We had an interesting lesson with Jessie this week. Of course all the meetings with Jessie are interesting since he is so random. We were standing out in the rain while it was pouring down. We were going to ask him for a time we could come by for a lesson and he said now wasn't a good time, but that if we had a good thought in our hearts that we should say it. So we decided to pray with him and talk with him about the importance of reading the scriptures daily in our lives and how it helps us focus our day around Christ and keep ourselves strengthened and fortified against temptation. We of course had prepared for a random situation like this by planning a lesson towards his needs and role playing it. It turned out to be a great lesson. He didn't want to meet with us at first, but I guess he thought we were going to have a big 45 minute lesson with him. We only had a 10 minute lesson and were being pounded by rainwater the whole time, but it was great and he committed to read the Book of Mormon daily. I learned from this experience that a lesson can be as short as it needs to be as long as we are inviting someone to act on the message we share and commit them to do something. By so doing we are inviting them to repent and change their lives. We are fulfilling our purpose as missionaries. We ended with a great prayer and then ran into a surprise. Jessie's friend Christopher came up to him to hang out. We ended up starting a conversation with him with no idea what to say, but as we listened to his concerns he started telling us about his relationship with Jesus Christ. Because we were bold in declaring our purpose and because we testified of how we can share with him Christ's love for us and the purpose in our lives. In other words because we listened and cared about his feelings and strove to invite him to come closer to Christ, Christopher has agreed to let us come by and share the Gospel with him. That rainy day instantly seemed brighter to us after that.
I suppose this week will be a lot of testifying about being where Heavenly Father needs us to be at the right time that he needs us to be there. We have had many experiences with this and it never ceases to amaze me how willing Heavenly Father is to do this and bring us to people or bring them to us as long as we are ready, willing, and bold to talk with as many people as we see on the street. As we have consecrated ourselves and our wills to God and sought His will and what he would have us do, we have seen many mighty miracles in even the small area of Bagley Minnesota.
These are some experiences of this. A lot of it happened on Wednesday. We decided that we would take our bikes up with us to Thief River Falls and along the way stop in McIntosh to find some Less Active members and set up Home Teaching visits for President Niswander and the rest of the branch. We would then report this information to them and thus update the records for the branch directory. A much needed service. So we looked at a name Michael McCabe. We knocked on his door and there was no answer so we decided that since we had biked all that way that we would tract a little in the area. Well the next door we knocked on was an older couple who was being moved that day to a nursing home and needed comforting. We prayed with them and after visiting a while went back to grab our bikes. We saw a car in front of brother McCabe's house so decided to knock again. We were brought inside and after a small getting to know you visit he expressed his thanks for us coming. He said that he was just thinking about the best way to get a blessing for the arthritis in his back when we knocked on the door. We were there for him when the Lord needed us to be. It was a testimony builder to me to know that the Lord places us where we need to be.
So we were deciding on that point whether we should go all the way to Thief River Falls and have only an hour there or if we should not use the miles and stay in McIntosh or Fosston before going back to Bagley. We chose to go to TRF. When we got there we visited Sister Ose's store and found out that she was hoping that we were coming up to TRF that day even though we didn't have a ride there and would have to drive ourselves. She also needed a blessing. I am grateful for the inspiration that came to Elder Briggs and me in this regard and how we were able to help the Lord best by listening to Him and not doing what we desired to do.
Thursday was more service for the senior center. We scrubbed down refrigerators and counter tops. Afterwards we helped answer Mia's questions about the Light of Christ and showed her the Patterns of Light Mormon message. It was very powerful and she liked it a lot.
Friday was spent all day in Bemidji again as we did an oil change, maintenance check, and fixed an error in the car that hadn't been completely fixed last time we took it in. After that we had a great District meeting where we focused on how sharing our experiences in the Gospel help others progress towards baptism and confirmation and overcome barriers to doing so. We then got haircuts and drove back to Bagley to plan and study for our future lessons and talks. We also ended up burning some French toast that we tried making for dinner. Too much sugar crystallized so we had the fans going all night.
Mother's day was GREAT!!! We talked in sacrament meeting and we also visited with Val and wished her a happy mother’s day. Then we had the opportunity of Skypeing home. That was amazing. I was so glad to see everyone's faces and hear their voices. Thanks for all that you do for me. I especially loved talking to Mom. I am so grateful for her sacrifices that she makes for me all the time. I love her so much and she is amazing!
After the call we ate dinner at the Niswanders. We helped them make curry chicken. It was very good and involved rice, coconut milk, chicken, sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas, onions, and of course curry!!! It was a great meal.
I have had a very great week and am looking forward to this upcoming week. We will have a service project as a zone and also zone conferences in Fargo. I will be able to see Elder Smith again and will also be able to be interviewed by President Anderson and get some very helpful suggestions on how to best help the work here in Bagley grow.
I love each of you!!!!!