This week has been a little...different. I actually have some interesting news to let you all know about. I have something that is called sleep paralysis. Don't worry, it is nothing that will harm me, it is just a condition that can come on when you are stressed. There isn't any medication or cure for it, I just have to relax myself when I begin falling asleep. So! When I start to fall asleep, my body goes right into deep sleep because I am sleep deprived but during the transition between my beginning "day dream" state to the deep sleep, I become kind of paralyzed...It is hard to explain. But I have very vivid dreams. I had one about huge monkeys swinging ladders at me; I had another about this weird pirate lady yelling something at me; I had another about this creepy chucky doll who was following me and stuff. But when I start having those dreams, my body thinks that I stop breathing and so I wake myself up to breathe again. But when I wake up, I can't move my body.. it kind of feels like I am being possessed to be quite honest. I want to share an experience I had with it this week that I found kind of cool. On Monday night, I had this cycle of these dreams over and over again for about an hour. I would start falling asleep, have a scary dream and realize that I wasn't breathing, and wake up, and not be able to move. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I honestly thought that satan was trying to attack my body with spirits or something..I was so scared and I had no clue what to do. After laying there for a while, I could finally move and I got up and put on my missionary badge. But it continued to happen. I commanded the spirits to leave in the name of Christ. and it still kept happening. I didn't know what to do. I ended up going into the bathroom and just turning on the lights and crying. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father what was happening because I just was so scared. But the thing that was the most comforting was when I was laying in my bed not moving, I called upon Heavenly Father and asked him to send me Grandpa Mel because I knew that he could protect me. And after I prayed for that I heard Grandpa's voice say in my head "Emilee.....Emilee It's okay." I knew he was there. I knew that he loved me and I knew that he could protect me. Even to this day if I try to think of his voice, I can't remember it.. but when he spoke to me in my thoughts, I knew it was him. I know that Grandpa is with me a lot on my mission. I can feel him near. I am so grateful for him and all of the strength that he is giving me.
Well, we had Zone Conference on Tuesday and that night I went and talked to Sister Collins and explained these dreams. I had it for about 5 nights in a row and now it is happening again. And she knew what it was! She said that there was another Elder in the mission who had come to her a few months ago about it and so she researched it. Don't worry, I really will be fine. Now that I know what it is, I am able to take deep breaths and fall back asleep pretty quickly. I know that Heavenly Father is protecting me.
Let's see.... um nothing else too exciting has happened, haha. We had an appointment with Dylan this week, but when we showed up, he wasn't there. We tried to call him again, but we got his girlfriend and she said she would call us back, but she hasn't. I really hope that he will be able to get with us again. But when we went to the house where he is staying there ended up being another less active family there (it is actually their house) and they are actually a "do not contact" family. However, she let us in and we talked for a little bit. She told us that she did not want to talk about the church at all, and she refused to turn off her TV, but we are hoping that maybe if we continue to just pop in and say hello once in a while, the Lord can start to soften her heart again, and the spirit can begin to bring her back into his gospel.
We found out that over 50% of the ward is less active and probably about 20% are part member families! We have a lot of reactivation to do here! It is a lot different here in Indiana.. I have never seen this many less actives before in my life. It just hurts my heart to see them fall away from the gospel. I just want to bring them all back in, but I know that they all have their agency.
I had to give a talk in church yesterday! It was kind of scary.. but I also had a cool experience with that. Because of the lack of time as a missionary...I didn't have much time to really prepare a talk. But when I was assigned to speak, I asked Heavenly Father what I needed to speak on. What was the message that this congregation needed to hear? At first I had a talk on faith prepared, but that just didn't feel right. I couldn't get the Book of Mormon out of my head. So on Saturday morning during my personal study, I wrote my talk..all of the words just flowed into my head and I wrote it in probably 20 minutes. The power of inspiration and revelation is truly incredible! So the next day when I spoke, I had only read over my talk 2 times - once when I wrote it, and next the morning of. When the sacrament came around, I prayed to Heavenly Father and said "If I concentrate now and focus on my Savior instead of reading through my talk, will you please help me to remember what I have written?" And it worked! He helped me. I didn't look down at my paper very often, I had the thoughts and words come to my head. I know that as we are obedient and show faith in Heavenly Father, when we are doing the right thing He will always help us. He won't take away our problem, but He will give us the strength to make it through.
This week we got 8 referrals!!! And in case you don't know..that is really unheard of here! When we told our district leader how many we had last night, he was freaking out.. it was funny :) But yeah, the work is very slow, but.. I have been praying to be more patient. And the Lord knows how to make you more patient and humble ;) He won't hold that back from you! haha. I am really working to develop the attributes of Christ. That of faith, hope, love and charity, patience, humility, knowledge, virtue, and so on. I have a loooong ways to go, and I will never be perfect, but I know that as I rely on my Savior, He will make weak things become strong.
Tracting... oh tracting. I don't really like tracting. Who would have guessed?? It is okay, but when I get up to a door and start, I just blank out. I have no idea who I am, where I am, or what I am doing. That is a skill that I am going to have to keep working at. I don't know how to carry on a decent conversation period.. let alone carry on a conversation about the gospel. It is a work in progress. We have to do a lot of finding currently because of the fact that we were double transferred in and we also re-opened the area. We had to start from fresh. But I know that there are people here who are being prepared by the Lord to receive us into their home and into their life. We just have to rely on the spirit to direct them to where they are at.
Thank you all for your research and input about the questions I had regarding the bible and such! They really have helped! I have been able to do a little bit of scripture study on the matter too. In Isaiah 29 it talks a lot about the restoration and about the Book of Mormon and about Joseph Smith. In verses 14-17..I think. It talks about a sealed book (Book of Mormon) that will be given to a man who is not learned (Joseph Smith). And it talks about how the Lord says that the people "draw near unto me with their lips...but their hearts are far from me." That is just what Heavenly father told Joseph Smith! And the Lord goes on to say that he will bring about a marvelous work and a wonder. There was also a verse.... somewhere else (my brain is kind of dead) that discussed about how there will be a famine of hearing the word of the Lord before it is restored. I thought that was really cool! I have loved researching these things. It has just confirmed my testimony of this church. I know that it is true!
I hope that all of you are well and happy :) I love you all and I miss you all, but I know that I am meant to be here in Indiana at this time. Even though we have not had much success in teaching investigators, I know that we are planting seeds and if nothing else, I am being more converted to this gospel each and every day.
A scripture that I love that I want to share with you is: Alma 34:41. Look it up :)
I love you all!!
Sister Emilee Brooke Farr