01 April 2013

Week 11

April 1, 2013
(yup, sorry I don't have any good April fools jokes to throw out to yall....)
Hey Fam!
(Sorry if this email is random and jumbled, but I hope yall can decipher though it...)

This week I have especially learned that there are no small decision and there are no small miracles.
Here is a story to really illustrate my testimony about that....
I don't know if I have mentioned this before but my companion is a Facebook Proselyting Missionary which means that she gets on Facebook/posts on a mission approved blog about three times a week. We go to the library to get on the computer and I usually sit and study or write in my journal during that time. I try to always have a Book of Mormon showing when I sit and make sure that my hair is never covering my name badge or anything. I try to be recognized as a missionary. Last Tuesday we went to the library like normal but someone was sitting in my normal seat. That was kind of funny so I went and sat in another table and after I had been sitting down for only a couple of minutes a lady came up to me and called me "Sister." I had never met her before, nor had I recognized her from church as a member, but it was obvious that she knew who we were as missionaries. We got talking a little bit and she told us that her daughter was a member of our church and that they moved to Manchester in October but didn't know where the church was (here's the thing, there is no church in Manchester, only in Tullahoma, so they never would have been able to see it just by driving around). Long story short-- She was excited to see us and get her daughter involved in the Young women program again. She said that they had seen us a few times at the library, but her daughter had been too shy to say anything before then. What do you know?! A hidden member in Manchester! I got to talking to the 17 year old daughter a bit. We exchanged numbers, got her address and told her that we would get back to her about finding a ride to church.
I didn't really think much about it until my companion joined back up with me and pointed out how amazing that really was. Miracle, right? When we got back into the car we had an EFY song on. The lyrics talked about how no matter where you are the Lord will always find you. I love that! We looked at each other in amazement! Such a testimony that we are numbered and that Heavenly Father knows where each and everyone of us are. I felt like he was putting us in their path and I am so grateful that we could be recognized as missionaries! I can't even imagine what it will be like when I have to take off my name badge by the end of these 18 months because there is so much power in being a missionary. I have learned that there are no small miracles, but they are all apart of Heavenly Father's big plan for us.
It has been really neat to have been able to work with this family a little this past week. I am excited to see Mariah (the 17 year old daughter) get involved in the Young Women program and feel the love and support of a ward family. There are a couple of things that are pretty complicated with the Mom, but I think we will be able to warm her up to us and eventually see her back at church, too.
It was really great that we were able to take Mariah to watch the Young Women General Broadcast at a members house. I loved being able to watch it so much! Can you believe that I was in the choir 6 years ago? I know that I will always cherish the broadcast so much because I was able to be apart of it before. There was a talk by Sister Dalton that really got me. I hope yall can look it up if you have the chance. In it she talked about how THERE ARE NO SMALL DECISIONS. I can't even describe to you how much I have learned that. As I look back at my years as a young woman, I made a lot of small decisions that had SUCH A BIG IMPACT on me and where I am today. I realized that most of these decisions have helped bring me here as a missionary and some probably hindered my development. I am so glad to be here as a missionary today though. I know that this was no small decision and I am so grateful that I made the decision to serve.
So this week we were also able to bring a member in the ward who spoke Spanish. It was our first member present lesson and let me tell you, it was awesome! I think it was also our first full lesson where we felt like we were able to hit a lot of the doctrine of the first lesson about the Restoration. It was amazing! Our member was also a champ! He is an RM of about 2 years and he served in the Guatemala, Guatemala City mission. There was so much power when he taught and I felt like it was great for the investigators to be able to connect with him.
There is such a power in member missionary work. The next day we also went over to a members house in the ward to do an FHE with them. One of the teenage daughters was there with a guy she was dating. The church was brought up and we explained a little about our beliefs and then the members/family backed up what we had to say with other doctrine. There was such a powerful spirit as the conversation shifted to talking about the gospel. From this experience I have gained a much greater insight into the power of member missionary work. It is so much more successful than missionary work alone. I know that member missionary work is crucial to progressing the work! I hope yall know that I am so proud of you for having Mom's student take the discussions in our house! I bragged a little about the family to my district at district meeting. I hope yall know that I can feel the blessings of your effort. I know that missionaries who you have welcomed into our home are probably extremely grateful for yall as well!
Looks like I'll have to go pretty soon, but I'm really excited for Manchester. There is so much potential in this town. I can really feel it. Everyday here on the mission I am humbled, though. I wonder if I am the missionary to do the job out here. I just keep telling myself that if this is what the Lord wants for me, He will qualify me to that and I keep trying to work hard to be molded into what the Lord wants for me. Next week we find out about transfers so look forward to that!
I hope yall enjoyed Easter! (Although it sounds like the family was kind of split up with mom and dad being in NY) But like I mentioned last week Easter has meant so much more to me as I have been a missionary. I have so many thoughts and feelings about the power and beauty of the Atonement. If I had more time I would write it all out, but I think my time is about to expire.
Thank you family for all of your love and support. I hope yall are doing well. I will  pray for you. Enjoy General Conference and remember how amazing it is that we have living prophets on the earth today!
KC-- good luck with finals and with graduation and with your facial hair? haha
Cougar-- good luck with being a teenage and surviving middle school. Stay in school and make good decisions!
Dad-- good luck with BYU and the Singles Ward. Thank you for being so supportive of me on a mission and thank you for all of your emails.
Mom-- good luck with school. I know that the kids at Provo are so lucky to have you as their counselor. You are amazing Mom and I look up to you so much!
Katie-- good luck with work and all that you do. You are a supermom! I really look up to you a lot!
Nick-- I haven't heard much about what is going on with you, but good luck with school and work!
Nolan-- good luck with all the ladies. I'm sure they are trying to get you all the time, but tell them no way! Because you don't need to be distracted by them because you are going to go on a mission in 18 years and you don't need their. Happy 6 months old tomorrow! Keep working on crawling and talking!
Con Amor,
Hermana Kristy Rich

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