I saw the Allphins! It all worked out perfectly! I was in Carthage yesterday morning and I saw Mark (the younger) and his family. I wasn't up next for the tour, so they went with another missionary.
When the rest of the Allphin family arrived, Chris and his family from St. Louis, Kara and Brother and Sister Allphin, I was up for the Tour! So they were able to hop on and I gave them the tour of Carthage. Mark rejoined. It was wonderful! They really are such a great family. We talked about missionary work and how the ward and stake are doing back home. It really rejuvinated my motive to work harder and be more diligent and urgent about the work.
This week, a Deaf couple and their hearing daughter (who are from Minnesota) came to Nauvoo. The dad taught at the MTC and his wife taught ASL too. We first saw them in Sacrament meeting. They noticed that we had interpeters and they came to watch. I discovered that while interpreting, it is more important to love the people than it is to make sure you get every word or concept translated. Making sure the person feels God's love. We later went around with them to a couple of sites.
Today I am going to sign a Birthday Card for President Monson from the Nauvoo Mission! I'm excited!
Well, here's an experience I had while calling on our Referrals. A nice woman answered the phone and I introduced myself and told her that her sister-in-law was visiting Nauvoo and thought of her (and referred her to the missionary program). I asked how familiar she was with the church. Her response, "I've been around the church for 45 years because my sister-in-law. I love her, but have no interest in that church." I got up the courage to ask, "Can I ask why that is?" "I believe the Bible is the only word of God, and nothing should be added to it. I'm a born-again Christian. So no thank you ma'am." "Okay..well keep your heart open." "Okay." "thanks bye." Well after the phone call I felt like I didn't do my duty as a missionary and give her a way to come unto Christ. I didn't give her the options to have agency in the situation. I should have asked her more about the Book of Mormon, and told her that it is the word of God. I realized that the thing that I DIDN'T want to do, was exactly what I was supposed to do. Elder Bednar said something similar, paraphrased "When you pray about something and the answer is usually something you don't want to do, then that means it is from the Spirit." Our natural reaction as humans is 'carnal' and 'of man'. I needed to yield to the enticings of the holy spirit and do the hard thing. So I decided I'd call her back and just ask if she's read it. "Hi, this is Amber (we use our first name with non-members), we were just on the phone." "Yes?" "I'm just wondering, have you ever read the Book of Mormon?" "I've been to the New York Pageant and learned things from it." "Oh that's good! But have you read the Book of Mormon?" "I've read books about the Book of Mormon." She was avoiding my question like the plague. "Okay, but have you read the Book of Mormon?" "No. I haven't and I never plan to." "Alright, well, can I ask one question?...If you have never read it, how can you KNOW it is not the word of God?" "...well, I just know..." Yeah. That was the end of our conversation.
I'm just glad I learned how better to recognize the Spirit.
Here is something from my journal:
I played the Piano this morning at Carthage when all was quiet. Elder Morgan (one of the Senior missionaries) came up to me and said with emotion in his voice and red-rimmed eyelids, "Thank you for playing the piano. It reminds me of my daughters. On Sundays I'd sit and they would play while I listened." It was sweet. He has twins and one died from cancer about 5 years ago, so it was a sweet little experience.
Pageant is done this weekend! I can't believe it!!!! It has flown by. Sister Brown and I got to practice interpreting it last night again and tonight someone will need it for real.