Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Moral Discipline

Our friend didn’t quit smoking, but there was progress made. She understands a little more why she does it and is praying for direction and strength. She needs to want it more. We did have an awesome lesson with her in the Albrecht’s home on the plan of Salvation. It’s been fantastic to see how the Lord directs this work. We try to pray about the homes we teach her in and it’s been awesome. Every home we’ve been in has been the home in which we needed to teach that particular lesson. We needed to teach the restoration in the Conner’s home, we needed to teach the stop smoking workshop in the Thorne’s home and we so needed to teach the plan of salvation in the Albrecht’s home. The spirit was so strong and our friend got some answers she has been searching for for a long time. She is out of town this week, but will be back next week. We’re still trying to find a home. We’re teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The family who had a really hard week the week before last was doing much better when we saw them this week. He read his patriarchal blessing and she is going to be done with another semester of school this week so to celebrate we are having dinner and a lesson at their house. This past week we read 3Nephi11 with her. It went really well. When we read we’re able to answer questions when they come up and clarify what the scriptures mean.

We are now seeing another less active in the ward on a weekly basis.. It’s taken a long time to get her to open up. We’re teaching her the lessons. She’s awesome. She is trying so hard to become active again. She stayed for all three hours of church this week. She said she wanted to try the singles ward. We’re going to get her to meet up with another young single adult so they can go together. They are going to end up being best friends. I know it.

Frank was not at church. BUT! An 18 year old kid showed up on his own because he feels “a little lost with his faith”.  He is awesome! He goes to Gonzaga prep and “isn’t into the catholic thing”. His parents are divorced and he now has our number. He made it seem like he planned on coming to church every Sunday. We’re going to call him mid week and try to set up an appt. He lives with his dad and so we’re hoping to teach them both. When we asked him if he was staying for the last hour he was like, “I dunno” so I said, “would you like to stay for the third hour?” And he said “I would love to stay for the third hour.” So we showed him where it was and he stayed. It was awesome.

We met with another new guy this week. He’s awesome. We’re excited to teach him. This has been a long time coming. We’ve been looking for him since we got here! We’ve had his name and his story but no address. For a LONG TIME. He was given to us as a referral from a non-member while tracting. His wife just died of cancer in December and he has been searching for truth for a long time. 

I spoke in church on Sunday on moral discipline using H. David Burton’s last conference address, “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts”.  It went well.  It was weird to prepare a talk on zero time and no computer, but it went well. The whole sacrament meeting my thoughts were focused on moral discipline and during the intermediate hymn I watched the Choir director direct the music. I could hear Sister Crump singing above the rest. As I listened and watched I could tell she was watching and following the lead of the Choir director. Seeing him, thinking about it, and then following his instructions. She is a very good, very experienced singer.  She could probably sing the song on her own and have it sound fantastic, but it would have thrown off the whole choir. The choir director set an example and guided and directed the song. Sister Crump is not only a good vocalist, but she is a disciplined vocalist. Likewise, Christ has set the example and guides and directs our lives. In turn we are expected to watch it, think about it, and follow it! We can chose not to, but it would thrown off our eternity. When we follow His example we are not only being our fantastic selves, but we are being a morally disciplined version of our fantastic selves. (A much better version of our selves).

I know this gospel is true. It changes peoples live and blesses families. It brings people closer to God and gives them a connection to heaven that they can’t find anywhere else. I love being able to share it with people and I am in no hurry to stop doing so.

I love this work. I love you all.


Sister Bailey.

Monday, March 22, 2010

One Big Hungarian Hug

We found and taught two new people this week. It was so good. One is actually the roommate of someone else we were trying to teach. The roommate was never home and we always offer to teach him too and this past time he took a pause and gave it some good thought. He invited us back and it was an Awesome lesson! We’ll have to eventually hand him over to the Elders in the singles ward, but it has been so good to teach him. The reason that he didn’t want to meet with missionaries (at least what it seemed like) was because he has totally figured out the apostasy all by himself. He has tried to find the answers to his questions, but has never been able to. He feels like religion, throughout the years, has been used to get gain and take advantage of people. Which, it kind of has, because of corrupt men. We talked to him about the loss of authority and changing of the teachings and he kept saying “I know!” and then going off on a tangent and teaching the next part of the lesson. By the end of it he was so much more open. We talked to him about not taking our word for it and how he needs to pray about all we shared with him. He wasn’t sure how his answer would come but had talked earlier about how he knows God loves him “Because [he] just does. It’s just this feeling”. We explained that that feeling was the Holy Ghost bearing witness to him that God loved him and that, just as God wanted him to know that He loved him, He also wanted him to know the truth. And that his answer would come as that same feeling or something like it. Right now he is reading and praying and we are so excited to see him on Thursday!!!

