Monday, January 13, 2014

Taking care of the Lord's garden

I love you more than….

snow! and snowy mountains and cold noses and hot chocolate!

This week was AMAZING! What a great mission I have! These past few weeks have been a real turnaround for me. We have been making a lot of goals as a mission, zone, district, companionship and our family and me personally that are quite intense. We also had a zone meeting last week and "PLD" this week (which is zone meeting but with President and the AP's too). Here is the run down of that marvelous meeting:
President showed us the statistics for the missions in the Asia area and it was a shocker. Like pouring ice water on my head. Indonesia mission is unique but that doesn't mean these people aren't children of God too! We were the lowest baptizing in Asia even though another mission have less missionaries than us. But President is basically the most inspirational person I know and he talked all about faith to bring miracles. We have to be willing to do whatever it takes to find the people who are ready and prepared to accept us! We have to have the faith to find them, teach them and baptize them. We must make covenants. If there is no covenant, there is no ordinance. If we don't hold true to our covenants, the ordinance is lost until we repent. Covenants require sacrifices. President asked me, "What are you willing to do Sister Sheffield?" And my automatic answer was, "What ever it takes." Make promises to the Lord in sincere prayer. We have to be united with our companion and pray fervently together, support each other's inspiration. Teach our investigators the difference between right and wrong, because people truly want to do what is right. President always shares his awesome conversion story with us; in fact he used to smoke before he was converted! He met the missionaries and 10 days later was baptized, one year later on a mission and this spring will have been a STRONG member for 36 years. Help our investigators see the need to change and testify so that the spirit can remind them of the truth. 

WHEW! We also always have a personal interview with President (which is my favorite part of PLD.) He said two things that really touched me: 1. He said I was "a breath of fresh air". Isn't that the best compliment ever? 2. In response to my acknowledgement that I have been given a lot of ability, which I should be better at using, he said, it is great you recognize you have been given many talents and not to use them would be a sin. 

On top of all of that, President had us watch the movie “Ephraim's Rescue” together. Haha everything on the mission feels like it is on steroids... what a great movie! President kept telling us (and me) that those stories were true and we should be just as confident in our obedience, to be able to call down miracles and angels in this missionary work. The key part is in the last scene when he sums up their experiences. "One man used his talents to lift others and I chose the right paths and was ready and worthy when the Lord called." 
I have felt like this district is really pressuring each other to work harder because we can see each other doing so much. The elders are on fire which made me feel a little insecure at first. Then it made me freak out about statistics. THEN I remembered this talk someone was sharing the other day about caring for the Lord's garden. The Lord asked a man to take care of this small piece of land far in the back of the property and the person thought, "but it is so small and no one will see my work!" Then the Lord asked, "Are you serving to be seen by others or is your service for me?" I am excited to focus so much on the indicators of our progress but I also am happy to be taking care of the Lord's garden here, no matter how big or small it might be.

STORY TIME! I saved the best for last... We found a golden investigator! Last week we were doing our weekly service, cleaning the park and Sis Manurung started talking with some guys sitting on a bench. One was a 7th Day Adventist and the other was a Muslim who used to be Christian but switched to respect his parents. Thought nothing of it, until just a few days ago when it came time for service again I remembered one of them and thought we should just text him and see if he can meet today. Well he said he was at the park again so we went off to clean with the plan to try and give him a Book of Mormon. When we got there and started to talk to him, he opened up to us about how he doesn't really feel peace in being Muslim. He feels fine, but this last little while he has felt "less". Then he also explained that he used to be like a preacher when he was younger (he is only like 27 now so I don’t know how much younger is young" but that he wanted to call us last week about a question from the Alkitab (Bible) in the book of Revelation. It was about if the Bible really had things added and removed, what does it mean that the gospel will be perfected and how come it talks about having prophets again? Also, what is written in the Book of Mormon that we had with us last week?” Ok bring on the tears!!! So we explained to him the whole restoration and Book of Mormon. It was one of those picture perfect mission moments. Us sitting at this pretty little park with our Kitab Mormon's out and the restoration pamphlet and he is asking the most perfect questions and the spirit was strong and all is well. We asked him what he thought and he said that he really liked our answer to his question because it is a different answer than he has heard before. So we made an appt with him for the next day before English class. BUT later remembered that we were playing futsol as a zone for PLD so there was no english- so we texted him and asked if he wanted to meet earlier then come along to futsol, which he agreed to! So that was Thursday; Friday we had futsol. He came to the church but forgot to bring his Bible to ask his question so we took him on a church tour instead. Really neat because even though we have barely taught anything about the church (only met twice before this) but the spirit was present when we were in the sacrament room especially. So then we go off to futsol with all the missionaries. Well president stopped by and we were all sitting around and president turns to this "Mas" (young man) and says, "when are you getting baptized?" WHAT?! Bahahaha! Turn up the intensity or what?! Then Mas W. says “he isn't sure, he wants to let this sink in more before he decides”. (gave me some hope that he already was thinking about it. because we haven't even asked him to be baptized yet!" and then president tells him, "don't wait! I learned with the missionaries for only 10 days before I was baptized" then bares his testimony. I love President. And the other missionaries, and some members that came, were so great to befriend him. Sunday he didn't come to church, but he thanked us so much for letting him join with us and said he hopes to continue joining with us.... This WHOLE thing was the most humbling experience for me. I should have started by saying that Thursday morning I was saying this silent prayer in the shower before we went to service, pleading to Heavenly Father to just let us find the people who want this gospel! How come no one wants to learn? Isn't there someone who needs this right now? Just help us find those people who are "ready to accept us". That prayer was answered so directly that I want to testify, the Lord has a plan. He knows ALL of His children and their needs. I cannot be so selfish as to think this is my problem but rather my privelege to find and teach His children here in Solo, Indonesia. I testify that there are people waiting for this gospel and they are all around us. If we don't get moving then we will miss our chance to get involved in this work and it will move on right past us.

To respond to your email: Good luck with SIS (especially you dad haha). I'll be praying for you! Congratulations Kay Day! I have 4 friends in that mission and hopefully they will meet! I loved your tender mercy Dad, and by the way can I be your companion speaker for next winter? OK deal! Congrats on starting piano Jacob, and Samuel-wait for the 7th year and then you will LOVE it ;) Andrew you looked so sharp with your leather jacket and swept back hair. Joshua, keep nagging your teachers until they put your grades in! I used to tell my teachers that I wanted to go to BYU and I needed them to help me out, for reals - keep pushing them until you get it! Andrew have fun with early morning seminary! You'll love it! I love you so much mom! I made sugar cookies for PLD and it reminded me of you :) I love the way you connected the theme COME for the ward trek. And after watching Ephraim's Rescue I'm loving the pioneers again. And I am SOOOO grateful and impressed with the Priesthood! It is soooo cool!
 Give Hailey my love and pray for that exchange student! Tell everyone in the ward hi for me!
Love your crazy, but favorite daughter,
Sister Sheff

I have no time or means to send pictures (my card reader is broken...)
SO i'll send some next week!

be good! Brush your teeth!

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