June 7, 2017
This week was awesome! Oh man I am so blessed. It was a week of ups and downs but the Lord is so good! He blesses me so much. This week Sister Sanders and I have been pretty anxious because we knew transfer calls were coming. So we worked a lot and didn't talk about it, that always helps. ;)
Monday- P-Day! On Monday we did all the P-Day things that we have to do to function the rest of the week. For FHE the YSA did a pool party and Sister Sanders and I didn't think it was very productive to go to that, being missionaries and all, so we just went and visited potential investigators. We went to see one named Matt, he was a referral from some elders and when we went to see him he was awesome! We talked about the Book of Mormon and set a return appointment to come back! It was cool! We went to visit another and we met his roommate, Katlyn. She was awesome too! We set a return appointment with her and we plan to go back this coming week sometime!
Tuesday- Exchanges! On Tuesday we had exchanges. I was in a tripanionship for a day and we were in my area, so I was in charge. I was SO STRESSED. But we lined up a good schedule and it all worked out. We met with Matt again and taught him the Restoration. He was really responsive and open and when we asked what he thought about the Book of Mormon at the end of the lesson he said "Well... it seems legit so far!" I started dying and just bore my testimony to him that it, indeed, is legit. After that we met with Olivia. Olivia is our Catholic investigator. She is so sweet but she is not open. She truly believes the Catholic church to be the true church. We watched Elder Costa's talk from general conference about remaining open to answers and the Book of Mormon and it didn't really make a difference. We aren't sure where to go with her and it's really sad because she is such a sweet girl. Oh well. Not everyone is prepared. After that we had dinner and then we went to a park and talked to people. We saw more lightning bugs and it was awesome!
Wednesday- Wednesday was an interesting day. We got a call Wednesday morning from President Loveland (which doesn't normally happen) and he told us that some sisters in another area needed our car at least until transfers. So we drove across town and gave them our car. I feel like I'm learning how to be a missionary all over again because all of a sudden it is much harder and more time consuming to get places and see people. We did a lot of visiting people and some tracting and it ended up working out really well but we walked more than we normally do and, not gunna lie, I've gotten used to riding in a car so it wasn't my favorite. However, I am learning to like it more! It helps me be outside and we have ended up talking to way more people because we are out walking instead of driving in a car. Overall, Wednesday was a slow day of learning how to adjust.
Thursday- Best. Day. Ever. On Thursday we got to go to the Kansas City temple. All the missionaries in this area woke up and met at the church at 4:45a.m. and hopped on a bus to drive to Kansas. It was such a good day. The temple is amazing and I have missed going as frequently as I used to. After the temple we were standing outside and President Loveland all of a sudden goes "well... who wants to go to liberty jail?" Because that's something that you just casually get to do when you live in Kansas/Missouri. Coming from Idaho that was very foreign to me that we could take a twenty minute drive to go visit church history sights. So we went to Liberty Jail and took the tour and it was so neat. I felt the spirit so strongly. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. After the jail tour we hopped back on the bus and drove home just in time to get to our apartment and go to bed.
Friday- On Friday we had a good day! We went out with the Relief Society President for a little while and tried to visit some people, not a lot of people answered, one person answered in their pajamas and asked us to "schedule an appointment next time" but we sure tried! We did get to talk to a potential investigator named Connor. He was awesome and he had such a strong testimony of God and that God led him to Springfield and just that God is aware of and has a plan for each of us. We invited him to meet with us and he said he would be interested but he needed to think about it, which is okay. That night we went onto campus and there was literally one janitor that we saw and that was all. Summer break, go figure! After that we walked to the park and did some chalking and talked to people.
Saturday- On Saturday we started our day with some service. We normally have some elders in the are that do our Saturday service with us but they couldn't come so the lady we were working for told us we needed to "suit up" because she had some "elder jobs" for us to do. It was literally just carrying loads of wood and tile downstairs. I was only mildly insulted that she didn't think we would be able to handle it. BUT we got it done and she was very happy. The rest of the day was weekly planning so it was a lot of planning and doing paperwork in the apartment. That night we had some dinner and went to visit one of our investigators who wasn't home and then finished planning.
