I have LOTS to say!
|Serving with a smile|
Hello Momma. So you're probably wondering what the charge for eighty dollars is on my credit card :Z I'm sorry. Basically one day this week we were visiting a member. Virginia is crazy and has all these dumb rules with cars...... we walked outside and our car was gone. TOWED. It was a hundred and sixty dollars to get it out. So Dumb. I wasn't driving or paying attention to where we parked and it was dark and raining and so my companion just parked and we got towed. So the member had to drive us clear across town to get our car. Thus I have an eighty dollar charge to get our car out of that place. It was so dumb. I'm still mad about it. Yes. Sorry :\ the mission wont pay for it.
So.. weekly rundown!
Monday we went to DC with G. and her girls. It was a lot of fun. G. is hilarious. As we were driving there was TONS of traffic so she would just keep her mini van door open and we would jump out every little bit and take pictures down by the Potomic River and catch up to her and jump back in. She is an awesome mom her girls have it good. We had tons of fun we bought hot dogs, hung out at the mall and took pictures. It was really windy. Later her husband met up with us since he works in DC. He does not want her to be baptized so we are working with the whole family. So it was sweet that we were able to actually meet him and hangout with him like normal people for P-day. He was really nice and we had lots of fun. We hit it off because turns out he’s totally into videography. What are the chances right? I was stoked. We took pictures by the White house which was sweet. There were crazy dudes with rifles up on top. DC is hectic, busy and crowded.
Later we had a lesson with T. later at Brother D. house his is our ward mission leader. T. plays the drums and Brother D. has every rock instrument known to man in his basement. I have a video of them jamming to AC/DC, Skillet, All American Rejects and The Offspring. Kind of a tender mercy. Not even mad about it.
Tuesday we were SO busy it was crazy. We had District meeting and one of our former investigators we had dropped kept texting us and wanted us to come over for lunch. So we ran over there and she was so stoked to tell us her and her son went to the Temple Visitor Center! Random much? We were way excited and had an awesome lunch and now she is back on board. She has had a hectic couple weeks but she said she believes all we have taught her thus far. Which isn't much but she loves it. We are going to continue teaching her.
We went to G. and talked more about the Restoration. I love teaching her because she already knows it’s true. We are just working to get her to baptism with the whole family situation. She wants to get baptized so bad. It’s crazy and makes me really think. She paused us in the middle of the lesson and asked us...
“How does it feel.... to be one of the few chosen,
to not only be baptized into the true church
but to be able to go out and teach it?”
I feel like sometimes I have the worst attitude about my bad situations and when she said that I was just like WHOA. You're right. It really made me think. How do I feel? To be one of the few born into the church. How do I feel? That I get to go teach people about it Everyday?? She would do anything to be in my shoes. To be a member and be teaching. She would give anything to have that. What did I give?? Hardly anything. Really. I mean I gave up some selfish things. But REALLY?? What do we give to become member’s of Christ's church? Do we realize how HUGE this is??? We are so, so blessed. I can’t tell you how blessed we are to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
If you don't understand the importance of your baptism or your membership in the church now, please pray and read and study and search until you DO understand it’s importance. Make sure you don't take it for granted. She teaches me so much. I really love her and her family.
Wednesday we went street contacting for a while. I met this lady who didn't believe in Christ. She said it was more or less just some good story. She was asking me all these controversial questions about the church which I attempted to defend. She didn’t really care for my answers. Finally she asked me... okay...if I asked you which church I should join, Give me one good reason why I should join the Mormon church? I really had to pause a few seconds it’s not everyday you just get asked that type of thing. Then I bore my testimony of the Plan of Happiness and how families can be together forever. How it was all because of Jesus Christ that we have what we do. She respectfully thanked me for my answer. Which was a shock and we ended on good terms. You gotta be prepared for this stuff. I mean what would you say if somebody gave you one shot to tell them why they should join our church???
