|Sister Ashcraft, Sister Van Arsdale, and Sister Petrick|
Monday, July 27, 2015
I have so many fun things to share with everyone this week! First, I'm in a trio again! That was kind of a shock, but we got Sister Van Arsdale on Wednesday. :) She's from Bountiful and she's awesome, we've been having a ton of fun and getting work done.
One part of missionary work that I have come to love is working with the members of the ward. In the Camden Ward we have so many people who are willing and excited to come out teaching with us, and it is such a blessing! Members add so much to our lessons. The hard thing is that as missionaries we move around. We're not here to stay. It's so important that the new members and those investigating have a friendly, constant face at church. This Ward goes above and beyond with their fellow- shipping efforts and we've been able to see miracles.
I was lucky enough to go out with a Sister in our Ward named Cindy Goodman. Sister Goodman was baptized almost a year and a half ago and she's going to the temple next Saturday to take out her endowments and she's basically the sweetest thing you'll ever see. When she got in the car with me she told me how nervous she was but she said "this is
the Lord's work and you're the Lord's servant, so I know that I'm in good hands." That simple testimony set the feeling for the whole day.
We were able to share the message of the Restoration with a man and Sister Goodman's testimony really solidified his understanding. I could see his understanding of the priesthood pop into place and I know that it's because this sweet woman went out of her way, went out of her comfort zone, to share what she knows to be true. Members bring
miracles! Every time, and I'd like to encourage all of you, if you're able, to go out teaching with the missionaries. I can promise that they will so greatly appreciate the offer.
We also had a powerful experience as we were doing stop bys last night. We have an investigator named Eugene who we've only briefly met. He's hard to catch and we haven't actually taught him just yet,
but we found him home and set up an appointment! Eugene works at the
car wash that we go to and the Elders started talking to him one day and gave him a Book of Mormon. He started reading and he LOVES it! He is obsessed with Mosiah. As we were talking I just kept having the thought to invite him to be baptized, and with how their comments were going, I could tell my companions had the same thought. We worked so
well together as we invited him to be baptized and explained more about the priesthood power he said "My baptism wasn't valid, I need to be baptized again!" It was incredible! He understood exactly why the priesthood is so vital and asked us to come back next week.
I love this gospel with every fiber of my being. I'm so grateful for this chance that I have to serve my Savior and learn how to follow him. Every day I realize how far from perfect I am, I realize a new
inadequacy or weakness, but I can say that I know that I can be strengthened by the infinite atonement that Christ suffered for each one of us individually. He knows us and how to help us perfectly. All
we have to do is ask and seek His help, but He's always there.
Sister Rachel Petrick
Monday, July 20, 2015
I didn't mention it last week but Friday we received our transfer calls. I didn't mention it because since I'm training and in a brand new area I didn't expect to get told I was leaving. And I was right, both Sister Ashcraft and I will be staying in Camden for another 6 weeks! But there are going to be some changes. We had two extra beds delivered to our apartment. No one has said anything about them, but it looks like we will be getting a couple more roommates! So whatever happens is going to be really exciting.
This week worked us hard. We came home happy and completely and utterly exhausted each and every night. It's getting hot here. And not just hot, humid. Basically you walk outside and it's like you hit a wall and you feel sticky and wet from head to toe. But we go out and walk and knock and preach and teach because we have the gospel and everyone needs it!! And we have been blessed! One night we picked a neighborhood and decided we were going to talk to everyone. We picked a message to use and went out. We probably watched the Because He Lives video about 20 times, but it was completely worth it. No
immediate success there, but lots of planted seeds and we were led where we needed to be. As we were walking around we came to the door of a former investigator, Zach, and decided to try him. He answered the door and I kid you not, he was glowing. He had the light of Christ in him and he was just a breath of fresh air!! I love the people here, but in general the east coast is not happy and friendly like Utah. But Zach was so happy to see us! We asked to share our message with him and as we started the video, we don't know how and didn't realize it until after we started it, but the video changed to Because of Him. Zach immediately commented on something he saw and said he already loved the video after seeing about two seconds. We testified of Christ and he invited us back for this upcoming week! As we walked away we both had no idea how the video was switched on our iPads but there was no doubt in our minds that it was completely the Spirit's doing.
We also have an incredible new investigator, Kenzie. She's the cousin of our investigator Madeline. They're both granddaughters of a less active member of the ward. We went to teach Madeline and Kenzie was there and LOVED it. She showed up to church with them (the first time we had seen them at church this transfer) and told us she asked her
mom if she could be baptized! Her mom isn't quite on board yet, but with Kenzie's faith I just know that it will all work out. Kenzie was also able to receive a blessing at church for a surgery that she's going to have this week. That was an incredible experience. Both men involved are men who I have come to love and respect so much. They asked me if I would say a prayer to invite the spirit for them. As I said the prayer I felt an overwhelming feeling that Kenzie would be okay, with the surgery and baptism. As the blessing was given I again just felt so overwhelmed with how much my testimony of the priesthood
has grown. Nothing would be possible without the priesthood power and I am so grateful to have so many men in my life who are worthy to hold such an incredible responsibility.
Other exciting things this week include me losing (and thankfully finding) my scriptures, me losing(and again, thankfully finding) all of our church and house keys, a run in with the cops(we were 100% safe), we set a couple of baptismal dates, and we got a little too curious with a couple of the HUGE bugs here(probably more dangerous than when we're were with the cops).
I just want you all to know that being a missionary is the greatest experience I've ever had! It is the best choice anyone could make. The memories and friendships I'm making will last for eternity and my love and testimony of my Savior and His gospel is growing each and every day. I'm so grateful for the truthfulness of this gospel and for the was that I know lives are changed as we follow these principles. I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for all the love and prayers.