Monday, September 11, 2017

This Week Was a Trip!

We get this referral from the Elders this week and went to go see him.
His name is Nathan and he grew up going to scouts with all his Mormon
friends but didn't have a belief in Jesus Christ then. He since has
had experiences that caused him to believe in Christ. He has a Book of
Mormon and became very interested in it. We answered the questions
that he had about how the Book of Mormon came to be and he said he
would like to come by our church!

There was also another person named Peter who has been less active for
a while. He got baptized about six years ago and his son has never
been baptized. So we are going to start teaching him!
We've been doing TONS of finding lately so that always screams miracles!

Speaking of finding, those people who we wouldn't normally find just
by walking around the streets we are going to be able to find now.
Because our mission is getting Facebook! Wow I know, it is going to be
awesome :)

Got to go on exchanges this last week in Louisa! Which was fun, it
reminded me a lot of Tappahannok and King George. They are seeing so
many miracles! They have been companions there for coming on three
transfers. Which obviously is meant to be because they are staying
very busy!

Speaking of transfers... Sister Ruffner is staying in Glen Allen and
Sister Franks is leaving me...
This week was a trip because I literally tripped two times in front of
tons of people. Gravity is my enemy. Seriously I'm surprised that I
have survived for his long. Oh my...

No matter what happens being a missionary truly is the greatest. I
love his work with all of my heart. I love you all tons!!







Pick Up a Bible Not a Bottle


Wow what a week!

So our stake was asked by Elder Ballard and Rasband to do this special
program to bring back the Melchizedek priesthood holders back to
church. It starts with a ward member setting up a meeting with them
and tells them that they prayed to know where to go. Ask them why God
told them to come see them. They ask the missionaries to share a
message. We share the restoration and the member invites them to meet
with us once or twice a week for a month or so. It has been working
very well so far!
The first time I did the first meeting wast this Thursday. We shared the
message of the restoration and I was able to say the words of Joseph
Smith during the first vision. The Spirit was almost tangible in the
room. It was so powerful. I absolutely LOVE the message that we are
able to share and the Spirit that comes as we do. He accepted us to
come over every week and share a message. It was one of the most
powerful experiences on my mission.
Wednesday we go tracting on this one street and found 3 new
investigators within 30 minutes! Wow that was a huge miracle :)



We went on exchanges on friday with the lovely Hermanas. I was able to
go out with Hermana Herrera. She is such an amazing missionary! At the
very end of the exchange we knock on a door and Zay answers. He just
got out of penitentiary a month ago. He was interested and willing to
let us come back! So we went back on Sunday and found out that his
brother is a member and goes to the Spanish ward! They are both coming
to our Book of Mormon class on Thursday and I am extremely excited!!
What a miracle.



Today we went to the Science Museum in Richmond and it pretty much was
the coolest.



I love the gospel and I love sharing it. :) There is nothing I would
rather be doing.












Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I'm Stuck in My Religion

Pretty much the saddest thing I have ever heard this week, "I'm stuck in my religion." 
I really don't like that word, stuck. We should never be stuck in anything. Always progressing, always learning, always becoming more converted. 

This week we went on back to back exchanges with the sisters in the zone. So pretty much didn't have Sister Franks as my companion for two days! But it was tons of fun and I learned so much from them. 
First I went with Hermana Coleman in her area and taught Hosman about service from the For the Strength of Youth. So that was fun. I was able to brush up on my Spanish a little bit. 
Then exchanges in my area with Sister Lewis who I came out with. We did a lot of finding and found  a new investigator! It is very cool to be able to go serve with other sisters and learn different things from all of them. We truly do all have our own strengths and weaknesses. 

