Thoroughly Modern Missionary
This week, I just want to “ode” the life of a missionary a bit.
I am glad for a work that leaves you exceptionally exhausted at the end of the day and then motivates you to get back up again when that alarm goes off. A work that makes you feel this overwhelming love for all the people around you, a work that makes you a better person if you let it.
I am mostly just so grateful for the people that I get to serve. All my stress of getting from place to place, and trying to think how to start conversations, and basically anything uncomfortable or inconvenient for me is in the service of someone else.
Ha, this proved most exceptionally when I am trying to run in the morning for sport, I run so I can catch trains and be punctual for appointments. ha ha. Ok, so that is not the only reason. But it is a good example. A missionary life is a symbiotic relationship.
For what I put in, I get blessing out, and those blessings bless others because I am able to do my work better, thus helping me have the courage to work harder. It is a lovely give and take that actually just keeps accumulating.
We had a lovely time with J this week with the family H. It was an amazing chance to have a member joint teach. We had been in ward council and a member of the bishopric asked how he was doing. We told him that we were going to meet briefly tomorrow. He invited us to meet at his home and his wife and children would be there to be our joint teaches. It ended up working wonderfully and we even ate lunch together. It was a lesson really lead by the spirit. I really have a testimony that having members at appointments makes a huge difference, it also functions to give the members a chance to share their testimony. It is not always easy to get it to work, but when it does it is great.
We were finally able to meet with M on Sunday. The member Brother Trippel invited the elders, us, R, Brother C (a member) and M to his house for dinner and they all came. We were finally able to teach him a lesson, the first one since even a bit before I got here. It was a really good review for me and I love teaching the plan of salvation. It is a perfect plan. Really. I think the part that really makes it real for me is the spirit world, the idea that everyone, everyone is going to get a chance to accept the gospel. That has been a bit of a theme this week, We have taught the plan of salvation a lot.
We had a nice time with family R, got to know the sons a bit better and helped them cook egg rolls. The middle son got the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday and his parents stayed for all three hours for the first time since I got here. I was so glad. I got to sit next to S during Relief Society.
The Ali´s (the Syrian family) invited us over to cook a Syrian food feast for us. We wanted to bring R but they are not comfortable to have someone else over yet. They live in one room right now. Which is really no problem for us; but we need to be patience. We came to teach them and they had read to chapter ten in Nephi and had read all the pages in the introduction and witnesses as well. They had written out fifteen questions. It was lovely lesson. They are so hungry to learn everything. It is a little sad because the dad does not want the daughter to feel pressured so she has to go away a bit when we are teaching, but hopefully that will get better. She really loves us.
We met V with Sister C to talk about temples. It was cute to see them try to communicate with each other. Sister C is the primary president. She told her story about being on the side of the wall that was in control by Russia. Even after the wall came down, she still had to wait until her husband softened his heart and let her go to the temple for her endowment. I was an inspiring story because right now V cannot go to the temple to even do baptisms because she cannot leave Germany. But I believe it will be a joyous day for her when she can go and do these saving ordinances for her family.
We walked through country paths and fields to go visit a member this week. We had a nice breakfast and then had a really good heart to heart about the gospel and we are helping her to start being more confident to do missionary work. I really love these people here; members, investigators, new converts, less actives, random potentials on the street. I just love it all.
And the last lovely story is of little J, ” I am 1000% sure I want to get baptized” that is the rough translation.
It was Faschings this week, think Halloween, little kids in costumes. It is like a welcoming spring holiday. We met J walking home from school in her little Chinese princess dress on our way to go meet the family for our teaching appointment. We walk with her and she showed us a short cut all the time talking about the stories and songs she is writing and also how much she loves coming to church. She was doing her best to remember the primary songs. She is so cute. We arrive at her home and have a great lesson. Even though her mom is learning everything for the first time too, she often tries to help clarify the things for her sweet daughter. The lesson ends and simple as that we ask when she wants to get baptized….. It is planned.
We are so excited for this perfect golden family. Just pray for them.
I love you and I have got to go.
Put your shoulder to the wheel……
Love, Sister Gardner
5 things that made me smile
1. J is going to get baptized on March 13th!!!!
2. I got to wear pants today. Muwahaha.(well for part of the day)
3. Syrian food with our lovely new family.
4. Sister S thanked me for translating for her during relief society and said she thought I really had a talent for it.
5. The way Elder Elwell tries to get out of eating sweets.
6. Bonus, Elder Petty always ready with his yo yo.