Saturday, May 30, 2015

Quite an eventful week!

So on Monday, we were trying to find this referral, and apparently they live right next to these members, the Beus family.  So since we had their address from the directory, we were trying to find their street.  Well, we were way up in the mountains and apparently took a wrong turn to find their house and ended up on the very top of the hill/mountain to this gravel parking-lot looking thing.  There was a path that led to the other side of the hill, and we thought, well, let's see if their house is over there! So we began to drive down this steep inclined path but only got a few feet before we realized that this was a farming path, not even a gravel road, (keep in mind it had been raining for the last few days) and our car began to slip down the mud, and though Sister Leon, who was driving, tried to stop, the car ran right into a fence post.  Like I said, we had only gone a few feet, so the impact was minimal, so no injury.  The car damage wasn't even that bad.  But we were now stuck in the mud because the car's wheels were just spinning in place whichever way we tried to go.  So we had to call the Beus family, explain to them our predicament, and their two oldest boys came and spent almost an hour trying to tow us out. They got our car out and all was well, thank goodness! Crazy stuff.

There were a couple of days of this week where we met some people that really were not interested and really made it known how much they did not want to talk to us.  The fact that this happened several times within a short period of time really worked up my temper.  Luckily I have pretty good control of my anger, so I was courteous in front of them, of course, but it just really bothered me for the rest of the day.  I thought of all the ridicule that Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah went through while they were on their missions, as that is the part of the Book of Mormon that I have been reading lately.  They withstood so many people contending with them, trying to make fools of them, even hurting them physically and imprisoning them.  Then I thought, "well, whenever they are ridiculed, all they have to do is tell them that God will show them a sign, and then that non-believer is always struck down, or struck dumb, or something crazy happens!  But that never happens to us, of course."  The next day, I read about Aaron and his brothers proselyting to the Amalekites in Alma 21.  The Amalekites ridicule Aaron for his teachings, and verse 10 said:  

10 And it came to pass as he began to expound these things unto them they were angry with him, and began to mock him; and they would not hear the words which he spake.
 11 Therefore, when he saw that they would not hear his words, he departed out of their synagogue, and came over to a village...
Aaron probably wondered the same thing I did. Why couldn't he show his power, or some great miracle, when his brother Ammon and Alma and many others were.  But that's just not what the Lord had in store for these particular people. So Aaron didn't busy himself with worrying about it or being angry about it.  When he saw that they didn't want to listen, he simply left. He left and searched for someone who would.  Well, that's the lesson I learned this week. Be patient in afflictions and pray for those that offend you.  It really does help to ask God to bless those that "curse you" and "despitefully use you". 
Then we had some MIRACLES when we found 2 new investigators and 1 family that has tons of potential to become a fantastic investigator.  I really don't know why the Lord is giving us all these miracles,but I know that He loves me and I guess that's His way of showing it!
This gospel is soooo true! Love you all sooo much!
God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Monday, May 18, 2015

P-Day hike with the elders in the district

Hello to my faaavorite people!

Whew, what a week! 
After a fun hike, last P-day, we prepared to proselyte again! We met a woman while we were out named Gena.  She was methodist, and told us that her son had been baptized LDS a year or two before at age 18, but that he was now no longer going.  She was very nice and told us that we could come back.  Yay!

The next day, we were driving down the street, and I noticed that there were a lot of people out on the street, so we decided to park the car and walk.  The first people we came across were a couple young men trimming a lilac tree.  We asked if they wanted help, and they said sure! Come to find out all three of them were active members, which I kinda figured, as one of them greeted us as "sisters!" This one happened to be our landlady's grandson, as well.  Well, we didn't want to walk all the way back to our car to get our service clothes and then have to find a place to change, so we just started helping them trim the tree in our skirts! After a few minutes, I thought "man this is sort of silly, we're not even really helping much, I'm in a skirt, people are probably driving by wondering what in the world we're doing, this is kind of a waste of time..."  But then, a car pulled up and it was another young man, one of their friends.  We met this new friend, whose name was Hunter, and he told us that he was baptized a few years ago at age 18, but didn't really go to church anymore.  Something clicked in my brain and I realized that we had just met his mom, Gena, the day before! Coincidence? I think not! We talked to him for a bit and invited him to a fireside that Sunday.  Hopefully we will be able to start meeting with him and his family soon!

