HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope that it was wonderful and started off wonderfully. Plot twist: we made it to midnight. We had to be in at 6:00 that night so we took some pictures and actually made it. And then died the next day at church but it's fine, it was way fun!
This week was eventful because we were on bikes all this week. Like we got in our car one time and it was to use the last 10 miles we had to go to our interviews with President because we didn't want to be all nasty. But, it was great! We talked to a ton of people and we didn't get hit by any cars! I definitely almost crashed while trying to bike and look up an address on the GPS but saved myself at the last second. Pretty sure Sister Schiers thinks I'm like a child who can't ride a bike though. We had a lot of fun dying on the bikes. We were over like 6 miles from the house and it was super dark, and we were all out of water, so we biked over to our Ward Mission Leaders house for some water and they let us in and ended up feeding us a late dinner and ice cream and offered to drive us home. That was a miracle because we definitely would have been late getting home and it was so nice to ride in a car!
We had some great lessons this week! Our investigator Tony is progressing nicely and accepted baptism on the 14th! We are meeting with him again tonight! Its super exciting to see this area grow. Wellington is great, and this week the horse shows all start so we are going to get an influx of super wealthy people coming in to town for a bit! Bill Gates and Vanilla Ice both have a house here. We have decided to go find it and baptize them. Its casual.
We also found some super old church movies on VHS in the library, and since no one really feeds us here we have watched some of them and they are HILARIOUS. Go watch "Labor of Love" and "What is Real?" if you haven't. Just the VHS part of it is funny and then you add in the cheesiness of it and its awesome. We were dying laughing yesterday. Also the MTC literally has not changed from 1981....seriously.
For Christmas my family sent me an awesome book of collections of President Monson's stories from General Conference in the last 50 years and I read one that stood out to me a lot! Here it is (sorry its super long):
"My mind goes back in memory to a general priesthood meeting held in 1956. At that time I was serving in the stake presidency of the Temple View Stake here in Salt Lake City. Percy K. Fetzer, John R. Burt, and I, the stake presidency, had come to the Tabernacle early, that hopefully we might find a place to sit. We were among the first to enter the Tabernacle and had almost two hours to wait before the meeting would begin.
President Fetzer related to President Burt and me an experience from his missionary days in Germany. He described how one rainy night he and his companion were to present a gospel message to a group assembled in a schoolhouse. A protester had broadcast falsehoods concerning the Church, and a number of people threatened violence against the two missionaries. At a critical moment, a woman who was a widow stepped between the elders and the angry group and said, “These young men are my guests and are coming to my home now. Please make way for us to leave.”
The crowd parted, and the missionaries walked through the rainy night with their benefactress, arriving at length at her modest home. She placed their wet coats over the kitchen chairs and invited the missionaries to sit at the table while she prepared food for them. After eating, the elders presented a message to the kind lady who had befriended them. A young son of the woman was invited to come to the table, but he refused, preferring his position of solitude and warmth directly behind the kitchen stove.
President Fetzer concluded the account with the comment, “While I don’t know if that woman ever joined the Church, I’ll forever be grateful to her for her kindness that rain-drenched night thirty-three years ago.”
The brethren sitting in front of us here in the Tabernacle had been speaking to one another also. After a while, we began listening to their conversation. One asked the friend sitting next to him, “Tell me how you came to be a member of the Church.”
The brother responded, “One rainy night in Germany, my mother brought to our house two drenched missionaries whom she had rescued from a mob. Mother fed the elders, and they presented to her a message concerning the work of the Lord. They invited me to join the discussion, but I was shy and fearful, so I remained secure in my seat behind the stove. Later, when I once more heard about the Church, I remembered the courage and faith, as well as the message, of those two humble missionaries, and this led to my conversion. I suppose I’ll never meet those two missionaries here in mortality, but I’ll be forever grateful to them. I know not where they were from. I think one was named Fetzer.”
At this point, President Burt and I looked at President Fetzer and noticed the great tears which coursed down his cheeks. Without saying a word to us, President Fetzer tapped on the shoulder of the man in front of us who had just related his conversion experience. To him he then said, “I’m Bruder Fetzer. I was one of the two missionaries whom you befriended that night. I’m grateful to meet the boy who sat behind the stove—the lad who listened and who learned.”
I do not remember the messages delivered during the priesthood meeting that night, but I shall never forget the faith-filled conversation which preceded the commencement of the meeting.
The words of the Lord seemed so appropriate then. They are equally appropriate now: “And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!”
It is so awesome to think about all the incredible ways that we can share the gospel without even realizing it! I loved that story so much, especially as a missionary, thinking of all the seeds that I plant that will eventually be harvested by other missionaries. Its incredible.
I hope you all have a wonderful first week of the new year and start it off right!