Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The pain of not listening

SAN DIEGO — I can't believe another week has gone by! Yesterday it was 80 degrees, people were mowing lawns and they all had their Christmas lights up! It is weirding me out! I keep thinking it is summer time!

To answer some questions:

Thanksgiving is actually just another day in the mission field. The Mormon Battalion is open every day — including Sundays and holidays — so I worked there in the morning and we had a Battalion Thanksgiving that the senior couples put together and then we were out in our area at night. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving, though!

, you would be proud, one of the senior couples is from Twin Falls, so I even got Idaho mashed potatoes and "grandma rolls" that were almost as good as yours!

For Christmas, we will get to either call or skype (unless president clayton changes the rules). We will only have about 30-40 minutes. I think I can do a conference call, I'm not exactly sure what that is?  But please send the number just in case.

As for things that are going on here: I have learned a great lesson this week of following the Spirit that I wanted to share with you. Here are two clips from my journal that will tell the story....

Friday, November 26, 2011

I took Sister Burden on exchanges in our area today. She is such an amazing missionary. We were able to teach a lot of people and contact a lot of referrals. We tried to contact Mckaela later in the evening. Mckaela is a foreign exchange student from Germany that we street contacted in August and she asked for a German Book of Mormon, but every time we tried  to contact her, the host family was really cold and told us she was not there.

Luckily, one of the sons answered the door and we were able to ask for Mckaela. Well, he told us in the not of nicest terms that we were out too late and that Mckaela was getting ready for bed. He started shutting the door, and I felt the Spirit tell me, "Sister Newman, she needs that Book of Mormon", but I let the moment pass and he shut the door.

Walking back to the car, the feeling wouldn't go away, so Sister Burden and I turned around, and walked back to the house so we could at least leave the German Book of Mormon with the host family. This time, the mom answered and she in the really not of nicest terms told us to leave and slammed the door in our face. We were forced to leave the book on the doorstep for her. I learned a great lesson tonight- LISTEN TO THE SPIRIT.

I can't describe the feelings in my heart of guilt and sadness that my lack of following the Spirit brought. Thank goodness for the Atonement, for I know Heavenly Father will prepare away for Mckaela to again receive the message of the Gospel.
Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today, I learned another lesson on following the Spirit. You think I would be better at this by now, especially because I was chastised only a few days ago from not listening to Heavenly Father. I don't know how many times it is going to take me to learn to trust in Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, but apparently at least one more time.

On our way to visit a former investigator's home, we ran into a guy walking his two boxer dogs. Naturally we walked up to him (not only because he had 2 dogs that reminded me of Peaches and Dakota, but that was a bonus!). After talking to him and sharing our message, he thanked us and left. As he was walking away, I felt Heavenly Father remind me that I needed his number, but he was already walking away, so I ignored the prompting. As we turned and started walking to the former's home, Sister Kennington mentioned that she, too, was reminded to get his number and did not.

My heart sunk to the floor — was my lack of acting on prompting going to affect this man's salvation?!? I practically begged Heavenly Father to give me another chance, promising that I would act on that prompting without delay. As we turned the corner to our former's home, there was the guy and his boxers! You better believe I asked for his number! There was no way I would fail to act this time. I have gained such a stronger testimony of listening to the Spirit. When you seek guidance from heaven, that is when miracles happen.
These past two days reminded me of a story from the Mormon Battalion that I want to share with you. I can't remember the story I shared last week, so I hope this isnt the same one.
"By November 17, the battalion had left the Rio Grande and was traveling in a southwesterly direction. On Nov. 20, Colonel Cooke's guides reported that they could not find a practical route to the west. Mexican traders told Cooke the only reasonable route was southeast to Janos in Sonora. In addition, they explained to Cooke that he could replenish his provisions, a fact that weighed heavily on Cooke's long list of worries.

"It appeared that cookes mind was set; the battalion would change directions and march towards Sonora. Cooke's decision, taking them away from and not towards California, so distressed Levi Hancock, the leading church authority in the battalion, that he asked the men to pray that night to change the colonel's mind. The following day Cooke set out for Janos and after the battalion had marched for several miles, he suddenly changed his mind, declaring that general Kearney's orders were to march to California. Consequently, the battalion changed directions and once again began traveling toward California. Many soldiers believed Cooke's decision to abandon the march to Janos came as a direct answer to prayer."
I know that Colonel Cooke listened to the Spirit. I am confident that because of that, the men did not have to fight in a single battle. It has been weighing on my mind a lot how important it is to listen to the Spirit, and I am so thankful Heavenly Father has once again taught me that lesson. The Spirit is constantly around, always trying to give us nudges, and pushes in the right direction. But it is so delicate, so soft, so quiet, that it takes such practice to hear its promptings and even more practice and courage to act on them.
The Spirit talks to all of us, to you to me every day, all the time. It is just up to us to listen and act. Miracles happen when we listen and do something from the messages we receive from heaven. I know that is true!
I love you all, I am so glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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