Later we visited J. who pulled out the big guns. Polygamy, Blacks with the Priesthood and the Word of Wisdom. I feel really bad for him he is depressed and miserable. He says he has nothing to live for and
sleeps days and weekends away. Because he doesn't have a path. He hates going to church because he sees everybody happy and it is embarrassing to him because he has nothing. It’s really sad. It just goes to show how money really doesn't buy happiness. He had lots of worldly things but his wife divorced him and now he doesn’t have anybody. I feel awful for him. I mean this is his LIFE. He also said he is scared to investigate and join the church because of all the awful things he has said about it...ha ha. Crazy. I feel like he knows it’s true he just feels like a hypocrite now. Which is awful. I’m sure Peter felt a little similar when he denied Christ three times after Christ prophesied it.
Thursday we had a lesson with F. and guess what???
HE IS ON DATE FOR MAY THIRD!!!!!
He said he would get baptized.
Holla Holla he’s a Balla.
He said he knew he would eventually so why not now? Pure awesomeness. Except transfers are May first. Which. by the way. is in like ten days. Crazy. We got canceled on a lot on Thursday so that was no bueno. Lots of member and less active lessons.
Friday. Man. Was just as crazy as Thursday. I did get an Easter package from mom so that put a smile on my face.
Anyways.... Spring time is coming around and it’s beautiful here!!! I’ve almost been out FIVE months.
Crazy huh? It flew by.
Saturday we literally had zero appointments so we went finding ALL day and ALL night. We ended up doing a bunch of member and LA visits again. By the very end of the day we found a SOLID potential investigator named J. He was way cool and we set up an appointment for next week.
This week was tough because it was Spring break in Virginia. We had tons of appointments but they were all at the beginning of the week so the end of the week was dead. Everyone was out of town.
I did have a pretty sweet Personal Study though. I think every future missionary should do this. Several times. I was reading in Preach My Gospel page 152 about what I want to become. It says to picture yourself on the last day of your mission and ask your self what you want to have accomplished? What you want people to notice about you? What you want to become?
I wrote down LOTS of things. I think the thing I want to become most is PASSIONATE.
I want people to notice how passionate I am about the things I love and care about. Especially my RELIGION. My goal on my mission is to come to know Christ. I feel like I have a pretty good idea for a 19 year old girl fresh out of High school but not like an apostolic relationship \ viewpoint ;) So I have a long way to go. But really. I want to REALLY KNOW CHRIST. and be PASSIONATE about it. I’ve met so many people on their doorsteps that are just so passionate about their Savior. Granted they won’t listen to a word I say because “THEY HAVE A SAVE DATE.” I still walk away with a bit of admiration for their personal faith and strong beliefs. Even though they don’t have all the knowledge I do. I mean man with all this knowledge I should be WAY more passionate about what I BELIEVE!! I should be soap boxing it and yelling it from the mountain tops. Honestly...I know so much! Not everything but enough. I want people to know I know that. I want people to look at me and understand that:
I KNOW WHO I AM
WHERE I’m GOING
WHAT MY PURPOSE IS.
That’s what I want to achieve by the end of my mission.
Along with discipline of course (:
Sunday we went to church and somebody told this really awesome story. I want to share wit you. They were talking about this family...who had a son who was really sick and in the hospital. One day when he Dad went to visit he was sleeping. His Dad talked to him and said, “I hope you never forget your testimony of Jesus Christ.“ The boy opened his eyes and said NEVER. Then closed his eyes again. The Dad not knowing, that would be the last testimony he would ever hear from his son. That same week his older brother received his mission call. They took a picture of the brothers next to each other in the hospital as his son opened his call. A few days later the sick son passed away. The father mailed the picture along with this story and a letter to the Presidency of the Church. Above the picture of his two sons was the caption "They received their mission calls in the same week, on both sides of the veil"
What a blessing it is to know that God has a plan for us. That these two brothers will be working together on both sides of the veil to FULFILL GODS PURPOSES. It makes the scripture in D&C come to life when God promises us we will have angels going before us to bare us up. We are so blessed to have this Gospel in our lives.
Sunday night we had an Easter dinner with a couple families in the ward which was really nice. We visited G. and had a game night and talked with her family again. We watched the “Because of Him” video, about Jesus Christ. Which I’m sure you have seen by now. mormon.org/easter)
When I watched this video I made a list of REASONS....
Things that are made possible because of Him.
I challenge you to do the same.
