Monday, October 13, 2014

Festival Season

F is for Fall and Festivals and Finding down here! This week took us all over the place sort of unexpectedly as we travelled to interviews with President, around town trying to get our Halloween/Snake themed Family History Booth together, and down to Munson to do finding. We cleaned a very cluttered house and conquered the Froot Loop mountain therein.

The highlight of the week was definitely when we finally got to do our booth down in this little corner of the Jay Sisters' area... Munson. There isn't anything there really, except a campground. That's where we reported to do our finding. It reminded me of my middle childhood days, camping in Chester, CA. We dressed down and worked in the dirt, meeting people from all over the Panhandle and Alabama. Since our booth was Halloween themed, our sign said, "Are there any snakes in your family?" and we had a skeleton, and a skull that laughs and chatters it's teeth when you talk to it. All of that really caught everyone's attention. A lot of children ran over because they thought we would have real snakes. It's a good idea for our next booth.

While there we saw the best "_____ Life" sticker known to man. Better than all the others we have seen, which now includes Salt Life, Mud Life, Bama Life, Country Life, and Christ Life. On Saturday we saw one that said ETERNAL LIFE. It was the best thing ever. Every missionary had to sneak a picture with it while hoping the owners of the vehicle did not come around.

I love getting to talk to a bunch of people I've never seen before and for most part will never see again! Not only are we going to meet the whole town of Brewton, but the whole population of the Pensacola stake. :)

Peace until next week. Read your conference talks! :O

-Sister Laura Cooper

Spiritual Confidence

I will theme this post around my favorite talk from Conference-- Elder Klebingat's talk, more than likely soon to be titled "Spiritual Confidence". I loved that talk, and it was a unique answer to a question that I had. You know those questions that everyone brings to conference, looking for a sermon just for them? This was the answer to mine. I wish the talks were already printed on, but alas they are not.

What I liked about this talk is the reflection about how we would feel if we had a personal interview with the Savior. I think I would be excited, and nervous, hoping that He wouldn't bring up my weaknesses, or how I have not always answered promptings, or how I have unrighteous desires to be on Pinterest right now, even though I am on the mission. The talk addressed what we can do to have spiritual confidence in ourselves, and know that we are doing our best. They are the basics-- prayer, scriptures, repentance, forgiveness, ect. If we faithfully do these things, we cannot believe the voice of the adversary in our heads saying we are not good, we are not accepted of the Lord, the reason we are going through trials or are not successful is because we are bad. If we do the basics of the Gospel consistently, we can know the Lord is pleased.

Much of the conference was about the prophet, am I right? I was noticing that the whole time. Also, Elder Callister's talk about parenting stood out to me-- yikes! I must be growing old!

The best part of Conference Weekend was that Billy, who has not been to an LDS church service since he was referred to the missionaries five years ago, came all the way to Jay to watch Conference! And he loved it. We have a few talks from the other sessions we want to watch with him too because one of his concerns is about prophets. Hopefully just coming and watching Conference, regardless or the topics of the talks, will help him resolve that. We are so excited for him. He makes both of us glad we are still here.

Interviews with President are tomorrow. Hope I have spiritual confidence haha!

-Sister Laura Cooper

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Heaven's Eyes

You know what is crazy? The fact that God is watching over Brewton. It must difficult with all of them trees in the way, but somehow he does it. I have two evidences for the week that such is happening.

First, we had this most wonderful and strange day on Friday. We live right by the high school... and it's Homecoming. We held Weekly Planning because our street was blocked off for the homecoming parade and it would have been hard to get around. So in the middle of our planning session we went downstairs to watch the parade go by. Our house was aparently ahead of where spectators were allowed to stand, so we were the first people on the parade route, and we got SO MUCH CANDY. :D

You may be thinking that was the tender mercy I am referring to, but wait, it gets better. After the parade, we finished our planning session and got ready to go to a lesson with Billy. The parade had been over for like an hour, so you would think we would be able to get out of our neighborhood in a reasonable amount of time. Ha. Not so. Our usual 20 minute journey to Billy's place turned into an hour journey because of the backup running through not just our neighborhood, but all of Brewton.

Finally, we arrived and knocked on the door. He was down for having a lesson, but said the Bowlers (senior couple) were coming to visit him in just a few minutes. We sat down with him, and started to watch Lord, I Believe, in hopes it would help him work out some doubts he has, while emphasizing how we learn from the prophet and apostles. In the middle of the talk, the Bowlers showed up and joined our lesson.

When the talk was over, Sister Lloyd asked Billy what stood out to him, and he said that when we came over, he had just finished reading the story of the demon-possessed boy out of Jesus the Christ. (Yes, he is reading JtC). He said that when Elder Holland started telling that story, he knew he really needed to pay attention. He emphasized that it had not been like an hour or two since he read that, but "no more than five minutes". And then he told us that it helped him realize he needs to investigate more seriously, and that he feels God is leading him to do something about what we are saying.

Sister Lloyd and I are so excited for him, and the Bowlers are just tickled that they got to be there to see that. We were all timed just right by an inspired parade traffic jam! That is the real tender mercy I am talking about.

Second, we learned this morning that God must have some very important plan for us and Brewton... because we found out we are staying together for our 5th transfer. At first I was upset a bit, because I've been here so long, but there must be a super good reason. Can't question, just got to figure out what it is.

Now, why call this "Heaven's Eyes" of all things? Because how do we deal with having to wonder why the Lord does what he does? We listen to a song Sister Lloyd just recently introduced me to, from The Prince of Egypt, called by the same title of this blog.

Lai lai lai lai lai lai lai! It fixes everything. Listen to it.

-Sister Laura Cooper