"Oh remember, remember . . . I urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God's kindness."

President Henry B. Eyring

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sister's In Christ

About a month after we were on our mission, as Sacrament Meeting was getting started, a beautiful black sister slipped in and sat in the chair closest to the door. I didn’t know her and so I wanted to make sure I introduced myself. Just before the meeting ended I had a distinct impression to slip over and sit by her. I whispered an introduction and asked her name.

She smiled and said, “I think I’m in the wrong church. I came to pick up my grandchildren from Sunday school, but I’m supposed to be in the Baptist Church.”

“I don’t think this was an accident,” I whispered as I smiled, put my arm around her, and gave her a gentle squeeze.

I then asked, if she enjoyed the service? She replied that she enjoyed it very much, and asked what church this was? I said it was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that she was welcome anytime. She said she’d never heard of our church before, and so I whispered that we were commonly known as the “Mormons” but that was just a nickname. She looked at me with wide surprised eyes, fixin’ (as they say here in the south) to make a quick exit.

I smiled again and whispered, “God bless you my Sister in Christ!” She smiled back with a question in her eyes, and without words, I shook my head in the affirmative. Yes, Mormons are Christian!  She squeezed my hand while nodding her head, and with a big beautiful smile whispered, “Yes, sister’s in Christ!” And then immediately after the benediction, she left.

Now I have not seen her since, but I don't think it was a coincidence she came to our meeting. I believe with all my heart, that my impression to sit by her changed her perception about the “Mormons.” I know I was the Lord’s vessel that day, as He bore loving testimony to His sweet daughter, and I knew He wanted both of us to know, that we ARE literally “sisters in Christ!”

Elder Neil L. Andersen said in the April 2013 Conference. “We are witnessing the miracles of the Lord as His gospel is spreading across the world. Brothers and sisters, as surely as the Lord has inspired more missionaries to serve, He is also awakening the minds and opening the hearts of more good and honest people to receive His missionaries. You already know them or will know them. They are in your family and live in your neighborhood. They walk past you on the street, sit by you in school, and connect with you online. You too are an important part of this unfolding miracle.”

As missionaries in northern Texas, we are literally witnessing these miracles! I testify that we are watching the Lord awaken the minds and open the hearts of good people to receive the missionaries!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Suffer the Little Children" Mark 10:13-16

Friday was just "one of those days.” After being stood up twice, I was so frustrated, I wondered if we were doing any good at all, so I cried. And of course Elder Holt tried to console me. (Bless him he's never been very good at that!)

The first appointment was with a young family of five beautiful children whose parents are recent converts, but have stopped coming to church. They had to cancel for the second week in a row, this time because the family had stomach flu. We have met with them, taught them, and prayed so earnestly for them so many, many times, but the mother is reluctant−̶ feeling that her husband pushed her into baptism when she wasn’t ready. The last time we met, we read with them the story of Helaman’s Stripling Warriors, and then played the primary song, “We’ll Bring the World His Truth!” Those precious children responded in such a wonderful way as the spirit filled their home. But still, they have not come to church.

At 6:00 p.m. we had an appointment with another young family with two beautiful little girls, five year-old Megan and her baby sister. They were just leaving as we pulled in. Had we not arrived at that moment they were simply going to stand us up−̶ which happens a LOT!

Then Friday got even better. At 8:00 p.m., though we were tired, we went to the church to clean with a family who could only come Friday night. They forgot−̶ we cleaned alone! Friday night I was really irritated with all these people! But, before bed as I said my prayers, I felt our loving Lord, gently remind me of how patient He is with all of my faults! Who was I to judge others? My heart softened!

So on Saturday, Elder Holt cleaned the church alone all morning, because another family had to work. Then we both cleaned for several hours in the afternoon because that was when the other family could come. We’re not sure what happened to them. We cleaned alone. But, unlike yesterday, I felt the spirit and with a song in my heart I recognized what a wonderful privilege was mine, to be cleaning the Lord's House for the Sabbath tomorrow, and it felt good!

Megan's family let us come back tonight because I think they felt guilty. She was hungry and whiny and needing five year-old attention, complaining about the TV program playing in the background because she wanted to watch something else, so we struggled to have a good visit. Then we showed them a couple of five minute church videos on the iPad. Little Megan’s entire demeanor changed! She curled up in her mother’s arms listening intently to the church videos! Then she listened as her Dad said they might go to church next week.
            “Oh, I want to go to the classes, can I go Daddy?”

We gave her a Friend Magazine, and she didn’t want us to leave as I showed her the pictures and stories. But, something we must have said apparently offended her mother, who got up and left the room while we were talking. Most likely, Megan won’t be going to Primary. We are devastated! Again.

This missionary assignment is like a Lagoon ride. We’re up, we’re down, we’re spinning around! But, oh how we love the Lord, and love these people! Please pray for Megan and James and Dustin and Brighton and Triston and little Baker! All precious children who long to go to church!

And pray for Elder Grandpa and Sister Grandma Holt!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Awesome Sabbath

Well, I am going to repent. I have had friends who want to know more about our mission, and I have been letting Elder Holt write all the letters home to our family. I can't catch up, but I decided to start with now---so . . .

August 4, 2013
Yesterday was a hard day. Saturdays usually are. People are always busy, and no one wants to make appointments with us, so we drop in on people that don't want to see us. But, the Sabbath is always wonderful and especially today! I taught Relief Society and showed a couple of the videos from the Missionary Conference "Hastening the Work of Salvation." There was a great spirit and I think many of the sisters are catching the vision. Then tonight one of the wonderful stalwarts of the church set up a teaching appointment with an 86 yr. old friend of his, a sweet, sweet born again Christian who loves The Lord. We showed her a couple of the new "Introduction to the Church" videos (on the LDS Gospel Library version 3.0 for iPad) which always bring the spirit in amazing ways. We shared our testimonies and left with an appointment for next Sunday. We will see, but oh she is sweet. She said the closing prayer and it was wonderful and powerful! Please pray for sweet Billie Dyer!