Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015

Heavenly Father taught me a couple of great lessons this week. We've been struggling with our investigators not only not keeping commitments but they haven't even been keeping lesson appointments. We've been working hard so I really honestly had no idea why our righteous desires to help these people weren't being as successful as we had anticipated. Then I remembered back to something that I learned in the MTC. One of my teachers told my district that sometimes Satan uses people as a distraction. He distracts us with people who we come to love, those who we honestly want to help, but it's just not their time yet. He distracts us with those who aren't yet ready to change their lives to keep us from finding those who have been prepared for this time right now. So as a companionship we talked and went through each investigator and ended up dropping a few. It was sad, but we all felt like it was the right thing for us to do. The very next day we met Evan. First off, this Evan came from us contacting an inactive member whose name we received from a meeting with a ward council member, which is something that our mission has been pushing lately. The inactive no longer lives at the address, but Evan does. We introduced ourselves, gave him a Restoration pamphlet, and he invited us back. We went back on Saturday, planning to talk about the Restoration. As we got to know him better all of his concerns so specifically could be addressed by the Plan of Salvation. So I led into it, my companions understood exactly what I was doing, and we were able to teach together to help him see that the core of his beliefs are found in the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation! We invited him to church and he came the next day! It was fast and testimony meeting and he was hanging on every word that the ward members were saying. He stayed for all three hours and at the end asked us for a Book of Mormon and promised us that he'd be back!

This experience with Evan taught me so many different things. First, Heavenly Father needs us to be responsible with our teaching pool. It's not about how many people we have listed there, it's about finding the ones He's prepared for this time. Second, meeting with the ward council and what we've been given truly does bring miracles! We met Evan and also a few other inactive members who were so excited to invite us back! One of them was at church yesterday and the other works Sundays but is planning on going to the Priesthood session of conference this week. Third, the elect will keep commitments. Heavenly Father has prepared people for this message. It's not our job to prepare them. It's our job to find them. And fourth, the members are so important. When Evan came to church a little late and he was standing outside too nervous to come in at first. Through a spirit directed series of events the member who we took to our lesson with him ended up in the foyer and noticed him and went and brought him in. And after Gospel Principles multiple members welcomed him and told him that he was in the right place and the Elders Quorum President came and walked with him to Priesthood. I definitely wanted to play mommy and sort of take Evan by the hand and make sure he was where he needed to be, but I really realized at church this week that if I was to do that then Evan would not have made these connections or progressed as he did. The Camden ward is truly incredible in their desires to bring others into the gospel. I have never seen a friendlier, more welcoming bunch
 of people and I am so eternally grateful to be serving here.

I also had the BEST birthday of all time! Thank you all for the emails and letters. I loved each and every one. :)  I got to spend the day with lots of different members. I'll make sure and send a few pictures because they took very good care of me. I love this ward, I love being a missionary, I love this work, and I love my Savior!!

Love you all!
Sister Petrick
Sister Petrick and Olivia

Brother Evins, Sister Petrick, Olivia

Sister Van Arsdale, Sister Bluemel, Sister Petrick

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