Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Best Part of the Week

Hello from Montana. This place is crazy. It is more in the oil fields than Dickinson is and there are man camps everywhere. Don't worry, we don't tract there. But I can't even count how many times we have been lectured to stay safe here and are reminded that we are the first sisters in 15 years so not to mess that up.  We are very careful. In fact, for the first time on my mission, I receive very clear promptings to stay away from certain houses.  There are several houses that I get bad feelings about and we don't even go knock.  It feels so weird because normally when I go tracting I am a "knock on every single door" kind of girl.
This is the farm we live at with some members
This last week in Sidney was better than the first. There were many challenges in this area when we first arrived but we are working hard, praying even harder and having faith.  It paid off and we had a pretty successful week. We were blessed  to be able to teach seven lessons which isn't as much as I would like but compared to the zero that we taught on our first week here it was awesome! The ward is wonderful and blessed us with many referrals. We have also been doing a lot of tracting and nothing came from that directly, but Heavenly Father saw that we were doing our best, and he blessed us with somebody new to teach. There is a member in our ward who is recently reactivated and is a prospective elder. His friend, J, has heard a lot about the church. He is from Idaho and his Dad's side of the family are members of the church. His dad fell away and J raised Baptist by his mother. J has even gone to general conference before with family.  He says he did not feel the spirit while he was there. I suggested it was because he wasn't opened to it, and he agreed. He went there with a very closed mind.  But he is humble right now and really does want to learn.  I feel that he is ready at this time. We taught him the restoration. He has been told these things his entire life so after our lesson he turned to his friend, Andrew, and asked, "I am a good person. I love Christ, so what more do I need?" Andrew said, "I think you need... the priesthood."  Wow, the spirit was so strong.  Andrew said exactly what Heavenly Father wanted J to hear.  So then we proceeded to explain the priesthood to him and taught him about the restoration of the priesthood.  Then something really clicked in his mind and he felt the strong spirit that was there as well. He agreed to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. He also agreed to be baptized if he felt it was true. There is a lot of potential with J.

Sister Miles is doing so well. Ward members don't even believe that she is a new missionary, and sometimes, neither do I. She knows how to teach the lessons and if she doesn't know what to say in lessons, she bears powerful testimony. She just gets missionary work. She wants to be more consecrated and sometimes I think she beats herself up over it, silently, but she doesn't need to. She is so prepared. And on top of all the spiritual stuff, we have so much fun. She is like me but crazier. She says the funniest things and always makes me laugh.  Sometimes I feel silently rebuked because she makes me laugh in district meeting and area calls and at important times like that. We have a lot of fun! 

The work in Sidney is already picking up and I know it will continue. In one week we received twelve referrals. The Sidney ward is excited to have sisters. Even the stake president said that, "it just feels right to have sisters in Sidney." We are excited and enthusiastic about all the work we can do here!
The Best Part of the Week
The best day for me on the mission is Sunday.  I love going to partake of the sacrament. The sacrament blows my mind. It isn't just about renewing our baptismal covenants; we are making covenants each time we take it. Every single time!  The sacrament is also a saving ordinance just like baptism and temple endowments. The sacrament is the most lightly passed over ordinance in the  church but without it we are nothing.  When I try to picture how the sacrament works in my mind I picture a long staircase.  During our week, we make mistakes and take a couple steps down on the "stairs." When we take the sacrament and promise to do better it is like we each walk up five steps. So in the next week, when we take a couple steps down, or even a lot of steps down, when we take the sacrament, we take five steps up and are therefore, better than we were the first time we took it. Partaking of the sacrament is part of repentance and forgiveness and we cannot receive salvation without it.  That's why Macy had to go to sacrament meeting even when you were in Washington DC; it is also why our ward leaders make such an effort to get the sacrament to retirement homes and elderly people who are not able to leave their homes.  If we understood the magnitude of the sacrament, it would be the most important thing we did all week.  It is our loving Heavenly Father's way of showing His love for us and saying "Hey, I know that you are going to make mistakes; in fact, you are going to mess up every week.  So I am giving you this one extra way to take care of that because I love you so much."  It is such a blessing!  Like I said, it blows my mind.

I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week!  Thank you for all the prayers.  I felt them here in Sidney, Montana!

Happy birthday, Jeremy! I hope it was a great one! 

Happy birthday, Grandpa Park!

Sister Park 

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