Monday, July 31, 2017

The Power of Gratitude

Hi Everyone!

As always, it has been a magnificent week here in the California Redlands Mission, specifically in the Yucaipa 4th ward. :)

On Monday evening we got to have another lesson with a recent convert and her family. Her husband and daughter haven't shown much interest in the past, but they are learning more now and seem to be enjoying it. We read from the Book of Mormon with them and a couple from the ward randomly dropped in in the middle of the lesson. It worked out pretty well!

We had a couple lessons on Tuesday. We had one with a man who keeps telling us that he is never going to get baptized, but that he likes the information. We can sense some real intent in him though. It was a good lesson and hopefully they'll just keep on getting better!

That evening we had a lesson with another investigator. She has been through quite a few sets of missionaries and it took her a bit to warm up to us. She likes us now but she's a little too attached. She told us as soon as one of us leaves she is done investigating the church.
Sounds like its time to get her some more friends in the ward so it won't be so dramatic when one of us leaves. It was a bit of a dramatic lesson.

Wednesday was AWESOME! We had Zone Conference and I think this was the most involved I have ever been in one of these things. I got to be in charge of leading a small group discussion on finding through dinner thoughts, then I got to lead a discussion with the Zone about new goals for the month of August. Then Sister Losee, the Yucaipa 2nd sisters, and I got to do a musical number. The whole conference was so good. We talked a lot about the importance of having the Holy Ghost be our senior companion. We've been working on that more this week.
Zone Conference




That evening we found a new investigator! He was sitting outside and we walked past his house. We started talking to him and found out that he was a former investigator. We shared a bit about the plan of salvation and he said he wants to learn more now!

On Thursday we had a surprising lesson with our investigator S. We started teaching the Plan of Salvation and he didn't completely agree with everything we taught, but he said he could "put that on a shelf and worry about it later". He has been investigating the church for over 20 years and it seems like his heart is finally starting to soften. Then he told us that he would like to go to church! Yay!

On Friday we volunteered at the "Senior Nutrition Center". We got to bag some sack lunches and then serve bananas and milk to the seniors who were there. They have free meals for them and volunteers come in to help serve it every week. It was a fun service activity and I hope we get to do it again!

Saturday was a little rough. We were trying so hard to stay optimistic but nothing seemed to be going right. It was hot and we were tired and we were murmuring like Laman and Lemuel just a little bit. :) The Lord is so good and helped us get out of our bad attitudes pretty quickly.
Partway through the morning we decided to stop by at a less active member's home. We got to know her and found out she's been recovering from an injury and hasn't been able to make it to church. She has been reading the Book of Mormon though. We asked if we could read with her wherever she was currently reading. She said yes, so we started reading Alma 26 with her.

It was EXACTLY what Sister Losee and I needed. I was holding back tears pretty much the whole chapter. Ammon and Aaron are rejoicing in the success they've seen on their missions and glorifying God for it. I realized how silly I was being. There is always something to be grateful for. Not every moment has to be exciting or particularly meaningful in order to have that gratitude. We've been working on our attitudes since then and have been listing our blessings whenever we've had a hard time seeing the good that was happening around us. It's definitely helped and the work has been much more joyful.

On Sunday Sister Losee and I got to speak in Sacrament Meeting. She got to talk on modern-day pioneers and I got to speak about being disciples of Jesus Christ. I think it went well! Plenty of people told us we did a good job, but its also a possibility that our ward members are just nice. :)

We had 2 investigators there! S came and he told us afterward that it was his first time coming in the 20 years he has been learning about the church!! We were so excited! He loved it and said he wants to come again. He didn't realize that there would be more after sacrament meeting and he had some things already scheduled, but he said he was interested in coming to the other hours of church in the future!

 We were so happy to see our other investigator there too. We actually get to help her paint her house this week so we are looking forward to that! She's feeding us dinner tomorrow too, so we are going to get to know her a lot better this week!

We saw another miracle that evening. We decided to stop by another less active family's home and we met a woman who
grew up in the church, went to BYU, and then stopped going to church. She has a friend who invited her to come back to church so she decided she would. She's been going to another ward for a couple months now and enjoying the spirit she feels back in her life. We shared a video with her and she started to tear up. She told us that her friend is out of town right now, so she hadn't gone to church for a couple weeks. Right before we had come she was thinking to herself that she would just stop going again. When we came, she realized that she wants the blessings of the gospel in her life. I love the opportunities we have to be instruments in the Lord's hands. We had no clue that any of this was going on, but the Lord knew, and I know he put us where he needed us.

I love you all and hope this week is the best week ever for you!


Sister Melissa Heiner
We went hiking today




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