NOTE: Sawyer sent us a great video of the two of them riding bikes down a dirt road after meting with Leah McMurtrey (mentioned in the letter). I couldn't figure out how to get it in the blog, but you can see it on my facebook account. IT'S THE BEST! ~Wendy
These past 2 weeks have been crazy! It has been emotionally exhausting!
My new companion is Elder Olson. He is 26, was a web designer back at home, number 7 of 11 children and a very spiritually knowledgeable guy! His father past away 3 days before transfers. He is really struggling but staying very close to the spirit. He is an amazing example to me of a true believer and someone with great faith! As I said before, he is very knowledgeable and great with his scriptures. I’m so lucky to be working with such an obedient, well rounded missionary. He has a slight stutter. When he was 3 he had a fever that took away his speech and he had to relearn how to talk and he has had the stutter ever since. But it’s amazing watching the spirit work threw him. When he is testifying and the spirit is speaking to those we are teaching, his stutter goes away! It’s amazing to watch!
I am in the Lincoln II area. I live with the most amazing couple. Brother and Sister Call. They are both musicians. Brother Call plays the oboe and sings and Sister Call plays the piano and sings! It’s so great hearing them sing together! They are so loving and giving and wonderful! I am so blessed to live in their home! We have the best hookup! They have a ping-pong table AND a Foosball table AND a dart board! It’s sssssoooo awesome!!!!! I love Brother and Sister Call! Another family I will never forget!
We have an ok teaching pool. A lot of them are "eternigators" or investigators for eternity. But Elder Olson and I set a baptismal date with a girl named Leah McMurtry. She is 11 and finally wants to be baptized. I’m not bragging or anything but this area hasn't had a baptism in 4 months and the first week I’m here we set a date! But I’m not bragging!
Alma 26:11-12: “But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.”
There have been 2 baptisms that I have failed to tell y’all about. First was Alysha Cook. She is a single mother. Her kids are Shalynn 9 and Marshel 5. They are the sweetest kids and the light of Alysha's life. She has always been very family centered and has loved seeing how the church is family oriented. But was not sure whether she should join threw baptism with the church. Her answer finally came. After 6 months of me working with her and many other missionaries before me, her answer came!
Psalm 141: 8-10 “But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.”
This was her answer. To her it meant that the Lord has heard her prayers and that she should be baptized. She was just waiting for that moment when the Lord turned her to that scripture during her studies. She told us this on Thursday, and we had her baptized that Sunday! Normally we would have had it on that Saturday but there was a funeral! But all is well and she is a faithful member back in my old area.
The second baptism was Karli Schmit. She is the younger sister of Slone Schmit. Slone was my first baptism and has now received the Aaronic priesthood and the ability to baptize! So Karli asked him to baptize her! It’s so great seeing their family pull together to help one another and come closer to Christ. I had been transferred before her baptism but was allowed to go down and see it! What an amazing experience. I am so grateful to have so many amazing people in my life. It’s such a blessing to have the opportunity to work hard and labor in the Lord’s vineyard. Their next step is for them to go to the temple! I hope I’m still here by the time they get their temple recommends and enter to do baptisms for the dead! That would be an amazing experience!!!!
God Be With You Till We Meet Again:
As many of you have heard, Elder Ward, one of our missionaries here in the Idaho, Pocatello mission died this week. It has been a hard time for all of us and all of our prayers go to his family and all who know and loved him. The night of the accident we all got a voice mail telling us that there had been a car crash and asked if we could all pray for the missionaries in the car. Within the first few hours of the crash the whole mission was praying for them. But it was not our God’s will to save his life. He has been called to a higher calling in teaching those in darkness who have crossed threw the veil. I hope Madeline gives him a big hug and helps him begin his work.
We had Zone Conference this past week. It’s a time for the mission leadership to teach all of the missionaries and uplift and guide them during this hard time. A scripture that was shared that I loved is D&C 101:55-56:
“And the Lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry;
“And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money.”
I love the wording that is chosen during this parable. Zone conference was focused on family and getting families sealed together and going to the temple. Our focus is now finding and teaching whole families and bringing them to Christ. I’m very excited to begin the work and find that family who Elder Olson and I will teach.