Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Another Week in Ava...

My dear family and friends, 

I hope you're all doing well! Know that I'm sending lots of love and prayers your way! 

I thought all morning about what I could say in this, and all I could think about was yesterday! Not that the rest of the week wasn't great, but I just didn't know what to share from it. So here we go!

Yesterday we had an amazing Sunday! We were able to meet with a lot of people, which is usually harder since church and studies take up so much of our time. We had two particularly notable appointments. One was with Caleb, a brand new 13 year old investigator! His friend Austin had given him a Book of Mormon and invited him to church, then introduced him to us saying, "This is Caleb! He wants to take the missionary lessons!" I am so grateful for the support of our members. When they just hand us opportunities like that, it's hard not to feel just immensely blessed! We met with Caleb and taught him the Restoration, and it went really well. His ailing grandfather had expressed that he wished Caleb and his family would start going to church. So when Austin invited him, he felt like it was the right thing to do. He's really open with us, and so we know he's sincere about learning. We also know that video games could be a hindrance! :) 

The other one I wanted to talk about was with a woman named Ashley. She lives with her two children and her boyfriend in a little apartment. The first time we met her, we helped her carry her groceries in and left her with our number. About a week later, we stopped by again and talked about how the gospel blesses families, and left her with a copy of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." Yesterday was our return appointment! We weren't sure how interested she was, because every time we had met her, she had just been sitting outside smoking. But when we got there, she put her cigarette down, invited us inside, turned off her TV, and quieted down her kids. Then in that wonderfully quiet environment she created without any prompting from us (which is so rare here!), we were able to start with a prayer and begin our lesson. 

It turned out that she had completely forgotten to read, but she was sincerely apologetic about it. We decided to read through it together, but as we did so I kept reading sentences thinking, "Oh no. She's going to think we're condemning her for living with her boyfriend. Should we stop?" and then reprimanding myself with, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ! This is what I know is true! Be bold!" I talked with my companions afterward, and they all had similar battles. But then we finished, and she looked up at us with tears in her eyes. "This actually makes me feel really sad," she told us. 

At that point, the Spirit rushed into the room! She opened up and told us about how she is married to a man who's in prison for something that she knows she can't live with. But she takes her marriage vow seriously, and feels like it would be lying to God to get a divorce. Yet now she feels an immense amount of guilt for living with her boyfriend, while still married to someone else! She's worried about how God will judge her, and about how she can ever feel free from that guilt and shame. More than any time I've ever seen, I was able to see someone that was really, truly spiritually hungry. She needed the message that we shared, and as she soaked it in, she just wanted more and more. 

At one point, she asked what made us different than other Christians. I started explaining the Priesthood authority and the importance of Prophets, and then the Spirit really took over. I know for sure that I've never been able to explain it that well before! But she continued asking questions, and our lesson morphed around what those were. We ended up teaching exactly what we had planned, but in an entirely different way then we anticipated! For example, after talking about Prophets, she asked how we knew that our leader was a true prophet. Then, I quoted Matthew 7 (which I didn't even know I had memorized) and introduced the Book of Mormon. I can't even explain what made the lesson so incredible, except that I knew that all of my words were being guided by the Spirit, more than I've ever felt before in English. I guess I needed it more in Portuguese!

Having felt what it can be like to teach by the Spirit in that way, I never want to do anything different! I've been thinking about what it means to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I know that in order for him to be able to use me, I need to be prepared and spiritually worthy. An instrument is so precise, so exact in its function. It's made up of little pieces that are delicately and carefully put in place, and then just as carefully maintained. A blade needs to be sharpened, or a piano needs to stay tuned. It takes work. And then, with all of that in place, the instrument can be used. If I'm not constantly developing my teaching skills, studying the gospel, and striving to have the Spirit with me always, then the Lord can't use me as well as he needs to! Sure, an old piano can still make some noise. If someone really knows what they're doing, they can even make it sound kind of nice. And even if the blade on some tool isn't sharp, with enough time it can generally perform its function. But that's not nearly as effective, nor is it the way the Lord needs things to go. He requires that I labor with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. 

I feel a lot of responsibility with my calling as a missionary. I know that I have been set apart by priesthood authority to labor in His vineyard--and that's not something I take lightly. So I'm working really hard to be able to put my weaknesses aside, and labor with all of my might so long as I have the time. 

