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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Understand the discipline of Discipleship

Sister McDonough has been doing this with all the missionaries, "My mission has blessed my life by..."

What a week here in the MJM! So much has happened. I have a bit of time today so I'll give it to y'all in detail. 

Monday: It was Sister Borja's last pday. A member took us out to Breakfast and then another couple took us out to lunch. The members here are amazing, they are such good people. For lunch we went to a seafood place with our ward mission leader and his wife. We ate crawfish! It is really good and fun to eat. The manager came out and was talking to our WML so he told him that a Canadian and Sister Borja from Paraguay were eating crawfish for the first time. That night we had an appointment and then we headed out on a exchange. 

Tuesday: I was on exchanges. The companionship was a trio, so two of the sisters stayed with me and the other went to our area with Sister Borja. It was a little stressful working with two sisters, but they were both great and I learned so much from them! We were able to teach someone while tracting we all taught in unity pretty good all things considered. It reminded me of my trio days. Oh the memories! I'm so grateful to work with the sisters in the Gulfport and Slidell zones. They are wonderful and powerful, and they love the work. 

Wednesday: I was back in our area and we had district meeting. The elders here are in a trio for a few weeks. An elder has come from Vunwatu. (spelling?) It's an island in the pacific by Australia. He is learning english, so he says some funny things sometimes, but we are all helping him. He's a powerful missionary, he has a strong testimony of the Gospel. After the meeting we all went out to eat at the same seafood place that Sister Borja and I ate at on Monday. The manager came out again and he actually sat at our table and talked to us all for a bit. He wanted to know where we were all from and while we were talking with him another man walks into the resturant and he knows the manager so he starts talking to him, and then he starts talking to us, and they both know Brother Sones who took us there on Monday so then they all start talking about what a good man he is. Anyways the man went to sit at his table and then we start getting ready to leave and pay and the owner comes over to us and says, "Dr. Z has y'alls meals covered." We couldn't believe it! We went over to shake his hand and thank him and he says, "I've known Thomas my whole life, he is a good man, I know y'all are doing good work." The whole experience taught me the effect we have on people. We truly are the message. Our example and the way we live are lives has an effect on people. That afternoon Sister Borja and I taught together for the last time. We taught one of our investigators about the Book of Mormon and it was a powerful lesson. The spirit was there, I will really miss teaching with her. 

Thursday: Early Thursday morning we drove to Jackson, it was a pretty drive. There has been a little snow in Jackson, so as we got closer we started to see some snow on rooftops, it was a little weird. It was strange to be back in my old area. When we got to the mission home my new companion was there. I had no idea who it was going to be until I got there (long drive to Jackson when you don't know who is waiting there for ya there eh?) Her name is Sister Kelly. She is from Las Vegas. She looks a lot like Sister Jones, so we get asked if we're twins and sisters. She is great. We had MLC meetings that afternoon and night. 

Friday: Sister Borja flew out early in the morning so it was Sister Kelly and I at the meeting Friday. It was a spiritual meeting. We all came fasting and it was a totally different meeting than the past ones I have attended. Usually the same missionaries comment, but this time everyone gave there opinions and it made a remarkable difference. President McDonough continues to inspire me. After the meeting we got in the car and headed back to the coast. It was a long drive, but it was pretty. We got back to our area about 8:00. There was a Wild West night at the church, the young woman did it as a fundraiser for camp. Everyone was dressed up and they had line dancing and all kinds of fun western activities. There were a lot of non members there. Anyways we got back to it as fast as we could and were able to catch a few people. One of the members had a long western coat on (and they have a daughter named Jessica) and I said, "Have you seen the Man from Snowy River, because you're wearing his coat!" And he responded, "How do you think we got Jessica's name?" They have good tastes in movies. :) 
One of the Sister Missionaries I get to go on exchanges with! She is great!  Sister Nash.

Saturday: We were up and tracting, the weather was beautiful. Because of MLC, we had a lot of tracting, and weekly planning to do. We managed the two really well. We had an appointment that night and we had a little bit of time beforehand so we prayed of where to go tract. When we were heading back to our car, we noticed a house with a few cars that we hadn't tried yet, we were already running late, and we were hesitant if we should knock. We both felt that we should. After I introduced who we were the lady says, "I was at y'alls church last night!" Turns out she was friends with one of the members and she had left before we got there. She let us in and we had a great visit with her. Alma 26:37 God is aware of us all. 

Sunday: We got a call during ward council from Randy, someone that I hadn't met yet, was going to come to church! He has been taught by missionaries before in Michigan. We're teaching him tonight in a members home. I'm looking forward to it. That afternoon the weather was beautiful and we did some more tracting. We met this young couple who are sooooo elect! He was out kicking a soccer ball with his son when we walked up their driveway. He looks a lot like Riley Walburger with red hair. He said his name is Matthew, and his wife's name is Ashley. We talked to them about the Book of Mormon and they were excited about it! They were visiting family and don't actually live at the house we met them at, they live in the elders area. I'm grateful we could find them, and I know the elders will take good care of them. A funny/nice thing happened to us while we were one the same street. We knocked on this door and a lady quickly opens the door and says, "I'm not interested, but I just made some peach cobbler, do you want some?" We said yes, and she closes the door and runs to her kitchen. She opens the door back up and hands us two plates, and says I don't want to listen to y'all, but I appreciate what you're doing." So we ate peach cobbler on her swing. We left her with a card and I know when she is ready missionaries will find her again. Southern hospitality. 

Monday: Zone conference! I got to see Sister Bithell!!!! It was my last zone conference.  When President was teaching he would look at me and say, "Sister Hartley you've been doing this for awhile tell us what you would do." At every ones last zone conference we bear our testimony so I got to bear mine. I never thought I'd ever get to that point, but there I was bearing my testimony at my last mission zone conference. All these emotions came to me out of no where, and I felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks. I remember my first zone conference and the sister missionary who bore her testimony and I thought it would be forever until I was where she was at. All is well, except  time as Melissa said last week. 

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