Each week is somewhat unique. We are enjoying some great experiences as we invite people to come unto Christ! Always remember, the invitation is the most important part of missionary work.
Sunday's are always long days with an early morning correlation meeting with ward mission leaders and full-time missionaries. Following that we usually go to some ward council meetings and to at least two sacrament meetings.
Last Sunday we were invited to dinner with the Young Men's president and his family in the First Ward. The family has mostly teenagers, one son just recently returned from his mission and has been called to the Elders quorum presidency in the YSA Ward in our area who was preparing to go on visits to quorum members. Following a lovely meal with a potato bar, we shared a video about the importance of member missionary work. We visited a couple of families. The final home we visited was very challenging. The father was the only one at home and he said that the family had moved in recently and decided to take some time off from church activity. The couple has been married in the temple and they have one son left at home who has been to Y M activities and seemed to fit in well. The Y M president was very bold and told the brother that if this gospel is true and he had made these commitments then he should consider his feelings about his level of activity. He assured the brother that the Lord loves him and the ward members loved the family and would do whatever they could to help them feel welcome in the ward.
Monday afternoon we went to see a couple whom we had worked with in indexing. He had just gotten home from work and we had a great visit. The sister has had some health challenges recently and the brother had a wonderful family experience which mended some wounds that had festered for many years. It was a spiritual experience to hear them testify how good the Lord has been to them. He is still faithfully indexing and arbitrating. We then went to visit a widow. We had been there before but had not had anyone answer the door. She is 89 years old and she said if she didn't have her hearing aids in, she couldn't hear the door bell. Her visiting teachers had just been there and so she was in the front room and when we arrived. Such a wonderful lady and a very nice visit. We also stopped and had a nice visit with her son who lives next door that we found out doesn't usually have much to do with the Church.
Our dinner was with a young family with six children from 10 years to 6 months. She had also invited her parents to dinner which was nice to get acquainted with them as well. We gave the children a lesson on the plan of salvation in which they participated and enjoyed taking part.
We also stopped in to see a family that has two children that were recently baptized and encouraged them in their Church activity.
We enjoyed our preparation day and then went to the home of our current city mayor. It was a delightful evening and wonderful dinner that the husband had cooked even though it was his birthday.They had invited a couple we knew well to join us for dinner. It was great to be able to get better acquainted with everyone including some grandchildren.
After dinner we decided to call on some good friends who used to be next door neighbors. Everyone was home and it was just a delightful visit. Their oldest son is graduating from high school this year and had just gotten his ACT score and was really elated at future prospects for schooling . We shared a Thanksgiving video with them and a message and a crocheted pumpkin with a message on gratitude attached.
Wednesdays are District meetings except on transfer weeks. We are always impressed with the quality of teaching by our District leader. In the afternoon we made a return visit to a couple we had visited a week earlier. He is not active and we had an impression we needed to challenge him to prepare himself to take his wife to the temple. He has been less-active for such a long time that the invitation was not enthusiastically received. We were invited to return and we will try to love him enough that he will desire to come back to activity. We then had several visits with Primary children's families with the Primary President and then went to her home to warm up with a nice bowl of homemade soup.
The weather had turned off very cold and it was good to be warm inside the home and inside the body.
Thursday we had a wonderful dinner in the home of the ward mission leader. He has a delightful family and they have such a wonderful spirit in their home that it is always a joy to be there. We shared the Thanksgiving message and then made a couple of other visits.We distributed some flyers to chapels in the Stake and in one building we encountered a Single Adult dinner of turkey and the trimmings and a member of the Stake Presidency coerced us into having some dinner with them. It was fun to get acquainted with some of the single adults and we visited with a fellow we have met with and encouraged to return to church activity.
We also stopped to see a couple that are retired teachers. They are well known and neat people who have just filled their lives with everything except church activity. It is sad because he is a returned missionary. I kept thinking of Elder Holland's recent admonition to our missionaries in a mission conference. He told the missionaries that they have no right to turn away from the principles they have taught and testified of while on their missions. So much strength could be added to the Church if all the returned missionaries were active.
We also had a wonderful Sr Couples meeting with our area Seventy and a counselor from our mission presidency in attendance. These meeting are always uplifting and full of great ideas and testimonies.
One new senior couple told us about how a bishop assigned someone to home teach them. He said he knew he was a project but the persistence and love of this home teaching couple brought him back into full activity and they will be a great couple in our area!
The work isn't easy but it is worth it.