Email received March 12, 2012
Subject: Miracle Member Referral
This week has been pretty good. On Wednesday we had a follow-up training for the new missionaries to make sure that everything was going okay. The training was awesome and very helpful because it lifted my attitude about missionary work and gave me so many new ideas to try out. The training was also great because I got to see my Elders from the MTC again. I love them so much and miss seeing them everyday, but they all seem to be doing great (especially Elder Azure shom was struggling in the MTC). Another person that I got to see was Elder Cooper Feild that I took most of my Ed-net classes with back in high school. He is a traveling Zone Leader for the Spanish-speakers, so he comes to most of the trainings. I talked to him about Elder BakBak, and he can't believe that he is in the Marshall Islands doing a great job as a missionary. Elder Feild thinks that it is awesome that Connor is being such a great missionary and working so hard, and he thinks that Connor will also do amazing with the language because he was so good in the Spanish class that we all took together!
Monday I made Oatmeal Scotchies for our District Leaders because they helped one of our recent converts move. Everyone got a taste of them at our District meeting- so now they of course want me to make treats all the time. Funny!
The work is going pretty well in the Grand Prairie area. One of the best miracles this last week happened by accepting the challenge from Elder Duncan about always asking for referrals especially from the members and then having the lesson at the member's home with the referral that they gave. Elder Duncan promised this would create the "perfect" lesson and also that our teaching pool would double by always asking for referrals.... We were at a dinner Sunday night and asked the member family for a referral. They turned to their son whom happened to have a friend over and asked if the friend wanted to hear the missionary lessons. We had no idea that the friend, Marco Ferrera, was a non-member. He immediately accepted the invitation and we taught him a lesson on Thursday night at the member's home. The lesson went great and he even accepted the baptismal invitation and date without hesitation. Marco has been prepared by the Lord for the missionaries to teach him, and the member family has also been a great example in letting him know a little bit about the church just by the way that they act. Marco has already spent time reading the BOM and praying with the member family because they do those things every night as a family no matter that a friend is over at their home. We will be teaching Marco again tonight because the member family invited back to their home to do a FHE with them and teach Marco in conjunction. I am so excited to see how much he has progressed and to continue teaching him the truthfulness of the restored gospel. This is just one example of asking everyone for a referral and then teaching that referral in the member's home. It is so exciting to see the current results of asking for referrals and I truly believe Elder Duncan was inspired to promise that our teaching pools will double if we always ask for referrals.
The first part of the week was a little rough for me personally because I was just feeling discouraged about the work and the disappointments as a missionary. But my attitude completely changed after the training! I know that there are disappointments with our investigators and the smallness of our teaching pool/ results in finding people, but these numbers are not the way to measure the success of a missionary. I just need to keep working my hardest and doing what the Lord would have me do. I need to constantly strive to have the spirit with me because it is then that I can accomplish all things that the Lord expects of me and knows that I can do. I am so grateful for companions that support me as a missionary and constantly strive to make me stronger and better. Sister Cole is so amazing at keeping the pace upbeat and happy. She is an inspiration to me of talking to everyone that we see, even if we are scared or nervous for how the situation may turn out. Sister Heaton is a great trainer with so much knowledge that benefits our companionship and the people we come in contact with. I am thankful for their love and support. They turn the hard times into times of learning and truly turned my week around to help me see the joy and fulfillment in missionary work.
Thanks for everything that everyone is doing to support me on a mission. I got a bunch of letters this week from Grandma and Grandpa Riches, Nana and Papa Peck, Mom and Dad (as usual) and Chantel Asper. I got one from Libbie too!! My comps always joke that I will get letters most of the days (which is really not quite true, but I do get a lot). Thanks for the letters because I love to get them and read about what's happening back at home.
I love yall and pray that everything is going okay!!!