Today is wonderful! For the past few weeks we have missed seeing our friend Jerry, an employee at the store we get groceries at. Today, he asked us where we've been! He's missed seeing us and hasn't seen our "brothers" lately either. He was afriad they had up and moved us to a third world country. We stopped and talked for about 5 minutes in which he told us he and his wife and gone looking for the church but couldn't find it (because it is rather hidden). So we gave him more specific directions and I think he'll go look for it again, as we invited him to church this Sunday. The whole time we were shopping I was praying at least one set of elders would see him and take the time to talk to him. As we were leaving the check-out we passed Jerry who was talking to one set of elders, then another set of elders came from the other direction and we introduced him to them as well. I've not seen a person so happy surrounded by six missionaries! I'm so glad that we all made one another's day.
I have the best companion in the world. No more. No less. Heavenly Father knows what He is doing; I have no doubts it He who is in charge. Sister Peatross (remember, rhymns with tetris) has a brother who has autism. Interestingly enough ever since she came here to Spartanburg we have met so many families with children or family members who have autism or other mental and physical disabilities. It is in awe that I watch her minister, care for, and love these people just as the Savior. She not only gives this love to those precious souls but to all she meets. She truly is a representative of Jesus Christ.
This weekend we had a regional broadcast for conference. Elder Robert C. Gay, Sister Carole McConkie (YW), and Elder Kopischke (70), and Elder Russell M. Nelson all spoke Florida. Highlights of each:
Elder Gay I was so excited to see because he came and spoke at our stake conference when I lived in Madison, WI. He is a gentle man and spoke on letting go of those things we know are hurting us, and if necessary ask for help. "Humble yourself and reach out."
Sister McConkie spoke of the blessings of keeping commandments and what "counts" as commandments. Commandments include the 10 commandments, standards from the For Strength of Youth, the Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, etc. They are not suggestions. They are commandments. By living these strictly we will be able to better discern truth. "Love will increase through righteous restraint."
Elder Kopischke reminded me of the importance of specificity in prayers. "Pray with precision." This made me think of a grandmother in our ward who has prayed with her granddaughter for about 5 years for another little girl in our ward that she will be able to come back to church. This past week we met this family and the mother said she has been thinking about it and does want to come back and her husband (who is not a member) is going to start meeting with us. The Lord does have blessings and miracles in store for us but many are requisite only on our asking for them.
Elder Nelson said that since "President Ucktdorf gets to talk about planes I get to talk about hearts" :) We need to keep the heart of the church strong to keep up with the growth of the rest of the body. With the expansion of the church, it is requisite that we take care of and strengthen those already here. "Loving care is caring love." Sister Peatross and I have had some amazing experiences this week and are excited to continue working together. The Work is of Salvation is Hastening in Spartanburg. Our Heavenly Father Loves each of His children and He is mindful of The One. That includes you. That includes me. That includes your brothers and your sisters. That includes your mom, dad, and next door neighbor. I love you all and pray you will learn the lesson that Heavenly Father would have you learn and that you will see those tender mercies He blesses you with each day. Then I invite you to write them down and share them with a friend. Your Southern Sister, Hermana McNeece