Missouri – week #14

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Happy Monday everyone! 🤗

Not gonna lie, this week was bittersweet. But, I’m grateful for my Savior who has been there with me through it all! The Lord always takes care of His missionaries!

On Wednesday, we had MLC again at the Mission Home. I looooove being with all of the amazing leaders of the MIM! I don’t feel like I even belong there because I am such a young missionary…but I’m soaking up all of the knowledge I can! We then implemented the MLC trainings in the Zone Training on Friday! Sister Williams and I got to train in Independence. And since sisters have to be on shift at the VC, the zone gets split in half and there are two Zone Trainings! Which meant a full day of meetings…It was quite the experience haha. I trained on the importance of using pamphlets and the resources that our Heavenly Father has given us. I hope it went well hahaha. Background info for you: I’ve been sick this week with a sinus infection and the first Zone Training, I hung in there. Well, for the 2nd Zone Training, Elder Odland (one of the Zone Leaders who was also pretty sick) kindly offered me some Teraflu. Unbeknownst to me that Teraflu makes you extremely drowsy. It was a nightmare hahahaha I felt like I was floating!!! I don’t remember anything I said during my training but I think it still went okay, thanks to the Spirit!

My heart seriously hurts as I type out how the rest of our week went. We had a lesson with Fran and Junior and as soon as they invited us in, Junior told us that they had decided to stick with their Baptist religion. They told us that they would hear us out for this last visit though. I prayed and begged to my Father in Heaven throughout the entirety of the lesson that day. I could see in Fran’s eyes that she knew what we were testifying of was true. She said that she had been reading the Book of Mormon and could feel the Spirit, but she didn’t recognize or understand that it was the Holy Ghost testifying of complete truthfulness. Every time I prayed in my heart, I felt the Spirit tell me that all we could do was invite; we cannot force anything because of the agency of others. I could picture our Heavenly Father weeping over two of His precious children. I know that He is proud of each of His missionaries for inviting others and providing opportunities, but He is still saddened, much like we were, when His children do not accept.

Three days later, we called Benita to confirm another appointment with her and Marvin. She told us that Marvin was no longer interested in learning more, and that he decided to stick with his Baptist background as well. She said, “He has given up, but don’t give up on me.” Our hearts broke. We had been praying and fasting on behalf of Marvin, but again, agency is such a hard thing to respect. On Saturday, we went on exchanges with the Riverview sisters and my companion was Hermana Farnsworth. We went over to their house to have a lesson and Marvin was pretty belligerent about not wanting to learn more. Elder and Sister Wilson were there with us and we were able to testify to her that this is what God wants her to do. She then bore her testimony to us about how her faith has increased. Elder Wilson was able to give her a priesthood blessing and she was promised many special, sacred things. As soon as the lesson was over, Hermana Farnsworth and I got in the car and lost it! We were so sad about Marvin but also so happy because of how strong Benita was. I was sad because Benita expressed how badly she wanted to “go inside the special room in the temple and be sealed forever!” But, without Marvin, that wouldn’t be possible. Hermana Farnsworth and I drove to the closest QuickTrip to use the bathroom and get ahold of ourselves haha. When we walked in the bathroom, I looked down and saw a penny (cue even more tears)! (Whenever I find a penny, I am reminded of my late grandma who is my angel watching over me!) My heart was so full as I remembered that I have people both on this side and the other side of the veil praying for me and my investigators. It was actually the most amazing experience, although frustrating at first. You should have seen the two of us hahaha Sister Farnsworth and I just weeping of joy and sadness in the middle of a QT bathroom. I’m sure it was quite the sight hahaha I love her so much! Heavenly Father always takes care of His children ❤️

This week I also saw a lot of little tender mercies! John Davies (my ward mission leader from Inde 4th ward) came into the VC! He is THE MAN. ANNNND so did my sweet recent convert Amanda!!! She is doing so well and her mom is getting baptized soon! As soon as she walked through the VC doors, we hugged each other so tight! I will always love her!! Seeing her was an answer to my prayers. Some other random tender mercies: we have a return appointment with an Atheist AND got two new investigators! Wooooo!

I love being a missionary! I love Blue Mills and I love my companion! It was a hard week at times, but I am still so happy! We still saw so many miracles. I’m grateful for the sacrament and the time we have to start anew! I will just leave this quote before I end:

“Christ suffered for the sins and sorrows and pains of all the rest of the human family, providing remission for all of our sins as well. As the Apostle Paul wrote, we were ‘bought with a price’ (1 Cor. 6:20). What an expensive price and what a merciful purchase! That is why every ordinance of the gospel focuses in one way or another on the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and surely that is why this particular ordinance with all its symbolism and imagery comes to us more readily and more repeatedly than any other in our life.”
-Elder Holland

I love you all!

Xo
Sister Draper

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