I'm grateful for the support I get from all of you! I love you so very, very much. We have a district outing today up in Springfield, so there's pretty good chance I won't have time to write letters. Sorry! But thank you to everyone that wrote me this last week! Your letters mean a lot! And Mom, Sister Burt said to tell you your letter made her whole week (she really was sooo excited!) and Sister Garner thinks you're the sweetest person ever. She said to give you a big thank you and to tell you that's the first mail she's gotten! You're amazing. I'm super lucky to have you :)

Eu amo voces....para sempre! 

Sister Fuller 

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Dear Family, 

I cannot believe you---YOU CRAZY PEOPLE!!! Haha what on earth were you thinking? I couldn't resist skimming your email really quick to see if you had a good excuse before I printed them out. For the rest of the world, I got quite the surprise this week...haha. I went to church all excited to meet our ward mission leader, who's been out of town since I've been here. When I saw him, I went over to shake his hand and said, "You must be Brother Kjar!" And he said, "Yes, (mumble mumble) Dad!" I think he spoke clearly, but I didn't know what he said. I assumed he made some sort of joke about being my "mission dad" because that's what Brother Dimond's role was in Coffeyville...so I laughed and said it was nice to meet him. But then he said, "No really, these are from your Dad!" and he held out the huge bag and thing of flowers he was holding. 
My poor brain COULD NOT understand what was going on. "Oh, those are for us? Who are they from?"
"Your Dad!"
"My Dad?"
"My real Dad?"
"Uh huh!"
"My...biological Dad?"


Yes. The punks showed up in Ava, and dropped things off at his house. Also, congratulations--you met him before I did. And you went to Ava drug! We were in town all of Saturday

You crazy people. 

But thank you, that was really sweet. And I'm especially excited about veggie straws, so thanks. 

Anyway. We had a great week here in Ava...busy as normal, lots of great people to see. We've had a bit more rain than usual the last couple of days! It's SO FUNNY. My companions get super excited and whip out their cameras to take pictures of the flooding streets and sidewalks and clouds and such. Midwest thunderstorms, I'm telling you--nothing beats them!

On Tuesday, I got to go on exchanges to West Plains with Sister Felton. She's great! We had a lot of fun together. And we found five new investigators that day! We had a whole chunk of visits fall through that morning, and since she said they really needed new investigators, we went tracting. Now, you should know--tracting is not usually effective! But we were just happy, and people listened, and said we could come back. We were able to teach one man, and then a young couple. Soooo much fun! We also were able to have a great visit with a part member family, and the husband agreed to be taught! And then later that day, we received a media referral. I WAS SO EXCITED. So far as I know, those are so rare! It was a request for a visit from missionaries off of mormon.org. So, so awesome! We had a member that was with us that was willing to drive out to the address (she lived waaaay out there), and so off we went.

The name listed was Coty, so we didn't know if it was a woman or a man. When we got to the address listed, we saw a man standing up in the back of a truck, so we went over and talked to him. We found out that Coty was his daughter, and that she didn't live there. He gave us "ava directions" (meaning no road names, but based on landmarks) to get to her place saying, "Once you see the sign for the county line, turn right on the dirt road". We went off looking for the teeny dirt road with the county line...and then we got to the sign that said, "Welcome to Arkansas!" 

Yup. I officially have been in all four states of the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission...as a missionary (hahaha). At the same time, all three of us went, "We're in Arkansas?!?" We laughed sooo hard. We even took pictures, as well as pictures of me with the "Welcome to Missouri" sign. I just had to :)

Anyway, we found Coty in Arkansas. She had typed in "free bible" to google, and mormon.org had popped up. She didn't really know what she was doing! But she has quite a story. (That would make for the best conversion story ever to be told at youth firesides all over). Her and her boyfriend of 11 years were both addicted to meth, and so their three daughters were taken away. She took that as a sign from God that they needed to shape up--big time. So she's involved in all sorts of addiction recovery programs and counseling, and they've been clean for about 5 months now. Lately, she's really been trying to go to church and learn more about God. She knows she needs to develop a stronger relationship with Him, and that they need to fill their time now with good things, so that they really can stay changed. She wants her daughters back more than anything--and they should be getting them in about 2 weeks! They've been going to his Dad's church and have loved the fellowship, but are looking for a new one that would be a better fit for the girls. She's trying to read the Bible to him (plowing through Genesis), but says that there's a lot she doesn't understand. But she has faith, and wants to change. So we taught her about the Restoration! 

