|Sister Alyssa Clark at the Oklahoma City Temple|
I can't believe it's PDAY again, that's so crazy! It takes till now to finally be done being sore from the last Pday though. Last week we played football ("WHAT IS THAT??" "WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?" "WHICH WAY ARE WE GOING NOW?" = me the whole time playing football) and kickball and I definitely didn't think I'd be sore, but I definitely was. This week we're going to a museum though and I'm super excited about that. ART! (I'm such a nerd). But on the first Pday, I was planning on not playing anything and just writing letters, but SisLeav convinced me that I should at least try it, and I did. I've been hooked, seriously. Who knew sports could be fun?! Seriously though, sports have always been miserable and embarrassing. But now with the missionaries it's just FUN and embarrassing! I love it.
|Alyssa at the OK City Temple|
We went early to the temple and sat on the grounds before hand so we could do our studying there. It was so beautiful and peaceful even before we went in. We sat out by the fountain, and there was a bit of a breeze that picked up and it caught the fountain water and it felt so nice. It's times like that, sitting there and feeling the peace of the temple, and being in the temple, when I feel like the veil is a little thinner and Heavenly Father feels so close; I feel more of my divine nature as His daughter.
So I was thinking about taking a nap the other day, and getting all snuggled up in my covers (I'd already taken a lunch break...) but then I started thinking... "Why do I need a nap? Am I just so exhausted from what we've been busy with so far today?" Then I did a little reminiscing... That morning I hadn't exercised, I played the harp instead. I ate breakfast and dazed into space for a little while and started studies late. We went to a ward breakfast (I know, double breakfast) and visited with members and a couple of our investigators who came (our BnB's! Josh and his wife Cacey came, it was awesome!) and cleaned up a little. Then we saw some other elders at the church who were having a district lunch so we decided to stay and chat with them for awhile. We went back to the apartment, did training (which means we sat in comfy chairs and watched The District) and then I decided I needed a nap.
WHY ON EARTH WOULD I NEED A NAP?!
So then I felt ridiculous, and I was laying in bed arguing with myself about whether I should take a nap or not, and decided to pray about it. I felt a little silly praying about something so seemingly trivial, but Heavenly Father wants me to be a good missionary, so He answered my question with a question: "What would Jesus be doing?" SOOO I got out of bed and decided to be productive. And I made three new personal goals.
1. Use my free time (AKA lunch) to bring myself closer to Christ (SO NO MORE NAPS! :D)
2. Pray more often. I know we pray ALL THE TIME as missionaries, but I'd been getting a little lazy about it and not very sincere. I know if I pray more and I'm constantly striving to do God's will, I'll be able to find people who are prepared. I think it will help me be more positive, too.
3. Strict obedience. This means always being on time, always exercising in the morning (30 minutes!) and spending every minute living the "Highest Standard" that we've been asked to live as missionaries.
So later that day, after I decided to be obedient, it was like Heavenly Father was just waiting for me to get myself in gear because He blessed us with miracles! First Let me tell you about Tara. Sister Pfister and I met her last week, and she and her friend and her friend's mom were willing to pray with us. Tara was very outspoken about her stance against religion and church, but told us she believed in God. She told us about her rare, basically untreatable cancer, and that she wasn't treating it because she would only die faster. She also said she tried to kill herself when she found out and it didn't work, so she decided God wanted her to stay for some reason. It was an interesting situation, but we fell in love with her personality. I think we just left them with a card.
Before I go on, I need to explain POWER HOUR. So when we have dinner withg the members, we often will read a scripture with them and ask them to say a prayer for US that we can see miracles in the following hour. The idea is that with their faith and ours combined, we'll see more miracles and it ALWAYS WORKS. After the hour we report back to the members on the miracles we saw. So we did that with the members the other night and off we went!
After a string of events and people we met, we were walking around the side of the apartment complexes (where we originally met Tara) to stop by an investigator's door, and guess who we ran into? Tara! I guess she doesn't actually live there, but she's over at her friend's house all the time. She was so happy to see us! She said that she'd been hoping to run into us again so she could find out when and where our church met! WHAT?!! Before you get too excited, she didn't show up to church, but I have faith in her! We said a prayer with her and afterward I said, "Do you mind if I ask, you were pretty set against church last time we met you. What changed your mind?" and she said something like, "I don't really know what it was, but after we met that night I even cracked open my bible. I used to read it all the time and be good about it, but the past while I just haven't. I don't know, I just felt different. But meeting you, and then seeing you again here tonight, too, there must be a reason. It's just you, I don't know, it's you!" She looked right at me. I was almost too shocked to speak! It was such a miracle. When we met her at first, I kept her on the list as a potential but without much hope. Little did I know her heart was open enough to listen to the spirit, who inspired her to open her Bible and hope to see us again. And I was taught by the Spirit when I decided to be more obedient!
THE CHURCH IS TRUE PEOPLE. Heavenly Father knows what's up.
Last of all, two other BnB's came to church yesterday! Brian and his girlfriend Shelby. They only stayed for two out of three meetings, but I'm so glad they came. And after our meetings, Elders Byrd and Mierau went with us to THEIR services. It was really interesting - they're meeting at houses until their meeting place is finished, and this time they were meeting on the front lawn. They were all in shorts and t-shirts and stuff, and just chilling eating lunch. We started out singing some awesome songs, accompanied by Josh on the guitar (he's a pro!) and prayed, and then Grant led the discussion. Well Brian administered communion first. He read from the bible about how Jesus started the sacrament, and then passed around a box of crackers and poured a little grape juice in everyone's cups. So besides that, it seemed a lot more like a bible study group than church. It was very interesting, and I learned a lot from the discussion. I'm so grateful for the organization of the church, though!
It seems to me, as we spend more time around these people, that the women don't speak as much as the men, sometimes really not at all. Not like they're oppressed or anything weird like that, but that the men are the heads, and if their wives have anything to say it's spoken through him in a way? Like they won't say anything unless we ask them questions or something. I don't know... I'll figure it out more I'm sure as I go along. It's just an interesting culture.
I GOT MY HARP ON FRIDAY! I am so so happy to have it! It's such a blessing to have and I know that I'll be able to find opportunities to share the gospel through music. I was able to share it with the Hannahs yesterday! Sister Hannah talked to Mom and got my favorite dessert recipe from her... that's right: Mint Brownies. :) And they were perfect! Her chocolate even seized up on her... heeheehee :D It was awesome.
Guess who moved away to who knows where and didn't even tell me?! ROCHELLE. Sheesh. I feel like we'll meet again, though, I really do. She needs the gospel. Also lots more lessons fell through this week. But guess what? I know the gospel is true. So I'm not even worried. Like I said, Heavenly Father definitely knows what he's doing. As long as I'm being obedient and trying my very best, things will fall into place.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LIVES! Come on, I tell you about mine all the time! :D I love you all so dearly. You're just amazing. Keep looking for missionary opportunities, and be not afraid! God will help you do His work!
Love, Sister Clark