Another week out here in the country! I can't believe August is here. In an email from my Dad he informed that I have hit my 20% complete mark. That number makes me want to give 110% every single day! This morning in companion study Sister Kelly and I read In Jacob 5...it verse 71 it says.. "and the lord of the vineyard said unto them: go to and labor in the vineyard with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard..." I wrote in the margin "For behold, this is the ONLY TIME that YOU shall nourish my Vineyard." I am realizing the more I am out here the more I love this time, it is a sacred gift from my Heavenly Father. I have never felt closer to the Spirit and I have never loved people as much as I do! This week so many neat, simple things happened. We are still so new to this area, so we are tracting a lot and meeting the members of the Ward; every single day I thank Heavenly Father for the people he is putting in our path! The Elders gave us a referral of a young Mom named Kathy so we stopped by a few times but would never answer the door... one day we decided to stop by again with hope that she would be there and she was! She allowed us to come in and pray with her and get to know her and her family a little better. We offered to help serve her in anyway and she was so surprised to have someone offer to help her! We told her we would come back next week and that she could put us to work in the yard. While we were getting ready to leave she said she had LDS friends growing up and that she really liked what she knew about the religion and then asked if we could teach her more! Lately Sister Kelly and I have been focusing on helping people do daily tasks in order to get in with them, "Hey! Can we help you carry in groceries? ... Do you need help unpacking these boxes?" Sure, this is great... but what we can't forget is that the ULTIMATE greatest service to our Brothers and Sisters is teaching them about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, teaching them about the love that God has for them, and helping them to understand that because they both love you much they have brought back the greatest news to the Earth, and it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a very good learning opportunity for me as a missionary... I will be excited to report next week about what happens when we meet with her this coming week!
Another experience was with a woman named Cicilia..We knocked on her door and she allowed us to come in and say a prayer, after the prayer we set up a return appointment for the following day. We taught the lesson on the Restoration and it went very well! We could feel the Spirit and asked them (Cicilia and her family) a lot about their relationship with God. At the end of the lesson, we encouraged them to pray to know for themselves, and well.. that was when the Bible came out. Now, in case you are wondering.. my knowledge of the Bible compared to the great people of the South is very limited to say the least. Cicilia and her family talked about how the Bible warns of "False Prophets and adding to or taking away from the words in the book" --- now the Kate in me would have crawled under the table because literally, I would have had no clue what to say... but because this is the Lords work, and the Spirit is the ultimate teacher, I can officially say the second part of the lesson, the part where the Bible questions came out, was not taught by neither more nor Sister Kelly, and indeed the Spirit took control. I found myself on pages of the Bible that they were refrencing before they told me where to find it... to be honest I didn't even know they existed! We will go back and see this family again this next week, with high hopes that they were able to feel for themselves, but I know that I needed this experience to help me understand more that the Spirit is the true teacher
Everday I am humbled and blessed to realize how small my hand is in this work... and yet how much this experience is changing my life and knowledge of how much I love & appreciate the Lord and His gospel. The I serve around 2 amazing Elders, both from Tonga... Elder V'ahie, who goes home in 4 weeks, shared his testimony on Sunday and said... "I still look the same, I still talk the same, on the outside not much is different then it was 2 years ago but my heart is changed." The mission truly does change your heart. You realize how much more you are able to put in it. My heart, every week, is more and more full of love for the people here, for y'all back at home, for the gospel, for my Heavenly Father, and for his Son Jesus Christ.
Thank you for all your love and support! I got a few letters this week, you have no clue how much that helps me continue on! I wish that I could write a million more of my little experiences... these were only 2 tender mercies of a week that was full of big and small miracles! My journal is jam-packed! Keep good record of what is going on in your lives... we live in a beatiful world!
P.S. --- I ate boiled p'nuts this week! YUM! Someone also said to me... "We're fixin about to get us some grub, y'all aint from these parts are ya...wanna join with us?"
If for any moment you thought that South wasn't another world... you were wrong!
I love you!