It was so awesome. She was totally nervous and giggly, but so open and willing to learn. And she kept mentioning cousins and grandparents and friends that were all looking for new churches...this could go a long way! It was so cool. I'm going to have to keep tabs on their story. 

This week was Youth Conference, so Austin and Dalton both got to go to Nauvoo! They went to the temple, and saw the Pageant, and did all the other fun things. And looooved it. Dalton said that it was a "life changing experience". One of the things he's personally been working on is remembering to say morning prayers, and we had been joking about getting him a prayer rock. But he told us about how when they knocked on the door to wake them up, he was so excited that he jumped off the bunkbed, got on his knees, and started praying! ("It actually kind of hurt my knees!") And they both loved the temple. 4 and 3 weeks baptized, and they've already been to the temple! It just makes me so happy!

We also set a baptismal date with Randy this week! I love teaching Randy. He's the best. And he came to church this week! FINALLY! And he loved it, and wants to come back all the time. Ok! You can! 

We had a ton of people at church this week! Howie and his kids, a single father we've been teaching, came...and everyone LOVED his kids. We've had two people call and ask us if they can invite them to FHE or dinner. This ward rocks! We had invited him to be baptized earlier this week and his response was literally, "Sure, why not?" We'll work with him a little more. Haha. 

Rachael is still so excited for her baptism. A girl her age was telling her about tithing--something we haven't taught her anything about yet--and said we gave 10% of our income. And she just said, "Oh yeah, I can do that!" So good to know that lesson will be easy! She's so fun to teach. She just has so much faith! 

Another hilarious moment was when the calender for Sisters to sign up to go on splits with us was being passed around in Relief Society. Linda, an investigator, got it and started telling us how much she wanted to come with us to go on visits. So she signed up for her and her sister to come! Hahaha. That's right--even our investigators come on exchanges! 

Also in Relief Society, we found a new investigator! There was a woman there I had introduced myself to last week that had said she was visiting. I had invited her to come to class with us, but she had declined then. This week, I sat next to her and started chatting before Relief Society. And she said, "Well, I had been needing to talk to you Sisters--I figured that since I've known about the church for 24 years, it's about time that I should be taught!" Literally, I did nothing. I said hello, and she said, "teach me the gospel!" Such a tender mercy, and such proof that the Lord is preparing people for us to teach! 

I love you all, and hope you're staying strong. Helaman 5:12--it all comes back to the basics! So make sure you have a strong foundation! 

