First week in Traverse City.. So I guess the have something here called the National Cherry Festival and over 500,000 people come every year.. This is the place to be!! haha This was probably the most diligent week of my mission. I love Elder Coziar. He is probably the best missionary in the mission that no one has heard about, and I love how he is making me grow and stretch.
We taught a lot and knocked a lot, but I don't have any stories I wanted to share, so I want to write about an experience I had last week.
On my first day in Houghton Lake, we visited the Carothers and received a referral for there neighbors and best friends, named Carol and Walt. Neither were interested, but on a later trip, the Carothers asked if we could help them stack some wood for there wood burning stove. We went over every two weeks in the winter to help them out, and we developed a very strong relationship with them. On one of the visits, we offered to wash Carols dishes, which we didn't think much of, but she thought was "impressive as heck" that two 19 year olds would volunteer to do something like that. She began asking questions and her interest began to grow. A few weeks after I was transferred, I was told that she had started investigating the church, and last Saturday, she was baptized, and invited me to speak about that Holy Ghost.
What a sacred experience it was to get to talk to see my family in the Houghton Lake Branch. Carol was beaming from ear to ear the whole time, and the love and spirit which emanated from that room was almost tangible. I am so grateful for moments like these, which remind me why I serve. Her life has changed and her influence has helped change the Carothers. I love my mission!
Being transferred can be a very uncomfortable experience. You get so close to the people you serve with, and for those who don't know how transfers work, you are called on Friday, you pack up everything you own, and leave on Monday, to a knew area, a new companion, and a new life. I felt very uncomfortable and out of place my first few days, but I had an experience on Tuesday I need to share. We were teaching a lesson on the importance of the Book of Mormon, when something happened. As we taught and testified, I felt something enter my heart. I felt warm, I felt peace, I felt comfort, I felt... Home... Here. In a strangers house, in a place I have never been, with people I did not know... I felt home. One of the many things I love about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that it is the only thing about missionary work that doesn't change. Anywhere you are can be paradise as long as you have the spirit of the Lord with you. I am thankful that God cares infinitely more about my growth than he does about my comfort. He will not always remove trials and heart aches for the same reason a surgeon won't stop in the middle of operating. In a strange, round about way, pain is the only way we can be made truly whole and be truly healed. Of these things I know and testify of in the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.
|Carol, Walt, the Carothers, and all the missionaries involved|