This week has been full of ups and downs and changes and AHHH. So much. It's gone by far too quickly. Sadly, each of our investigators canceled our return appointments due to illness, business, or all of the above. Though we have faith in knowing that we WILL see them again in the very near future! All is well in Great Falls :)
We've been given a challenge as a mission called: 52 Days to Rebuild the DC South Mission! It comes as revelation from President Riggs and his wife from Nehemiah chapters 1-4 and 6 about how we need to be doing EVERYTHING we can to "rebuild our wall". This involves talking BOLDLY to EVERYONE we see! And thus, President Riggs created "AR"s. An "AR" is an "accept" or "reject", meaning we've taught a principle of the Restoration to someone and they have the choice to either "accept" or "reject". And we are responsible for getting 70 ARs each and EVERY week for the next 52 days. The catch? You can only count someone as an AR IF you actually TAUGHT a principle or doctrine. If you get the door slammed or if someone walks/runs away too fast and you can't get the message in? Doesn't count. So therefore... Sister Evans and I have talked to A LOT of people. And we've done most of this through tracting because our area is so huge. YAY! Tracting! Haha I'm getting used to it now, so it really isn't as bad. We've been able to meet a lot of really great people and plan to check back on a few of them very soon. I'm grateful to know that even taking this time to find these potentials is a MIRACLE because we truly are "planting the seeds". These people may not actually let missionaries in for YEARS, but at least they're being EXPOSED to and REMINDED of the message of the restored gospel! This goes a loooooooooong way, and I know that to be true.
But because we've done a lot of tracting, we've had some pretty funny experiences. The first happened on Wednesday. We knocked on the door of a woman named Olivia, who actually told us that she was a former member of the Church! We got so excited and she let us in ('cause it was HOT and HUMID outside, bleh). Of course, we thought we were about to reactivate this long, lost member but oooooohhhhhh boy... we were in for a treat. She proceeded to tell us that she was a member for 10 years but then left the church in pursuit for something better for her lifestyle (hmmm). And she found Sikhism, which is a form of Hinduism and Islam. Olivia then talked about being carried away into visions and talking to God in the wee hours of the morning - and then blatantly calling us "lemmings" for following a prophet of God. It was ridiculous. We spent WAY too much time in her house and by the end of it, I was just hoping we had served as a reminder of what the truth REALLY is - the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Then on Saturday, we met Mr. Rick Saunders while tracting. This guy I could have SWORN was a minister. He talked to us about how he was raised Jewish but then had a vision of Christ and became converted to Christianity. He then told us about he DEEP DEEP study of the Bible for 35 years, meanwhile quizzing us on our Biblical knowledge. However, this man was quite polite. And actually, he was REALLY funny. Like... I could TOTALLY picture him being a religion professor at BYU-Idaho. So while he was talking AT us (we never got a word in for over an hour), I just imagined him working there and how many kids would sign up for his class. Hahaha he was seriously entertaining!!! I couldn't help but be nice to him by the very end because at least he bashed our religion in a nice, roundabout way. Turns out he wasn't a minister, but in fact owned his own real estate business (Google Lord & Saunders Realty). He then proceeded to give me his card. Hahaha we plan to go back and just leave a pamphlet on his doorstep for the sake of time (because we know he wouldn't let us talk).
Anywho, life is great here in Virginia! And though I get to meet crazy people that reject Christ's church, I count my blessings every single day. The work is hard, but gratifying to every single, tiny degree. I can't believe how much I've been able to see the potential in people as I've gotten to know them and their stories. I'm truly seeing them as God's children, each and everyone loved by Him! It's amazing. I'm so thankful for this Gospel and that it all just makes so much sense to me! Through faith in the Lord and repentance, we can return to live with our Father in Heaven again. How beautifully simple is that?
LOVE YOU ALL! And thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. They mean everything to me!