Sister Fuller

Monday, July 15, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,
I'm officially in rural Missouri. It's quite an adventure! Ava is a lot different than home, but in its own wonderful, wonderful way. It makes for a lot of crazy dirt roads and hills and interesting experiences. We even drive a truck so we can make it through okay on some of these roads! And everything's just...smaller? Haha. Everyone knows each other! Everyone! You run into ward members and investigators everywhere, and they all know everybody else! The connections actually freak me out sometime. My first full day here, Sister Garner was so excited to sing together, because Sister Burt and Mele (her companions last transfer) didn't like to sing in lessons. But she knew I did, and so we sang at every lesson. But by 4:00, we walked into a lesson and before we said anything, Paul told us "Now, I only want to hear you sing so long as Sister Burt pipes up too!" (She sings really quietly). Apparently, he had already heard that we sang from someone we met with that morning....crazy! Haha can you imagine them texting each other? "Hey Paul, guess what? The Sisters sing now!"
We had a great week. There's that weird transition time, as expected, but I think I pretty much have the hang of everything here. I told you about Monday last week...then Tuesday was our first busy day. One of the families we meet with blows me away with their faith and optimism every time we see them! Robert just got baptized at the end of May. He has an amazing conversion story, starting with finding a Book of Mormon twenty years ago...apparently he read it, loved it, and found the church this April and just showed up and told the missionaries he wanted to learn more! COOL. But their family has been through a lot, and a lot of it I don't even know. From what I understand, their last house burnt down and they lost pretty much everything. Then he lost his job, and the family had to move. Now, they live in this shack on the back of someone else's property. No air conditioning, plumbing, and only basic lighting. Most of the area is taken up by their two beds the family shares, and then one chair and a pile of what possessions they have left. But really, you couldn't meet a sweeter family. They have three kids, and the two little ones just loooooove us! They just hug us and hold on tight! And Robert's amazing. He has so much faith, and he studies the Book of Mormon like a madman! And he's sharing it with everyone he meets...one of those people was Paul, who was baptized two weeks ago. We love talking to Robert. We're just finishing up the last of the new member lessons, and it's so fun! He just really, really gets it.
Tuesday we also met with Billie Jo (who's another person Robert started teaching on his own). She's so funny. We were reading 2 Nephi 31 about the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we were about at verse five, her head popped up and she said, "Wait! I know why we're reading this chapter--you want me to be baptized!!" Hahahahahaha. Yup. But only because we know how important it is! So I had fun with that one....actually, I loved that lesson. I really felt the Spirit guiding me with everything I said and invited her to do, and helping me to be loving and bold. I felt it confirming my words, and testifying to me of how essential baptism is, and why we needed to help her to take that step! That's why I love being a missionary. Because when I can forget about myself and just focus on what the Lord needs me to do, I feel so....I don't know. I don't know if words can describe it. I feel like singing :)
Wednesday, we met with Pam--who's SO AWESOME! She's from a part member family, and has been taught for several months. She had a baptism date, and needed to stop smoking two weeks before then. We had been calling her every night to check her progress. The day of the 2 week mark, we told her that if she stopped then, she could still make her date. AND THEN SHE DID! She went from 6 cigarettes a day to none! That first day after that when we called, we were so amazed. But what's even more amazing is that it's been over a week now, and she's still going strong! She has so much faith. She knows this is the right choice, and so she pushes on! She's been gnawing on cinnamon sticks like mad. So funny. Whatever works! So she'll be getting baptized this Saturday...and we're so excited!
Thursday was weekly planning, and then we did splits with one of the ward missionaries. So I went off with Sister Lewis and we visited a bunch of less active families, while Sister Burt and Garner went and visited other investigators. It was so productive, and such a great experience!
Friday was just a busy, seeing lots of people day....as was SaturdaySaturday we set a baptismal date with Rachael! And I've never, ever seen anyone more excited about it! She's so fun to teach. She keeps her commitments, she prays; she just embraces it all!
Other than that, we've been meeting with Dalton and Austin, who are recent converts as well. Both of them received the Priesthood last Sunday, and Austin blessed the sacrament yesterday! It was SOOOO wonderful! Sister Garner and I cried watching him. Sister Burt thought we were crazy. And we're going to watch the Joseph Smith movie with them tonight, since they're going to Youth Conference in Nauvoo this week....I'M SO EXCITED!
Okay. I should go. But I love you all!
 Funny tidbit for the week: we were visiting a man who usually comes to Sacrament meeting and then runs off to go to another church. The member that came with us asked him about it, and he jokingly told her that since he was such a heathen, he needed two doses of church. Then she looked up at him and said, "Well, if you stayed forSunday School, maybe you wouldn't be such a heathen!" His face. I wish I could have taken a picture. Bahahaha.
Sister Fuller

Monday, July 8, 2013

Not in Kansas Anymore!