Some of my reasons were...
I can be a missionary and serve others
I can be sealed in the temple to my husband
I can live as an Eternal Family
I will see my little brother
I will get to meet my Grandma
I can enjoy the beauty of the earth
I can feel peace and comfort
I can live on forever
I can be HAPPY
I can find answers to questions
I am NEVER alone
I can be forgiven
I don't need to carry guilt
I have an example to follow
I have Gospel knowledge
I have courage
I can be disciplined
I can be passionate
I KNOW truth
I can receive council
I can be confident
I have the CONSTANT companionship of the Spirit
I can be more loving
I can change
I can be different
I feel loved
I’m never forgotten
I have never suffered to much
I can do all things
I can overcome any trial
I can have full understanding
I can be a leader
I can help others
(4/19/14 Because of Him #spiritualrantage)
I’m so GRATEFUL for my Savior Jesus Christ.
I hope I don’t sound like a broken record when I say this,
BUT if you have the OPPORTUNITY to SERVE a MISSION
It will be hard but it will be worth it. I have grown so much. I have truly learned to rely on the Savior. I am continuing to grow closer to HIM day by day. I have been able to better understand what he did for me personally and everyone else as I have been out here serving. I honestly believe you cannot learn this much, in this amount of time ANYWHERE else. Yes - you can be a missionary without the badge. Yes - you can learn these same principles elsewhere. But if you have the opportunity to serve...WHAT are you waiting for??? I left on my mission with a handful of reasons why I WANTED to serve. Some cliche. Some selfish. Some original. NOW that I’m out here I realize why I NEEDED to serve.
This is not just some check box that I’m filling to say I have been there and done that. This is building the kingdom of God. I am acting as a tool in the hands of The Lord. To bring HIS children back into the fold of God. What work is more important than this?
I was talking with this lady who is a Baptist. She told me that Christianity has gotten easy and things are changing. Christianity right NOW is not like it used to be. Way back in the day Christians had to hide out and escape their captors that would imprison them or kill them for their beliefs. Would you lay down you life to be a Christian? As I pondered that question I thought about it. Times are changing. The world does not want to be told what to do. The world is changing. Religion is becoming an entertainment policy and a fad. Not built on revelation from God. People won’t even hardly mention God or Jesus Christ anymore! As Christians things are not always going to be easy.
That thought reminded me of Elder Holland’s talk during conference. He said to “DEFEND YOUR BELIEFS.” He said, “If you have not at some time in your life had to defend your beliefs you will have to soon.” I know that will be true. The day will come when being a Christian, a true disciple of Jesus Christ won’t be the easy or the cool thing to do. Are you still willing to stand up for it? Are you willing to lay down your life for your belief in Christ?
If you cannot honestly answer yes to those questions there needs to be some reevaluating in your life. Christ laid down his life to SAVE YOU. Will you give your life to KNOW that SAME MAN that gave HIS to SAVE you?
I’m in third Nephi Chapter Twelve right now. Christ is visiting the people in the Americas. He is teaching the Beatitudes. He refers to this exactly in verse ten when he says, "blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. and blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake; for ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your rewards in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you."
You know ... Some days out here are rough and I feel like I want to give up. But when I remember all that has gone on before me. My parents trials and struggles. Their parents. Great Grandparents. To keep their posterity in the Church. My Pioneer Ancestors and all they gave up. Joseph Smith being martyred for this Book for us to read. Jesus Christ suffering for the sins of the world. When I put it all into perspective it is the least I can do to serve a mission. It’s not that bad. Put things into perspective in your life. What are you willing to do?
I love how Elder Holland ended his talk, “The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship” “You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our "houses" left unto us "desolate"--desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations.
(The Cost--and Blessings--of Discipleship)
I feel like I have really thrown a lot out there on the plate so sorry if my train of thought got confusing and you did not really keep up with it but I really hope you got at least something out of this email today. We can all change and become a better people and better disciples of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I hope you all had the happiest of Easters and feel closer to The Lord who did everything for you so you could have everything He has.
What a Blessing.
I love you all. Thanks for reading. Have a great week!
love always sister Madison Stucki
(via email April 21, 2014)