The other person we met lives across the street from a family in the ward. Things were going crazy so we set up another appointment in order to come back and teach the whole family. (His wife was sick downstairs and the kinds were taking advantage of it). They seem like a great family!!! I love them already. We were teaching them about our purpose as missionaries and gave a brief overview of all the lessons. We taught what the Book of Mormon is and why it is important. We set up another appointment and are going to teach them this Saturday. We also let them know what time church was. They are new to the area and haven’t been able to find a church to attend. They both have Baptist backgrounds and moved here about four months ago from just north of Colorado Springs. They also know one of our former investigators! We stopped by to see her this week and she mentioned that they mentioned us, which is awesome because she loves us!!! So she will totally talk us up! I am so excited to teach a family!!! And they are in the Liberty Lake ward!!!

We are so excited for a couple of the people we’ve been meeting with. We’ve been helping people quit smoking and one should be smoke free by the time we see her tonight. The other should be smoke free by the end of the month!! I am so excited for them!!!

The Lord is really working on one of the families we’ve been working with. They might not come to church every Sunday yet, but He is working on them. They are facing some real trials right now and they have been turning towards the church for help. I’m not wishing more trials on them or anything, but it has been AWESOME to have them turn to the church in their hour of need. The ward has been fantastic in their support, one family particularly. The Dad in the family finally found his patriarchal blessing. He said he was going to read it that night! I know that as he reads it he will be reminded of how much his Heavenly Father loves him.

Frank came to church this week. He visits quite frequently and is familiar with a lot of the missionaries in the mission. He is living in Kellogg and has a VERY thick Hungarian accent. He has taken a liking to the sisters. So, in Sacrament meeting yesterday I saw him looking round for us. I went up to see how he was right before sacrament meeting started, “How are you doing Frank? Frank. Hey Frank!” As soon as I got his attention I wished I hadn’t. As I put out my hand to shake his, he threw his arms out and let out a very loud, very Hungarian laugh as he wrapped his arms around me and picked me up in the middle of the chapel. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one of them members start cracking up. There weren’t very many that didn’t see it. It was so funny. It left me a little frazzled to say the least.

I know this gospel is true. I’ve had a couple hard moments this week (it was a fantastic week though). One was just recently. Elder Snyder called about our district going to the temple this transfer. Since it was my last transfer here I was really looking forward to going, especially with this district. When he called the APs (assistants to the Mission President) and explained that Sister Salisbury and I had gone to the Temple last transfer, but that we were hoping to go again because it was my last transfer here, they said no. It was really hard to hear. My initial reaction was to call them and fight my case, then to call them and ask if I could go if I got the mission president’s permission, then to just call the mission president and ask for permission. My heart fought. I kicked against the reality of it and planned to kick my way all the way to the Temple. As I sat at my desk after we hung up I just put my head down and breathed deeply. I prayed and I listened. I eventually came to the conclusion that I was being ridiculous. I still want to go to the Temple, but I have the responsibility to respect and support my priesthood leaders. Who was I to think to thwart the APs efforts to be obedient? I’m glad they aren’t changing the cards for me. I am proud of them.

This Gospel changes lives for the better. It blesses them. It gives us (as His children) an access to heaven the no one can find anywhere else. One of my favorite quotes about the gospel come from the movie “The Other Side of Heaven". It’s a realization that Elder Groberg came to on his mission and I can’t remember it exactly, but it goes something like this...

“There is a connection between heaven and earth. Missing it makes everything meaningless, including life. And finding it makes everything meaningful, including death.”

So I butchered it. But you get the point. This Gospel makes everything mean something. Without it, there’s not much reason to wake up on the morrow.