Pretty much Angel got baptized and we dropped every one else. So that means TONS OF FINDING. Finding, finding, finding, all day every day. Finding is really cool though, because that is when you see the crazy miracles. 
FOR EXAMPLE: Sister Franks and I prayed really hard (especially on Saturday) that we would be able to find one person who would come to church. We have a zone goal to get 35 people to church in the next 3 Sundays. And we had no one. So by the end of the day we still did not have any one who would come to church. So we go to church and after sacrament meeting, a member comes up to us and says that there is someone here for us. A little Chinese lady named Fae came up to us and said that she wants to learn more about the church. She had been going to school in Salt Lake for the past year and just moved here to go to VCU. She went to church in Utah and when she got here she found the church and just showed up! It was such a huge miracle! We might not have found any one to come to church with us, but Heavenly Father led someone there. We were able to refer her to the Mandarin missionaries, and they are meeting with her tonight. She is such a sweet lady and stayed all three hours of church and loved it!

Angel got confirmed this Sunday and her family came. Her nonmember dad and less active mom. It was really sweet to see them all sitting together. She is so excited to officially be a member of the church. What a great example she is to her family. 

It is interesting for me to compare the power of the world to the power of Jesus Christ. The world sees power as who can be the biggest, who can yell the loudest, who can punch the hardest. When Christ was on earth He did not show His power by creating big storms with strong winds and loud thunder. He used His power to calm the storm. He forgave the sinner. Power in the world is very different than the power that Jesus Christ exercised. I know that we can seek peace in our lives as we choose to remember Him. The world can get very loud and very overwhelming at times. Let us seek His Spirit in the quiet moments of our lives. Don't ever be too busy, or too tired to remember your Savior. He can calm the storm. Jesus Christ asks, "Give me all of you! I don't want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money and so much of your work. I want you! All of you! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don't want to prune the tree here and there but rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me. The whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will shall become your will. My heart shall become your heart." How comforting it is to know of a Savior who loves us enough to give us all we need to be able to have peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. I cannot accurately express the love I have for my Savior. I have come to know more fully that when we truly take time to remember Him, and give our weaknesses and desires to Him, we will be given the strength and peace we need to accomplish all He asks of us. 

HAVE A BLESSED WEEK
❤ Sister Ruffner

The cute Schrecks left this week and we are really going to miss them! 
Exchanges!!
Cute Angel who got confirmed 
Thanks for the package mom!








First Floor, First Door

We are doing lots of finding here in Glen Allen, which is so great
because that causes so many miracles!

We get a call in the week from the AP's saying that there is someone
who lives in our area named Roy who wants to come to church! So we
give him a call and give him all of the information he needs and he
says he is excited to come. So we look for him on Sunday and he didn't
show up... so sad. We look up he address and it only has a building
number for an apartment complex. Sister Franks and I say a prayer and
decide to knock on all of the doors until we find him. The first house
we knock on lives this super sweet lady. She was interested in our
message and said we could come back! We asked what her name was,
Eretha and her last name was the same as Roy's! We asked if Roy lives
there and she said that was her husband. Wow! First door, first floor.

We also received another referral from the Spanish elders. They were
walking around these apartments one day when they heard someone
yelling, "no no no!" She yelled back, "yes I'm going to talk to them!"
She went over to them and asked if they could help her. She wants to
stop smoking and help her husband. They set up an appointment and sent
us over there. She said come in the back door so she sees us coming.
When we go to see her she comes out and she just keeps apologizing at
how she is a drinker and is so embarrassed at everything. We told her
that she was fine and that Jesus Christ loves her and that we are here
to help her. She just started to cry and hug us and to cry and to hug
us over and over. Truthfully it was nice to be able to find someone
who recognizes the importance of our message and the effects it can
have on their life. It really built my testimony again on why I am
here. To bring the message of peace and hope to those who need it. The
world is literally going crazy and this is the only thing that can
truly help. Jesus Christ has overcome the world, if we rely on Him we
can too.

The most adorable girl in the whole world got baptized this week on
Wednesday! It was such a sweet baptism. She has worked so hard to be
able to be baptized. Her whole family was able to come along with some
family friends. There was another person there that we didn't
recognize, his name is Peter. We went over and talked to him, he got
baptized about four years ago and has gotten busy with life, but has
decided to start coming back.

