Man! This last week has been quite the week! We've definitely been staying busy!
Sister McLaren and I came up with a Missionary March idea for the Amherst ward where everyday we will go and instead of having dinner with these families, we're going to start a fast with them to have their own missionary opportunities. It's going to be a huge thing for the ward and the bishop is really pushing it! He's been so awesome with missionary work! But I've been asked to speak next Sunday to get the ward pumped for it, so I've been preparing for that. Then I had to give a talk in the YSA branch yesterday so I was preparing for that. Then tomorrow is our zone meeting and Wednesday is Buff South's zone meeting and we have to do a training at both so we've been preparing for that. Lots of preparation this last week.
My 8 month mark was spent tracting in the snow. There was this neighborhood where a member lived and we decided we'd visit the member and then tract in the neighborhood right next to it. It kind of reminded me of a day back when I was with Sister Andrus (I still can't believe that she's already gone home). Sister Andrus and I knocked on at least 20 doors and NO ONE opened. Haha I remember that like it was yesterday. This day though, we knocked on at least 35. It was FREEZING, it was snowing, and EVERYONE answered their door. And EVERYONE very rudely declined. After about the 10th door I had this urge to punch someone in the nose, but I refrained and used a bit more self control than I would've liked at the time. We both wanted to leave the area, but I remembered a quote from a missionary book that I had read before my mission. This man served in Romania and would go tracting in big apartment complexes. His motto was:"Last floor last door". So we kept trudging along. No one was interested to put it mildly, but the last house we passed there was a man out shoveling. His name is Eric. He's in his mid 40s I'd say and we started talking to him. When he saw us he was like, "You're LDS aren't you?" I'm sure the look on my face was priceless (I can't decide if that's due to the fact that my mascara was dripping down my face and I was so sick of it that I didn't care to wipe it away, or the fact that I was so shocked that someone called us LDS). No one ever calls us LDS. Come to find out he dated a member when he was in high school and really looked into the church for a while. We talked to him for probably 15 minutes in the snow and he said we could come back and talk to his family anytime. I learned that sometimes the Lord lets us go through some tough things because there is something much better at the END. We wouldn't have appreciated it as much had we not experienced some hard things. Even though all of those people were rude, the only hard feelings I have are because I'm so sad that they chose not to accept the one thing that can bring them eternal happiness. I don't know those people but I love them more than I can explain.
For Valentine's Day, we made a valentine and took it to one of our members in a nursing home. We couldn't stay long because he was having Valentine's dinner, so we left him the valentine and went on our way. As we were driving home that night we got a call and Brother Reade was calling to thank us for the valentine. He was telling us how much it meant to him that we thought about him and were willing to go see him. He was so appreciative and my heart was so full and I just felt so satisfied with the work Sister McLaren and I have done here.
We had exchanges with Cheektowaga this week and it was so fun to be with Hermana Storms. We had a lot of fun and saw quite a few miracles. #1: The YSA is taking a temple trip on Saturday and whoever isn't going to the temple is going to the sites, and we got Tonya to agree to come with us. I'm so excited to take her to the sacred grove and have her pray to know if the church is true in the place where it all started. She's been pretty hesitant but she gets a long with all the YSA members that we've taken with us so we're excited to get her there.
To fill you in on the weather, yesterday we weren't allowed out of our apartments except for church because the high was -15 degrees. The low was -35. Welcome to February in Western NY. I'm surprised that I don't have frostbite yet with walking through snow up to my waist. But luckily I'm still alive. Send a little heat my way please! (Ps I'm still bitter that the one winter when I'm gone, ya'll have a great winter... :P)
Love you all anyway! Have a fantastic week!:)
Sister Mandi Nield