Today I mostly want to quote a lot of people and maybe have time to write stuff myself but first I want to talk about gossip. Our mission president sent out an email entitled "GOSSIP is poison to our soul" and here is a snippet:
"Gossip is the worst form of of judging. The tongue is the most dangerous, destructive, and deadly weapon available to man. A vicious tongue can ruin the reputation and even the future of one attacked. These types of words and remarks are so stealthy and cowardly that one cannot guard against them. There are those who relish in the news of others weaknesses or untruths, those who redistribute or record and save such vile judgments….
I believe that each of us are guilty at some level of this prideful practice. Gossip is poison to our soul. The very poison that will drive the Spirit of the Lord from us. What a better mission it would be if we would put into practice what we have all heard and read so many times: "….whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Matt 7:12) Instead, we are all so inclined to judge others with our gossip by a standard different from the one by which we would wish or be willing to be judged. We will never reach our goals and potential growth as long as we allow this parasite within us. We have to be unified as one in purpose and diligence. Gossip is a dividing weapon that will fractionalize our efforts."
It has really sunken into me how careful we need to be with the way we talk about friends, family, and strangers. What is gossip? Evaluate your definition of "gossip" and evaluate the words that come out of your mouth this week. To what degree are each of us guilty of gossip?
We had a situation where a member called one of our investigators a "pothead" and we were in the circle and people laughed but it got around to said investigator’s mom, and since we were in the circle that those words were said and we didn’t stop it or say anything nice to turn it around, it was US who is saying he smokes pot by the time it got to his mom, and now she is really antagonistic towards us/we’re hypocrites/we’re a cult and she doesn’t want us on her property. We feel so bad! We are trying to fix things but you can’t un-say something or go back and make it right. I never want to let a negative word fly from my mouth…. or anyone I’m with without turning it around and pointing out the strengths of the individual being talked about. The way we can reach a higher standard of Christianity is by expecting the best and speaking the good about those around us. I remember a story that one of my YW leaders told me….she moved to Oakley and was in a group where someone said something negative about someone else, and Kristin Pickett turned it around by talking about that person’s strengths. Without turning it around, the new person would have had all these bad ideas about a person she hadn’t even met yet! That is sad that we do that to the people around us. And of course wonderful to have an example like Sis Pickett who turned it around. I wish I could have done that in our situation, now it has reflected badly on me and the Church. I’ll do better in the future!
oh oh oh! I want to share a paragraph from Sis Rindlisbacher’s email, she was my companion in La Follette and is still up there for her last transfer:
" Junebug’s been busy too. We saw him one time at McDonald’s though. We started sharing just one verse and it turned into a kind of scripture study. We showed him the restoration pamphlet with Peter James and John and it seemed like things are starting to click. He shared Jeremiah 23 with us and said he doesn’t believe anything a preacher says, even in his own church, unless he read it "in here" he said pointing to the bible, "or here" he pointed to the book of Mormon. Ahhhhhhhhh! I think he’s gaining a testimony of the book of Mormon! "
AHhhhhh!!! She also said "We also talked about eternal marriage and junebug looked like he was deep in thought when we left. I don’t know when, but he’s going to join the church."
I am so grateful we went to McDonald’s and found him. It feels good to see what has come from someone I helped find in La Follette. June-bug and Una are some of my favorite people!!!
I am also filled with joy about Anna Moritz that me and Sis Godlewski started teaching. From Sis Rindlisbacher again:
"Anna said we could come share a talk with her last Monday.. we had a long conversation AND SHE TOLD US SHE KNOWS THE CHURCH IS TRUE. "My husband had talked me out of it before, had me in tears, but I was laying in bed and a peace came over me, I saw the Bible and Book of Mormon by the window and I just knew." Apparently she was impressed every time she had a concern we would come back with an answer and other churches had ignored her questions. "You always show me where it is in the Bible and the Book of Mormon too. The apostasy is in the Bible but no one else talks about it." She said she thinks of the Mormon church whenever she’d take her kids to their church. She said she was just unsure of how to approach her husband. We had her on the prayer role this week. She called us today to tell us her husband is okay with us having bible studies and she can come to church again!!!!!!!!!!!!! My heart is so happy right now (: "
I am grateful for the good things happening in La Follette! There are good things happening in Athens too…kind of at a standstill with many of our investigators but we have high hopes that things will start moving!
We found out Elder Christopherson is coming in February…wooo!
Allrighty, I am sending another email this week so read them both! Love you all–