Thursday was the BLITZ! We had been preparing for this event for weeks.  Basically, 10 missionaries came to our area and split up and teamed up with members from our 4 wards.  We all took 2 hours and went out in Inkom making visits to a bunch of new people.  It was very successful and we got a lot of new people that we need to go see because of it! We're really excited about the blessings and miracles that were seen from this 'blitz', and we thought it was a pretty neat idea.  

Yesterday we had a missionary fireside on "Faith", and me and another Sister in our district, Sister Aliasa who is from Hawaii, sang "Keepers of His Light".  To make a long story short, there had been some miscommunication between us and our pianist, Elder Gross. When I went up to Elder Gross in the chapel at 6:45 and apologized for being late to our practice, he replied, "What practice?"  I'm sure I went sheet white. He never got the sheet music.  So I went flying upstairs at 6:55 to print out sheet music for this fireside that started at 7:00.  I got it printed, but when I came down, the fireside had already started.  I sat down and signaled to Elder Gross that I got the sheet music, which he had never seen before.  He went sheet-white, too.  Well, when it was our turn to sing, we went up to the stand, handed the sheet music to Elder Gross, who looked at and said "Oh, yeah, I can do this"  and we performed with a pianist who had never played the song before, and we had never practiced it with him.  He sounded perfect. And I think Sister Aliasa and I sounded pretty good, too.  Although he was red in the face from nerves by the end of the song, Elder Gross played the song as though he had practiced all week.  What brilliance.   Thank God for blessing Elder Gross with that sort of talent to be able to play on the spot like that.  Without a doubt, the most stressful evening of the week!

God is here. No doubt about that.  We just have to reach out and seek Him, for He is always reaching out to us!
Love you all!

God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Monday, May 11, 2015

(Excerpt and comic from Sister Moreland's latest letter home)

We were walking the streets of Inkom the other night, and this came into my mind: 
The 3 scariest people to see walking toward you: 

Seriously, you'd think when we walk by it was some gang bangers walking by.  People, like, run away from us.  They sometimes even hide.  Grown men will actually try and hide from us.  We're not dumb!  We saw you jump that fence and hide behind the shed when you saw us! (that actually happened today!)

(Email Monday, May 11)

Well, it was an excellent Mother's Day, getting to talk to you guys! I loved seeing your faces and hearing about everything that's going on at home.  I cannot thank my God enough for the wonderful family He has given me.  Without my parent's support, encouragement, and example, I have no idea where I would be.  I am so proud of you two for gettin' out there and being fantastic missionaries!

We had a lot of lessons cancel this week, so much of our time was spent knocking on doors and trying to find some new people to teach.  We did have a really great lesson with the KC and his kids.  It was a lesson on the Atonement and the Sacrament.  We showed the video from called He is Risen, which is so powerful.  It really invited a spirit into the room, showing each of us just how important the sacrifice of the Savior was. At the end of the lesson, KC was talking about a friend of his that wasn't a member and that was struggling.  Apparently the missionaries had visited this man before, but he hadn't been interested.  I had a thought that I should ask KC to invite this man to our next family home evening with them.  But then, I thought "Well, KC probably won't want to invite him, especially if he has already told the missionaries he's not interested..." But as soon as that thought entered into my head, I was reminded of a missionary meeting we had had the day before where one of our APs said, "If you have a thought to invite someone to do something, or to go talk to someone, or help someone, Do It! These are promptings from the Holy Ghost. Don't let your fear hold you back from following them."  So I asked KC if he would invite the man, and KC said of course he would! I'm really glad I had the courage to follow the prompting I received from the Holy Ghost.  Who knows? It may lead this man to the knowledge of his Savior someday.

