This week has been so awesome! I feel so blessed to be where I am at and doing so many wonderful missionary things! Missouri is amazing! Missionary work is amazing! I love it!
Monday- On Monday we had Preparation Day. We did everything we needed to do and had an awesome dinner with one of our members. After that we went out and did some tracting and tried to find some new investigators.
Tuesday- On Tuesday it was the fourth of July! We had some appointments fall through so we did a lot of tracting. In fact, we tracted almost all day long! Which normally wouldn't be too bad other than no one was home, because it was the fourth of July. So we knocked a lot of doors and didn't talk to a lot of people. Fortunately, the people who did answer were very kind and we had some good conversations. We found one new investigator who we will meet with later this week! His name is Avesh and he was really cool! Tuesday night we went to the bishop's house for a fourth of July barbecue and we managed to get two non members to come! We were so excited! Sister Moser and I bought matching fourth of July headbands and wore them. It was super fun and we got to have some awesome interactions with the non members and get them some friends in the ward who can fellowship them.
Wednesday- On Wednesday we had district meeting which was good as always! We had some awesome conversations about studying for our investigators. It was really good and I have a better understanding of how crucial it is that we study for the needs of our investigators. Heavenly Father blesses us from our efforts and the Holy Ghost brings things to our remembrance, but Heavenly Father can't bless us if we aren't putting forth effort and the Holy Ghost can't bring things to our remembrance if we didn't learn it to begin with. After District Meeting we had a meeting with our investigator, Brad. Brad is awesome but he has been "researching" things. Meaning he googled the church and read through a bunch of different websites which is a bummer because now he is really confused about some things and has a lot of concerns he didn't have before simply because of misconstrued information. We were really sad but he was really genuine. After that we had an awesome dinner/ lesson with our investigator Justin and we talked about how important it is to go to church, pray and read. It was a really good lesson. After that we biked home!
Thursday- On Thursday we had weekly planning (yes I know, it's usually on Saturday, President changed it) it was a long day of planning out the week but I always feel so much better and organized after we do it because we are better able to function through the rest of the week and we are so much more prepared. That night we were supposed to have a lesson but it fell through so we had a lesson with the members who came for it and asked them to pick a date and have as many spiritual/missionary experiences as they could between now and then and try to get someone to meet with the missionaries (hey! that's me!) by their date they picked. It was a really cool experience to be able to talk with them. They were both really excited and willing to set a date.
Friday- On Friday we went on exchanges in Bolivar, Missouri. I spent the day with Sister Hadley. She is so cute! She goes home at the end of this transfer and I'm really sad about it, to be honest. We had an awesome day and were able to talk to a lot of really awesome people. We talked to these two ladies, Betty and Brenda and they were really awesome. They had awesome faith and were so willing to testify of Jesus Christ. I loved it! That night Sister Moser and I spent the night at their house.
Saturday- On Saturday we had a really busy day. We drove home from Bolivar and went straight to the farmers market to talk to people. We talked to one lady who has a brother who is a member. It was awesome! After that we did service for a few hours and then had three back to back lessons. The first was with Alec and we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The next was with Tobias and it was about the Book of Mormon but we ended up dropping him because he isn't progressing, sometimes people just aren't ready yet. The third one was with Justin. We had a good lesson about the ten commandments. We taught him the hand signs to help him remember each of the ten commandments and we talked about why God gives us commandments and the good things that come from keeping them (peace, joy and you stay out of jail a lot of times.) It was a really good lesson! That night we had dinner with some members, Courtney Clarkson and her fiancé Kyle Guison. Courtney picked us up and drove us to her house and I walk in and she goes "Sister Lloyd! guess what!" and I said "What?" and she said "Welcome to your surprise birthday party!" I started crying because this sweet member and my companion had planned a special surprise birthday dinner. Courtney made gluten free chocolate Bundt cakes (my favorite ever) and grilled hamburgers and invited a few of the members over. It was so nice! We had a great dinner and then she dropped us off at home. We went out and knocked a few doors and then ended our night.
Sunday- On Sunday we had a great day of church! After church one of the bishopric members, Brother Illum, their family fed us! But the power was out so they were freaking out. We ended up having fruit, vegetables and a room temperature rotisserie chicken which they were bummed about but I loved! After that we came home and had a meeting with a new investigator we found this week and we ended the night by having a lesson with a less active member who just had surgery this past week!
This week I have had a lot of thoughts but the main thing that I have been thinking about is time. We measure everything in time, days, weeks, months, missions, life, classes, vacations, whatever it may be. However, it doesn't matter how much time we have if we choose not to use it wisely. I have eighteen months to serve the Lord non stop, but if I choose to waste it then it is all in vain. We all have a certain amount of time that we are allotted to be on Earth, however, if we choose to waste it or not to use it for the purposes the Lord has for us then we have spent 70+ years of our life searching and wandering for nothing. God has given us such a wonderful opportunity to have this lifetime on Earth to be able to do what he would have us do and allow us to show Him that we are willing to rely on him and do what he would have us do. Why waste a second of that precious time doing something that would not bring us lasting joy? As we follow Jesus Christ we are able to find true happiness. We are able to find joy! We can find fulfillment and purpose. God has given us this time and we should use it wisely. I am so grateful for the five months I've been on a mission and I could not be more grateful for the months I have still to go. I would encourage every one of you to devote yourselves to a good cause worthy of the small amount of time that we have to spend here. I love you all so much! Have a great week!
~Sister Maddie Lloyd