I’m in Ohio. Its totally normal. My area is called the Wheeling West area. I cross the Ohio/West Virginia state line every day, so it’s not even exciting any more. I live in Ohio, but the majority of the ward, including the church building, is in West Virginia.
My new address is:
600 Trabar Dr. Apt. 23
St Cairsville, OH 43950
My thoughts on being in Ohio:
1. It’s not quite as green as Pennsylvania, but still greener than Utah. I enjoy the green. So, this is a good thing.
2. The majority of the people in at least this part of Ohio are less accountable (the way missionaries nicely say CRAZY). It has made life really fun/interesting, but also makes it hard to teach people. BUT. I have heard its worse in Butler, so I’m not complaining.
3. Fun Fact: I was in the farthest area east that my mission goes, and I am now in the farthest are west that my mission goes. So I had to drive across the entire mission to get here.
4. Our apartment has air conditioning AND its own washer and dryer. These are both coveted features for mission apartments (at least in the area I was in), and it was a tender mercy from the Lord for me. I actually study with my favorite sweatshirt and a blanket on in the mornings. I’m so glad I didn’t go to Brazil or something, holy cow.
5. Elder Adamson from my MTC district is in my district, and I’m so happy to see a familiar face every week at district meeting!
6. You guys know how random my brain is. I enjoy cloud watching or whatever the crap you call it, and the other day I saw a three legged turtle jumping off a cliff. Lets just say, my new comp prolly thinks I’m nuts.
7. Speaking of my new comp. She is AWESOME. Her name is Sister Draper. She is 21, so the announcement didn’t really affect her. She has only been out 6 weeks longer than me. We have a ton in common, books and music and hobby wise. And, she doesn’t find my quirks annoying, she just thinks I’m hilarious, which is a plus :). Fun fact about Sister Draper: Her brain works SO FAST and her tongue has a hard time keeping up. She tries to talk as fast as her brain goes, so she ends up mixing words and trips over what she is trying to say a lot. Its really funny/fascinating. She knows that she does it, too, so I have to do most of the talking when we tract, because they NEVER understand a blessed word she says when she tries to talk. I’m sending a picture of us.
8. The ward is very different from what I am used to. I thought Berwick was small… Nope. They sit in chairs for sacrament meeting instead of pews. The actual ward should be bigger, as there are 500 members, but only about 80-100 are active. Oh, and there was a snake in the building yesterday too. It’s totally normal. Whatever.
So cool story for the week: I GAVE OUT MY FIRST BOOK OF MORMON THE OTHER DAY!
There are two outlooks that missionaries have: Give a Book of Mormon to everyone, OR follow the Spirit and give to those who might read it. Both are great ways to do it, but I’m of the latter preference. I don’t offer a BoM at doors unless the Spirit prompts me to.
Before I knock on a door, I kind of decide which approach I’m going to take, like whether I’m going to talk about the BoM, or Jesus Christ, or prophets, or eternal families, etc. At this door I had planned on talking about the Atonement. But, when she opened the door, I said a prayer in my heart and then heard myself saying things that I had NOT planned on saying. I told her about the BoM, what it was about, and where we got it. I offered it to her, and she said she didn’t know enough about it to have a desire to read it. I started to panic, but the Spirit helped me APPEAR to be cool as a cucumber as I bore my testimony about how she would come to know that it was the word of God, just like the Bible, if she would just read it, however skeptically, and then pray about it. She took it and said she would read it!! She didn’t want us to schedule a time to come back, but I’m just SO GLAD that the Spirit helped me out so much on that one. Hopefully it was a good seed that I was able to plant.
I’m going to bore you for a minute on member missionary work, and then I’ll close.
I didn’t know this before my mission, but missionaries are actually encouraged to rely on members for people to teach, instead of tracting. Tracting is the LEAST efficient way to find investigators. I gave a talk on this yesterday, which is why it was on my mind. Someone told me that the way to look at it is that the missionaries are full time missionaries part time in the area, and members are part time missionaries full time in the area. Its important for investigators to make friends in the ward, so that when the missionaries leave, they don’t feel abandoned and alone. Investigators don’t really see missionaries as real people, so when we bear testimony of something, it is still powerful, but not as powerful as when a member, or “real person” is there to also bear testimony.
Here is my challenge to you for this week:
1. Pray about someone you can share the gospel with.
2. Have the missionaries over for dinner, and after they share a spiritual thought with you, they will ask you for referrals. Instead of telling them who they should visit, ask them for advice on how YOU can share the gospel with whoever you come up with. They will secretly be stunned/impressed, and I have no idea what advice they will give you, but whatever they say, ponder and do!
3. Something that I as a missionary think is fun is when a member invites a friend over when they sign up to have us over for dinner, and we talk about what we do as missionaries and our families and where we are from, instead of shoving the lessons down their throat. When this happens, we usually do a spiritual thought about either the Restoration or the importance of families. The key is to WARN the missionaries before you do this. Haha. Mom, this might be something you can do with grandma and grandad and Jerrod, because I know they are curious about what the heck I’m doing out here for a year and a half.
It says in the scriptures that if we pray for and recognize missionary opportunities, the Spirit will help us out with what to say and do. I just told you a story about how this happened for me, so I know it can happen for you as well!
And I’m going to ask you guys about it too, so do it!
My Mormon Message for the week is called Voice of the Spirit. It is really cool. And, it will help with your member missionary work!
I love you guys! I pray for you all the time, and I know that Heavenly Father has angels watching over you for me while I’m gone :).
x Sister Roberts x