Oh my goodness, I love y'all so much! This last week was just soooo amazing! I guess I really don't have any specific story that’s overly worth mentioning, but it was just a good week! There's mainly two things that I wanted to tell y'all about. The first one is about a cool experience I had with the subtlety of the spirit, and the second is similar to the first, but it is just cool how Heavenly Father answers prayers we didn't realize we were sending His way.
So, my first story began weeks ago, without me knowing, and the end is nowhere in sight, but the tale thus far is super cool. At least it was for me, as it helped to demonstrate to me how sometimes answers to prayers, and revelation, really doesn't come through lightning, but just by doing what you're supposed to do, with full purpose of heart. So about a month ago, Sister Poulton and I were tracting down a country road. We got to an intersection where we could continue down the road we were on, or turn left for a small detour down a dead-end road. We hesitated to take the time to go down it, only because we were on a bit of a time crunch (we were tracting before an appointment in the area). Therefore (as good little missionaries do) we said a prayer asking if we should turn, and we both felt that we should take the left down the road. Crazy thing: the very first house we got to- we recognized! For some reason we'd been out about a month before to visit that house, but no one was home, and we couldn't remember why we had ever tried to come out. We therefore forgot about that house, as no one was home, and they didn't call us from the card we left on the door. All I remember about that first attempt is that it was purposeful to go there, we weren't just tracting the first time. Anyway, this day we were tracting, and a man answered. He was nice, and said we could come back that Saturday. We came back, and he had forgotten we were coming, so he gave us a phone number, and said to text later for a new appointment. Okay, nothing new. However, we then completely forgot about him and texting him back. (Mainly because it was right before transfers, so we just forgot with the shuffle of everything). So, you’re probably asking yourself, "why are we hearing about this now?" A canceled appointment a month ago is nothing special. So here's where it gets cool (I think, because I think it was the spirit that guided these very innocent seeming events) last Friday, we were out at a dinner appointment, and the member asked us if we had any cool tracting experiences. Out of nowhere, I thought of that experience I just told you! I literally hadn't thought of it for weeks, and I couldn't even remember the guy’s name, what street he was on, or anything! I was just sure that I could get there, if I could get off the right exit from the highway. So, it hit me, and I realized I HAD to follow up! I just couldn't shake the feeling we needed to go out there, so I made a note to set a time to try to find him during the next weekly planning (the next Thursday). However, we were out that way, and we were just following up on other potentials, and I again thought of this man (Joel) so right then, we went and found his house. We walked up to the door, knocked, and no one answered. We'd tried calling his phone, and there was no answer, so we were just going to leave a pass along card, and head on our way. Just then, a truck pulls into the driveway (awkward!) so we go over and luckily it's Joel, and he remembers who we are! We were able to visit for a few minutes, and we chatted with him and his wife. They both seemed sincerely interested, and volunteered to trade information for us to call back and set up a time to come back. We will be following up really soon, and I'll let you know what happens! It's Joel, his wife, Misty, and two daughters who live at home (though they have others that are already moved out). I just loved that I had three distinct interactions with him, and we've now gotten to the point that we will be teaching them really soon, hopefully! (I guess that counted as a missionary story, huh?)
The second one started Saturday night. We went over to a local member's (the Calaway’s) because Sister Martin was asking for a blessing before her neurologist exam today (I'm actually writing from the doctors office right now). I have been feeling like I want to ask for a blessing for about a month and a half now (just for council, mainly) but I never felt like I should or that it was good timing, or that I should because I always felt like my companions needed it more (dumb, I know, but that was my thought process). Anyway, Saturday night, I finally asked for a blessing from brother Calaway since Sister Martin was asking for one from him that night anyway. It was a great blessing, and answered some questions I hadn't even realized I was posing. I have such a testimony of priesthood blessings, it really is communication from the Lord, not from the priesthood holder. The main thing that I've been processing recently is feeling like I'm not able to follow/feel the spirit directing my conversation and lessons the way I felt like I should be. I knew, intellectually, that I was being directed, because I've been striving to live according to the pattern of revelation. I've been trying to more fully surrender my obstinate will to the Lord's, so that I can do what He would have me do with a happy heart, rather than just because He told me to. Then, after my blessing on Saturday, I had two experiences on Sunday that helped me really internalize that the Lord does work through me, even if it doesn't feel like it all the time. Both times, I went to give a short thought (they were both members, one less active) and didn't feel any particular influence to read or watch anything, I just did what kinda came to mind. The really cool one, was that I was trying to find a specific scripture for the LA, but I couldn't find it, and I had instead flipped to 2 Nephi 4:32-35 (kinda cool, because of what you were saying dad!) and so I just decided to read it with him. We had a great discussion, and he said that it was exactly what he needed to hear, and what he needed to do (hopefully that is come back to church!), and that that was in fact the second time that day he'd had that conversation. So Cool! Something I thought was just a passing spiritual thought, and what I happened to flip to, was actually guided thoughts from the Lord to bless his life.
We are literally in Sister Martin's appointment right now. She's having an hour long brain exam, so hence the long letter. I have time to kill! Haha :) we think that this will help a lot. She got a daily pill to take, to help prevent the migraines, and a good medicine that should help if she has one coming on anyway. She is a great girl, and I'm so happy to be her companion. She appreciates the prayers y'all send her way, and said to tell you thanks, and that you're awesome!
Anyway, those are pretty much my thoughts for the week! Joe came to church on Sunday, and he's doing super well! We really don't have any investigators right now, but we have a few right on the brink, that we think will pan out soon :) I love hearing from you at home, and thank you for sending Williams journal entry, and your thoughts of that. I'm soooo proud of you both, and I love you beyond the edge of the world! You're the best parents a girl could ask for! ❤
I love you so much! Have a great week!
Sister Erika Marks ❤☀❤☃