Sunday, August 25, 2013

So this past week has been wonderful! On Saturday we ended up going tracting in Keokuk, Iowa instead of Burlington, but it totally turned out for the best. Since the local elders help us out during the Nauvoo Pageant, we go out and tract in areas that they have not had investigators in for a while. They say that sometimes these Mid-westerners respond better to sister missionaries, so what can I say? Of course we will help them out ;) 
We found a few wonderful potential investigators, but one in particular was very special. His name was Kenny, and was actually praying for help before we knocked on the door. He agreed to go to church the next day, read the Book of Mormon, and was prepared to hear the gospel. He stood out from the people surrounding him, that's for sure. Anyways, it still was great to be able to talk to people and feel accomplished by helping others come to Christ. 
This past week, we said goodbye to the Young Performing Missionaries here in Nauvoo. They are the members of the Nauvoo Brass Band, and the cast that puts on at least five shows a day. They are all so wonderful, and I am so glad I had such a great time with them. It was a bit tearful to say good-bye, but they had to move on with their lives. The one up-side to their leaving though, was that we got all of their left-over food :) We had over 50 sacks of food stacked in our house that was left for us! It was such a blessing, and actually pretty fun to go food shopping but not having to pay a dime! It was a great help too, because I only had to buy two things at the grocery store and was able to use the other money to buy much needed work out pants. It has gotten very cold here in Nauvoo already, and so morning work outs can get a bit chilly! 
The implementation of the new system for the Call Center (where we call all of our referrals that would like to know more about the church) is going splendidly! Everyone is very enthusiastic, and we have already seen a baptism because of Pageant! 
Tuesday we said goodbye to five of the sisters leaving for home. The rest of them leave when we go on our 'Outbound Assignment', or where we will be serving for the winter months. It was sad to see them go, and so grateful I could be here. President shared that if he had not changed our assignment before the MTC, that he would be picking us up from the airport tomorrow. WOW! I cannot even express how grateful I am that I did not have those other weeks in the MTC. It was great and all, but I like being out here. I did miss the 'MTC American Sign Language Training', but I gained so much more by being here. I was able to be touched by Pageant, to meet the sisters before they left for home, and to be able to help others gain a closer relationship with their Father in Heaven. I would not trade that experience for anything in the world!
Being a missionary is hard work. VERY hard work, but it is so worth it. I know it will be the best two years for my life. At least once a week, (twice when Pageant was going on), someone would come up to me and try to attack my beliefs. I have never really had this happen before; if I shared my faith with someone, they would be my friend and at least respect it, not attack it. Here, it seems like these men enjoy causing us pain as they twist Christ's teachings and mock some of our traditions. One of these men actually caused my sweetheart of a companion to cry. It took all of my self control not to knock his block off, and to hold my tongue. (I have had to practice this a lot on my mission). However, even though I can feel persecuted because of my beliefs, it makes me stronger. If I notice I don't know a doctrine that they bring up, I will study it for the next few days. I can reply and answer questions powerfully with the spirit, and feel the truthfulness of what I am saying. I have grown because of my experiences here, and I know I will be a better person because of it. Asides from becoming better, I know I will be able to be a more effective teacher when I get back. I might be called to be a Sunday School teacher, work with the youth, or even seminary. Even if I don't get called to any of those callings though, I will still have to teach my children. Your children can be the most important converts that you have. I know that I might not see a lot of progression in my work here since I am serving at a Visitor's Center, but I do know that I will have the opportunity later on in life to care for, raise, and convert part of a new generation. That is very powerful to me and I am trying to prepare for that by being the best missionary I can be.
Cool Moment: Who knew that knowledge of motorcycles could come in handy? Now that the Nauvoo Pageant is over, the amount of people that come through Nauvoo has gone down a lot. However, it seems like there are a lot more non-members. At least half of the people that come through are not of our faith. On Sundays, I like to call it our Biker Day. We have at least three motorcycle gangs that drive through and come the Nauvoo Visitor's Center. They love looking at the temple and learning about our History. I started a conversation with a burley, tattooed, grizzled man about his Harley Davidson, and in just a few minutes a little group had formed around myself and him. Their whole group thought it was hilarious that a little girl like me had opinions about motorcycles. It was a bit intimidating to be surrounded by men and women wearing leather and spikes, who are not saying a word, but then I figured out how to make them laugh. Suddenly they all started to laugh so hard they cried, and once man even fell to the ground! Even though they were not ready to hear our message yet, at least they had a good experience with our Church.
Tracting Moment: We walked up to a house that was in the middle of nowhere. As we knocked on the door, a bearded man opened the screen and started to talk with us. He said that he sometimes watched mormons on TV, and so I was a bit confused. I asked if it was General Conference, like twice a year type of a thing, and he said no, I watch your BYUTV! He started to just go off about how he loved how we had good content, and interesting shows. I then slyly asked if he listened to BYU Radio at all, and he said he did every afternoon on his way to work. He got a Sirius Satellite subscription just to listen to us! So, I smiled a bit, and told him to close his eyes. He looked at me like I was crazy, but I said, "No really, shut those little peepers and listen!" So he did, and I started to talk about topics that we normally would on the Matt Townsend Show. His eyes flew open so fast, and he said, "You are Madison Alfredo!" Hahaha it was the funniest thing! We talked for a few more minutes, and he had to go to work, so we left him with a card with the missionaries' number on it. Who would know that a man named Joe, in a small town in Iowa, had been listening to me on the Radio for the past nine months!

Spiritual Moment:Yesterday I served in the John Taylor Home, who was the 3rd President of the Church. I honestly did not know a lot about him before, but the more I learn about these early people in their church, and specifically the women, the more I respect them. Before I served my mission, I did not feel too close to the Pioneer women. They did make hard sacrifices, and I respected that, but the action of raising children was not very relatable for me. But as I have learned their stories, they are just awesome! They raised kids, AND did so much for the church. Some of these ladies have a lot of spunk, and I like that. Leonora Taylor, John Taylor's wife, was a pretty funny lady. She was awesome, made a life for herself, got married, converted to the church, and then did so much in early Nauvoo while her husband was on a mission. She did so much, alone, while raising four kids. Pretty amazing I would say. Serving in Nauvoo has given me 
the chance to connect and relate to my pioneer heritage, and I really appreciate that.

No comments:

Post a Comment