Dearest Lovely, Fabulous, Amazing, Wonderful Family and Friends,
I'll start by explaining the subject line. Sister White and I go to this Rest Home/ Assisted Living place called Sunset Manor about twice a week. Anyway we always see the same nurses as we visit some of the members there. One evening as we were leaving one of the male nurses asked as we said hi to him, "Do you get paid for this?" "Nope." "Serious?" "We're missionaries." "Missionaries? I thought missionaries go to foreign countries." "This is a foreign country. We're both from the States." "Serious?! I didn't know that. Why Canada? Why not somewhere in Africa?" "We were assigned by our church to come here." "Cool. Well, have a good night." He had to get back to work so we weren't able to talk to him more. It was pretty funny. After we left I commented about how we do get paid, just 'more than he could ever imagine.' :)
So I mentioned a headquarters referral we got last week. Sister White and I stopped by Monday night. Turns out she, Lindsay, is a member. She's on our ward list, but we didn't have an address or phone number for her so there was no way to contact her. She has been less active since she was 14 (about 12 years), married a non-member and has two kids. We set up a time to meet with her Wednesday. Meeting with her was amazing! She is so ready to come back to church. She said that although she hasn't been to church in a while and said a lot of negative things about the church in the past she always knew it was true and has kept praying. She ordered a Book of Mormon because she got rid of hers a while ago. She had never read the Book of Mormon before so she decided to read it. One of her close friends served a mission and is getting married this weekend. Her friend bore her testimony to her and it really touched her so, she decided she couldn't fight it anymore and she needed to come back. She explained that she didn't realize how much she had missed having the Spirit as a constant companion until she invited the Spirit back into her life. We had a wonderful visit with her. The Spirit was so strong. As she was telling us her story and her desire to come back I had the impression to tell her to write all of this down. As I did I felt the Spirit fill my entire body, I felt so warm, started to cry, and my whole body started to tingle. I remember not knowing exactly what I was going to say, but as I know that the words that came to my mouth were not my own. After explained my impression and encouraged her to write it down she explained that she has been prompted multiple times to write it down, but felt like it wasn't that important and just brushed it off. "It's no coincidence that you felt prompted to tell me to write it down. I guess that's my answer. I need to do it." I'm so grateful for every opportunity the Lord gives me to be an instrument in his hands. I know that we receive promptings more often then we realize, but we just don't recognize them. We must write them down so that we can remember the feelings and the impressions we had. Lindsay came to church yesterday with her two kids. She is so excited to come back. I'm so grateful that I get to invite everyone (member or non-member) to come unto Christ. This is my purpose and I love it!
I had another "Small World" experience this week. Sister White and I were trying a potential investigator. As we got out of the car we noticed an older gentleman walking down the street on the opposite side. Sister White waved to him and said "Hello!" He waved back and then crossed the street to come an talk to us. (First off, that usually doesn't happen to us. Most the time people walk away, go into their house, or completely ignore us when we say hi or start walking toward them.) We chatted about the weather (because that is all everyone ever talks about in Canada) and then the conversation turned. We asked him about his religious background. He explained that he wasn't religious, but that one of his daughters was. We asked him about his family (he's a widower) and he mentioned something about one of his daughters that caught my attention. "One of my daughters, the religious one, lives in Texas right now. Her husband works for Chevron and they've lived in New Foundland, Calgary, and now Texas." Hmmm... That all sounded a little familiar to me. We asked him if he has ever been to the states and he said not really. He asked where we were from. "We're both from Utah." "Oh, are you Mormon?" "Yes!" "My one daughter that is religious is a Mormon." Bam! It hit me why what he said before was familiar. 'Brittany!' I thought. In the Fall of 2010 I visit taught a girl named Brittany that was from Canada. She told me that her dad worked for Chevron. They lived in Calgary, New Foundland, and now Texas. I had to make the connection with him. "Do you have a granddaughter named Brittany?" He went bug eyed and seemed a little surprised by what I just asked, "Yes...." he said, a little questioning. "I know her! When you mentioned about your daughter living all those places it sounded very familiar. Then when you mentioned she was a Mormon I knew it had to be the same person. She was in my ward. She went to BYU right?" It's crazy how surprised he was that I knew his granddaughter. We talked about her for a little while. Personally, I was quite shocked. I knew the world was small, but it just keeps getting smaller. I would never have guessed while visiting teaching Brittany in the Fall of 2010 that a year and a half later I would be in Innisfail, Alberta, Canada as a missionary and randomly run into her Grandpa. Crazy hey? It reminded me of Mom. It seemed like she always ran into someone she knew or could make a connection with anyone. I guess I'm my mother's daughter. :)
Well, I wanted to close by getting everyone excited for conference. Sister White and I have made some pretty legit "General Conference Pass Along Cards" that we've been handing out to people and telling people about. We're using it as our new door approach this week. "Hi, we are representatives of the Savior Jesus Christ. We want to testify that we have a living prophet on the earth today who will be speaking to us this weekend." Sometimes I just want to shout to everyone, "Guess what?! We have a prophet of God on the earth today! Do you realize how cool that is?! He's going to speak to us! Come Listen! It will change your life!!!" We gave everyone in our ward one of our pass along cards to give to a friend and invite to conference. We also made a couple signs to put on the community boards around Innisfail. I'm so excited. President Uchtdorf, in the September 2011 Ensign talks about conference and how it is 'No Ordinary Blessing.'
"Since the world began, God has raised up prophets who speak the will of heaven to the people of their times. It is our responsibility to listen and then apply the messages the Lord provides for us. Our merciful and loving Heavenly Father has not forsaken and will not forsake His children. Today, as well as in times past, He has appointed apostles and prophets. He continues to reveal His word to them. What a marvelous privilege it is to hear God's messages for each of us during general conference! Let us prepare well for this great blessing of divine guidance delivered by His chosen servants. For this is no ordinary blessing."
He gives us three basic concepts that help us prepare for conference. 1. Members of the Church are entitled to personal revelation as they listen to and study the inspired words spoken at general conference. 2. Don't discount a message merely because it sounds familiar. And 3. The words spoken at general conference should be a compass that points the way for us during the coming months. I encourage EVERYONE to watch every session of General Conference. This is word of the Lord we're talking about. Please do all you can to listen to the prophet's voice. I can promise you that something said (in a song, sermon, prayer or an impression) will be the answer to a prayer or help with a concern you have. Test it if you don't believe me. Make conference a priority!
I love you all! The church is true! We have a living prophet on the earth, President Thomas S. Monson, who leads and guides us. I can testify with President Uchtdorf that this is No Ordinary Blessing!
P.S. To read the full talk by President Uchtdorf follow this link http://www.lds.org/ensign/2011/09/general-conference-no-ordinary-blessing?lang=eng