So I mentioned last week that we were planning for the Iron Rod experience on last Monday night and lemme tell you…it was legit. And I didn’t get any pictures unfortunately because it was so fun! We used one of the member’s (the Coopers) backyard and came up with this course that went in between their barn and hay bales and then it ended up at one of their trees that was decorated with Christmas lights and temple pictures, representing the “tree of life”. Their was about 30-40 people there…all the little kids got blindfolded and were told if they held to the “rod” (aka rope) they would make it to the tree of life. Some of the parents and young men/women were either angels that helped and encouraged them to hold to the rod or were adversaries that would persuade them to let go. It was so fun. One of the adults, Brother Erath, was super good at persuading kids to come off and he led one of the boys way off the course and left them, saying, “I’ve got to go, but the rope is somewhere over here!” Haha, of course he immediately told one of the angels that they should probably go get him, but dang he was good at it! But in the end, everyone made it to the tree. We talked about the experience and said how important it is to hold to the rod, even though others were mockign or persuading them to let go, because they were able to get to the tree where the most precious gift that Heavenly Father has to offer us: eternal life. We shared the scripture, “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” Everyone was able to take a unique picture of a temple after (thanks to Sister Peterson’s mom for sending it!). It was a fun experience and ended with root beer floats and the most delicious peanut bars! Haha
Speaking of Sister Peterson, SHE’S GONE. She officially left Wednesday morning. The senior couple in Massena picked her up to go down to Utica….it’s so weird that she’s gone. I teared up a bit when she drove off…she finished her awesome mission and is now home back in Utah…we miss her! Sister Johnson and I just felt a little off the rest of the day because it was just us two! But it’s cool and easier in ways! I love Sister Johnson. We are getting ourselves organized and even though it’s been slow the past couple of days (probably because it’s summer) we are expecting to have things pick up more! One of the elders areas closed in our district, so we are going to start covering a town called Canton pretty soon. So good stuff!
We OYM (opened our mouth) with an old man in a wheelchair while walking in Norfolk, gave a little spiritual thought from the Book of Mormon, and asked if we could come teach him more, and he said yes! We came back a few days later and talked about the restoration and invited him to read the BOM and to pray to know if our message was true. He’s a born again Christian and at first said,”No, I’m going to stick to the Bible” but then just a few seconds after said, “I’ll read it. Give me a week!” So that was cool! We testified that just like the Bible, the BOM testified of Christ and is truly the word of God. So we’ll see if he ends up reading it!
Sacrament meeting at church was AWESOME. A new couple and their baby, the Richardsons, recently moved into our branch and they spoke. It was so neat to hear their stories of how they found their way into the church and talked of the amazing influence of the Holy Ghost being in their lives to lead and guide them. It was great. Anita, the woman who we’ve been teaching, came to church and she loved it! She is so personable and friendly with everyone. We are excited to keep teaching her!
So, Sister Johnson and I have been waving and smiling to every car that passes by when we’ve been out walking (and boy have we been walking!). It is so fun. Some people totally ignore us, but we have had some great wave backs and reactions! One teenage boy, who was in the front seat while his mom was driving, straight up put half his body out the car and gave a two arm wave! It was so funny. Made our days.
We were trying to find a former investigator and ended up meeting this other man. After talking a little bit, we asked if there was anything we could do for him and he asked for us to pray for his dog because he has to put him down. We said that we would and asked if we could come back and share a spiritual message and he agreed. So hopefully we’ll be able to lift his spirits during this hard time…the Lord truly does look out for all of His children and I’m thankful to be serving the people here and bring them closer to Christ.
The mission is difficult in many ways and life in general is just tough sometimes! But, our loving Heavenly Father has provided ways to aide and ease any burden we go through. Some people are able to get through and overcome hard situations and circumstances on their own, but most of the time it is with great difficultly and grudgingly. There is a better, a more happier way to overcome anything…and that is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He has His arm stretched out, waiting for us to rely on it and give all to Him. We can be grateful in any circumstance and by this, feel the wonder and love of the gospel…the beauty that by living it we can always find the feeling of contentedness and peace no matter what. I know He is there for me and every one of us. Every time I pray to have Him help me with my weaknesses and bring peace to my heart through difficulties, He is there. His love fills my soul and I know He can do the same for every one of us, because He loves us so much and suffered all things so we can draw near unto Him and feel happiness and peace in whatever comes our way.
I know He lives and I am so thankful to be serving the wonderful people of New York! I hope you all have a great week!! ❤
Love, Sister Pange
Our stomping grounds!
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