I'm supposed to (hopefully) leave for the MTC in TWO. WEEKS. I honestly can't believe how fast this time has flown by. The whole time it felt like I've just been standing by and not much has been going on, but looking back SO much has happened, and it's wonderful.
Well anyways, today I went out tracting with the Sister missionaries in the district. Let me just say that they are fantastic. This is the second time I've been out with these two, and they're legit two of my favorite people on the entire planet. They're so fun and sweet, and filled with spirit ALL the time. I just love them.
So I met them at their apartment, and they had an AWESOME day planned, filled with lessons and visits and all kinds of magic...... but their investigators must have heard I was coming or something and alllllllll of their plans were cancelled :( bummer. This happens every time I've met with the Sisters.. They'll deny it, but I'm pretty sure I'm their bad luck charm, sorry Fox and Foster.
We went to one investigator's house, where they were hoping to teach a lesson, but they were just waiting to head out the door as soon as her husband came home.. SO we just talked for a minute and left them with a prayer. Their mission has been challenging the missionaries to leave this Peace and Blessings prayer with the people they meet, and I think it's wooonderful. They leave a blessing with your house and family, and pray for anything or anyone that you may feel could use some help from the Man upstairs. It's such a great way to let the spirit in, and the people we contact are really receptive to it!
These missionaries pray a lottttttt, man. For everything. All the time. It's great. And when we're praying a lot, we receive answers. And while the answers come by a still, small voice... They help us in a big way. After our one [kind of] appointment, Sister Fox prayed that we could find someone to teach, and that we could be sensitive to the spirit so we could be led to where we need to be. So we drove around looking for a certain street, and took a wrong turn or two and found ourselves on some random street by the water. We pulled over and Sister Foster thought the street seemed familiar, so we decided to start knocking on doors.
At the very first house we met an amazing lady who had recently moved in the area with her husband.. She didn't have a lot of time to talk, but we got to know her a little bit and set up another visit on the spot! Newfound investigator, hollaaaaaaaaa. She also gave us a bunch of cantaloupe.. We wanted to keep contacting people, so when we left we sat them in the car for like.... 2 hours. We came back and were ATTACKED by cantaloupe hot car smell. yuck.
Then we met another family, we left the peace and blessings with them and had a really great conversation about faith and the gospel. Her beliefs were really strong and I was afraid she would just shoot us down, but she wanted to make a follow-up appointment! We gave her a mormon.org card and she said she wanted to do some research before she committed to anything, but she seemed to enjoy it after we answered some questions about beliefs that coincided with hers! I thought we would leave then, but Sister Foster brought up another principle based on the conversation we had had, and she gave her a Book of Mormon! We (somewhat sneakily, maybe) challenged her to read the Introduction, so she said she'd do her research and give us a call! Potential investigator. BAM.
Side note- her grand daughter talked to us too, she a 6 year old full of the cutest mix of faith and sass and intelligence. We became best friends. I adore her.
After all this, we went back to the car and kind of just sat there for a minute.... Maybe this doesn't sound like much, but this kind of contacting and finding investigators just DOES NOT happen here, like ever. The spirit was so strong the whole time, we found not one but two possible new investigators, on one block, in one day. Plus multiple contacts on top of that. and follow up appointments. Yes.
One thing that hit me was how quickly I came to love the people we spoke to. They were all so wonderful. I was constantly amazed with how they would open up to us, and how from that short time I really just desired so much happiness for them.
When we finished tracting, we went back to their apartment and they wanted to teach me a couple lessons that could help on my mission :) So the first lesson was about faith.. Sister Fox set up a mouse trap and stuck a pencil in it to set it off.. She brought up Alma 32:21. We talked about doing hard things, and how faith was such a big part of moving forward and overcoming trials. She had me read Ether 12:6-
And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
We talked about how we may be going through hard things, but that there are reasons for it and that ultimately, these things are made to make us better and stronger.
She asked me if I had faith.
She then told me to stick my finger in the mouse trap.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I'll let you in on a little tidbit of information about me- I've had my fair share of bad experiences with mouse traps. I am fully aware that they hurt RIDICULOUSLY badly, and that they have the ability to break fingers. And this wasn't even your regular mouse trap- it was a rat trap. So it was bigger. And stronger. Because you use it to kill RATS.
I thought she was actually kidding.
She asked again if I had faith that God was there or that I wouldn't be harmed or something really profound, I don't remember exactly, my heart was pounding and I'm pretty sure I was shaking a little thanks to my childhood mouse trap PTSD.
I lifted my finger and got a little too close for comfort, and when they didn't stop me I freaked out a little bit. They were actually going to let me stick my hand in the mouse trap.
And this went on again. and again. and again.
And that was followed by a solid 10 minutes of
"you're really not kidding?"
"of course not. Just do it"
"ehhh I CAN'T"
" I KNOW HOW IT FEELS. IT HURTS. I DON'T WANNA"
"I promise you won't get hurt."
"You're really serious?"
Until I finally made them PINKY PROMISE that it really wasn't going to snap shut on my finger. Yep I'm actually a 3rd grader.
So I put my finger up to it, allllllllmost touched it, then wimped out again.
But they pinky promised. So I committed. I SLAMMED my hand down on the mouse trap... and it didn't snap shut on my finger. And I was still shaking because I'm pretty sure the stress of the situation sent my blood pressure through the roof.
Unbeknownst to me, they had rigged the trap while I wasn't looking so it wouldn't actually snap back. Ha ha ha. Good one, Sisters.
Sister Fox reminded me again of that scripture. I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
At that moment the spirit just hit me so strong. We talked about going on a mission and all the trials that may come, that even though it will get hard, even though you may want to stop or say "Nope, not doing this.", even though you may not see how this could POSSIBLY be for your good.. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's so easy to be lost in the darkness in the middle of your trials. It's easy to want to give up or take an easier path, because the right one just gets too hard. It's SO easy. But do not give up. for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
It's all about keeping the faith. When odds seem completely against you, have the faith to take one more step. Take it a step at a time.
Sister Fox finished her lesson and Sister Foster saw my lips quivering a little and thought I was still freaking out about hitting the mouse trap, she felt so bad haha. But it wasn't about the trap. It was about everything that Sister Fox just taught me. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Even preparing to serve has been so difficult at times. The adversary will hit you from every direction, in any way he can. I know that trials will continue to come as I get out on my mission, but I know that if I hold to the rod, if I keep the faith, that I am unstoppable. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
(2 Nephi 31:19-20)