Monday, March 25, 2013

02/18/13 - Week 2 in Indiana

Well Hello Everyone! 

I have been gone for a month!! Crazy...This week has been wonderful!! It has been busy, but great. We have been running to and fro each and every day, but it is good to keep busy. I have learned a lot! I have learned more about how much our Savior loves us and how He can truly help us with anything that we need.

A key thing that I learned this week was about talking with people. I have been stressing about memorizing scriptures and knowing every answer to everyone's questions. But as I was reading in Preach My Gospel I discovered that all I have to do is be able to testify...and I can do that. I just need to testify with the spirit of the Lord and they cannot counter that. 

Indiana is just like Utah in the fact that there is a Church on every corner...except it is a different church on every corner. It is kind of crazy! But some of the churches are beautiful and majestic. A lot of people have arguments with us about the Book of Mormon because of Revelations 22:18-19 about not adding or taking away anything from the book. Also they get caught up in Joseph Smith seeing Angel Moroni because of Galatians 1:8. And they think that it is by grace we are saved...not our works. Does anyone know of good scriptures to use or things to say? I just don't know how to respond to that. I don't want to offend them or get into a bible bash, but I just want to know how I can be able to stand strong. I want to be able understand my own testimony also, so they can't shake it. I hope that makes sense.. haha :) I don't have much time to do researching on those topics, so I am enlisting my spiritual army back home to do some research on those three things! Thanks guys.

Anyways, this week has been full of wonderful experiences. On Wednesday night, Sister Carter and I were coming home from a dinner appointment and we both had a deep impression that we needed to be somewhere.. but we had now idea where. So we went inside of our apartment and got down on our knees and asked Heavenly Father where we should go. I had two names pop into my head "Shimp" and "Anderson" (they are both last names of people in our ward). But I had the strongest impression that we needed to visit the Shimp family. Their son was in a tragic motorcycle accident a couple months ago and almost died. He is now in rehab with a severe brain injury. He cannot talk or walk or really move, but he is making slow progression. He can now move his legs and hold up his head. Anyways, so we decided that we would go over to Manor Care (a rehabilitation place) and see if they were okay. When we got in there, they were just sitting with him and talking casually. So we sat down and started to get to know them a little bit better. But towards the end of our conversation I had a burning love inside of my heart for Sister Shimp. I knew it was from Heavenly Father and he was telling me that I needed to share that with her. So afterwards I pulled her aside and said "this may sound weird, but as a representative of Jesus Christ, I can feel God's love for other people through me. And right now I just have to tell you that Heavenly Father loves you so much. And he is aware of your family. He does hear your prayers and your concerns." tears welled up her eyes and she hugged me and told me thank you. It felt wonderful to help someone else lift up their head and have an answer to their prayer. The Lord works in mysterious ways. 

But what about the last name of Anderson?? Well, the next day we decided that we would stop by their house at about noon. We went there and knocked on the door once.. and no one answered.. then we did a second time and this guy came out. He had huge diamond studs in his ears and half of his hair was shaved off and the other half was longer. My first impression of him was "he will never listen to us, he is going to slam the door in our faces". But he didn't. We started talking to him and introduced ourselves and he didn't leave. He was actually on the phone with his friend and he told his friend that he had to go and then he looked at us as said 'This is cool! I haven't been able to talk with someone about this in a really long time.' His name is Dylan and we ended up talking with him about if God was really there and about his nature for about 20 minutes on his front step. He was actually there at that time just stopping in, his son had been sent to the hospital that night and so he was back to get some things. We were lead to stop in at that time to catch him. If we would have come the night before, we would have missed them. Heavenly Father impressed me strongly with the Shimps the night before so we could help them, but wouldn't let Anderson get out of my head...that way I would visit them the next day. It was a wonderful experience! We have an appointment with him this week and I am so excited! 
I have had many experiences like those two this week that I wish I could share! But I can't type fast enough. But just know that Heavenly Father is taking care of me out here. There are a lot of people who laugh and shut the door or kindly refuse us or try to battle with us, but when that one person stops and takes the time to listen to what we have to say, it makes up for all of the other bad experiences that I have had.

Other than that.. this week has been a typical missionary week. Going to dinner appointments (and there hasn't been any weird food thankfully), tracting, going to appointments, eating food, sleeping, taking naps on lunch break instead of eating..... (just kidding), doing lots of paper work, reading the scriptures every morning.. I don't know.. just simple things. But I have still seen the hand of the Lord in my every day activities. 

One thing that has helped me get through the rough days is a saying that Sister Carter shared with me: "Be grateful for tests in life. If you are not tested, it means you're not worth testing." Keep your head up and be grateful that you are strong enough to make it through. Heavenly Father tests us only to make us stronger. Said by my wonder father: "Winds of adversity that will snuff out a match, only make a torch burn brighter."

Thank you for all of the sweet letters and packages for valentines day! I loved every one of them :) sorry I don't have much time to send you guys things, I really wish I could.. but P-Day is more crazy than my regular days actually! We have lots of miscellaneous things to get taken care of so we are just running back and forth. But know that I think of you all and I send you prayers every day.

I know that the Lord is guiding me and helping me along each day. I am so grateful that I know I can rely on my Savior whenever I am feeling alone or feeling down. When He leads me to a cliff, He will either catch me or teach me how to fly. :) I hope that all of you are reading your scriptures daily, going to church and the temple, and saying your prayers daily. You can never be too careful. It is the little things that really keep us active in the church. Almost 50% of the ward here is inactive or part member -  we have a lot to do. It has made me realize that it is just so easy to lose your way and lose focus if you do not do those things that will keep the spirit in your life. I have seen it happen to so many of the wonderful people here in Indiana. So don't forget the simple and little things, they are the most important. 

Anyways.. here is our mission theme: 
"The standard of truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the truth from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, and caulmey may defame. But the truth of God will go forth boldy, nobly, and independent. Till it has reached every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear. Til the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." 
I know that Heavenly Father's gospel will go forth no matter what the adversary tries to do. We are on the Lords errand and He will protect us as long as we are being obedient. I feel honored and privileged to be able to come and serve the Lord for this part of my life. I know that I am where I need to be and I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. The Lord is watching over me and helping me in anything that I need. I know that He is also watching out for all of you. Even though I may not be there with you, my spirit is there :) 

I love you all!! You are my shining examples,

Sister Emilee Brooke Farr

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