Some things from this week, the second Summer sisters are leaving quickly. For most of them, this is their last week on the mission. We had a farewell breakfast. It is so weird that they are leaving! The YPM's are also going. We will only have one show going on: Rendezvous. Everything will be so dead and sad when they go. But the light in Nauvoo won't go out. We still have our purpose here and much to testify about; many souls to bring to Christ. I asked President what I could best do to prepare for the outbound since I was/am a bit nervous. He told me to study and practice teaching the Lessons in Chapter 3 of PMG. The Lessons are: The Restoration, The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and The Commandments. So I am studying them. We will go tracting this Saturday! We're going to a city called Burlington (because we can't in Nauvoo). I'm excited for the new things.
As sisters, President Gilliland allowed us to watch pageant again on the last night. Sister Brown and I were asked to interpret for a Deaf man. It was so fun though! It started raining, not hard. It was just one of the craziest things: There I was a missionary, in a spotlight in the middle of the crowd, it's raining and I'm interpreting for this amazing pageant behind me. haha! It was great. I truly felt at times my hands guided by the Spirit with how to sign certain concepts and ideas. I realized this week that if I want to go on an ASL mission for my outbound call, I must be preparing better now, so God can use a prepared missionary, so I am really trying to get in my Language study every day even though it is rarely scheduled.
One of my favorite things about this mission is that I'll give a tour to someone in Nauvoo, and later I see them and give them another tour. Or I just greet them at a show and then I later give them a tour at Carthage. That happened a couple times this week. God really does place us in specific spots so we can influence those around us.
This week, Sis. Brown and I decided to go to the Jail early and study the Book of Mormon in the Martyrdom room. It was powerful. The Spirit is ever present.
I'll tell you of an experience from my journal that happened on Tuesday. Two men: J and B. J was a member of the church his whole life except the last 3 years. "Why is that?" I asked him. "They invited me never to come back because I couldn't quit smoking tobacco." "Oh. I'm sorry." "So I didn't." He walked away. His friend B came up to me and said, "I'm Pentecostal. Is that really true about the Mormons? You can't be a member if you smoke?" I was hesitant on answering because I wasn't sure of the entire situation and what exactly J meant by "they" and "never come back". So I said, "We believe our body is a house of God, a holy place and..." "We believe that too! But although we highly discourage drugs, we don't kick people out who struggle. An addiction is very hard to overcome." "I believe you about that, and agree. We do believe though, that God has set a high standard and we need to follow it otherwise..." I could just feel his disappointment in us as a church. The Carthage movie was beginning, so it was time for them to enter the theatre. I went into the back room and prayed hard, apologizing that I did an awful job in the conversation; I hadn't responded well. I then asked Heavenly Father for another chance to testify. I asked the Senior missionaries for help and advice on the situation. Besides the fact that they all wanted to answer at once haha, they gave me very good, and spirit-directed ideas.
In the Martyrdom room, I testified how we must follow Christ, and I read 2 Ne. 31:12. "The Savior said, "follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do." That is our goal. No one is perfect, but we all try to live that truth. Joseph tried. Hyrum also. Joseph wasn't perfect, but I know he, and we, can be made perfect IN Christ". The Spirit filled the room even more and B was smiling; a new understanding had come upon him. J had a face of longing to be a part of the truth again, but perhaps guilt was stopping him, I'm not sure.
With all the courage God gave me, I stopped B and said, "To answer your question from earlier, he is always invited back and I hope he does come back." "Me too. I understand that one is not perfect and some might hold grudges." Later B came back into the VC and said, "Wonderful tour. I've got a lot to think about."
It was a wonderful experience.
Well I must be off! I love you!