Monday, April 23, 2012

The Sunshine Patriot

Yesterday in church, one of the counselors in our Branch Presidency read a really neat poem about the summer soldier, and the sunshine patriot. He described the difference between the two, and what it basically came down to was this:

 A summer soldier does not endure well, talks the talk but won't walk the walk. A sunshine patriot is committed to the end and willing to sacrifice all he has for the betterment of others. He then said, "Ok turn the word patriot to christian.." and related it to the kind of saints that we need to become in this battle we call life. 
So this is the kind of missionary I want to become- The Sunshine Patriot, or Christian. Another thing he spoke about in his talk was where are we pitching our tents? Meaning, are our doors towards the Lord or towards the cares of this world? He went on to say, are you serving the Lord with gladness or with reluctance- such way of serving will determine the blessings we receive. Man, isn't that so cool?! I thought so. I love church. I learn so much- granted I'm going twice every Sunday, but hey, to each their own. Haha. 
Ok- the Temple Open House is going amazingly!

Kansas City Temple Open House
 Ah, I love it so much, I don't want it to end. This is our last week serving there. Last week I had some of the neatest experiences and talked to so many awesome people. One older guy in particular- Warren. Good ole' Warren came with some members to the open house and when he got to the cultural hall, the member he was with came and grabbed me and said, "I have a friend here that has never met a sister missionary, will you come and meet him?" Of course I said yes, and followed him over to his friend. Warren is from the Kansas City area and had been taught by missionaries many times, he's probably in his 60's or 70's and is just full of life and energy. He reminded me of a Montanan cowboy. Haha. I felt like I was back home. Anywho- so Warren and I got talking and became pretty good bud's. His friend, who belongs to the church, whispered to me that Warren had never been invited to be baptized (after I asked Warren what the hold up was if he loved the church so much). So after talking a bunch, I finally said, "Warren, I have a question for you...Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the Priesthood Authority of God?" He was kind of quiet for a minute and then tried to go around the question. After talking some more and getting ready to say goodbye, I said, "Warren you never answered my question!" And he said, "Well.. ya see.... I'll have to think about it." Haha, and then the member that was with him looked at me and said, "Are you sure you can't come teach Warren?" I said, "I wish I could, but he's not in my area." Then the member said, "Oh alright, well when Warren gets baptized, I'll be sure to call your mission president for special permission for you to come to it." Haha, it was a pretty cool experience. Warren and I will be great friends for life, I'm sure. :)

 There were lots of other neat experiences that happened at the open house. I met an older couple, Al and Jane, who came right up to me and basically asked what they needed to do to be a Mormon so they could be sealed to each other. I talked with them for quite some time. They were pretty sad when I told them Branson, MO wasn't even in our mission (which is where they are from) but I pray and hope that they will get missionaries who teach them, who will love them and show them the way!  I was also able to introduce a film in Spanish for the first time, it was super nerve wracking, but fun! When I was in the cultural hall I got to talk to a lot of members from a Spanish branch in Nebraska too, that was way neat. They were very patient with my chopped up Spanish and were even trying to teach me too. Ahh I loved every minute of it!
So this last week in our area, we were finally able to meet a less active lady in our ward who has never been to church since she moved here. She has a 31 year old daughter who was in a horrible car accident when she was 17, and because of that accident is in a wheel chair, has stroke symptoms, and has not been able to speak or really communicate since. It was so sad, not only because of the daughter, but to see her mother and how hard it has been for her since the accident. Her daughter had a scholarship to Julliard, which she had received a week before the accident. Anywho, we talked to this lady for awhile, she told us the changes that have come into her life because of the accident and how her daughter would be able to speak today had her doctor done the usual tests to find the blood clot that caused her stroke. She said that the doctor thought she was going to die, and so he didn't see the necessity to run the normal tests. He didn't think it was going to do any good. But then, when she started to progress, the doctor got scared and tried correcting it with medication, but it was too late- she had already had the stroke that caused the permanent damage. Sister Stoker came up with a really good analogy from this experience that has put a little perspective on the importance of missionary work in my life. She said, "It's so important that we don't assume someone has gone too far from the gospel, because if we do, we might just lose them forever." There's a lot of spiritual rebuilding that needs to take place with this member, but we're grateful for the opportunity that we have to learn from this. We're going to try to go over there every week from now on and take her daughter on strolls in her chair and just spend some time with her and her mom. We're pretty excited!
Oh yes, one last neat thing- lately Sister Stoker and I have been fasting and praying that the ward members will be led to those people who are prepared, and then this morning we got a random text from a ward member saying that they had neighbors who are recently married, and are interested in our church. She said that she was going to take them to the temple open house this week and really wanted us to come by and meet them. If that isn't an answer to fasting and prayer, then I don't know what is. Man, I really love Heavenly Father. He is so awesome. There's just no one better. I know that the more we obey Him, the more desire that we will have to help and love others. I know that is true. This is great time to be serving Him. I love it! "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" 
Love you all!
Love, Hermana Conrow      

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