Dear Family and Friends;
I can't believe I head to Canada already. This is my last Pday before I head out at 4am Tuesday morning. Honestly, I can't wait and I'm so excited for what Canada holds in store for me. :)
So a very humbling experience this week. We have been teaching a woman named Lawanna. She is definitely a "spicy black woman." She has been so great to teach. Well, earlier this week Sister Lambert and I decided to teach her about the Plan of Salvation (Happiness) and through some of our classroom role plays it was suggested that we teach a little more by the lesson and go in the order given in preach my gospel. So, we prepared our lesson and went in ready to teach. As we were teaching she didn't seem very interested and honestly seemed bored. I paused and asked her if she had any questions or concerns about what we had mentioned so far and she said, "Nevermind, I don't want to be rude." We assured her that we wanted to here. She then said, " I don't know, I just think ya'll a skit. Like I'm seriously bored right now. You talk about this being the plan of happiness, but as ya'll teachin' it to me you just a skit. If this is supposed to make me happy I don't want it. What ya'll teach me is borin'. You say ya'll happy, but I don't see how." I was completely shocked. I was not expecting that response at all. I was blessed to have Sister Lambert right there, because if it was just me I probably would have just started to cry and left the room. Sister Lambert apologized and asked if we could start over. She agreed and I started by asking Lawanna if I could begin by telling her what makes me happy. She said she'd love to hear that and I began by speaking from my heart. "Lawanna, my family makes me happy. Going to church each week and partaking of the Sacrament makes me happy. Reading the Book of Mormon and getting answers to my prayers from it's pages makes me happy. My mother makes me happy. (At this point I began to cry). Knowing that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ my family is able to be sealed together forever and that I will get to see my mother again makes me so happy. Obeying the commandments and teachings of our prophet Thomas S. Monson and seeing the blessings from it makes me happy. Teaching others about the restored Gospel established once again on the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith makes me happy. Being baptized and knowing that the Savior died for you and for me so that we can return to our Heavenly Father one day makes me happy. Having the constant companion of the Holy Ghost makes me happy. Lawanna, I know you can have this happiness too. By excepting the message of the restored Gospel you can the same joy and peace I feel, but it only comes through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ." My companion then brought up the hymn 136, I know that my redeemer lives. She read the first verse and I the last and we both bore a strong testimony that our Savior lives and that through Him we can receive true happiness. After we bore testimony we paused and waited for Lawanna to respond. She looked us in the eye and said, "Wow, I'm speechless. I can tell now, that you really are happy. I want to be happy like ya'll." We bought her, her own hymn book and put our testimonies in it. We gave it to her the last time we met and she loved it.
This experience really taught me about the fact that we aren't teaching lessons, we are teaching people. It is through the Holy Ghost that we can be led to say the right thing at the right time for each person we come in contact with.
On a funnier note, Elder Massey from my District (A convert of just over a year) was sitting with his companion outside one day. He turned to his companion after watching some sister missionaries walk by and said, "Elder Albretsen, do girls have foot garments?" "What?" "Do girls have foot garments, I see all the sisters with these little sock things on their feet. Are those special foot garments that only the girls have?" Elder Albretsen laughed and explained that those are just socks you can buy at the store for flat shoes. We all got a pretty good laugh out of that. ;)
Well, I love you all to Canada and back ;) I hope you have the best week ever! Advice; Pray without ceasing and study the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY!!!!
Love you with all my heart,
Sister Leanna Thompson