 I've been thinking a lot about faith this week.  We have a fireside about faith this weekend, and we've been talking a lot about the scripture in Mark chapter 9, where a man asks Jesus to heal his son, and Jesus in response asks if he believes. Mark 9:24 says:
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord,  
believe; help thou mine unbelief.  
The man believed, to a point, but he was still struggling with his faith in part.  Christ goes on to heal the man's son.  I think it really shows that the Lord does not expect perfect faith from us, because He knows that we all have doubts and struggle with believing sometimes.  But He can help us develop our faith.  Through Christ, our unbelief can turn into rock-solid faith. It reminds me of the other scripture in Alma 32:27. It reads:
27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an  
experiment upon my words, and exercise particle of faith, yea, even if ye can  
no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe 
 in manner that ye can give place for portion of my words.
That's really helped me a lot this week.  Having faith that the Lord has prepared people in Inkom, Idaho, to learn of the Gospel can be tough to believe sometimes, especially when it's such a small town that it seems like everyone who is not a member has been pestered enough by missionaries.  But I know the promise we have received is true.  Otherwise, there wouldn't be missionaries here in Inkom.  I just have to rely on the Lord to help with any lack of faith that I have.  I encourage you all to study faith this week! What a wonderfully simple principle of the gospel that we can never outgrow. 

Love you all so very much!

God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hello my loves!

I know that what I am doing out here is everything that God wants for me, and I love this work.  Coming on a mission was the best decision I ever could have made.  I thank God every day for giving me such a strong impression that I needed to be here.  If he hadn't have, I don't know that I would have had the courage to serve.  I know that Christ lives.  I know with everything I have that God's plan for us is to follow his Son, Jesus Christ, and be purified through Him so that we can live with God as eternal families.  I wish that everyone knew this so that they could have the true, deep happiness that I do.  That is why I am here. To share it.  I love Christ, I love his Gospel, and I love all of you! 

We are teaching Preston and Rob, still, but they are working a lot so it's been hard to get an appointment.  We showed up on Monday, which is our usual time for a lesson.  They had forgotten about it, so Rob was there, but his son, Preston was not.  We were just going to reschedule and then leave, but to our surprise, Rob said, "Hey, don't you want to read me a scripture or something? Here, sit down!" So even though we couldn't go inside his house (because we didn't have another woman with us) he pulled up some lawn chairs and we sat outside and read a bit out of the Book of Mormon with him.  It was so neat to see him excited about reading scriptures--wanting us to talk with him.  And he wants to get his patriarchal blessing, too! It's wonderful to see the spirit fill someone's life as they come back to God. 
"Cancel, cancel, cancel."  That's what Sister Leasi used to say about Inkom. And she wasn't kidding. We had an appointment for almost every hour in the evening this week, and all but one of them cancelled.  But I think it is a blessing in disguise---because we have been praying to find new people to teach! How else could we find new people if appointments with people we are already teaching are taking up all of our time?  In an odd sort of way, Heavenly Father is answering our prayers.  So that we can go out and find!

We had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders this week. Sister Leon went to their area and Sister Towers came with me in Inkom. It was a bit hard leading out the area after only being here for 3 weeks, but I was surprised how well I actually knew where everything was. Sister Towers is from Australia, and it was fun to be with her.  And try in vain to do her accent.  She says my "Australian" accent is a weird mix between British and New Zealand (I guess it's from trying so hard to do Elder Te'okotae's accent in Blackfoot!)  I learned a lot from that exchange; about inviting people to be baptized, talking to everybody, and not being dismissed so easily by those who don't feel like talking to us.  In other words, just being bolder.  So I'm going to try it out!

Hope all of you are having great experiences and that every trial that you have stretches you and challenges you but always helps you get closer to Christ in the end.  

God Bless,
Sister Moreland