Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Live Like you were Dying

Here it goes, last transfer in the mission field. I will be staying here in Tampa 5 with Hermana Gibson! At the end of this transfer, we will have spent 9 months together. Half of our missions! So crazy! Pretty sure that's the record in the mission...I'm expecting some sort of trophy haha. I'm glad to be able to finish with Hermana Gibson though because I know she will help me to achieve my goals and work harder than I have before. I realized yesterday that I'm going to make my main focus this last transfer on truly trying to make a lasting positive impact on this ward and on the members here. My testimony of the impact missionaries can make in the lives of members and especially the youth was increased yesterday. Last week our first counselor and  his 12 year old daughter Anika came to a lesson with us. At one point we invited Anika to share her favorite scripture and she did and bore testimony and it really brought the spirit. A few days letter Sister Gibson and I wrote her a thank you note and folded it to look like a missionary shirt and gave it to her at our ward thanksgiving party. We saw her reading it over and over again. On Sunday in ward counsel, hno carrillo the first counselor shared with everyone how the little note we had written his daughter Anica made her want to serve a mission and how touched he had been by that. He was almost in tears.  All Sunday I just kept thinking and thinking of more things that we could do as missionaries to strengthen the members here and we were able to come up with a few ideas that we are excited to bring up to the other missionaries and put into practice.
- Maria and Jose's baptism and confirmations went so well. So smoothly that it was weird. Seriously though, these last 3 baptisms that we have had have been the easiest thing ever! Usually the week before baptism something happens- you lose contact with the investigator for a few days, they have doubts, they suddenly get called in to work the day of their baptism-- I was very pleasantly surprised not to have any of that! Jose and Maria are the first personal contacts I have had that have gotten baptized. Personal Contacts meaning people that we meet on the street or knocking on their door. Every single other prepared person I have taught from meeting them on the street has always gotten so so close to baptism, and then basically fallen off the face of the earth. Hahah let me tell you that's been painful. But Jose and Maria are definitely the most prepared people I have ever met. They got up and bore their testimonies in front of everyone at church on Sunday, and even paid their tithing. Literally so perfect.  I have never felt before that I was sent to Florida to teach any specific person or do something that any other missionary couldn't do. But during their baptism and confirmations I felt for the first time that it really was Hermana Gibson and I who needed to teach them.
- I wanted to close with a small little experience I had last night. I have still been trying to stay faithful to the goal I made in Kuly to give out at least one book of mormon every day for the rest of my mission. Yesterday there were a few opportunities where I could have given it away during the afternoon, but for some reason I felt like I shouldn't. So I followed that prompting and decided not to talk about the Book of Mormon right then. Then later on in the evening we knocked on a lady's door named Kisha and offered her a prayer. She asked that we pray for comfort because she had recently lost her grandma who she was very close with. After the prayer, I felt prompted to introduce the Book of Mormon to be able to share with her Alma 40:11-12. After I read the scripture she had tears pouring down her cheeks and she said "Alma was my Grandma's name." She gladly accepted the copy of the bom and a return appointment, having strongly felt the spirit.  Being honest, I probably wouldn't have been so quick to try and give a Book of Mormom to kisha if I had already given one out that day and probably would have just started talking about the plan of salvation. But because I had listened to the spirit she was able to have that unique experience with the book of mormon. I know that as we listen to the spirit, we will always be able to follow God's will and will be led to do good. Talk to you all next week,

hermana Baugh

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