Monday, March 25, 2013

Crazy, It's the End of March, Dog Attack, and It's Hot!

March 25, 2013

The Dog Attack!

Sister Clayton with Michael, the dog that attacked her on Friday.
We didn't see the dog there, and we'd visited the house before
 so we walked right on in. He ran up to us growling and attacked Sister Clayton.

Michael, the missionary-eating dog!

He ripped her bag off of her shoulder and flung it to the side.
She ran for the fence and hurdled over it,
getting completely horizontal in the leap.
(Wow!  Go Sister Clayton!)

 A helpful neighbor went into the yard and got all of her stuff.
Oh, and the dog didn't even look at me as I sidled
behind him, opened the gate, and went outside.

Dear everyone,
Okay, I know I do this in every email but can you believe it's the end of March?? So crazy. I'm most likely going to be training in two and a half weeks. Scary.
So, returning to the end of last week's email. Harvesting is amazing. It started in the Fort Lauderdale mission under President Anderson but we hear that it's spread to Orlando, a mission in Southern California, and one in Hawaii.
First week in the mission field,
Sister Clayton, Henry, and Hermana Houghton.
What makes harvesting so cool (one of many things, of course) is that it's such an instant spiritual boost. We as missionaries are able to literally bless the lives of others and, through that, help them to feel and identify the spirit testifying to them that we are truly representatives of Jesus Christ. I feel like it's missionary work in its purest form - we missionaries are there to be the vessels, as it were, of the Spirit coming into their lives, but it's the Spirit that does the convincing, not us. Our testimonies are important, of course, but as long as we are being obedient and worthy of having the Spirit with us it directs how things go.
We often have miracles happen during harvesting. We will show up at exactly the time that a person needs a blessing, or right as things start to look hopeless in their lives. Oftentimes we will bless them and afterward they will tell us that they don't know how we knew what they needed, or what was troubling them, but we somehow did. We frequently have people tell us that they don't usually open the door but for some reason they did, or they don't usually just sit on the porch, but we caught them at just the right time. It is so cool!
This week we were very busy. It was great fun. We taught lots of lessons, invited lots of people to come unto Christ, harvested a lot of wonderful children of God... I loved it. Even if I was exhausted out of my mind by the end of every day.
We had a wonderful district training this week on asking inspired questions. It has really made Sister Clayton and I slow down during our lessons, and has helped us to make them more effective and more spiritual. As we've tried to use inspired questions we've seen amazing results. We had a lesson on Saturday with our amazing investigator Emma. We taught about repentance and the Sabbath Day, and were trying to meet her desire of having strength to overcome life's challenges (through becoming like God). Through a series of inspired questions we learned that Emma had gone to church for years as a child in Mexico (with a neighbor), and that her greatest desire is to raise her children in the right path. She pretty much taught us the lesson about repentance, telling us about how she'd learned that you needed to be humble to submit yourself to God's will and change. She loved the idea of keeping the Sabbath Day holy, because it was a way to show her willingness to follow God and would give her and her family that time to be apart from the world. Sister Clayton and I left that lesson feeling like we were on top of the world. The spirit had been so strong, and Emma's commitment and faith had really grown.

Hermana Houghton


 It's getting hot in Florida!

It got up to 94 degrees this week. It was so hot that when I tried to
 test my blood sugar and squeezed my finger, the blood squirted
 out all over my face. Gross.

An Exchange

Hermana Houghton and Hermana Andrus, on exchange
Sister Andrus came to our area with me for exchanges. She is at the very tail end of her mission and has learned a lot. It was great fun to be with her for a day. This is Derly, a less-active who we've been visiting this week.

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