So much happened the last couple days! I realize I may not have too much time today so I’m going to attempt to make it brief. 😅 (*Edit: LOL, bet you saw this coming, but it’s not short)
I’m giving a talk this coming Sunday on conversion, so I would love to hear what conversion is to you. ☺ And if any of you have scriptures, quotes, or conference talks, etc., let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This last Wednesday was awesome! We had our first district council this transfer with our new district leader, Elder Bonsignore (sometimes we call him "Elder B" because his name can be hard to pronounce). This is his last transfer and he leaves for home the day the new Spiderman movie comes out. 😆 (So I’ve been told lol) We had such an uplifting discussion about how we can help the people we teach feel God’s love for them, which seems to be a theme carried on through the week! Elder B shared a really cool story which I’ll drop at the end (just because it’s long). Later that night, we met with Michelle and helped her start working on her family tree! I’m so excited for her, and she’s all in about going to the temple, and doing some really neat things. She’s so inspiring and she’s just so ready and willing to put the Lord’s will above EVERYTHING.
Wednesday also happened to be my 8 Month mark as a missionary! I can’t believe how fast everything I going. My trainer just gave her homecoming talk last night and I can still remember being with her when she hit her 1 year mark. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long… I’ll have been in Michigan for 8 months in a little over 2 weeks from now. My 9 month mark is two days after the transfer ends, and I’m really hoping I can stay in Spring Lake, especially because of something that happened last night…
Thursday was our Study Togethursday live on FB, and for the last two weeks, we’ve been going over the three questions of the soul: Where did we come from, why are we here, and where are we going? This week was, why are we here, and we talked so much about Jesus Christ, and his Atonement. We used an analogy of a hole (sin). Jesus Christ gives us a ladder (repentance) and we have to choose to climb it. The ladder isn’t tall enough to get us out of the hole alone, so Jesus Christ is waiting at the top, waiting to pull us put. It is our choice to climb that ladder and do everything we can to reach the top. Christ makes up that difference. We also shared that story Elder B shared (see bottom). While we were having the live, we saw a miracle of one of Sis. Peterson’s FB contacts watching it out of the blue and having some really neat thoughts!
Friday, we had a couple lessons with our friends and one of our friends we’ve been teaching for a time is finding so many answers and gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon for herself. 🙌 The other friend we met with, this was our second meeting. She’s been reading the "Book of Mormon Stories" coupled with the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit was just so strong as she asked simple questions and we testified of God’s love for her. It’s neat when we feel the Spirit in our lessons, but there’s a powerful difference when we know it’s being received.
I was reminded so much of the bullet points for a successful missionary this week. On Saturday we had exchanges with the STLs and I realized how much I haven’t been applying being a successful missionary to my missionary service. Those points are:
♡Feel the Spirit testify to people through you
♡Love people and desire their salvation
♡Obey with exactness
♡Live so you can receive and know how to follow the Spirit who will show you where to go, what to do, and what to say
♡Develop Christlike attributes
♡Work effectively every day, do your very best to bring souls unto Christ, and seek earnestly to learn and improve
♡Help establish the church (the Stake and ward) wherever you are assigned to work
♡Warn people of the consequences of sin. Invite them to make and keep commitments
♡Teach and Serve other missionaries
♡Go about doing good and serving people at every opportunity, whether or not they accept your message
I made some goals during exchanges to better follow all of these points. I want to look back on all of my mission with a joy in my heart, rather than regret that I didn’t take advantage of every moment. Preach My Gospel states right after these points that,"When you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself. You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you."
I talked to my wonderful STL, Sister Ross, about having the faith to see miracles (something I’ve thought a lot about since some of my family has been praying for miracles back home). I had this misunderstanding that I needed to have faith to see specific miracles, and it felt like I was lying to myself. I rediscovered that faith is trust, hope, and belief that everything will turn out according to the Lord’s will and to trust in him. Trust that he is working for your good. I’ve changed my focus of specific miracles to trust. I’m so much happier because of that trust that my family will be okay and he is watching over them. I’m reminded of one of my favorite scriptures I’ve shared a couple times.
"Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.
Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.
