Monday, October 15, 2012

Missionary work is a Funny Thing!

Dear Family,
What a week.  Missionary work is a funny thing.  It goes by way slow at the same time that it goes by way fast.  I have realized over the past week though that all the bad stuff you go through is completely worth it when something wonderful happens.  Even if it's small.  One particular day last week, we were really striking out.  Alll day we would drive, knock doors, drive, knock doors, drive...and nothing.  No one was home.  We went to the home of one of our new investigators and she had pnemonia so she couldn't let us in, but even talking to her on the porch for 5 minutes was really awesome.  We sincerely thanked her for talking with us.  I was getting down this past week because we haven't been able to set any baptismal dates...well at least we had one.  That was good.  But whenever someone in the zone sets a date, they text everyone in the zone to tell them.  And we were getting texts left and right!  We really wanted to help people progress, but things weren't going too good.  Anyway, I learned something yesterday that really humbled me.  All that time I had been feeling bad for myself last week and then this is what I hear from a ward member who had us over for dinner.  He served his mission in Greece.  I was interested- I had never heard of anyone going there.  I asked him what it was like to serve there.  He talked about how Athens was pretty yucky, but then he served in a near by country, the name of which is escaping me at the moment,and it was a gorgeous place.  He said "the food was good, the people were.....well...I could count the number of progressing investigators I had on one hand."   NO WAY.  His whole mission.  He worked his hardest every day, and no one listened.  He said he didn't get invited into anyone's home until a year into his mission.  He talked of how he came to measure success as a missionary in a new way.  Instead of baptisms, he measured it by the seemingly small things like if he got to bear his testimony that day, or if he placed a Book of Mormon or  serve someone that day.  This was a lesson to me.  I'm pretty sure I'll try really hard to never complain again.  Especially because we are working with a legit family right now.  They are coming to church and reading and we have become really close with them.  They just want to be closer to God, and there isn't anything more precious than that, I think.
Do you want to hear a crazy story?  So the day we were striking out, I was praying for opportunities to talk with people.  While we were at the gas station, I saw this little old man in a hawaiin shirt and a cross necklace shuffling his feet over to pay for his gas.  I thought, "I really need to go talk to him."  When Sis B got back in the car, I said, "we need to go talk to that guy getting gas".  She said, "I don't know what to say to him".  "Well, neither do I but we have to".  So we walked up-it was the most awkwaard approach ever.  We had no idea what to say.. haha.  We were like, "hey sir, how are you today?"  Then he started talking to us like he knew us or something.  He said, "fine fine, how is everybody over there, are you keeping things under control?"  I played along and said yes...he started talking about something he needed to go do, and we gave him a passalong card and left.  Pretty awkward, but I felt better.  Anyway.  Back to our striking out day.  No one was home, blah blah...then.  It's 8:15pm and the day is still not over.  I prayed in my head that Heavenly Father would help us know where to go.  Then came the thought "Lisa Eck".  We go to Lisa's house all the time and she's never home.  But I suggested it, we went, and she was home.  As we visited with her, a knock came at the door.  She opens it, and who do I see?  That same little old man with the hawaiian shirt and cross necklace!  I was so surprised!  My mouth hung open and Sis B just laughed at me.  This man is Lisa's DAD!!!  Haha how crazy.  We saw him twice in the same day.  We are hoping to be able to teach them all.  
We have recently begun volunteering at an assisted living home.  We go in once a week and do manicures for the ladies.  They are so fun and nice to us.  One lady I was visiting with last week was telling me about her son who had died when he was 21 and how she still missed him very badly.  I told her she would see him again.  As we talked, I just looked at her and listened.  She surprised me when she said, "You know, it's just really nice to have someone to talk to.  Your mother raised a wonderful young lady."  She talked about how she loved when people would play the piano.  I told her I would play for her sometime, and asked if she had been there the week before when I was playing.  She said, "Oh yes, you played 'In the Garden'".  I had played that song.  She told me she had remembered that all week.  She began to cry.  It was touching to me because of the reason I got to learn that song.  I learned it because Brother Bledsoe requested it for his baptism.  I always think fondly of him when I hear or play it now.  I was able to share with her that I was a missionary who taught people about Jesus Christ and that we will be able to see our loved ones again.  I told her that I got to meet a very special 90 year old man who taught me that song and I played it at his baptism.  With tears in her eyes, she said, "Oh that is wonderful".  Then she reached into her pocket and handed me a little snickers bar- her winnings from bingo that day.  How precious is that!  
I hope you all have a great week, and remember to do small things to help people.  
I love you,
sister annalisa wilde 

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