This last week we all got together with some of the youth, and the Relief Society President, to go Christmas caroling to several of the single women in our ward (especially those who we haven't seen in a while, or those who could really use a Christmas song and message). It was fun, and just so wonderful to go to these peoples' homes, invite the Spirit, and put a smile on their faces. We're going to do it again this next Tuesday and I get to plan and prepare the list of those whom we are going to visit, as well as the 15-minute program/message we will provide. I'm really excited for this opportunity again, because I love singing, and I have witnessed how powerful hymns can be for inviting the Spirit. For example, this last week we had a sweet miracle that involved singing.
Elder Blad and I had been walking all day in the cold rain...allllll day.....in the cold raaaaiiiinnnnn...pretty picture huh? haha, but it didn't get us down, we were happy as ever! (which, btw, is something we have gotten really good at - fighting discouragement, and having fun/staying possitive even amidst the circumstances that would normal make it nearly impossible to do so). So we had a full day of appointments - they all failed - and then we were out contacting other potentials and referrals we had, and those went...ok. Then after trying our most southern potential investigator's address, something happened. Instead of turning around and going back north towards home, I felt like we would go south just a bit more, down to the tip or our area, and then go up on a different street headed north-east. Why did I decide to spend more time walking an extra half-mile or so in the rain? Well, the answer came just as we were headed up that other street.
A woman spotted us and asked if we had seen a friend of hers who had gotten drunk and was running out in the streets; well we hadn't seen her friend, but she recognized us as missionaries and mentioned that she is a member of the church, too. Much to our surprise, she told us all about why she hasn't come since she was 8 years-old and how she is so angry with the church, and all of the terrible things that have happened in her life that have made it hard for her to have faith in God. At one point, she even mentioned how she still knows some of the primary songs.
When she said this, Elder Blad and I looked at each other, felt the same impression, and began singing. We sang, "I Am A Child of God," and the woman stood and listened - amazed that we were doing this out at night in the pouring rain. When we finished, we watched as the once angry woman calmed down and spoke with us rationally. Now our conversation didn't end up with much foresight of future success, but I could tell in that moment that each of us had felt the Spirit strongly, and that we could each feel God's love for us. This is the power of music, my voice is a talent and gift I have been given from God, and this is how I am using it in missionary work.
Well, we got to have Zone Interviews this last Friday, and those sure were amazing. I loved all the trainings we were given, and the 1-on-1 time we each had with President and Sister Wilkey. I love them so much, they are so amazing, and they truly love us and do so much work for us.
Yesterday we had a "fireside" at a member's home, and it was so different from what I was used to, haha. We pretty much had the whole ward cramed into a tiny little home and we just had a 5-minute message, some songs, and then a huge lunch....it was pretty much just an excuse to get together and eat! Haha, I love the people here, they are so fun and really know how to spend time together - even when there's 60 people in 3 rooms and you have to wiggle your way through a crowd to get anywhere, haha! I'm so excited for the Ward Christmas party this Friday! it's going to be huge! and so much fun!!! These people sure do know how to party; I can't wait to tell you all about it!
Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone! Remember who CHRISTmas is really all about ;)
From Lawrence with love,
Elder Dustin Carr