My dear family and friends,
Wow! I would not have guessed that when I got to use that as a subject line, I'd actually be closer to home. Haha. This week has been the craziest of the mission thus far!
Tuesday and Wednesday, Sister Cook and I finished with a bang. We had a record number of total lessons in a two day period, and found two new potential investigators. Plus, we just had a lot of fun together! I love Sister Cook, and I already miss her a ton. Also, I took for granted how much she liked to sing...apparently that's not universal among missionaries! We had LOTS of fun singing together. So we had a great last couple of days, and I had to say goodbye to a lot of people I love--sadly, some of them were out of town on family vacations and such for the 4th, so I didn't get to. But I am so grateful for all the experiences I've had in Coffeyville. Who'd have guessed I'd have grown so attached in just 6 weeks?
Thursday was crazy! We had to wake up at 3 a.m. to meet up with the Elders and then drive down to Tulsa for transfers. Long day! But we got there, and then everyone gathered in a little room where President Shumway spoke for a minute, and then they started sending us off in caravans to get to all of our new assignments. I was on the north transfer loop, so I was put in a truck and told that the two Elders there with me would be my companions for the next couple of hours. Weird...anyway, eventually I met up with Sister Garner and Sister Burt, and we came back to Ava!
It's been fun to be with Sister Garner again, and Sister Burt is nice too. A tripanionship is definitely a new experience, but it's kind of nice that they already know what they're doing, and that they have established investigators! They had three baptisms last month, so they're teaching a lot of really awesome recent converts. Austin and Dalton, who are 15 and 16, received the Priesthood yesterday! Yesterday we also met with a girl named Rachael (yup, that's how she spells it!) who is 15, and already wants to get baptized! She actually reminds me a lot of Gabi, so if we can I think going slowly would be a good thing for her. But we'll see!
If I thought I got a lot of flack about being from St. Louis when I was in Kansas, it's nothing compared to how it is here! Everywhere I go, someone will have just visited a hospital there ("you know, that big one of 270"--YEAH, I know that one!) or have a picture of the St. Louis temple in their home, or have family there. But at the same time, these people live in "Missourah"...so it still doesn't really feel like we're that close to home!
I'm still kind of in a weird adjustment period--for the first two days, it still felt like I was just on an exchange, and that I'd be going back to Coffeyville in just a bit! But I'm here, and it's almost certainly for another 6 weeks. But the last couple of days, language study has been a million times more effective than it was on my own! I don't know what's up with Portuguese. Hopefully I'll be able to just remember what I've learned, and actually be able to communicate when I get to Brazil. That's the goal.
Ava is a great area. The people are so friendly, and it seems like everyone's just home all the time--so appointments never fall through! We actually found out last night that this area is leading the zone--so definitely a new experience. People just are there, and they're willing to listen...so we just get a ton of lessons in everyday! It's bizarre. Haha I was so confused the first day when someone answered the door at every house we went to. ("Is this normal?!") This area has a lot of potential, and it's exciting to see! I'm sure that whatever happens, the next 6 weeks are going to be great!
Well, I'm out of time again. But I love you all--keep praying, keep reading. Just keep going. The blessings that come from it are worth it!
Sister Fuller
P.S. My new address is Route 6 Box 6470-28, Ava MO 65608. I'd love to hear from you! Also, these computers have the USB drive blocked off, so we're not allowed to send pictures. I'll try to print some at Walmart sometime!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