But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day." (Alma 26:5-7)
I’ve seen so many miracles already. The following day, Sunday night, we called one of our friends, I’ll continue to call him "Todd" and asked if he wanted to meet. He said he had questions about the symbolism in 1 Nephi 8, and he’s comprehending so much! After we set up a time to meet later that night, we got a call from a number we didn’t recognize. It was a lady we had door knocked last Tuesday that hadn’t seemed as interested, but we gave her our number. She told us last night that she wants to do Bible studies and said she figured it wouldn’t be bad being a Latter Day Saint! 🤯 It was so cool! We’re going to go see her tonight, and we’re so excited!
Later in "Todd’s" lesson, we talked about the symbolism and he even had some meaning for the roots of the tree of life and how that is growing our faith, and the tree grows stronger. It’s been so amazing to see him go from not having any knowledge of God or Jesus Christ and wondering if God is real, to having a testimony and spiritual experiences of feelings God’s love for him and knowing the Book of Mormon is the word of God. At the end of our lesson, we weren’t really sure what to ask him next, and I just started talking, and the words came out asking him what he needed from us to continue growing, and learning. He told us he wants to keep learning it all, and he wants to be BAPTIZED. WE DONT EVEN KNOW HOW HE HEARED ABOUT BAPTISM! He’s still got so much to learn, but we set a goal for him to prepare to be baptized and we discussed meeting in person, meeting more frequently, and attending church!!! We are so excited for him, and he is so prepared. 💪😤 It’s just another reminder that this isn’t coming because of us. This is the Lord’s work. It’s all him.
Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in Spring Lake, and we’re so excited for our friends and all of the joy they are feeling. The date we set for "Todd" is after the transfer ends, so I’m just praying that I can stay, or at least help him progress to a point where I can attend his baptism. He’s very special, and has been so prepared to receive the gospel. My email is getting long, but I love you all! Have an amazing Thanksgiving, have fun eating a cooked bird, and tell me about your Book of Mormon studies lately! Aaaahhh! Love you guys! 😍
Sister (Katie) Malan
"A few years ago, a sister in Canada was getting ready to help with a baptism in her ward. Her husband of 40 years informed her that he wouldn’t be going this time, he was tired and wanted to stay home. He had supported her for years in her membership of the church but rejected the whole idea of a god that would send his son to suffer and die. She left and he settled into his easy chair, tired from the day’s chores on the ranch. As it started to snow, he mentally checked the barn, the animals, etc. But he was suddenly brought to attention with a loud bang on the large front window. He ran to look, in time to see a large Canadian goose recovering from the collision. He noted that the snow had turned into a blizzard that blinded everything.
As he watched, barely able to make out moving shadows through the snow, he could see that the flock had landed in his front yard and were huddling down for survival. But, without protection they would certainly die. He only hesitated for a moment as he donned his heavy snow clothes and entered the powerful wind and blinding snow. He first went to the barn and opened the door. Then he ran back and began to chase, and drive the geese into the barn. But, one by one they would leave the intended trajectory and destination to take their own path and direction. After a half-hour of meaningless running, he finally sat down midst the settling flock as discouraged as they would become, as the cold seeped into his bones.
Suddenly, an idea came to him. He rose and went in search of one of his prized geese. Cradling it in his arms, he returned to the now freezing flock, and set the chosen and now suffering bird on the ground at the edge farthest from the barn. It knew the warmth and safety that awaited it and noisily but quickly wound its way through the huddling birds back to the security of the barn. Seeing and hearing one of their own, the flock lined up and followed this new leader into warmth, light, safety, and life. Patting himself on the back, this man happily settled back into the warmth of his fire and comfort of his chair. As he drifted into a much-deserved semi-conscious state, he was struck with a realization that unpredictably timed to correspond with the safe arrival home of his wife. She was stunned into a grateful but weeping silence as he exclaimed, “Call the missionaries, I finally get it!! His precious son is the way, the truth, and the life! Driving us to heaven can never work!! We needed one willing to come, endure, and show the way! I finally understand enough to want to follow him!" (The Plan of Happiness A New Way of Seeing It
By Craig R. Frogley · July 1, 2019)
Pictures! (This One’s For You Sister Harris, Exchanges With Sister Ross!, Happy 20th Birthday Sister Peterson!!!, Exchanges With The Mayo, Fish Patty Burgers 🍔, Young Women’s Quotes- TY Sister Abercrombie!)