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“Cross the Wide Missouri…

June 3, 2013

So without the mountains, my geography is all wonky and I don’t really even know where the Missouri is from here.  But I know that Clay County is north of Jackson County and that the Saints were driven north thru two counties and that a battle broke out and that triggered the extermination order, etc. and so forth.  If you want the whole shpeel you’ll have to come visit me at the Libery Jail here in Liberty MO.  Yup, I’m serving in the jail Visitors’ Center first.  My mission president told me that since the jail is staffed with only 8 sisters at a time (4 companionships) many VC sisters never get to serve here so I should feel very blessed and lucky.  So far, that’s exactly what I feel.  And humbled and ready to go to work and trying ever to be patient with my slow growth.


My trainer is Sister Forbush and she’s amazing!  She has taught me so much in just this past week.  Let’s say that I thought I knew what it meant to be spiritually mature and I kind of thought I was and then I met her.  And I’ve got a whole lot of growing to do.  I think the biggest thing for me will be letting the depth of my testimony show more in the way I talk to people.  I hold my sacred things very sacred and deep and private and I don’t really talk about my soul to people much.  It’s my soul and God can see it so why would I.  Wrong.  I’m a missionary.  No more walls between my soul and the world who needs a witness for truth.  I’m here to teach truth and touch lives so the walls must come down.  I didn’t even know I had walls until I came out on this mission.  It’s definitely been a process of finding myself while losing myself even just this week. 


Anyway, I’m in Liberty but the mission office handles the forwarding of mail so I’m not supposed to give my other address to anyone not immediate family.  (Mom and Dad, it’s in an email I just sent to you and Clayton.)  I love Liberty!  It’s this super cute little town (think Cedarburg meets Whitefish Bay and that’s it) with rural spread past the historic downtown spot.  There are 4 wards in the area.  Sis. Forbush and I are in the Liberty 1st Ward (From the Provo YSA 1st to the Liberty 1st 😉 )  and I LOVE the ward.  The members come with us to meet with investigators all the time and feed us well and give us rides when the other sisters have the car.  These are good good people and I’m going to love getting to know and serve them more everyday.  I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday and I’m giving a talk next week on my favorite missionary.  So I’m going to talk about Christ.  I think usually we think of Ammon and Amulek and Paul when we think of missionaries, but Christ does a lot of inviting and committing and following up and He is the source of the gospel we teach.  So that’s my plan. 


So, meet my investigators! =)  Pam and her husband Shannon were baptized and confirmed this weekend, is there a better way to start a mission?!  And they are such good people!  When asked what he was most excited about for baptism, Shannon answered, “Taking a step toward eternal life.”  Love it when people get it!  Baptism is the beginning, not the end.  We have two others on date for being baptized this month–Betty, a gorgeous Sudanese girl here for college who before we’ve even taught the Word of Wisdom set a goal to quit smoking by tomorrow.  We’re teaching her the WoW tonight.  And Tyler, a 14-yr old boy who’s been keeping a journal of spiritual questions for the past year as he’s been discovering and seeking answers.  God prepares people for His message.  Hence I’m going to talk about Christ as my favorite missionary.  =)   We also went to visit a recent convert, Miss Betty (not to be confused with Betty) and lifted her spirits.  She’s been having rough times with her tenants lately (crazy police involvement hard times) and she just wanted to feel peace.  So Sister Forbush and I sang to her.  Where Can I Turn for Peace and it was amazing how that turned things around for her.  When we came in, she was all flustered and cleaning like crazy to blow some steam and when we left, she was smiling and praying to be able to love this difficult tenant of hers.  Ours is a God of miracles.  I get to be part of working those miracles every day if I want to be.  Sis. Forbush and I are going to read through D&C together this transfer and it says a lot in the first few sections that if we desire we be the cause of much good.  I like that.  And I do desire it.  So I think I’ll do much good.  😉   I love these people.  And I love you people! 


Sister Forbush and I practiced bearing our testimonies to each other yesterday and it was a powerful experience.  Along with tearing down my walls, I’m working on bearing testimony from my heart rather than my mind.  I’m a very logical, analytical person and the gospel makes so much sense to me that I often want to explain it to people.  I forget that it only makes sense because the Spirit has revealed truth to me and made a home for truth within me.  You can’t explain things to people if the Spirit isn’t there to make room in their hearts and minds for the truth.  So that’s one of my goals for myself–testimony from my heart, not my mind.  I can teach from both.


As for my MTC sisters, two of them are with me at the jail, Sisters Raymer and White and the other two, Sisters Moody and Vance, are at the VC in Independence.  I miss the other two, but I’m very glad to have stayed with Sister Raymer and Sister White.  I don’t see them tons and tons, but in the moments before studies in the morning and before bed at night, we have fun together.  We live in a house altogether right behind the jail.  Quite convenient. =)


Working at the jail (and everyone calls it the jail, the Visitors’ Center means the one in Independence, I’ve gathered) has deepened my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith.  I wish you could all come see it.  If you get a chance, I’ll likely be here for the majority of the summer since I just got here and will likely be here a few transfers.


Last thing, maybe–we had dinner at the Laudies’ home on Saturday evening and they have 4 boys and a girl who line up exactly with the youngest five in my family.  Their little girl, Sarah, wanted her dad to pray, but she helped.  She reminded him to pray for the prophet AND Thomas S. Monson.  Cutest ever!  Naturally it made me think of my Abby girl =)


I’m happy.  I’m well.  I think of you all often, but I don’t worry about you.  The Lord never does anything that isn’t in our best interest. =)


love always,

Sister Rackham


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