The things I miss when I'm gone! What? Devin has a job? And I guess "sent from my ipad" means that Dad got one...and what's this new legislation about gay marriage? Is it really legal everywhere now?
Dear everyone,
I think my brain exploded this week. So if you ever come to Kansas, look for it on the side of the road, in between all the smushed turtles...its remnants may be somewhere around there.
So the biggest news is that no, my visa's not here, but yes--I am leaving Coffeyville. We got transfer calls on Saturday night. Sister Cook and I really didn't think anything of it ahead of time, because we were certain we'd both be staying! Actually, everyone was. The Elders, our district, our Zone leaders, the ward. No one thought either of us would leave after just getting here 6 weeks ago! We thought there was a possibility we'd get a third member to our companionship, but that was it. But...I am being sent to Ava, Missouri. I will be in a trio with Sister Garner (my MTC companion) and her trainer. Sister Cook is staying here, and will be training a new missionary.
Basically, I cried all night long. I never expected to leave Coffeyville before leaving for Brazil, and definitely not only after my first transfer! I love it here, and it just feels incomplete. When I was reassigned, I didn't struggle because I knew that if the Lord wanted me in Coffeyville, it was for a reason. But now I'm leaving, and I have no idea what that reason was! I don't feel like I've been here long enough to make a difference. But I know the Lord has a plan for me. I have no clue what it is, but I know He hasn't forgotten me. He called me on a mission for a specific purpose, and so I'll continue to serve wherever He wants me to go. Even when I can't understand why things happen the way they do....I just have to hold on to the hope that things will make sense someday, and that the Lord sees the big picture.
I admit, I was upset. I was really upset, actually. I couldn't see the big picture, and it seemed hard to keep going without that vision. I tried to go to sleep for a while, but when that wasn't working I got back on my knees and started praying again, pleading with the Lord to bless me with understanding and peace. Then the words of the second verse to "Come, Come Ye Saints" came to my mind;
"Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to ear a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell--
All is well! All is well!"
I felt such peace, and a little chastised. "Chin up, Sister Fuller! I need you to get to work." Like I said, I still don't see the big picture, but I don't need to. I just need to trust that He is still mindful of me, and serve Him as best as I can, one day at a time. Also, I still hate that I'm leaving Coffeyville. Haha. I'll repent, and try to be better!
I was thinking about that experience the next morning while I was praying, and quietly thought, "Heavenly Father--it doesn't really matter. But could I hear that song today, please? I don't care how. I just want to hear it." Then later that morning, we were talking to someone in the hall in the Church and I heard the ward choir start to sing from inside the chapel. Sure enough, they started singing "Come, Come Ye Saints"! Tears sprang to my eyes. I felt so loved, so looked after. I know the Lord hasn't forgotten me. I know that "our God will never us forsake"! I talked to Catlyn (the choir director's daughter) later that day, and asked if that was the song they were working on for their next program. She said no, but that since nothing was picked out yet, they just decided to sing random songs that they liked. It was really neat to be able to tell her that they were an answer to my prayer, and see the Spirit testify to her that it was true. I hope she always remembers that by listening to the Spirit, she can make a difference!
I don't really know what else to say--this is really all that's on my mind. But we had a great week. Sister Cook is the greatest trainer ever, and I'm really going to miss serving with her. We were getting so in sync! We were doing so great! Bah! Haha once both of us were just getting ready for bed and we started singing the same song at the exact same time. We just looked at each other and busted up laughing. I really counted on having another transfer with her--I'm really sad I'm being replaced!
I'll send pictures too. Today, we went with the Elders to an investigators "house" in Independence because it's basically a Zoo. He has camels and horses and dogs and cows and all sorts of crazy animals! So there's pictures from that. They even got one right after one of the camels licked my face--definitely not an experience I was expecting to have in Kansas! I think there's also one of the Gorley's, and one of me with the Holyoak girls.
Love you all!
Sister Fuller
We took pictures of ourselves. Cause we're silly. :) The first one was just a test...so that's why it's even goofier!

Our district

Sister Cook and I

The Gorly's 
 Me and the Holyoak girls

Selfie with Oscar the camel :)

