Hello awesome family and friends! Another productive and exciting week here in Billings! I'll start off with a funny story that happened Monday night...
So we are at the church before FHE started for a dinner there with the Rapps (1st counselor in Bishopric and wife). I HATE tomatoes. Every single meal has a salad and tomatoes. So I carefully select just lettuce right? Sister Rapp a little later says, "Oh you already ate your tomatoes?" To my shame I replied happily, "Yup!" So she replies, "We got a tomato lover!" And dishes me 6 GRAPE TOMATOES. I gagged on every single on of them when she wasn't looking while Elder Bonaro can't stop laughing. Sister Rapp wasn't in the room at the time. I guess that's what I get for lying!
Tuesday had to be the worst day of my mission so far. Everything went wrong. We had arranged for a member to drive us to Shepard (15 miles away) to our appointment with Tim, an investigator. As Joe (the member) shows up, Tim cancels 10 minutes in advance. Joe was cool about it and offered to take us to see Less-Actives. We picked the first name on our list, Erica. We had a GPS, and started off to find her. About 20 minutes later of being on the road, the GPS dies and we have no idea where we are with no cell phone service. We kept going...and ended up in LODGE GRASS on the indian reservation. We were the only white people there. It was sketchy. We had cell service in Lodge Grass and found out we missed our turn 16 miles back. We finally get to the turn and the road was so bad that our truck wouldn't even get through it. We were in an Old Cadillac. Other events, we lost our phone for an hour, and for dinner guess what we had? Hawaiian Pizza. And I'm allergic to Pineapple. I ate a small piece by accident and it felt like someone stabbed my stomach lol.
However, the rest of the week was awesome! Kind of a cool revelation happened Wednesday. We were in District meeting and I was giving a discussion on asking inspired questions. I read a quote by Elder Bednar which basically states that the majority of impressions we recieve will be a result of us living the commandments and we wont realize it was revelation to after the fact. Elder Bonaro raises his hand and said something to the effect of, "That just reminded me of Tim! We had already set the appointment, arranged for a member to come, and to go out there. We prayed earlier for Heavenly Father to interrupt if our decision was wrong." We didn't realize till this moment, that God had responded. Tim was called into work last minute and had to cancel. It wasn't the right time or people! Super cool. I have learned that God will not make the decisions for us. We need to "Study it out in our minds" make the decision and ask God to let us know if it is wrong. Works every time!
Also had a very humbling experience. After District meeting, Elder Olsen (the AP) called us while eating at Red Robin. He said there was a lady in the hospital that needed a blessing and he couldn't go do it. Her name was Larissa Johnson. I was speechless when I walked into the hospital room. Her face was burnt on her right side, and was bruised all over. Her right eye was burnt, and her eyebrows singed. I wanted to cry, and she APOLOGIZED for her condition. Bonaro anointed and I sealed the blessing. I completely relied on the Spirit because there were no words I could say. This experience humbled me so much because I realize how small my problems are. Larissa's life will never be the same. Truly humbled.
We have been working so much to find less-actives. And the work is really picking up! This area wasn't taken care of at all, so Elder Bonaro and I started from scratch. We were finding people on our singles list that had been married for four years! But this last week we had 7 less-active lessons, dinner with one of them, and found a few new people in the process. As far as investigators go, there isn't much activity. It is SO difficult to find JUST singles to teach. Tracting isn't an option and we always have to have another Priesthood holder to teach sisters. But, Tim who comes to every single ward activity and even came to church last week, said we could start visiting with him. We also had news that a past investigator who had a baptismal date, had moved and is now moving back!
So now to the sunburnt story. It actually got to 96 yesterday. Anyways the ward had a camping trip to Mystic Lake Friday-Saturday. We obviously couldn't stay over night but there were some less-actives going on the hike! We had permission, and went up Saturday morning for just the hike portion. We took the 2 hour drive and everyone had already started the hike. So we started up and actually met up with part of the group. The special needs girl who gave the Star Wars analogy last week, was doing the Hike! Josh Smith (EQP), Brandon, Jordan, Camille, Amanda, and Tiana (ward members) were helping her the entire way up. So we stayed with them as well :) Josh and Brandon held her hands to stabilize her. About halfway, Nanci fell and scraped her leg. We had no band-aids. Elder Bonaro and I RAN the rest of the hike uphill to the Lake, got band-aids from the group already there, and ran back. It was an awesome experience. This hike was only 6 miles roundtrip. For our group going at Nanci's pace, it took 9 hours. Naci made it all the way and back :) The lake is probably in the top 3 most beautiful things I've ever seen! And now, with 9 hours in the sun, I can't turn my neck because of the sunburn haha. Worth it!
Last story. You asked about investigators. We were looking for a less active. He had moved, but a guy in his 30's named Geo answered. We asked if he was interested in sharing a message about Jesus Christ. He said, "Yeah why not." So he lets us in, and invites his family and Neighbors to "hear a story" haha. The neighbors showed up and said, "Oh..." and left! So funny. But Geo, his girlfriend, and daughter stayed. We taught the Restoration, and left him with a Book of Mormon. And set up an appointment for next week :) He is out of our age range, so we aren't entirely sure what to do but it will all work out :)
Glad to hear the you all are well! I am healthy and actually dropped weight again back down to 190 (I bought a scale at a thrift store). The ward is awesome, Bonaro is awesome, life is AWESOME! Love you all and have a great week! And a picture of Mystic Lake!
So...the Montana, Billings mission is 1 of 6 missions experimenting with Online proselyting. Basically, every missionary in this mission will eventually have a missionary Facebook account. The idea is, to add everyone in the area you are serving, post spiritual uplifting thoughts and even teach lessons. For example, I am friends with Tim (an investigator) on Facebook. Recently I have been talking to him a lot about BMX (biking) because i did that for a while. With Facebook, we can teach those who aren't comfortable with a face to face lesson at first. This last week I taught 3 discussions online. Also, the Bishops or Ward mission leader in each ward will create a "Like" page for the ward. To post events, thoughts, and when church is. It is awesome! My job in the mission home, is to build the presentations for the Wards on how to create it, a presentation for the standards of being online, and a presentation on what settings to have. I also keep track of President's calendar, baptisms by month and report those numbers to President. It's pretty fun!
Nanci at Mystic Lake, MT
Mystic Lake, MT