September 28, 2015

Email No. 37

Family and Friends,

This week, as always, was a good week. I had the very sad realization
that in two weeks I will be half way done with my mission. I almost
burst into tears. I have, since I was a little girl, been counting
down the years, months, days until I could be a missionary. "I Want to
be a Missionary Now" has been my theme song (emphasis on the now)
since I was little. It saddens me greatly that it is going by so
quickly. You know in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker is in that nasty
tin container and the walls are getting smaller and smaller and he
keeps pushing against the walls, but he can't do anything about it?
Well, that's how I feel. So I came to the decision that I am just
going to live, day by day and enjoy the moment and not think about the
finish line. At least I'm going to try. I suppose I should take the
counsel of Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no try." (I just realized
that I have a theme of Star Wars going on. Totally unintentional.
Sorry all you Star Wars fans if I have my facts incorrect. You are
probably cringing as you read this.)

Speaking of time flying by, this week is the last week of the transfer
so, I will let you know next week what will be happening! Ahhhhh! I
really really really don't want to leave Ellsworth!

I think I have told you all about Althea, Elle's granddaughter. She is
incredible and about a month ago, she went back down to Sanford.
Sister Jensen and I have felt prompted to continue to write her. Well,
we found out from Elle that Althea will take the letters that we write
to her, bring them to school and show them to all her friends and say
how much she loves the missionaries. Also, she said that she wants to
get married in the temple and start going to church. She is amazing.
Love love love that little girl.

Last Monday, we went over to Katie's and Kes's. We talked about family
history work. While I was helping Katie get signed up for, Sister Jensen told a story about one of our friends
and her experience with going to the temple to do baptism for her mom.
After telling the story, Kes was crying. She said, "I don't know what
it is! Is it the Spirit or is it a sad story and I'm just being a
baby?" We told her that no, she was not being a baby, but that the
Spirit was touching her heart. It was so so sweet. They are both so
close to being a rescue. Katie just needs a calling! Pray for it!

Melissa, our recent convert is really struggling. She is, as most
recent converts do, going through a hard time. If you all could pray
that she will feel at peace, I know that the Lord will answer our
prayers and it will boost up Melissa.

We also got to meet with Jeanne! I don't know if I told you all, but
she came to church a couple weeks ago! It was awesome! She didn't even
look for us when she got there, she just ran right over to one of her
fellowshippers and sat with her. It was really good to see. In our
lesson with her, we invited her to be baptized. She was very very
hesitant. She explained to us that she didn't know exactly what she
wanted and needed to do. So we invited her to pray about it. She did.
Right there, right then. She asked Heavenly Father what His will was
for her. After that, we sang "I Believe in Christ". The Spirit was so
strong and you could tell that she was really, intently listening.
After we sang, we asked her how she felt. She said, "I feel that life
is just the way it should be." Her heart has really softened and it is
amazing to see. She didn't come to church yesterday and hasn't ca,led
us back so we are hoping that all is well with her.

While we were tracting on Tuesday, we were walking in front of a house
and there was a younger mom with a whole ton of kids running around
her. We walked across the lawn and started talking to her. After a few
minutes of speaking with her, we found out that her godfather is a
member and that she and her husband have a friend who is serving a
mission and her name is Becca. We asked her if she would like to learn
more and she, very resolutely said, "Sure!" We asked if we could come
back the next day and she said, "Sure!" with equal enthusiasm. So we
came back the next day! The lesson was a little crazy because her kids
had just gotten home from school. It was a good lesson though. She
definitely seems to have real intent. When we invited her to come to
church she said that this weekend she couldn't, but next weekend she
absolutely could and would. So we pray to be able to see her.

