Basically, after a pretty rough week absolutely full of finding and our very best efforts, the drought in Stuart finally ended on Wednesday. We are being humbled daily, and really were almost at a loss to what more we could do to find people to teach. Yet, Heavenly Father knows what we need and how much we need to stretch and grow in this life in order to prepare us to live with Him again. And stretched we were! And are!
On Wednesday, we threw in every finding idea we could think of: teach Plan of Salvation in chalk at the park, lend Book of Mormons, part-member families, former investigators, door-knocking, OYMing, member referrals, EVERYTHING. We biked so hard and talked with everyone, but 7:00 rolled around and we had 0 new investigators. Then, Sis. Clegg received the inspiration to follow up with a family she and her last companion had found almost two weeks ago – I’ll spoil the surprise: IT WAS THE SPIRIT TELLING US TO VISIT THEM. We stopped by the house, only to knock and not have it opened unto us. So we drove away.
But then we got a phone call. It was Banica calling us back saying that she saw us as we were driving away and that we could come back!!! And come back we did. We taught her and her three sons the Restoration and were finally able to see the fruits of our labors. In our mission we have a standard of four new investigators by Wednesday and seven by Sunday, and our ZLs were making a big push for the whole zone to reach that. Needless to say, we were so, SO thankful to our Father in Heaven helping us find more people to teach and for helping us accomplish our goal. And now, our district is having a pizza party because we all had 4 by Wednesday!!
That night we also had an awesome experience with RC Larry. He was being taught by missionaries for a year and a half before he was baptized. On one of my first days here we had dinner with him and accidentally offended him pretty badly, but that day we were able to right any wrongs and rebuild our relationship with him. He went from never wanting to feed us again to inviting us to breakfast with him, starting to plan another dinner, and getting excited to have a hymn-jam-session is his garage next time we come over to teach him. Thank goodness for the power of forgiveness.
Miracle #4 that week was receiving a media referral for a recent convert from Arizona who just moved into our ward. She lives out on little Hutchinson Island, many miles away from us. Sis. Clegg had never been before because of the distance, but we decided to make a day trip out of it and to trek on over. It’s long and skinny and beautiful. Actually, the only really beautiful part about it is the ocean. Otherwise it’s just dusty and has lots of high-rise apartment buildings and trailers. But I loved it! We were finally able to find Amy’s little home and learned that she and her daughter, Sara, had been going to church for the past 14 YEARS and Amy just was baptized in April! Sara has received all of the lessons and even passed a baptismal interview, but she wasn’t baptized because they moved! STRAIGHT MIRACLE! They are so cool! We are hoping that she will be baptized this month, but it’s still TBA.
Sister Burdett and Sister Clegg
We also found a sweet little less active couple that moved here after living 60 years in Utah. They experienced a bit of a culture shock upon arrival, but were so excited to see us because they didn’t even know there was a church building out here!
God truly has been leading and guiding every step and though the road is never easy, He always pulls through and we end up rejoicing.
My thought this week comes from “Latter-day Saints Keep on Trying” by Elder Renlund: “”One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need by final.” Even if we’ve been a conscious, deliberate sinner or have repeatedly faced failure and disappointment, the moment we decide to try again, the Atonement of Christ can help us” – what encouraging doctrine! He also makes the comment that “a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying”. That is what He expects of us. Not perfection yet, but a constant effort. Sis. Clegg and I have been learning that over and over and over again in Stuart. We try and try until we think we have nothing left, and it is only then that we see the miracle. And so we keep going. It’s a constant cycle of faith, action, and assurance.
I teach more in Spanish in Stuart that I do in Coral Springs. #unexpectedblessing
I love you! KEEP MOVING FORWARD.