|The Glendive Zone|
(For years this was known as the "Bro Zone"
because there were never any sisters.
I think it looks a lot better with sisters!)
|I wanted to take a picture here on the way to Zone Conference|
because it reminded me of Round Valley.
Except that there are no mountains.
This last week was much better than the week before. On Tuesday Sister Miles and I met up with the rest of our zone in Glendive, Montana and caravanned to Bismarck for a tri-zone conference with the Minot and Bismarck zones. We stayed in the mission home Tuesday night and since Sister Miles and I were the only sisters we were so spoiled. Only the Glendive zone stayed the night in the mission home because we have to travel the farthest. I loved getting to know President and Sister Hess. They are such greenies but are so cute and excited about the work.
That evening while everyone was visiting and eating, Sister Miles and I slipped out to the down stairs piano to practice a song because the ward music coordinator found out that I like to sing and asked me to sing next Sunday in sacrament meeting. Sister Miles plays piano so she will play the accompaniment. When we went downstairs to practice we really had no idea what song to do so we just started messing around and put together a little medley of Lead Kindly Light and I Need Thee Every Hour. After practicing a few times we went back upstairs and the elders said, "We all stopped talking so we could hear you sing." We were so embarrassed because we didn't really expect that. Then President Hess walked up and said, "Sister! You sing! That was just beautiful! Will you please sing at zone conference tomorrow?" I tried to decline but he didn't let me! The next morning he said, "Sisters, I will ask the APs if you can do a musical number today." and then he just walked away before we could tell him not to. So then we hurried back downstairs to practice some more just in case.
Right before zone conference started, President said, "Okay sister. you will be singing right before sister Hess and I speak." I was thinking, "oh great" because we only practiced a few times but when we began the spirit took over and the song actually turned out really good. It was also good practice for next Sunday.
Miracle in Sidney after a trial of faith
Things in Sidney were also much better last week. We had more energy and more faith to go out and work and because of that we noticed miracles. The biggest miracle actually happened yesterday. There is a sixteen year old girl, T, who is amazing. She is not a member, but really wants to be. She was already taught all the lessons from former missionaries a couple of years ago. She wanted to be baptized but her parents would not allow her to so she has been faithful in attending church until she turns 18 and can be baptized. I have never been as impressed with someone as I am with her. She is the Laurel class secretary, attends trek and girls camp, comes to church every week, and even goes to all of the temple trips with the ward. She obviously can't do baptisms since she is not a member but she goes and walks around outside and sits in the waiting room the whole time the ward is doing baptisms. She drives four hours to sit in the temple waiting room just because she loves this gospel so much and loves the feeling she gets when she is there. She is just incredible.
A couple of weeks ago T told us that her mom, J, seems more receptive lately. She has been reading Ensign articles and even watched 17 Miracles. She has also been asking T a lot of questions. Then yesterday she actually came to church with T. I felt a little intimidated at first because Sister Miles and I were speaking in church yesterday and I hoped that what we had to say would make a good enough impression and be what J needed to hear. The topic was faith which was perfect. Sister Miles spoke first. Her talk was about having faith in the atonement and in moving forward in our progression. She did an awesome job! I was the last speaker and centered my talk on the first part of Alma's definition of faith in Alma 32:21, "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things." I got the idea from a talk I read by Rosemary M Wixom at the most recent conference. I noticed that T's mom was actually crying during both mine and Sister Miles talks. She seemed to like sacrament meeting. Afterward, T came to us and said, "She knows it's true. My mom knows it's true." It was hard to not lose it right there but I kept my cool and so did T. J stayed all three hours and then asked if she could start taking the lessons. She invited me and Sister Miles over for cake that evening. We had a wonderful time getting to know them and shared a spiritual thought at the end. There wasn't enough time to teach her the first lesson yet, so we set a time to go back and teach both J and her husband.
T shared a really cool story with her parents and me and Sister Miles while we were there. She went on trek earlier this summer and while she was there she prayed that her parents would "understand and accept" her religion. On trek, she got a surprise letter from her mom. In her mom's letter she said, "I have finally been able to understand and accept your religion." The spirit was so strong when T shared that with us. J is definitely prepared to be taught at this time. We especially want T's parents to allow her to be baptized sooner than a year from now. But I think they are prepared and ready to not only let T be baptized, but to accept the gospel themselves.
We had a really rough start in Sidney. There were many trials that we were faced with in just the first four weeks we were here. But we kept working our hardest with faith unwavering and miracles came. I used to think that when we started to see the fruits of our labors, Heavenly Father was blessing us for our hard work. Then I realized yesterday that it isn't about me getting blessings from hard work. It isn't about me at all. It's about Heavenly Father working through me and all other missionaries and members to bless other people, and I in turn receive blessings of joy and love from that. I feel so humble that Heavenly Father trusts me to teach the people in this mission. I never want to let Him down.
I love you all,