Funny story. We stopped by an investigators house the other day we
were planning on dropping because she has dementia we are pretty sure
and not that interested. We knock on her door and no one answers. We
walk outside and there was a guy on her balcony (her son) he said "oh
was that you knocking on the door? Ya I don't answer to Mormons."
Okay... we went to another apartment and on our way back, we saw
Kathy. We asked her how she was and she said, "I'm fine, just looking
for some soul food." "Ooohhh... what's that?" Kathy, "You know the
food black people eat, like collard greens and potato salad." "Oh,
your looking for that in the parking lot?" So apparently we have been
looking in the wrong place for some soul food, so moral of the story
is they only make soul food in parking lots.

The past couple of weeks I have been reading about the life of Jesus
Christ in the scriptures. My testimony of Him has been strengthened so
much! I love my Savior with all of my heart. He truly loves us so
much. He cries with us when we are sad, and He cries with us when we
rejoice. Those days when I start to get lazy, or it is 99 degrees
outside with 80% humidity and we have tracting planned for the next
hour, those are the moments I rely on Him. I think about the last week
of the Saviors life on earth. I think about all He went through and I
am sure at least a couple of times we was tempted to quit. To lay down
and take a nap, to make it all stop, to take a rest. But he didn't. He
kept going, working to the point of exhaustion, working until He
accomplished what He was called to do. And that is what I am going to
do as well. This is hard work. This is the hardest work I have ever
done, but it is also the most rewarding thing I have ever done as
well. The days I want to give up are the days I feel closest to my
Savior. The days that I get the smallest glimpse of what He went
through. That is when the miracles come. When you have worked your
hardest. That is when it is the most rewarding. This church is true.
The Savior is truly the Redeemer of the world, and my very best
friend.

HAVE A BLESSED WEEK!
I LOVE YOU ALL
❤️ Sister Ruffner




Sunday, September 3, 2017

Prayers Answered... Finding Accomplished



So this transfer (6 weeks) our goal is to find 24 new investigators.
That means 4 new each week. So last night we were still in need of one
more investigator we had about 30 minutes until we had to go. We pray
to be able to pass out one Book of Mormon and find one more
investigator. We go out with all the faith in the world and knock on
doors and talk to everyone we see knowing we are going to find them.
We knock and knock and no one is answering. We share a video with a
couple who is really not interested. We knock some more. More
uninterested people. As we move to another door, the first door we
just knocked on opens the door as the door we are at opens the door.
Talk about stressful! We talked to the man in front of us, his name is
Gardy. Let me tell you, he was very interested in the Book of Mormon
and the fact that there could be more stories of Jesus Christ. He
thought that was the greatest thing. Grady said he wants to read the
Book and for us to come back on Tuesday! In case you were wondering,
Heavenly Father answers prayers. I also learned the importance of
making goals. Especially ones that stretch you. Heavenly Father cares
about our goals, as he helps us make them He will help us accomplish
them. Heavenly Father loves us and cares about our progression and
improvement. How grateful I am for Him.

Last week I forgot to tell you about Angel. She is a nine year old
girl who has less active parents but a huge desire to be baptized. Her
dad said that she can be baptized after she memorizes all of the
articles of faith. SHE DID IT! She is going to get baptized this
Wednesday.

We also went to go see Sister Romagnolo. She is an older lady, recent
convert, less active who we teach once a week. We asked if she needed
help with anything. She said yes and asked if we could put a patch on
her back. She asked us where we want to do it. We said wherever she
wants. Naturally we went to the kitchen, she proceeded to pull down
her shorts... then her men's boxers. Sister Franks put the patch on
her bottom. Yupp. Then we went back into the living room and Sister
Franks and I sat on the couch. Sister Romagnolo nicely brought us some
water, while bending over and placing it on the table in front of us
she farted. Right. In. My. Face.