Bernie, as usual, was as funny as ever. We taught a lesson on the
priesthood and what sets the prophet apart from other ecclesiastical
leaders, such as the pope. He really seemed to understand and get it.
Which is a HUGE miracle. We also went over the baptismal interview
questions. When we asked him if he believed if Joseph Smith was a
prophet, he got really quiet. He then looked back at us and said, "You
know, it has taken a while, but I finally know it. I know that Joseph
Smith is a prophet." *Choir of angels come down singing Handel's
Messiah* All joking aside, it was amazing.  We all couldn't stop
smiling. The Lord answers prayers.

Speaking of Bernie, I would like to share with you all just the kind
of humor Bernie has. Yesterday, in Gospel Principles class, we were
talking about repentance- specifically about godly sorrow and worldly
sorrow. While we were talking about this, Bernie raises his hand and
in a very serious tone says the following:

"Yes, I have something to add. I once heard a story that I would
really like to share. Peter was standing at the pearly gates when two
of the worst criminals came up and asked if they could enter into
heaven. Peter, not knowing what to do, went into God and asked. God
said, 'Do you think that they have truly repented of their sins?'
Peter answered, 'Yes, I think they really have.' So God said, 'Then
let them in'. So Peter left, but shortly afterward came back. God
asked where the two men were. Peter said that they were gone and that
they had taken the pearly gates with them."

We all started dying laughing. I couldn't even breath I was laughing
so hard. I started choking and I just could not stop laughing. Bernie
then said, "Sister Sewell, I promise with real intent that I never
meant to kill you. I promise! I feel godly sorrow for it!" Which just
made me laugh even harder. Bernie is one of the funniest people I

We also picked up two new investigators this week! Their names are Kim
(mother) and Keri (daughter). They live together in Bar Harbor and are
the sweetest people. They have been through a lot and have seen a lot.
Keri is about 22 and Kim is in her 50s. We taught them for the first
time on Friday and right from the get-go, they were so open with us
and have such a strong desire to know more. We invited them to church
and Kim said that she wouldn't be able to because she would be taking
care of her mom, but Keri said she would and guess what? She did! She
was very nervous, but she came! And stayed for all three hours!
Afterward, she texted us and said  that she has never felt that way
before. She felt that everyone was just so genuine and kind and real.
She can't wait to come back.

Remember the really cute little boy that I told you about from the
Waldrop family? Well he came up to me in church and motioned for me to
come down to him, so I did. And he said, "Actually you want to know
what? You are my missionary." And then he pursed his lips in a little
smile and nodded to me. Then he gave me a high five and ran off.  It
was the most darling thing I have ever seen.

ENTIRE WORLD. Yup. This is true. We were traveling back from the Rands
last night for dinner and they live right next to a lake by the coast.
Anyways, we left after dark and we drove by the ocean and the moon was
shaking ridiculously bright on the water. There were little islands
all scattered around the water and then it was so still. Oh man. It
was breath taking.

I absolutely love being a missionary. There is nothing that I love
being more than the Lord's servant. It is the happiest and most
rewarding work that I have ever done. It always is whenever we are on
the Lord's errand. Elder Ballard once said, "It is impossible to fail
when you do your best when you are on the Lord's errand." That is so
true! No matter what your calling is: Sunday school teacher, full-time
missionary, Boy Scout leader, Cub Scout Leader, Relief Society
President, Bishop, nursery leader, they are ALL important because they
all involve building up the Lord's kingdom. That is also why everyone
feels great happiness in parenthood, no matter what your religion,
because it all involves carrying out our Heavenly Father's plan. Our
life has purpose. This principle is taught very simply and very
beautifully in the primary song "I Will Follow God's Plan":

My life is a gift; my life has a plan.
My life has a purpose; in heav'n it began.
My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth
And seek for God's light to direct me from birth.
I will follow God's plan for me,
Holding fast to his word and his love.
I will work, and I will pray;
I will always walk in his way.
Then I will be happy on earth
And in my home above.

I love you all. Keep pressing forward with... unwearied diligence.
Because guess what? At the end of it, it will all be worth it. The
trials we face are far out-weighed by the blessings we receive.

Sister Grace Sewell

No comments:

Post a Comment