I hope y'all had a good week because I sure did!
Monday was good 'ol P-Day. We did our normal shopping and then balled it up the rest of the day. With it being MLK Day, some teens were playing basketball on the other side and we ended up choosing teams and playing a little tournament. We got back to Sutherlin and then headed out to the Hay***'s for our dinner and lesson with them. We had a fun little object lesson planned! We talked about faith and why we needed faith. We then took a Mason jar and showed how without "faith", the water poured out when we tipped it over. However, after putting a card on the mouth of the Mason jar, the water stayed in the jar, just like how faith will help us through the rough parts of life! It was a great lesson!
Tuesday was our slow day. It's almost not worth mentioning except for the fact we ended up getting two dinners that day! We had dinner over at one members house and when we showed up at another's to talk about coming out to a lesson with us, they gave us more food!
Wednesday was pretty awesome. We headed into Roseburg first thing in the morning and watched the Church-wide missionary training broadcast held in SLC. We heard from the Missionary Committee and watched some training that they did. One of the biggest things that I got from that was from Elder Andersen. He instructed us to "always have the Savior on our lips". That made me think a lot about when I am out and about doing the work. Am I always testifying of Him? It was a really good broadcast. We got home to having lessons cancel on us so we took some time and visited some formers and volunteered at the soup kitchen before our lesson with Jackie. We hammered down on faith with her and talked about ways she could build her faith.
Thursday we had another training, except this time it was in Santa Clara, just north of Eugene. Elder Bowers and Elder Kimber picked us up early and we were actually one of the first missionaries to arrive despite being about an hour away! After eating donuts and talking with old mission friends, we got the specialized training underway. We talked about being firm in our commitments and not being apologetic when we extend those commitments. We also practiced using a door approach in which we introduce ourselves as representatives of Jesus Christ. Thankfully I have been doing that my whole mission thanks to a pretty good RM older brother! President Russell talked about goals and then he hit on pride. As a mission, we have been struggling with pride and I thought everything he and Sister Russell said were right in the money. It made me reflect on what I need to change! After the specialized training, we headed over to the mission office and the South Umpqua Elders got their TIWI fixed. It was fun being able to talk to Sister Christensen and Sister Sutterfield! I miss being around the office staff. By the time we got back to Sutherlin, it was time to go to dinner. The Shoema***'s took us to a Chinese place in town and Brother Shoema*** got the hungry family for four people. Holy cow there was so much food!! As we were leaving, I OYM'd the waitress after hearing her talk about losing a couple of kids and the struggles she was going through. Hopefully she gives us a call! After we got the car, we headed over to the Vincent's and I used some Deep Blue from doterra to help with my back.
Friday we did weekly planning in the morning and then went out and tried to contact people. We knocked on a part member's door but they just ignored us so that was fun. We went over to a less active's house that was nearby and he welcomed us in with open arms. The poor brother's wife was in the local Alzheimer's unit and just wasting away. He told us that they used to be active and even worked in the temple but since her diagnosis, he has struggled with going back without her. It was humbling to have him look me in the eye and tell me that he knew that they were going to be together forever. Right before we left, he asked me if I could leave a blessing on his home and man that was a tough prayer. I felt so much love for this man and I almost cried during the prayer... We continued to contact people until dinner and then afterwards kept on doing so. We decided to go visit a lady who had met with the missionaries a few months ago but told them she was going to be out of town for a little while. Despite what my previous companion said about her contacting us, we decided to contact her. As it turns out, she has been home the whole time! We had a pleasant conversation with her and she started asking us questions about how she could be temple worthy and about the temple! She is golden!
Saturday morning we took some time and did Facebook. I got to talk to Cameron for a couple of minutes. He is such a stud! I hope he goes on a mission someday. We had a lesson with Samantha that afternoon and we went over the baptismal interview questions with her and hit on the commandments again. We left her with a video of Jesus being baptized to watch for next time. We spent the next hour and a half tracting out a street near our apartment but we didn't have much luck. We were only able to hand out a pamphlet but it is better than nothing! We decided to go contact a former that lived in Jackie's trailer park and he was super receptive to us coming back and seeing him again. He LOVES family history and I think he would join the Church if his wife would let him. We will see what happens this next Saturday!
Sunday we didn't have any meetings in the morning so we were able to do our studies that morning! We got to church and Samantha, Chris, and another one of our children investigators were there at church. We had some pretty good talks too! The high priest group leader had his family tree all the way back to Adam and it was so big that the stake presidency member had to jump up and hold it for him! It was a really good talk. After church and choir, we went and saw a guy named Adam. He joined the church a year and a half ago and is getting ready to put in his mission papers. We talked about his conversion and then we discussed what we could do to help him prepare for a mission. He is so pumped and ready to go on a mission! We stopped by the sister who does our dinner calendar so we could get next month's calendar before we headed out to Roseburg with the Caldwe*** for Samantha's baptismal interview! We got to the stake center right on time; the zone leaders, not so much. The missionaries who were supposed to pick them up never showed up and wouldn't pick up their phone. Thankfully a member picked them up so that they were only an half hour late! Samantha passed her baptismal interview with flying colors and we are almost set for her baptism this Saturday!
Thank you so much for all your support over the last 20 months. I do not think I could've done it without all of y'all. I know that the Church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He is the Savior of the World. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that President Monson is the Lord's prophet on the earth today.
I love y'all! Stay safe and have a good week!
Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"