Well what can I say, this week was...good but still rough. We haven't been teaching as much as we are striving to but I know that the Lord will provide. But we still see miracles daily! One miracle this week was that we got two new investigators! Their names are Augustine and Priscilla. They are relatives of a recent convert named Juliana. And they are all from Siera León (forgive me if I spelled that wrong) but it's somewhere in Africa! And can I just say, I just LOVE the African people here! They are so darn loveable! And they are so excited to learn about the gospel and so humble. I just love them already! Sometimes I swear they teach me more than I teach them haha but they love Christ. And want so much to come closer to Him. So we gave them each a Book of Mormon and they are excited to read it!
Also we started teaching a really good friend of a less active we have been seeing and her friends name is Lisa. Lisa has had a lot going on in her life and she grew up in a Non-Christian religion and says she really doesn't know much about religion or Christ for that matter. But she is so willing and ready to learn and be taught. She has met with the bishop a few times and he gave her a blessing and she said " that was the closest to God I've ever felt." And I was so excited for her that she was able to experience the priesthood. She has felt the spirit multiple times now and is praying everyday which is such a great start and evidence that she is repenting and changing! She is so great and such a special person and I already just love her! She's so great and so prepared!
But this week was also a bit hard because we found out that some people in the town of Medford have been posting some not so very nice things about us on Facebook. I guess there is a Medford town Facebook page and earlier this week we knocked on this lady's door around 8:45 in the evening and she got very upset and took it to Facebook. And so some members told us about it and said that there's a lot of people who know who we are and who don't really like us. Sooo...we've just been trying to be pretty careful the last few days. It kind of really upset me and I started to feel a little afraid but then I remembered...I have no reason to be afraid. I'm trying to do the lords work and I will never be sorry for that. And so this morning when Sister Abana and I went to the store to do our grocery shopping I knew that people were going to stare at us. And I was so right lol. We got so many nasty looks today but I used some tactics I learned from my Sisters...
The first is this; so back home if ever I was upset with Haley about something she would always either do something nice for me or she would try to do something to get me to smile...and it ALWAYS worked! And it's true you can't possibly be sad when you smile. Smiling is truly contagious. So that's what I did today at the store! It sounds so silly and probably so simple but one of my mission mottos has become this "if you're not going to listen to the message I have to share the least I can do is make you smile :)"
The second is one I learned from Steph..."Kill em' with kindness!...(with more emphasis on the kindness and less on the killing.") haha. And so today after we walked out of the store I stopped and just started running around the parking lot asking people if I could take their carts and put them away for them! Sister Abana looked at me real quick and for a sec was like "what are you doing?" But then she joined in and so for a little while we just ran around the parking lot putting people's carts away for them. So simple and probably silly but I thought, "how we soften the hearts of the people of Medford??" They obviously know who we are and if they don't like us, serve them! It's true. Service makes all the difference. Not just in the act of service itself but because that is truly where the pure love of Christ is manifest. I am reminded of a quote I mentioned some months ago,
"The amount of service you render to others in in direct proportion to how much Christ like love you feel."
I found great comfort in some scripture passages in John 15 and 1 Peter 3 which Bishop Alston recommended for me. Yesterday in church we talked about being "bold as Lions" when sharing the gospel. We can't afford to be anything less than bold, even though for me it's hard sometimes but I can to tell you that I have grown so much as I've tried to do so. Yesterday I got up and bore my testimony in church, which I was grateful for the opportunity to do. I know I'm not an eloquent speaker and lately I've felt like I may I fact be one of the weakest missionaries out here. I don't say that to be discouraging of myself i have many many weaknesses and i realize that and I'm grateful for them because they help me to rely on the lord for everything I do. But I am grateful that Heavenly Father and the Savior have been patient with me in all this time. Patient with my learning process in still learning how to be a missionary, and also with my weakness in speaking. And somehow Heavenly Father has been able to use the meager words of a 19 year old girl to share the gospel, and He has made my efforts more. I testify of the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ. That without, we would have no hope of becoming what He wants us to be. I know that the gospel is true and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lords true church Restored and brought back to the earth in these last days through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is true too. It's true. It's all true.
I love you all and will talk to you next week!!
~Sister Amy Callaway~
And one of my favorite families here! The Berdugos! The second is one right as the camera fell :)