionary work more than ever beofre. It is not about the number of lessons I can teach, the number of new contacts, the amount of potential baptisms... It is about bringing people unto Christ. It is about uplifting any and everyone so that they can be closer to their Savior Jesus Christ. We had helped bring Maurie closer to Christ, and I felt right then that I had better fulfilled my purpose than ever before.
Unfortunately Edward is not returning our calls, and every time we go over no one answers the door. But we have faith that all will be well! We will keep trying and praying.
I keep forgetting to say that I love my mission president so much. I KNOW that I am here partly to learn from him. He is awesome, and so down to earth.
Here are some of Hailey's notes to the family...xo
I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am for your missionary-ward-bishop-team advice from last week. I printedit off and CHERISH it!! Sister Baker and I went through it word for word and are working to fulfill each sentence! Our ward efforts are improving and we are really working on putting our ward mish plan into effect right now. I love you sooooo much and am so grateful that of all the men in the world, I got to have you as my dad.
p.s have you been able to do anything with my laptop? I'd love for it to be able ot be sold...but i need all the files!!!! If possible could you find my patriachal blessing on it and copy and paste it into wordel.com. haha I know that probably doesn't make sense...but try it! and then send it to me please! Also, regarding your question about my mish prez, he is AMAZING!!!!
Mom!!! Thank you soooooo much for your wonderful long letters. I love them so much and print them and read certain parts over and over.You give such great advice. You have to look at the new era this month!!!!!!!! RYAN MONTGOMERY IS IN IT!!!! Its so special!!!! And he just happened to send me an email this week so I got to tell him!! Ahhh! love it! Are you still reading sister bakers blog? hahahaha! You should become friends with her mom! Also, you should make pumpkin soup for our fam! it's my FAVORITE. They call squash "pumpkin" here. I'm sure you can find a good online recipe...Will you please please please mail me some pics of everyone in our family? ask gma as well!!! Everyone always wants to see pics and I'm such a goober and have none!! Also, pics of my foot! Yes I wear my sock everyday and people are constantly asking me about it :)
KENDRICK, SIERRA, SAV, AND NAN!!!! Ohhh I loooooove y'all! I'm sending you letters!!! And a birthday present for my sweet savy! love yall sooooooooo stinkin much. Everyone here wants to know about my siblings. I hope our family can come here someday. It's a magical place. We were driving the other night an a kangaroo hopped right in front of our car!!! We had to stop suddenly and were in awe as it just beebopped around!!! They are SOLID animals. I guess they can get up to 7feet? gah. Write me letters!!!!!!! And emails too! I print them off!
I love being a missionary, and I love my Saviour, Jesus Christ. Thank you for all you do!
Sister Hailey Stevenson