WEEK THREE OF THE THREE MOST AMAZING WEEKS EVER
JUNE 16th 2014
H E L L O!!! :D
I love promptings from the Spirit! Hermana Walton has been on a roll with following the Spirit. About 4 weeks ago, Hermana Walton got a distinct impression to knock on a random door we had driven past. After driving for about 1/2 minute she asked me to turn back and we went to that house. There we met 3 boys, one who had checked out the Book of Mormon from his school library and had just finished reading it, though it was overdue. On his hand was a stamp that the school library had given him to remind him to bring the book back before the school got out for the summer.
We quickly passed them on to the English Elders and during Stake Conference the Stake President told a story about how they have all accepted to be baptized!
**WE ALL NEED TO BE LISTENING TO THE SPIRIT!**
Then on last Thursday, we had spent a lot of time weekly planning and I was hoping we could get out and work hard. But as we first got going, things were pretty slow and no one was home or out for us to talk to. We had gone to the areas of both our first and second plans and had talked with everyone we could but we weren't sure where the Lord wanted us to go next. Then Hermana Walton remembered that just around the corner was a house she had seen a Spanish looking person enter a few weeks ago. We decided to go try it out!
As we got to the street, Hermana Walton figured it had to be one of two houses on the street. We both felt especially good about one, but we went to the further one away first. No one answered. We went to the next house and our knock on the door quickly brought someone to the door. We then met Cassy, a less active member who has been wanting and praying to go back to church, but didn't know where she was supposed to go. AND... her family is Spanish Speaking!! Her story is quite amazing. She is coming to Church next week and we are starting to visit her family with our first visit planned for tomorrow!
I felt the Spirit really testify to me that it doesn't matter how much time we have to work as much as how we work and if we are making sure we are being led by the Spirit so we can do what the Lord would have us do. Especially after we work our hardest to use all our study time and weekly planning time effectively, the Lord makes up the rest!
We had exchanges this week. Exchanges are usually full of miracles and full of surprises! I always expect that. But exchanges this week beat all the surprises I have ever experienced!
FIRST REASON why this is so: Everyone we went to go contact was home! WHICH IS SO EXCITING!! Two weeks ago at Zone Training we were trained on a new way to do weekly planning! It is really intense and can take up to 8-10 hours a week to accomplish, but I am seeing why it is so worth it. Having more people answer the door then not shows that this really is the way the Lord wants us to be planning!
Each time people answered the door I was a little taken back, I thought to myself, "Oh wait, here we go again! AHHH! Am I ready to speak Spanish all by myself?" Ha ha... this was my fourth exchange in a row where I stay in my area, so I should be used to things like this! It is always an interesting experience. But exchanges don't really phase me. I quite enjoy them! It brings a different pace to the day!
SECOND REASON why this exchange was a surprise! Ha ha, this might have been the most interesting moment of my mission! There is a trailer park in Cheney where about half the people that live there speak Spanish. I have no clue how the ratio turned out to be so high in this random area, but it has made this trailer park FAMOUS for us Spanish Speaking Missionaries. Also, whenever we ask for referrals in Cheney, all we ever seem to hear about is these trailers! Sister Walton has been gong there constantly since she came to the mission and told me she was a little burned out from going there. So every exchange she tells me all the trailers to go to in order to see what will happen when the people have two new missionary faces show up at their door.
So we went, found lots of people at home. Got some return appointments set and were on our way out to go to our next area. While walking out of the park we crossed paths with a young man. We said, "Hello, how is your day going?" To which he replied, "I GOT MARRIED TODAY!" He kept walking and wouldn't stop to talk to us, so I called out, "I know God is so proud of you!" Then we turned to the next person who was walking towards us.
The person who we were next talking to quickly introduced himself as "a traditional Native American" and explained that he had come to perform the marriage ceremony of the other man we had just met. We started talking to him about the gospel! It was quite a neat experience because many of his beliefs were exactly inline with the restored gospel!
In the middle of our conversation though, he stopped and reached out to grab both my hands. I am not a touchy person, especially as a missionary (well, except I have been working on my hugging skills)! I didn't know what to do! I awkwardly only gave him three fingers of my right hand. With a face of desperation, I turned to my Sister Training Leader companion for the day with eyes screaming out for help! She answered my cry for help, but not at all in the way I expected! She reached out and took from my arms my two copies of the Book of Mormon and pamphlets, my only last hope of protection to not hold some random man's hands!!
As he grabbed my hands, he explained that he would be reading my Spirit in order to know which animals make up my Spirit Totem Pole. Not seeing anyway to get out of it, my mind quickly decided to just go with it. In my head the sentence repeated, "I'm a dolphin, I'm a dolphin, I'M A DOLPHIN!!!!!!" After 30 seconds he told me I had relaxed enough to be read. Then he next broke the silence by saying something like, "Red Tail Hawk, of the medicine woman type, Eagle, also of the medicine woman type. these two mean that you care deeply for people. Oh, but also, you have a badger! And you are stubborn in the most random of ways and won't be moved from what you believe." My companion for the day laughed and said, "THAT IS HER EXACTLY!"
He also went on to say some other things telling me that I have an 'elder' following me around, which the Sister Training Leader who was with me uses as a joke! He told me that it is essential that I need to learn the ways of the land and that my spirit is a 'native spirit' and has lived before.
Well, when we finally made it back to the car I was trying to figure out what just happened! I am so grateful that when I was set apart I was told I would have fun on my mission, or else I might not have known how to handle some of the things that just pop up out of nowhere! Above all, I learned that life is beautiful and the things people believe are beautiful! And so much of it follows the truths we know from His Gospel. I love embracing everyone and all that they hold dear and offering them patterns to add more treasure also! Everyone is searching for the truth. Above all, I am beyond grateful that the Lord has given us the Restored Gospel so that we can have His truth in its fullness.
The mission is definitely one AMAZING journey!
Love, Hermana Phipps
It is Official:
I AM DEFINITELY A
WASHINGTON SPOKANE MISSIONARY!