February 18, 2015

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This was a good good week.We have had "inclement weather" aka frozen rain and snow, which means they close down the libraries, which is why today is Wednesday and not Monday. The rain encased our car in ice on Monday so we didn’t really do much, and then the power went out because the rain encases the trees as well and then the branches break on the power lines.

We have seen tons of miracles with the people we are finding and teaching. I wish I could just give everyone my journal!! There is never the time or ability to write everything I’d like to. And missionary work is just so amazing in the way you can’t tell all the stories. You go into people’s homes and learn very personal things about them and have very wonderful experiences but it is hard to share them.

We had an awesome Zone Conference, which is where 20-30 missionaries get together and learn all day. We used to have the goal of "finding" for 12 hours every week and we reported that number…now that key indicator is dropped and President Griffin is really focusing on improving our teaching. We are learning better ways of studying and teaching to meet people’s needs. I am pumped for becoming a better listener and teacher.

I got to talk to Judge on the phone on Monday!! He is driving the La Follette missionaries to transfer meeting next week so it will be awesome to get to see him.

So mostly I wanted to write about yesterday because Elder Christofferson (of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles) came to our mission. He and Elder Suarez (a Seventy) had their flights cancelled, so Elder Suarez didn’t make it and Elder and Sister Christofferson drove 9 hours to get to Farragut. Since they were late, we had a testimony meeting for an hour. So they got there to a chapel full of missionaries who were really excited because of the suspense, and then for the time we had with him we just had a question and answer session. It was awesome. At first, I thought he was taking too long answering each question and kinda felt like he was rambling, but then I realized I just wasn’t listening because everything he was saying was important. I realized he was sharing things that were building on each other. Now I wish I could go back and listen to the first couple questions where I was impatient. A few questions he answered were "How can we reach people who already have faith in Christ?"; "What do we do when people talk about spiritual experiences in other churches, how can we help them accept the Restored gospel when they are satisfied with what they have?"; "What is the most important Christlike attribute for a missionary to develop?" (he talked about Charity); "How can we repent of our sins if we have a life full of mistakes that we can’t even remember them all?"

If I had had time to ask one, I wanted to ask how we can help people who have become disillusioned with the Prophet Joseph Smith or with the church. But he kinda addressed at least our own testimonies of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith in his closing remarks. Oh oh I forgot my favorite thing. When he was talking about charity and how important it is to have the pure love of Christ, he talked about how it is a gift of the Spirit and that we can pray for it, it is something that can be given to us even if we’re not born with it. He said that when he lived in a certain ward, there were people he avoided because he thought they were weird. Then he got called as bishop and the mantle fell on him and he was granted charity, and truly loved everyone. I just love that coming from an Apostle, that it is a common struggle to love people who are different from us but that it is possible if we really strive for it and pray for it and act on it.

He promised us that as we study the Book of Mormon, there wil be light added to us and those we teach will feel what we feel. He told us that as we bear witness of the Prophet Joseph and the Restoration of the gospel that the Holy Ghost will bear testimony of our testimony to us from time to time. He told us that Christ lives and was literally resurrected. I want to grasp these realities more fully. I am so amazed at the Book of Mormon lately. I know it is our biggest tool to our own conversion. As you read it, think about what it teaches you about who Christ is. Who is Jesus Christ? What is Christ’s message to us?

Have a wonderful week. Love you guys! 🙂

– Sister Hale

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