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Spring Green

March 31, 2014

By the time I write this email, I’ve just read all the emails that y’all sent me so I’m all happy and thinking about how much I love you people so I can’t really remember what I was going to tell you this week.  Fortunately, we have planners!  And now that I think about it, we also had a great week!  So there’s good stuff to tell!

It’s WARM!!!  Tender mercies and the Lord loves me so much!  And even if it snows again like certain people (*cough* my companion) keep saying, I don’t even mind because it’s been warm for almost a week straight!  And there was a beautiful thunderstorm this morning and the whole world is turning my favorite color–green!–as if to say, “Dear Sister Rackham, You’ve been working hard all winter and now it’s time for you to see how much beauty this little place has to offer. Love, Heavenly Father”  But it’s in more than just the greenness of the grass.  Things are warming up in people’s hearts up here, I think. 

We visited a part member family this week, the Hayes, and talked with them about taking the lessons.  Brother Hayes hasn’t been active for a long time and his wife isn’t a member, but they are the kindest, most genuine and loving people!  I’d visited them before (they live about 45 minutes away on the far edge of the branch) and they were not open to spiritual discussions before.  They’ve seen some history channel shows about the Church and Joseph Smith and now they’re interested.  We told them that we teach the lessons so people can decide for themselves if they want to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ and receive those blessings and we asked if we could come back and start teaching the lessons and they said yes!!!  Sister Angle (one of the senior sisters–she’s going home soon and has spent all 18 months of her mission in the branch) loves this family and she’s so excited for us to teach them–she and I were just about crying when we got in the car we were so happy!  The Lord is preparing His children so lovingly and so individually–Katie said something like that in her email a few weeks back and I’ve been pondering it since–so true!

We also had a classic “new missionary/trainer” moment the other day.  😉  It was a gorgeous day, we were walking around Bethany, tried to visit a former that we’ve recently started working with again (Joe, Sister Bowden.) and he wasn’t home so we walked away and saw this cute family across the street getting ready to barbeque.  I start crossing the street towards them and say to Sister Michaelson, “Let’s go talk to them.”

“Do we have to?” (She fake whines about a lot of things, but she’s really a good missionary.)

“Yes, come on. And there’s a car coming so hurry up.” She puts a Book of Mormon in my hand as we’re hurrying across the street to “pass the buck” and make it my turn to lead out in talking to these folks.  We strike up a great conversation, this lady looked super familiar–turns out she was the nurse who directed us the night before when we’d gone to the hospital to visit an investigator.  Nicest lady ever, 3 cute little kids and the 4th due in October–they recently switched churches and they’ve met with missionaries before, read parts of the Book of Mormon before and liked it. “Can we come back on Tuesday at 3 to talk with your family more about this message and see how you liked that chapter we marked?” “Yeah, that would be great. See you then!”  Basically, it went as well as possible.  So as we’re walking away, Sister Michaelson says to me, “Ok, I guess you’re right with the talking to everybody thing.”  😉 

This week in companion study, we’ve talked about how structure is liberating and how the ultimate expression of individuality comes from choosing to be one with Christ’s light–those beautiful paradoxes of Christianity, and she looks at me like I’m crazy and I realize I sound just like Sister Forbush.  And I realize that I’ve grown a lot on the mission because I used to look at her like she was crazy.  Little did I know.  Little does Sister Michaelson know.  😉  I told her she’s going to write me a letter in about 6 months that says, “You were right about everything. I get it now.”  She laughed and said she probably would.  She’s a good missionary.  She pretends to put up a stink about stuff, but she trusts me and is obedient and really cares about the people we’re working with.  I’d love to bump into her in a few months and see how she’s changed.  She’s got major potential. 

And my epiphany!  When I write it down, it seems silly (Ether 12:24) but it was cool to me.  I realized in a conversation with Heavenly Father the other night, that the question is not and has never been, “Can I do this?” I can’t.  That is a well-established fact that He and I both know full well.  So my abilities and capabilities and talents are not a factor.  The success of the work of salvation in the Albany Branch or anywhere is in no way dependent on Sister Rackham’s skills.  Whew!  The question is, and has always been, “Will I trust the Lord and reach for His hand and say to Him every single day, ‘I’ll try’?”  And since the answer is always a resounding YES!  we’re doing great!  Let go and let God. True doctrine.  The success of the work of salvation everywhere is related to our faith, not our abilities.  (Duh.)  He is able to do His own work.  And when we are faithful and willing, we are able to help!  That’s the cool part.  So let us all press on in the work of the Lord! =) 

I love you all!  Have a good week!

love,

Sister Rackham

 

1. Some of the sisters with me at the Far West bookstore a few weeks ago.

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2. me with Sister Michaelson on her first day!

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3. Last night, my new spring outfit that my mama and daddy sent me. =)

 

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