Monday, July 29, 2013

17 Month Mark

Hey Family,

Many exciting things have happened since last I wrote to you all. Breaking News:  I head butted a goat.  At the Burnetts.  Probably one of the best things I've done in the last 17 months.

My companion caused me realize that each day I talk about a different member of my family.  So one day I'll talk about Becca and then it will be my "I miss Becca Day". It changes each day-not consciously of course.  Yesterday I missed Cameron as I told Sister Hicken that he was maybe the best whistler in the family because he could whistle my classical piano pieces(which almost no one can do, especially the 20th century composers).  I missed Bethanie when I had a stroke of genius for all the things she and I will do when I get back.  I missed you all on the different days..(this is not trunky talk..I'm simply telling you how much I love you.  I'm not trunky because trunkiness is only for elephants.  hah!  Sister Martell wrote me a card the other day that had a big elephant on the front with those words.  Every missionary also must know that trunkiness never was happiness.)  

Well Jennifer is still progressing.  She was supposed to get baptized yesterday...but get this.  It's almost comical how many times this has happened to me on my mission.  The very day before someone is supposed to be baptized, they call or text us with some crazy off the wall reason why they can't get baptized.  It's ridiculous.  Another word for it is Satan.  Anyway.  She had to re-schedule the baptism because she went to the doctor the day before to get these shots in her spine to help with her fibromialgia(don't ask me how to spell that).  She apparently can't be submerged in water for at least 72 hours to make sure she doesn't get any infections due to the shots.  Of all things!  It sounds like something I could make up!  Anyway..pray for her to be able to be baptized this coming Sunday.

We have been seeing the result of our faith and the faith and diligence of the members. We made a new mission plan in our branch. The title of this plan is- The Glenwood Ward. President Palmer asked the members to ask for a few simple things in every prayer they offer. 1) Convert Baptisms 2) Reactivation of members. He stressed the importance of each member playing a part in reaching this goal. We have seen progress in the people we are teaching, found more people to teach, and have been seeing less active members return to church. The Lord will continue to bless this area according to our faith and diligence.

This week I gained a knowledge of the importance of diligence. It seems that this attribute has been highlighted in all of my scripture studies this week. Diligence is the key to being worthy to receive power and authority. And how important that is! I read accounts in the Book of Mormon from Nephi and Lehi, Enos, and Ammon who received power because they truly desired to help people gain faith unto repentance. We cannot be missionaries who are truly focused on our purpose and receive power unless our strongest desire is to serve God and bring people to repentance. Diligence in all things with unshaken faith in Christ will bring the results we desire- conversion. Not only in others, but in ourselves. Yesterday in church, President Palmer gave wonderful remarks about the Atonement. Specifically he discussed the nature of the Savior-that He wants to forgive! I think I sometimes act like He is reluctant and almost unwilling to forgive. This is not the case. He did not pay a great price to purchase a gift just to put it away on a shelf. The gift He has, He will gladly and readily give! His requirement is that we come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Then we can obtain this wonderful gift of the fruit of His atonement. Forgiveness and progression. Diligence is a necessary part of this process. 

Sister Hicken and I have been reminded and taught about the importance of the Holy Ghost and the role he has in our missionary work. It is true that the spirit is the most important element in this work. On Saturday we went to one of our investigator's homes and knocked on the door. After I knocked, a strong feeling came over me that we needed to leave right then. I looked at Sister Hicken and she voiced the exact feeling that I had. I don't know why but we knew it was the Spirit that urged us to go. I drove away feeling grateful that the spirit guided us and I knew that Heavenly Father was mindful. We drove to Beth's house(another of our investigators). It was our second visit with her. We were surprised and happy to find out that she had been reading the book of Mormon and was already to 2 Nephi 9. She has been religious and close to Heavenly Father all her life. She is reading and praying. I can see in her face that the spirit is softening her heart. Moroni's promise is real-but for it to actually work we must follow everything that Moroni admonishes. We must have a sincere heart. I know that she does. I was grateful again for the role the Holy Ghost had in that lesson. Our hearts were changed by the end of it. I had a stronger desire to do what is right, a greater belief and faith in our loving God and His Son, and a stronger testimony of the importance of this work.

Other interesting facts:  
So you know how Hot Springs is the boyhood home of Bill Clinton?  Well little did I know that my investigator, Howard Hawthorn, went to school with the man!  haha!  I guess Bill Clinton came to visit Hot Springs once a while ago and was in some parade I think...anyway, Howard Hawthorn was standing on the corner of one of the streets, Bill Clinton sees him and nonchalantly says "Hey Howard." And Howard waves.  Haha!

The Heavens smiled down upon me on Wednesday of last week.  We had our training with President Petersen in Little Rock.  I had parked at the church in Hot Springs so we could carpool with the other sisters.  Well when we came back that evening, who should drive up but my favorite Brother Griffin!  He invited us to dinner.  I got to see Sister Griffin and their granddaughter Ali who I got so close to last year.  Ali couldn't stop hugging was a grand reunion.  And good catfish.  Can Bethanie also learn how to make hush puppies?  Because those are better even than fried ochre.   

I love you all. 

love sister wilde

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