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The Sheep

July 1, 2013
Hi dear ones!
So, I wanted you to meet our investigators.  We talk to a trillion people all the time, so I’ll pick three for today.  The three I think about most, so maybe you’ve already “met” them…
Betty.  She’s 22, Sudanese, she came to the States as a refugee when she was 11 with her mom, grandma, and two sisters.  Her mom and grandma went back to Sudan when Betty was 12 or 13 and her oldest sister was 22.  The three sisters worked and got government help and supported each other in Texas until Betty graduated high school.  They have an uncle in Kansas City so they moved up here 3 years ago and her younger sister graduated high school here.  Betty works 3 jobs to save up for school in the fall.  She’s in the nursing program at William Jewel, a small liberal arts school here in Liberty.  She has such a beautiful testimony of being found.  She described herself as the lost sheep who was found and now, this Sunday, she’s being baptized!  She’s so happy and so excited!  And she gets it.  She really gets it.  I had a dream in which I was talking to her and she was coming to teaching appointments with us after her baptism.  She was upset that the ward wasn’t more involved with our work.  (Sister Forbush and I have been thinking of ways to get things rolling better in connection with the ward.  I think summer is hard because everyone’s schedules go out the window and things get nuts.  But the work moves on. =)  In church yesterday, I had this overwhelming peace that the Lord really does take care of the people who come unto Him.  Not that that excuses us from stepping up to take care of people, but I just felt like I didn’t need to fret about people the way I was because they are in God’s hands.)
Fred.  Early 50s, heavily tattooed, in and out of prison, smokes a lot, has a pitbull–maybe I mentioned him before…  He’s done a 180 with his life in the past five years and he knows what he needs to do to keep changing.  He’s going to move and get a new phone number so the people who influenced him in his old life won’t even be a part of his new life.  In his words, “You gotta change the playmates and the playground.”  So he is.  When we watched The Restoration with him, his favorite part was how Joseph Smith kept searching until he found his answer.  That gave me a lot of hope for Fred.  I feel like it might be a long, slow road for him with his life circumstances, but he’s tenacious so I really think he’ll make it.
Joe.  Late 40s.  Joe has two kids and he’s divorced.  He recently quit drinking and has seen the benefits in his life.  His kids mean the world to him and he would do anything to help them out.  He’s started going to church with his co-workers, not the LDS Church, but Christian something.  He gets pressure from his coworkers to not join the LDS Church, but we’re trying to help build his faith so their opinions won’t matter to him.  He really wants his kids to come to church, but they’re not interested yet.  We’re planning a trip to the VC in Independence with them sometime soon.  Joe works hard and when he’s part of the fold, he’ll work hard to build the kingdom.  He’s a carpenter by trade, cool, huh? =)
I’m going to try working on thinking about, praying for, studying for them more than for myself.  My question is though, why set goals for what I want to become on my mission/how I want to grow, if I’m not supposed to be thinking about that?  Because I can work toward goals, or I can just get home one day and realize, “hey cool, I grew and changed, when did that happen?  How’s Joe doing?”  I think I need to understand better the role of personal goals in a work that should be entirely focused on others…  Alicia, riddle me that.  I feel like you would know what wisdom to teach me.  But the question is for anyone who wants to offer me counsel.
Other story to lighten the mood:  My grandparents came through the Jail!  I got to take them on a tour and give them hugs!  =)  And Grandma gave me money to buy jam at the farmers’ market on the square in Liberty, so we did.  And scones, and apricot bars.  And there was much rejoicing in the missionaries’ home that day. =)
And today Sister Spivey made me grits for breakfast because she loves me and knows that sometimes I crave grits.  Gotta love living with a Southern belle. =)  Life is good and this work is inspired.  And Sister Rackham, who talks in thrid person, is happy. =)
Sister Rackham

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