Monday, January 26, 2015

One Big Awkward Moment

My trainer told me a long time ago that a mission was like one big awkward moment that lasts for 18 months. I believe that. It isn't a bad thing – It's just a thing. Sometimes it's really funny.

Somebody who didn't want to keep his appointment left us this note last week. It was the best drop I have ever received. It's not the only drop note I've ever received, but it is the only one that came with candy taped to it.

Missions are a big awkward moment because people break social norms when they talk to missionaries, and missionaries break social norms to talk to people.


When you and your companion pull over so that you can talk to a person walking down the street.

Or when you walk up to a person in a car and knock on their window to talk to them about their faith.

We have a blast…

Another thing missionaries have to get used to is silence. Sometimes people need a minute to think, or to feel the spirit. Sometimes we need a minute to let the spirit tell us what question to ask, or what scripture to use to meet a person's need. It's only an awkward silence if you're not a missionary.

We also get really bad at talking to people about things that don't have to do with the scriptures. Most of us start avoiding people of the opposite gender unless we think they need a message about Jesus Christ. That's why you get a returned missionary in your school or your place of work and they are difficult to talk to. I've heard it wears off. I haven't really experienced too much of that, but my poor companion has got it really bad. It's a good thing.

We have a hard time being alone too. You lose sight of your companion and it's like the end of the world. We get really awkward really quickly.

We got to show someone the temple this week before he got baptized on Saturday. That was a joyous occasion. We walked him around the grounds and talked about all that is ahead of him. The spirit of the temple is powerful, even on the outside.

I love this work. I love the spirit that we feel. Every day is a new adventure. Crazy things happen each day and it's the best.

This is a pre-baptism picture of some people's feet. Since I didn't ask permission to put up a picture of his face.

Have a great week!


Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Miracle of the Book of Mormon

This week was full of Miracles. I am really grateful to our members for coming with us to lessons so often because it makes a big difference. People need to have support. We have a couple people planning on being baptized in the coming weeks – both young adults with very little family support. It's stressful for them because they want to serve God and can't deny their testimonies, but their families don't seem to understand. Admittedly, I've heard the things people say about us and if they were true I'd be worried too. I understand how these families feel. I just feel bad for these poor young pioneers trying their best to follow Christ.
I told one young man this week "You know, your family really can't say anything until they have read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it's true. They can have an opinion – just not a very educated opinion until they have asked God for themselves." He agreed that that was how he got his answer, and it was the only way they would ever know for sure.
Sometimes people ask me if I've prayed to know if their faith is right – the answer is probably yes. I've prayed to know about a lot of truths. I was taught from a young age that if you want to know the truth it's best to ask a question, and that the best person to ask questions about faith and lost toys is always God. He is the only one who knows the answers to those questions for sure. So I've asked a lot of questions about a lot of doctrines and a lot of books.
I've learned something recently. It really matters very little what we say or do. People feel the Spirit when they read the scriptures and pray. When people read the Book of Mormon with an open heart and mind and humbly pray to know the truth, they will eventually get an answer. I've seen it again and again. I have watched countenances change. Sometimes it is slow and subtle, other times it is quick. I know it will always come. That's the miracle. The Book of Mormon a book of scripture written for our day. It was prepared by God to help people know that His church is restored in its fullness. The Heavens are open! God speaks! It's pretty exciting, and it makes sense to me that the Lord would deal with us in the same way that He dealt with His children so long ago (as recorded in the scriptures) with prophets, apostles, and priesthood authority like Moses gave to Aaron and Christ gave to Peter, James, and John. As we learn that the Book of Mormon is true we also learn that all of these things have been brought back to the Earth today, because the Book of Mormon was translated by one of these living prophets – Joseph Smith.
I all this is true, it's pretty important to know about. I really recommend this book.
But even with all of this, it can still be hard for new people if they do not have emotional support. Sometimes I wish that I could buy a house down the street from the people I've taught so I could be there for them for the rest of their lives, but I can't. I am eternally grateful to members and nonmembers who support people as they make this change in their lives. It's hard to do – like everything the Lord asks us to do. And it's not fun to have to do it without a good friend by your side. Luckily for those who find themselves alone. Our Father in Heaven plus one other person can make up a family (I got that from John Bytheway).  I know that our Father in Heaven is also eternally grateful when we support His children as they take steps in faith. Because the nature of our life on Earth requires that He cannot always stand physically in our presence and hold our hand, Our Father in Heaven inspires others to stand in His place and show some of His love to those who feel that hope is beyond them.
I am so grateful for the work. I love it. I love Richland. I am glad to be so near the temple.
The sun came out yesterday and it filled our souls with joy. That's a big change for me – coming from Arizona. I used to be so bored with sunshine. You never know what you have until it's gone.
Make every day count!

Sister Caroline Faulkner