I love this Gospel. I know that it’s true. If anyone feels like something is missing, they can find it in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The fullness of the truth has been restored to the earth and blessings are pouring from heaven.

Sister Bailey.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Greater Strength.

This is me and Sister Salisbury

We had an opportunity to team teach with the Elders on Saturday. It was awesome. Elder Monnet and Elder Forman are both fantastic Elders. The spirit was so strong. It was a fantastic lesson. Our investigator is ready for the Gospel. He has noticed the effects of the Apostasy from watching the history channel. He says that it makes him not want to believe in God. The spirit was so strong. He talked about really needing stability in his life and not being able to find it anywhere else. He needs someone to look up to, someone other than his dad. The elders have another appt. with him on Friday. He will be going to the singles ward so the Elders will be teaching him. He feels like what we shared was true (because it is). If there is anything that will provide stability in this life and the next it is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It provides a peace, a strength, and a foundation that you will not find anywhere else.

We’ve been trying to follow up with a guy who said he’d like us to come back ever since Sister Bruner left. He is never home, but a lot of the time we go over his roommate is.Whenever he’s not home we offer to teach his roommate. He always politely declines and we’ve actually have a little bit of a friendship develop because of it. This time was different though. We stopped by around 8 like we usually do and He, as ususl, wasn’t home. His roommate was though. He explained that he hadn’t seen him in like 2 weeks. He has a girlfriend in the valley and I guess is over there a lot. We again, offered to teach and to talk with him about the message about Jesus Christ we have to share. He paused and thought. He then said, "well, yeah do you have time right now that you could come in and talk?" We explained that we can’t teach single men alone but that we could go get someone to come teach with us. He said that that made sense and set up an appt. for Thursday. It was awesome. He mentioned that he just wanted to talk, not convert, as we left. As I walked away I felt something in my heart say, “that is entirely up to him”. Missionaries don’t convert anyone. The truth does, and those who are humble enough to recognize it when it’s standing on their doorstep are blessed.

We met and taught a woman this past week for the first time. She is 69 years old. We offered her service but when we went over there there was nothing for us to do. All she wanted to do was talk. So we shared the message of the restoration with her. We’re seeing her again tomorrow and hoping we can get her a good friend in the ward so that she feels more comfortable. She recognized the peace she felt as we told her of the first vision. We tried to explain that it was the holy ghost. She doesn’t get out much and we’re praying to be able to get her to church.

I bore my testimony to the Liberty Lake ward on Sunday. Actually, when I started the day, I was having a really hard time. I didn’t feel like I was doing a bit of good. I was feeling depressed and out of sorts. I was feeling, again, the sorrow I felt my first transfer in Nauvoo; that Nauvoo is doing more for me than I could ever do for it. Liberty Lake is doing more for me that I could ever do and am doing for it. I cannot keep up. I was feeling weak. I needed more strength to get through the day. More strength than I had at my disposal. I was contemplating everything. My efforts here, going back to Nauvoo, and how little time was left. I was feeling a crunch and a crush. I came fasting for strength and fasting for new people to teach. My spirits were lifted, as they always are, when I was greeted by a beaming Eric Sande. His smile and his light is usually one of the better parts of my Sunday. I spent the first sacrament meeting in deep contemplation of all these things and the Savior. I thought about getting a priesthood blessing. But, the Lord had other plans. As Liberty Lake Sacrament meeting commenced and Sister Salisbury attended relief society for Mica Peak, my thoughts of the Savior continued. The meeting was so strong. The spirit so thick. It was in the Mica peak ward too, but not like this. I felt a weight on my shoulders as I prayed for strength. Almost a push up to the pulpit. But I had nothing to say. I had no strength. The pressure and pushing continued, increased even. I felt as though I might implode if I did not heed this warning. So I prayed. I told Heavenly Father that I needed His help. That I would go up, but that I had nothing to say, nothing at all. I couldn’t speak. I told Him that I would go up if He would fill my mouth and my heart. And so I took the long walk to the stairs, down the rows of people I know and love. The Bishop gave me a look as a took my seat to wait my turn as if he had been the one pushing me forward. Angels moved my feet for me. I know it. I could feel it. When It was my turn I stood in front of the mic for a minute for two until something, anything, came to my mind. I looked into the faces of all the people I have served around for so long and grappled for my testimony. I bore my testimony on testimonies. My mouth and my heart were filled. I sat down and felt more peaceful than before. I sat and listened for the rest of the meeting with out the pressure I felt before. With the peace came stability. A sturdier foundation and a better foot hold, a greater strength.

