Monday, March 7, 2016

Stacie's email March 7, 2016

These past few weeks have been pretty hectic for me. My area that I'm in right now is pretty slow, but it has actually been kind of a blessing because we have had so much to do as far as our leadership responsibilities go. It's definitely a different type of missionary work than what I have experienced thus far on my mission, but I'm enjoying every moment of it! All of a sudden our biggest priorities are to help and strengthen the missionaries within our stewardship and to be good examples. Last Monday, I had a prompting from the Spirit that I needed to talk with a particular sister. As we talked, I sensed some reservations and anxiety, so we scheduled an exchange with her and her companion.. During the exchanges, we found out that the companion of the sister that I had talked to is really struggling with disobedience and testimony. It was a really neat experience because I was able to really connect with that sister and was able to bear my testimony to her about the blessings and miracles I have seen from being obedient to commandments that I didn't understand. At this point, I feel like that was all I could really do for her, and I have been praying for her ever since that her heart will be softened enough to be changed. 

We also had a different companionship struggling bad enough with the elders that they are serving with that we scheduled an emergency exchange for tomorrow morning....We don't know exactly what is going on yet, but hopefully it helps! 

We still do a lot of work with our area, but it is more focused around the less-active members in the ward instead of investigators. We only have one investigator who just told us that she is moving. So that was really sad for us but we have come up with some good ideas to find more people! We know that the Lord will provide someone who needs our help. We did a special fast for that this week. Our Mission President has issued us an inspired challenge: we are to teach Lesson 1: the Restoration of the Gospel at least once a day for the whole month of March. In my previous areas, that would have been a breeze, as we were teaching the first lesson to new investigators multiple times a day every day. But in this area, we are definitely being challenged! So far, it's gone really well. We've taught primarily active members, but we have been issuing out challenges to them to prayerfully choose someone to bear their testimonies of Joseph Smith to. We are praying that our efforts to teach and remind the active members of the ward will inspire them to ask their non-member friends and family members to take the missionary lessons. 

I really love teaching about the Restoration of the Gospel. At the beginning of my mission, teaching the Restoration was something that I dreaded a little bit because I wasn't super comfortable with the material and I knew that it would be difficult to explain to people who had never heard of it before. Although it's still sometimes difficult to form my words in a way my investigators can understand, I am strengthened and reenergized every time I teach that particular lesson because of the Spirit that I feel whenever we talk about the experience of Joseph Smith. I feel the Spirit so incredibly strong especially when I bear my testimony about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. 

This week we had a Missionary Leadership Training meeting, and I loved it! It was so inspiring and uplifting, and I learned so much. I am so grateful to learn from the Spirit what my weaknesses are and instruction on how I can strengthen them. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you for your love and your testimony! 

Love, Hermana Townley