Painting nails at Windsor place...
The Independence missionaries

The Work of Salvation

Dear family and friends,
Como vai esta semana?!
We've had SUCH a good week here in Coffeyville! Also, missionary work is hard. Yup. Those two pretty much cover it.
So, this week Gabi got baptized! Gabi is one of the first people we contacted when we got to Coffeyville. She's 15, and the Elders have been teaching her Grandpa for years. They had tried to teach her, but she wasn't really interested at the time. But they gave us her adderess and told us to try stopping by, so that's what we did! For whatever reason, she was ready. The Lord had prepared her, and she was excited and willing to meet with us. She started coming to church and young women's activities, and we met with her a couple of times a week. She definitely has a long way to go--she's only stayed for all three hours of church once, and struggles with her Book of Mormon reading--but who of us doesn't have room to grow? Regardless, she has given me some GRAY HAIR. Holy cow. I have never been this worried in my life as I have been as a missionary. (Side note: Sister Cook and I were talking about how nice it was not to have to worry about school, or picking a major, or anything...and then she said, "Yup, just the salvation of souls." No pressure, right?) But Gabi is willing to change and to keep trying, and we're so proud of her! Her baptism came up so fast, and it was kind of crazy to plan everything. But it was such a special moment, and the Spirit was so present. I'm so grateful to have been here to see that!
The next day was one of our favorites! It was just busy, and everything a mission was, but we got to the end of the day and realized that we had reached our daily goal for lessons taught--and we hadn't even known! We had thought we were one short. Usually, if we get 5 lessons in a day, that's really good for this mission. But we had made a goal for 7, and...we did it!!! It was awesome. We had also spent a couple of hours earlier that day doing service for a member of the ward--the lady who gave us the scarves a couple weeks ago! We helped with the renovations in her store. And sweat to death. But we decided we were DEFINITELY blessed for doing service!
That same day, we also had a lesson with a family we've been teaching. It's a single mom and her two boys that a member invited to be taught, and they are doing so great. We taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and came in with the goal of inviting them to set a baptismal date. We had invited her after our first lesson, and she said that she would as she came to know it was true, so we had a pretty good idea that she would say yes, so before we went we prayed about a date. The lesson went great--it is so good to teach in member's homes, and with the fellowship of members there! And when the moment was right and the Spirit was there, we invited Karen to be baptized...and she said yes! She started off just nodding, a little hestitantly at first, and then more certain. "Yes," she said. "Yes, I will!"
It was the most beautiful moment! The Spirit swooped in so strongly, and we all just sat there for a minute, enjoying it. Then we set a date, and continued on in the lesson a little. Then, we talked about the ordinance of baptism, and why the Savior was baptized. Sister Cook started saying, "As a personal representative of Jesus Christ, I know that if the Savior were here He would want you to--"
My mind started thinking. What would the Savior want me to tell them? And again, I felt the Spirit encircling me in such great power, and I felt love. I knew that the Savior would want them to feel of His love for them!
Sister Cook finished her sentence saying that He would want them to come unto Him, and be baptized. We talked afterwards, and she said she felt the same thing I did. I feel so privileged to have tasted of that love He has for all of us. "Come unto me," is the invitation we read time and time again in the scriptures. His gospel is a message of love! He loves us, He wants to bless us and help us. We need only come to Him.
Then of course, Sunday was broadcast day. I don't think I can tell you how excited Sister Cook and I were! And what wonderful instruction we recieved! I hope that all of you were able to prayerfully receive their messages, and think about what it means to you. Members are KEY to missionary work, and I'm so excited to see what happens as all of the members of the church make sharing the gospel a priority in their lives! One of my favorite parts was the music video they shared for "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go." It was the whole thing in a nutshell! Go about your day as I know you always do, looking for opportunities to serve and invite. And then let the missionaries in that! Share out of a love for those around you, and don't hold back! Get to know the missionaries in your ward, and help all those you know to do the same. Please. Member missionary work is great, but a lot of the time it's only planting seeds until you involve the missionaries! It takes a really special person to seek out the gospel on their own initative. They need to be invited to act! So invite the missionaries over for dinner, and make sure it's never just your own family there. It can be as simple as, "Hey, we're having the missionaries over and we're going to make (insert delicious food). Do you want to come?" Share, share, share!!
I am SO EXCITED to hear that Sister Wilcox is in your ward!! That makes me feel great--I've been thinking a lot about missionary work in the Parkway ward the last few weeks, and it's so good to hear that it's in good hands! I know that she'll do everything the Lord needs her to. You can trust her. :) So please take advantage of that, and start inviting EVERYONE you can think of to learn more. Devin, you gave Tim a Book of Mormon--that's so awesome! Follow up on that!! Invite him over to meet Sister Wilcox and her companion. Oh, and volunteer your house to have investigators taught in. That is invaluable, and it's hard to get members who are willing sometimes. But I know as you open your homes to the missionaries, you will be blessed. This is the work of the Lord. This is the work of salvation!!
I hope each of you caught how important this was to our Prophet and other church leaders. The Lord is hastening His work, and He needs each of us at our best! There is no greater time to be a missionary--and that doesn't just mean for me. I want each of you to make an effort to get involved, and be a part of this! And for my family--you already are. I'm so proud to be a part of this family, and to be raised by such incredible examples. As President Shumway always says, "We're so good. Why aren't we better?"
Eu amo voces para sempre :)
Sister Fuller

Lost and a little scared

Lost in a cornfield

Gabi's baptism

Oops, I forgot to explain the other pictures. We were super late heading home last night after the Broadcast because we were meeting with the Elders and Brother Dimond (our ward mission leader). Then we had to pick something up from the Elder's place, and they tried to tell us how to get home...and we think they may have just been being mean, because we literally ended up in the middle of a cornfield! The road digressed gradually, and it went from being lined with corn to driving over corn to being in a field. Whaaaat?! It was waaay past curfew by then, and we were a little freaked out...but it was also kind of hilarious, so we took pictures. Haha