We had a member talk with us about a friend of his from work he wanted us to teach. After realizing that his friend also does not live in our area he made a joke about our ward having the reputation of doing all the missionary work for the other wards. We kind of laughed about it and then he said something that struck me. He said, “Do you think God minds?” I had to teach myself a lesson as the words, “Not at all” tumbled out of my mouth. We may not be teaching in our own area but we are teaching! And great things are happening because of it. Glory be to the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. When I see all those in heaven whom I have met and testified to, my joy will still be just as great. I love them. I always will. These thoughts were only reinforced by being able to see Kellie again today with the Elders (Elder Snyder and Elder Freckleton). She remembered all we taught her. We exchanged addresses so that I can write her when I leave. She is meeting with the Elders on Tuesday (tomorrow). She is fantastic. She prays all the time now.

I know this gospel is true. Joseph Smith restored the truth, the whole truth, in these latter days. The Book of Mormon is the word of God in it’s purest form and has been untouched by ulterior motives or hands and minds that seek for gain. A man I met the other day had few positive things to say about the church but he did say this, “If I know anything for sure about the Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints it’s that it's members live the way God wants them to”. This is true and it is true because there is a prophet on the earth to guide us through our time. Christ is the head of this Church. It is His church. Families are meant to be forever. And God loves His children!

I love this work, I love this Gospel. I love all of you. God be with you.

Sister Bailey.

Knowledge and Faith

We talked to a woman that comes to church every Sunday with one of the families in our ward and she is fantastic. She loves us and I talked to her about teaching her and she said yes! We want to do it in the member’s home. We need to get the Elders in the pines ward involved. We’re struggling with how to send her over to the pines ward. If there’s one thing our ward it good at it’s making people feel right at home at church. She’s already very well integrated into our ward.

Sister Salisbury and I got switched out of our district. We are now in the Greenacres District. That puts us in the same district as the Elders we share the car with. There is us, Elder Snyder and Elder Freckelton, and Elder Peck and Elder Christiansen It’s been really good. It’s kind of like having a fresh start.

I’m glad I don’t know when I’m leaving because I can honestly tell people I don’t know.

I do want to know like three weeks into the transfers though. Just so I can start packing and things. It’s weird to be leaving. I feel like I just got here. I am torn down the middle. Part of me is excited and even anxious to get back to Nauvoo, the other is dreading it. I never want to leave here. The good thing is that I know I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and is mindful of me. He knew this would be hard for me when he extended this call. Which means He knows that I can handle this. . He will support me and give me all the help that I need and in the mean time I can just focus on the work I have in front of me.

This past week I have been reading about the Brother of Jared. (Ether 1-4) In chapter three of Ether the brother of Jared sees the finger of God. Moroni then explains on a side note that Jared could not be kept from in the veil because of the knowledge he had gained. The way he gained that knowledge was by faith. By faith we gain knowledge and that knowledge we gain brings us closer to God and into a greater understanding of the things of God. It gave me a lot to think about. It sparked my interest because to start with the brother of Jared knew very little. He was even frightened when he saw the finger of God. Because he “knew not” that God had a body of flesh and bone. It was by exercising his faith in something completely unrelated (The lighting of the ships he had built) that he was able to gain that knowledge and then because of the knowledge he was shown more.

I’ve also learned something else this past transfer that was, I think, very important for me to learn. I get lonely. I know that probably sounds pretty weird but it’s something I really didn’t know about myself. I get lonely. And sad. I need social interaction. I need it. It’s also given me time to reflect on why I didn’t know this about myself. Which has ultimately lead me to be very appreciative to all the people who have always been there for me, even when I get prickly and want to be alone. Because of you, I don’t think I’ve ever been lonely.

Thank you for all your love and support. I love you letters. They mean so much. 

Sister Bailey.


If missionary work was easy it wouldn’t be hard.

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