Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Long Week

Hello! Howdy! Hi! Hola! How are you?! I hope you all had a fantastic week! Mine was a little bit interesting... But I'll just jump right into it!

So Tuesday was a busy busy day, but it started right off with a bang, which was super awesome. Way back in the day (like 7 weeks ago) Sister Bader and I received a referral from church headquarters. We are told that we are supposed to contact these referrals within 24 hours. We tried, and no luck. We were super sad because this woman had requested a Book of Mormon and we were having NO luck getting in contact with her. So we continued to try. And try. And try. FINALLY Tuesday morning Sister Mekonnen and I were like "ok, we are going to try this lady ONE more time" so we arrived and she opened the door and let us in to visit. We started talking with her and she informed us that the reason she had requested a Book of Mormon was because her friend had seen the musical, and she thought it would be a funny joke to give her the actual book. She said she didn't know that missionaries would be coming with it hahaha. But since the time she had requested the Book of Mormon, some things in her life have changed. She is going through some trials and expressed to us that she truly WANTS to have a deeper rooted relationship with God. She WANTS to find a church that that she can come to each week. And she WANTS to read the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong as we spoke about how the gospel could change her life. It was truly a miracle, and we are SO excited to teach her!

Wednesday night we had a lesson with an investigator, and it felt like the longest lesson of my life. We had met with this guy a couple of times previously, and he had lots of good questions, but this entire lesson he was pretty much just bashing Sister Mekonnen and I on the fact that we don't know a ton about the Muslim faith. He was just going on. and on. and on. about how it was disrepectful of us to go around teaching people about the Book of Mormon when we didn't know about their beliefs. He kept asking questions that were so random, we would answer, and then he would come back and say "well I already knew the answer, I just wanted to see how well you guys knew it." In the end we just bore testimony about why we have chosen to follow and live the gospel, and that was about all we could do. He wasn't having any of it, so we left without setting a return appointment. Sister Mekonnen and I were both a lil' bit annoyed, but it was definitely a learning experience.

Thursday we were heading to see a less active member of the ward, but on our way realised that we would be late for our later appointments if we went. Since it was an unplanned visit, we decided to turn around before we got there so that we could be on time for our other appointments. While we were driving back on the upper deck of the bus, it was only Sister Mekonnen and I, and then a family that was sitting behind us. Sister Mekonnen leaned over to me and whispered, "I think that is an Ethiopian family... but I'm not completely sure..." Since she has been on her mission, she has never met any other Ethiopians. Right as we were about to get off the bus, she asked them and they were like "YES, we are!" It was just so cool! They were the sweetest family ever, and they were giving us hugs and telling us that we could come visit them. It was a testimony strengthener to show that Heavenly Father truly does place people in our path.

Friday we had zoneeeeeee conference, woohoo! I seriously love zone conference. So so so much. President Stevens and Sister Stevens are simply the best. Something that Sister Stevens said that really stood out to me was, "We cannot do it HIS way without HIS help." It was a reminder to me that I need the Lord's help in every single thing that I do. That does not only apply to this time while I am out on my mission, but for my entire life. If we want to do what is pleasing to our Father in Heaven and do His will, we must humble ourselves and ask Him for help and guidance.
Zone Conference pic! Sorry, no camera pictures again this week :(

And then we reached Saturday. That was the day Sister Mekonnen got soooooooo sick. Seriously, I feel so bad for her! We had an appointment with a couple of investigators and then an appointment with a recent convert, and throughout both of them I could just see that she was in SO much pain. We went back to the flat and she just slept the rest of the day while I studied and called some people and made little quotes to hang on my wall. I know, riveting stuff, right? We had to cancel everything for the rest of the day and I assumed she would probably feel better by Sunday morning.

I woke up on Sunday morning and she still was in so much pain, she couldn't even get out of bed. So I called President and Sister Stevens and informed them, and then suggested that maybe I could exchange with the senior Sisters, just so I could be at church for our investigators. President Stevens thought that was a wonderful idea so then I called up the senior Sisters and they were running a bit late, but were happy to help! Then Sister Reeder and I were BOOKING it to church because we really didn't want to miss the sacrament, but of course we get there right when they finished. As I looked around the room, not an investigator in sight. Then I started to feel so frustrated because I missed the sacrament AND no one had come that had said they would. There is seriously nothing as heart-shattering as a missionary when you work so hard to get people to church, and they simply don't make the effort. Or when they don't follow through on any commitment for that matter. But we all have our agency, right? So Sister Reeder and I made our way back to the flat, and then they were off. Luckily Elder Sowah and Elder Warburton offered to bring us the sacrament, so that helped pick me up! It was just a crazy weekend. It doesn't look like Sister Mekonnen is feeling any better yet, so we will see what this week holds!

I think something I've learned this week, and throughout the entirety of my mission really, is to have {patience in the Lord's timing}. I know that there is something I can learn from this little bump in the road, and I know that He has so many blessings in store in the future.

I love you all! Thank you for the support and prayers!

Sister Syddall

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