Monday, August 19, 2013

I don't know what to title this email. It's kind of a random one.

A question for the masses: Why is it that when I leave, all of my friends start getting married and stuff??? Not cool.

So. Funny story: There’s a member of our ward named Bro. Hernandez. Last Sunday, as we were greeting our investigators and members in the foyer (is that how you spell that?) he very urgently waved us outside. We asked what was up, and he just kept walking.

Hmm. Mysterious.

So, we follow him to his car, and he pops his trunk to reveal a RIDICULOUS amount of cakes, cookies, muffins, and other baked goods!

This is why missionaries gain weight on their missions.

We had 2 exchanges this week, so I started the week with Sis. Williams from Mapleton Utah (I feel like every missionary I know is from Utah...) we had an interesting exchange. Every. Single. Appointment. Fell. Through.... except for one. and man, that one appointment made the whole exchange. We taught a guy named Scott, who had just moved here from Boston, MA. He's living alone, but has a wife and 6 kids in Boston finishing up school before they move down here with him. He was someone that Sis. Belyea and I knocked into, and as we were teaching him, he told sis Williams and I that when we knocked on his door, he had just been wallowing in the fact that he was all alone, in a strange state, and wishing that God would send him a friend. It looks like the Lord has sent him something better: the truth. It was a pretty powerful lesson, and he would like to be baptized! (He just needs to ask his wife before we set him on date ;))

Exchange No. 2: SISTER MUMFORD!!!! Ahh, I missed that girl so much! I was so excited to be able to go on an exchange with her! That exchange taught us both a lot about being happy regardless of circumstances. I feel like the adversary did everything he possibly could have done to make this a miserable exchange. All our appointments fell through... we got chewed out by a guy we ended up teaching... heck…it even rained on us while we were walking. But........... We were just so stinking happy to be missionaries that it was okay. In fact, it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on an exchange.
 Bryndee and Sister Mumford!  Sister Mumford was Bryndee's MTC companion and they became instant friends!
Sister Mumford and Bryndee

We had a baptism this weekend! Victoria (9) and Preston Elvis (8, and owner of the coolest name in the whole world) had the opportunity to make sacred covenants! hoo-rah! :) Their family is active, but Victoria was afraid to be baptized, so they put it off for a year, and asked the missionaries to teach them. Brothers and sisters, I Love this family. Victoria reminds me so much of 9 year old me, and it was so fun to see her learn and feel the spirit. She looked super relieved when it was all over... I don’t think she likes being the center of attention so much. Luckily, it was a super smooth baptism (something that doesn’t happen often, so I hear...).

Saturday, we have another baptism (hitting our goal of 2 for the month! knock on wood.... :)) Joe is finally getting baptized! Now, if only we could find someone to baptize him that won’t drop a 200ish pound, 6 foot 8ish guy. I love tough things. :)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what a leader is. I came out on my mission thinking that a leader is someone who knows more, or does more, or takes more initiative than those around them. In my head, a leader had to have a certain....something to qualify them as such, therefore blazing a trail by which others may follow them. The minute I was asked to be a sister trainer leader, or to train, that theory flew out the window. Most of the time, I have no. clue. What I'm doing. Now, I’m starting to realize a leader is someone who is less than those around them, and therefore humble enough to listen to the Lord’s way of doing things. There’s a man in the scriptures that I've been studying lately. His name is Gideon, and he is called to be a leader by the Lord, to save Israel from their oppressors. His response: “Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house." He feels totally unprepared. He is the last person a man would ever pick to be a leader.... and yet, this is the reason the Lord picks him. Because he is humble enough to rely on the Lord, and do it his way, even when the Lord’s way sounds kind of ridiculous. It’s my hope that I can be humble enough to let the Lord tell me how to lead the sisters in my stewardship to do some pretty amazing things.

Well, I hope y’all are having an awesome week, and sharing the gospel like crazy. I’ve found that a lot of people have this stigma about missionary work... we talk about it, and they squirm in their seats, thinking "oh, I can’t do that! I’m too ________. I’m not ________ enough. I don’t know anyone who wants to hear the gospel!" If that’s you, I invite you to repent. The Lord has said you can do it, and you have the gumption to tell him that he’s wrong?

Okay, climbing off my soapbox, and wishing y’all a blessed day :)

Sister Derrick

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