Chicken nugget toes, Steven Frank Sinatra, and running after George.
1. Chicken nugget toes
The second day of being in Warren we went to dinner with a part member family in the ward. This older couple is the FUNNIEST pair I've ever met. He (not a member of the church) had to have a surgery a while back to remove 2 of his toes... and on the other foot his little pinky toe is pointing straight up. He jokes about it all the time.
I told them my right toe looks like a chicken nugget because I broke it a while back, too. We LAUGHED SO HARD because we imagined if we took off our shoes and walked around the little children would hide.
His wife said we would make a great pair, too.
So fun to connect with a non-member like that. Sometimes I think Heavenly Father uses humor to help us connect with others.
2. Steven Frank Sinatra
We went to a apartment building to teach a less-active lady and on our way out we heard this guy singing... we went up to him (he was an elderly man in a wheelchair) and he started to sing Frank Sinatra, "Fly me to the moon" and he was WONDERFUL. He sounded so great I was surprised! He sang us like 5 different songs before he got tired, haha. SO funny. Sometimes, you experience things on a mission you would never being at home. It's wonderful.
3. Literally running to catch George....
THIS is the highlight of my week by far.
I had a dream a few weeks ago that I shared with Sister Jenkins while we were on our way to a park to contact people. In my dream, Sister Bywater and I were also contacting at a park and met this lady who was running and she said if we ran with her we could teach her the gospel. We ran and TOTALLY taught the Restoration to her.
Then Sister Jenkins and I got out of the car to contact people. There we met George, an elderly man who was speed walking faster than I have ever met a man to speed walk. He said we could teach him the gospel if we could keep his pace. Well, I started speed walking and almost jogging.... Sister Jenkins had to literally start to run to catch up. She was crying laughing so hard. It was the funniest moment ever and I tried to teach the gospel but couldn't leave her in the boonies... so I had to stop running and George left us in the dust. We were crying tears of laughter it was so funny.
Just the fact that I had JUST told her that dream, and then it happened. And that he was about 80 years old. Too good! We did try though.
Lastly, I wanted to share one of the greatest messages I learned in my studies this week.
MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS EMAIL
I read this General Conference talk this week and in it, Elder Clayton mentions the time that Mary told her servants to 'do whatsoever Jesus commanded them to do' - so He could turn water into wine. They did whatever He commanded them to do, and in turn, He performed the miracle of turning water into wine.
Elder Clayton said, "A few years ago, I spoke with a young bishop who was spending hours each week counseling with members of his ward. He made a striking observation. The problems that members of his ward faced, he said, were those faced by Church members everywhere—issues such as how to establish a happy marriage; struggles with balancing work, family, and Church duties; challenges with the Word of Wisdom, with employment, or with pornography; or trouble gaining peace about a Church policy or historical question they didn’t understand.
His counsel to ward members very often included getting back to simple practices of faith, such as studying the Book of Mormon—as we were counseled by President Thomas S. Monson to do—paying tithing, and serving in the Church with devotion. Frequently, however, their response to him was one of skepticism: “I don’t agree with you, Bishop. We all know those are good things to do. We talk about those things all the time in the Church. But I’m not sure you’re understanding me. What does doing any of those things have to do with the issues I’m facing?”
Their responses reminded me of 1 Nephi - when serpents had been biting the children of Israel and they were dying... so Christ put a serpant on Moses staff and said if they would just look they would be healed. "Because of the simpleness of the way, many of them wouldn't look, and perished.
Why?! Why can't people see that it's the BASICS that save us! The Lord loves us SO much He wouldn't have it be so complicated to return to live with Him... He would keep it simple!
Friends and family, "The trial of our faith will always involve staying true to simple, daily practices of faith. Then, and only then, does He promise that we will receive the divine response for which we long. Only once we have proven our willingness to do what He asks without demanding to know the whens, the whys, and the hows do we “reap the rewards of [our] faith, and [our] diligence, and patience, and long-suffering.”
I KNOW that the world is becoming more and more wicked. The basics is what will save us. Reading from the Book of Mormon DAILY, praying DAILY, going to church, keeping the commandments... THIS is what will get us through the trying times we will all face.
Christ has commanded us to do the basics. Just like He turned water into wine when the servants obeyed... if WE obey the little things, He can perform miracles in our lives, too.
I have seen it on my mission. We invite people to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know it's true. We do that because that's the foundation of our faith. THAT is how we will make it through life!
I love you all. Sending my love and hugs and chicken nugget toes...