Hello all my friends.
So much news this week that I don't even know where to begin. ahhhh.... hmmm.... Ok I think I have an idea.
Hey everyone. Remember how I am now in Saratoga. Let me give you a little sneak peak into what Saratoga is like. There is this street called "Broadway" and I'm pretty sure that what they did was pick up a street from New York City and planted it in upstate New York. Then, they placed a lot of really classy people and adorable houses around it. THEN they put in stores that you will not find anywhere else in New York like Starbucks, Coldstone, and Target. Then you go to church... and you guys, IT'S A WARD. Like, a real life ward. The chapel is double the size of any other I've seen on my mission, plus they had to open the accordion doors to the overflow for sacrament meeting. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED IN NEW YORK. You guys don't even know what kind of alternate universe I am in here in Saratoga. But you know what? I AM IN LOVE! Before I came to Saratoga I really prayed that I would find myself in a place where I could really connect with the people and feel like I belonged, (since I had a hard time finding that in Corning). I came to Saratoga and I instantly knew that prayer was answered. I since have had many tender mercies to show me that Heavenly Father heard that prayer.
PEOPLE WE TEACH.
When I arrived in the Toga we had 4 people to teach. But, all four of them are super solid and 3 of them will be baptized within this transfer.
Kat and Graceann: 18 year old girls. I haven't even met Graceann yet, but I met Kat last night. We were talking with her about her upcoming baptism and how she was feeling and everything, and I instantly could feel the spirit confirm to me that I am here for her. I know that I can connect with her and help her at this point in her progression. So I am so excited to be working with these darling girls.
Glenn: Also getting baptized soon. Super cool guy who is very prepared for the gospel. I am excited to see him grow and grow.
Paul: 91 year old man. Every time the sisters come over he gives them a cookie, apple, and two chocolate kisses. He is a funny old man. But hey, he knows the Book of Mormon is true!
So I came, and that is who we were teaching, and I was excited for these people, but I was, (and am), excited to bring what I had learned from my time in Corning. So I said, Sister Lloyd, let's find.
And let me tell you, within a two hour time period we found 5 new investigators. I don't have time to tell you all of their stories, but let me just tell you about two of them.
Kieran and Ashley: Sister Lloyd and I had been working hard all day. Let me give you the background knowledge that that morning I woke up with a wicked cold. I haven't been even a little bit sick my entire mission, and yet this day I woke up feeling like death. So after Sister Lloyd and I had already found and taught 3 new investigators, we were walking to Rite Aid to buy some medicine and tissues. As we were walking we saw two teenage kids walking toward us. At first, I wasn't going to stop them, but for some reason I did. I just said "hey! Can we talk to you guys for a minute?" and we did. Well long story short, we taught them the restoration, then the next day we taught them about the Book of Mormon. They told us that they couldn't stop talking about what we had shared with them and they felt like we had been an answer to their prayers. Then on Sunday a member came up to us and said "Sisters! I heard you met Ashley the other day on the street!" We were super confused that she would know who we met... but turned out that her mom was really good friends with this member, and this member had been working on sharing the gospel with her mom for years. Also turns out that because of that, her mom is very supportive of Ashley learning about the gospel. It's hard to type out all that happened and the long version of the story, but suffice it to say that The Lord is honestly and truly preparing people to be taught. And sometimes I think, what if we hadn't stopped them? What if we didn't have the faith to teach them right then? What would have happened? I know miracles come, when we exercise our faith. I've seen it again and again and again.
Something I've learned about missionary work... and really just about life, is called the "as if" principal. The principal is, if you want to be something, (ie, successful, happy, bold, courageous), if you want to have something (in this case people to teach) then you have to act AS IF you already have it. If you act as if you are already happy then everything you do will be joyous. If you want more faith, then you act as if you have all the faith in the world. If you want to baptize a bunch of people, then when you meet someone you act as if you are going to baptize them. It's a simple principle really, but it's seriously all about faith you guys. FAITH MAKES MIRACLES HAPPEN. I know it. I've seen it.
It's sad to me, when I see missionaries, or people in general, who live below their potential. Because we are God's children, we all have the potential to be great. But we sell ourselves short and we justify. I know that there is no set back, no weakness, no trial that is greater than God or our potential strengths.
Ok. I'm sorry about that tangent but Sister Lloyd and I are just feeling really passionate about this right now... especially since we are giving a training on it this week in Zone Training Meeting!
Anyway, I guess my point is I'M IN LOVE WITH SARATOGA, THE LORD WILL BLESS US AND FAITH MAKES MIRACLES HAPPEN.