Missionary work still is as good as ever. There is nothing I would
rather be doing. Sister Franks and I were talking about how glad we
are to have served a mission. There are so many amazing things that I
have learned that I couldn't learn in any other way. I have come to
know my Savior more than I ever thought I could. He truly is my best
friend. This is the most rewarding work in the whole world.



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sister Ruff Ruff

Wow what an AMAZING week. 
Transfer meeting was on Wednesday and my new companions name is Sister Franks and she came out with me! It has been really amazing to serve with her so far. She is such an amazing missionary. I am serving in the Glen Allen ward in Richmond. It is so good to be here in the heart of the mission with SO many people around to find and teach! 
New Address: 
6712 Miami Ave
Richmond, VA
23226

Friday I we went to the missionary leadership council and I learned SO MUCH about being a missionary and about being bold and helping people to make and keep commitments. How to set expectations the first visit you have with them so they who you are and what your purpose is and what you are going to do to help them come closer to Christ. I am extremely grateful to be apart of the missionary council. I am so grateful to be able to serve around such amazing missionaries, I have learned so much from them already! 

As we were leaving from a lesson, we pass someone who was walking into the apartment complex we were walking out of. I hate to say it but... we walked past him and didn't say anything. Since he was prepared and we were supposed to talk to him, the Spirit told him to talk to us. He ran up to us and said, "Hey are you guys Mormons?" We said we were and he said that he has some coupons to give us. GREAT. But even better, he had met with missionaries when he lived in Rode Island, and said that his favorite part of the Book of Mormon was when King Benjamin gives his speech in front of all the people and they couldn't all hear it so he wen't on a tower. His name is Desmond and he pretty much new a ton about the Book of Mormon! We met with him again yesterday and he had already read the scriptures we asked him to. He shared some super powerful spiritual experiences. I am just so amazed at how prepared he is! I know that Heavenly Father cares about everyone and put his missionaries in the paths of those who need it. 

We had dinner with a less active on Thurday (after we had two lunches I might add) and Brother Rodriguez had a GIANT dog. While we were talking the dog decides to go right in between my legs. Like seriously I felt like I was riding a horse! This was probably the most awkward moment in the whole world. Also Sister Franks and I were literally praying as they gave us desert. Bite after bite after bite. I never thought I would say this, I am sick of eating!

On Thursday the missionaries have a Book of Mormon class. Here I was able to meet the amazing Senior Couple who also serves in our ward, the Schrecks. They are super funny and great missionaries. I was also able to meet some of the recent converts we are working with. One of them is named Everett and he is seriously so funny. He bore his testimony for the first time this Sunday and went to the temple this Saturday for his second time, so he is progressing really well! He gives all the missionaries nick names and mine is Sister Ruff Ruff haha. 

This week I have truly felt the Savior walking with me. I know that we are never alone. I am extremely grateful each day to tell others who I am. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. As I think about those words and what they mean, they give me a greater desire to become more like Him. "What does it mean to walk with the Lord? It means to do what He does, to serve the way He serves. He sacrificed His own comforts to bless those in need, so that's what we try to do. He seemed to take particular notice of people who were overlooked and even shunned by society, so we should try to do that too. He testified boldly yet lovingly of the true doctrine He received from His Father, even if it was unpopular, and so must we. He said to all, "Come unto me", and we say to all, "Come unto Him."" I know that as we serve others and act the way Jesus Christ would, others will come to know Him through you. What a blessing that is. 
Alma 29:9
"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy." 
There is no work more rewarding than bringing others closer to Jesus Christ. To help them see their potential and who they can become. I know as we forget ourselves, and focus on others that is when we will truly become instruments in His hands. My joy is completely full every day as I serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day-saints. 

LOVE YOU ALL
-Sister Ruffner

King George and the super small church building, the awesome empty nesters family home evening group, George Washingtons birthplace, and Colonial Beach!
Sister Franks, and our MLC meeting