Monday, February 10, 2014

"Yea, we have traveled from house to house..."

Finding. It makes you tougher than tough!

(My door)
[Lady opens the door just enough to see about half her face.]
Me: "Hello, how are you doing?"
Lady: (blank stare)
Me: ".....Well my name's Sister Lewis, and this is Sister Sandberg, and we're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Lady: (whispers with wide eyes) "I'm a witch."
[shuts door slowly]
Me: ..........................................

(My door)
Me: (peeking through the windows on the side of the door to see if anyone's really home) "Oh, there's a light on.... Oh my gosh. That guy's getting dressed to come answer the door! Oh my gosh Sister Gochnour, this is your door right?"
Sister Gochnour (laughing): "No, it's all yours!"
Me: (panicking) "Oh my gosh he's coming to the door shirtless!"
Sister Gochnour: "Stop being an awkward sister missionary!"
Me: "Sister Gochnour he's not wearing a--!"
[door opens]
Me: (staring into his eyes because he's half dressed) "Himynamessisterlewisimamissionary."

Me: (smiling) "Hi, how are you tonight?"
Lady: (looks at us like we're crazy) "Good....."
Me: "I'm Sister Lewis, and this is Sister Gochnour, and we're missionaries for the Church of--"
Lady: "Look, look, look. I'm just gonna stop you right there. I don't want to waste your time, and it's cold outside. Who are you?"
Me: "We're missionaries for--"
Lady: "No thank you."
[shuts door]

(Sister Gochnour's door)
[Lady comes down the stairs. Flips on the light inside. Is wearing a bathrobe. Flips on the porch light. Illuminates us. We awkwardly smile at her through the door window. She squints at us. She squints at our name tags. Looks up at our awkward smiles. She shakes her head very slowly.]
Lady: "No."
Sister Gochnour: "Okay, have a great night!"
[Turns around, walks away, turns off the lights.]

(My door)
[All the lights are off. Man peeks through window several times. We knock again. Man walks to door and looks out door window without opening door.]
Man: "Who is it?"
Me: "...We're... missionaries."
Man: (panicking) "I don't open the door at night!"
Me: "That's ok....."
Man: "You don't understand! I never open my door after 5!"
Me: "That's alright, we'll just--"
Man: "No matter who it is!"
Me: "Okay, that's okay..." (backing away from door)
Man: "I don't even leave my home at night!"
Me: "Okay have a great night!"

That's my life right now! A couple of those happened in previous months, but this is what we get every single day:) Knocking, along with about 25 other finding ideas we've brainstormed, has become my life! One day we will get a new investigator who is prepared.... But for now I get to fall in love (for the 6th time) with knocking. (In all reality I actually love talking to so many different people from different backgrounds. You just have to accept it as part of your mission and then develop a good attitude towards it:))

But what a week! Monday was the craziest P-day yet, with no sit-down time. Tuesday we spent the majority of the day in St. Stephen for district meeting, then taught one of their investigators, and didn't make it back until about 4:30, so we grabbed a quick dinner before heading to the church to help the elders with a ward activity. Wednesday we put up fliers all around town for the concert next month, talking to everyone along the way. Thursday I spent the day in Moncton with Sister Sandberg for leadership meetings, which were incredible and left all of us really thoughtful. Friday we spent much of the day in Oromocto visiting members, both active and less-active, and newborn babies:) Saturday we met with the majority of the YSA girls separately while squeezing in finding time between appointments. Sunday all 4 missionaries spoke in church, I taught Gospel Principles, and we had the sweetest Relief Society lesson by a young recent convert who is adorable. We spent hours contacting referrals, potentials, and former investigators, then about half an hour knocking. And so far, 0 investigators still. We know the Lord will bless us with success if we keep faithfully working. BUT IF NOT, we will still do it with a great attitude.

[And here's a shout-out to missionary moms who go on lunch dates with my mom.... Hello, your children are some of the best:)]

I've been studying a lot about hope recently.In Preach My Gospel, we learn that hope is believing and expecting that something will occur. Because hope entitles expectation, we need to remember that we cannot lower our expectations. This goes for missionary work as well as every other aspect of our lives! If we do lower our expectations, our effectiveness in all that we do will decrease. In other words, if we don't EXPECT success, we will not be effective enough to SEE success. I think about Ammon, and I remember that when he was about to turn back, the Lord gave him hope to have the patience to see results, and he saw those results. I'm learning this lesson slowly, but I think about all the times I fell short because I stopped having hope, because I expected not to see my success. But it's a powerful lesson to learn that expecting success (KNOWING that it will one day come) = success.

I gave my talk on Sunday about the plan of salvation (Sister Gochnour and I coordinated topics). Hers was more focused on trials and overcoming, and mine was more focused on where we came from and where we're going.

A few of my thoughts were about how we lived with God before we came here. We had His traits and His attributes. We are all His sons and His daughters. We lived with our other brothers and sisters and loved them so much. But when we came here, we all forgot who our Father was, what our purpose in life is, and that there was a way to live with our families forever. Some people were lucky enough to be reminded of those 3 things early on in life by being born with the fullness of the Gospel (being born into the Church). But others of our brothers and sisters had to wait to be reminded of it by people who already had it. And that's how my parents were.

I am so grateful that members were bold enough to testify to my parents that God was their Heavenly Father, that He loved them, that they have a purpose in this life, and that their families could be together forever.

And because they were reminded of those things we all knew before we came here, they reminded me of it as well. They taught me those principles from a young age. I am so grateful that I know I am a daughter of God. I know what my purpose is. I know that I can see the people I love again after I die. And because of all that, I am sealed to my parents and my 7 younger siblings forever.

And that's a lot of my drive to serve a mission. I want to remind other people about that. And it's going to happen in the Lord's time. So I won't complain and be impatient in the meantime, because the privilege of getting to share something that's so special to me with other people... That means way more to me than knocking a bit more than I'd like to.

I love you all! Have a great week:)

Sister Lewis

These two photos were sent from the missionary couple in their area.  They say "Love the Fredericton missionaries!  They work hard and love the members."

Hospital elevator shots....:)

We were really ready to find new investigators last night.

Shared with us from the couple missionaries again.  It's a district meeting in St. Stephen

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