Sunday- Sunday was a really really good day! We went to church which was awesome and it was fast and testimony meeting! I love fast and testimony meeting. Sister Sanders bore a great testimony about how God is in charge and if we are following him we never need to worry. She ended by, basically, telling the ward goodbye which was really sad. We didn't know for sure what would happen, but she's been here for six months which is almost unheard of in our mission so we were pretty sure she was leaving. At the end of Relief Society it was so sweet. The girl who gave the closing prayer, Latea, took a minute and just thanked Sister Sanders for the wonderful work she has done in this area and told her how much they would miss her. After that she looked at me and said "Sister Lloyd, we want you to know we appreciate and love you too. We know how hard both of you have worked. We don't know what's going to happen but we want you to know we sustain you. Whatever happens, we have got your back. We love you." Needless to say, Sister Sanders and I cried. We have such great members. After church we decided to go visit one of our investigators who we haven't been able to get a hold of for a while. She lives about a mile and a half away so we started walking and when we were about a quarter mile away, it started raining. Bummer. We finished our walk and when we knocked on the door a woman we had never seen before answered the door, looked at us and said "oh no." She came outside, closed the door behind her and proceeded to say "I do not believe in your religion. I understand what you are doing but my daughter doesn't need this. Please do not come back." We left and were pretty disappointed but were able to laugh about it and have a good conversation. All of a sudden it just turned into a downpour. I'm talking streets flooded, can't open your eyes because it's raining so hard. We just started laughing as we continued to walk. It was that quintessential missionary moment where your investigator just told you to hit the pavement and it rains on you the whole way home. We made the best of it and were able to laugh as we walked. We were about halfway home and some members pulled off the road and offered us a ride, we were so grateful! Tender mercies. The rest of the night wasn't terribly interesting. It stopped pouring so we were able to go visit a few more people and then we did training and went to bed.
Monday- Monday we had District Meeting which was so good! We talked about being bold and helping people to recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ rather than a bunch of kids running around with name tags. One of the things we talked about was making sure that you ask questions that are a little bold and thought provoking "Do you think you are as happy as you could possible be?" "What if Christ's true church were on the Earth, would you want to be a part of it?" "If God had a message specifically for you and your family, would you want to hear it?" Things like that. It was a really good district meeting and I got a lot of ideas I wanted to try. After District Meeting we went on campus and talked to people. I saw a lady standing and waiting for the bus and I went to talk to her. I asked her if she was as happy as she could possible be and she said she wasn't sure. I told her about the Book of Mormon and promised that it would bring more happiness to her life if she would read it. She took it and said she would read it! I was so excited. After that we went to visit a few investigators and check up on them. Then we had FHE, a blood drive. I love donating blood (or at least trying to) and missionaries are allowed to so I tried to donate. They got me all hooked up to everything and it didn't work so I couldn't donate. But hey, I tried. While I was donating Sister Sanders talked to one of our investigators. Turns out he is not interested at all. He was just being nice and when we asked him to pray and he said he did, he actually didn't, he just didn't want to disappoint us. I was really bummed when Sister Sanders told me that, so we won't be meeting with him anymore. That night we went home and hoped on our weekly confrence call where the Loveland's talk to us and they told us transfer calls would be happening a day early. That the Lord was trusting us to continue to work hard for that day after and we would find out that night instead. Sister Sanders is leaving, she is headed to Greenwood, Arkansas. I am getting a new companion tomorrow. Her name is Sister Mozer. I am really sad to see Sister Sanders go but I am excited to learn new things from someone new. Sister Mozer and I are going to have a great time in the Springfield, YSA.
Tuesday- Tuesday we had a lot of appointments lined up and we had a lot of appointments cancel. We were sad. But we had a really good first lesson with a new investigator, Brad. He is awesome. He has a lot of questions about Joseph Smith and the Priesthood but he seems really sincere. We are excited to teach him. We asked him if he would be willing to be baptized when he comes to know that the Book of Mormon is true and he accepted! We were pretty excited about that! After that lesson we spent the rest of the day trying to visit investigators an we did my last day of training as a missionary, that's right. I'm official now. Sister Sanders spent the hour we had before bed packing and I cleaned because I didn't know how else to be helpful.
This week was awesome! Sister Sanders and I have been studying a talk called "The Fourth Missionary" and it talks a lot about being a consecrated missionary and all of the blessing that come as you diligently strive to do what the Lord asks of you and the consequences that happen when you don't. Something that really hit me while we've been studying is what is described as the third missionary. The third missionary is someone who does what they have been asked to do, because the Lord wants them too, but they are a little bitter. They go tracting at 3:00 in the afternoon on a dusty road in the heat of summer or the snow of winter and think about everything else they could be doing. They still serve a good mission, they are still succesful but they never let it change them and they never feel fulfilled. It says in the talk that they always look for happiness in what is coming next and by doing that they choose never to be happy at all. That really hit me as a missionary, but also just as a person. If we are always going to church, fulfilling our calling, serving, whatever it may be just because the Lord wants us to but we decide to trudge through it so we can finish and be happy doing what we want to do then we will never be happy. True happiness comes when we align our will with God's and do what he wants us to do because we want to do what he wants us to do because we know it will bring happiness. I am definitely preaching to the choir here, I am the first to admit that I came on a mission expecting to trudge through the next eighteen months of my life and I was a little better and had my sights set on the end date when I could go back to doing what I wanted to do. But so much joy has come as I have realized that this is where I was supposed to be. I want to do what God wants me to do and it's what is best for me. I feel so blessed to be here. and grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow. Thank you all for loving and supporting me as I learn. I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Picture 1: We did Kung Fu on a park toy! Picture 2: I was really focused. Picture 3: After our Sunday Swim (walking home in the flood) Picture 4: Another MSU bear
~Sister Madisen Lloyd