Monday, October 2, 2017

My Heart is Full, and So is Bob's Tummy

Wow what an amazing week it was!
Facebook continues to work miracles as we send messages to former investigators and get return appointments from chatting with them about the gospel. I love Facebook and how we are able to send investigators videos, pamphlets, conference talks, and scriptures each day! What an amazing tool the Lord has blessed us with. I think a lot of people get scared to share the gospel. This is a less confrontational way to share it. I invite everyone to scroll through their friends and prayerfully pick one to send a personal message to. Share with them your favorite scripture or conference talk. I know as you do so, you will see miracles!

Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Louisa sisters. I went with Sister Dahle and oh my we had so much fun. There is street that Sister Perry and I went on the other day and I felt the Spirit and KNEW that there was someone prepared on that street. So Sister Dahle and I went there and started to knock on doors. No one was answering, until Akor and her three kids. She moved here about a month ago and is looking for a church. She accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and a return appointment for the next day. We went back and she was there! We were able to talk to her about Jesus Christ and she really wants her children to grow up learning about Him. We are so excited to keep teaching her! It is the greatest feeling being led by the Spirit. 

Friday we went on exchanges with the Hermanas which was a lot of fun, Hermana Coleman is the greatest and I learned so much from her as we taught. I also was able to eat my very first papusa. Wow it was so good! 

One of the highlights of the week for sure was conference. I am sure you are all wondering who is Bob? Well, let me tell ya. Bob is a homeless man who tries to live in the church. He is only allowed in on Sundays for church but decided to hang around for conference. Sister Perry and I brought lunch to keep in the fridge and eat between sessions, as did some other missionaries. While we were being spiritually fed in the chapel, Bob was being physically fed in the kitchen eating our lunches. So we can officially say that we fed the homeless. What a way to serve. At least he didn't put his pants in the microwave again...

As I watched conference the past two days after each talk I thought, oh my that was the best talk for sure. But it just kept getting better and better.I am extremely grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who inspires our leaders of the church to know the things to say that will individually bless the lives of those watching. How humbling it is to know that the apostles and leaders of the church strive to follow our prophet just as much as we do. I absolutely loved President Nelsons talk on the Book of Mormon as well as many others. Would we choose the Book of Mormon over rubies or diamonds? There are so many truths to be found in the Book of Mormon that we cannot find anywhere else. It truly is the strongest testimony of the divinity of our Savior. 
Another theme I found that was emphasized was the importance of service and how important it is to start in the home. The way to change the world is in the home. We can know that as we forget ourselves and our circumstances and serve others that Heavenly Father will take care of us. When your life seems to busy and overwhelming, just forget about it for a while and go help someone else with their problems. There is joy that comes as we love and serve others. 
There were so many things to learn from this conference, 
Hard is good.
Look past the lens of your own experience. 
We may not be able to control the circumstances we are put in, but we can control the way we react.
The way to not be overwhelmed and distracted with the worldly struggles we face is to keep the Sabbath day holy, and attend the temple regularly.
Lasting joy is found in our Savior.
As we strive to be one with our wards and leaders, we will feel more united with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father is in the small details of our lives. 
As we look towards Jesus Christ, He will magnify our righteous desires.
Perfection is a process, but is still a worthy goal.
I hope that each of you were able to receive your own revelation for your life as you watched conference. I know that the messages we heard the past two days were customized for you. I felt Heavenly Father speak to me as a watched conference. As we act on the things we learn, we will be a light in this dark world. 

I love this gospel with all of my heart. There is no place I would rather be than right here. I love the people of Virginia. I love the faithful members of this church striving each day to share the gospel with those who need it (everyone needs it). This church really is the church of Jesus Christ established on the earth again to prepare for the second coming of our Savior. I know the closer it gets, the harder it will be. If we come unto Christ and follow Him, we will have no need to fear. I am extremely grateful for Joseph Smith and all he went through to restore this church. He was not a genius, but inspired of God to do the things he did. This church is true. 
I hope you all have a great week and don't forget about the truths you learned, and the feelings you felt this weekend as you go to your regular weekly schedule. 

❤ Sister Ruffner

I Stand All Amazed

We finally have some progressing investigators! Wow it has been a long
time and I am extremely grateful for Regina and Iretha :)
I told you about Regina last week and how we were able to give her a
Book of Mormon and talk about the restoration. Well we went back this
week and she had been reading! She said she was on 1 Nephi 8 and told
us all about what she had read. She didn't have time to talk then but
she said she will keep reading! We went back another time later in the
week to bring her cookies and ended up talking about how she is
praying to know what God wants her to do but, she doesn't feel like
she is getting her answer and doesn't know how to recognize it when it
comes. We talked about faith and how sometimes you feel like you are
walking through the fog and Heavenly Father gives you just enough
light to take a few steps. But how important it is to keep walking.
Don't stop praying and don't stop reading. She said she wouldn't!
Regina is so amazing and I am so excited to teach her more!

Iretha said she has been listening to the Book of Mormon when she gets
off work. She works a TON. Which is the biggest set back from coming
to church and progressing more. But, she has a huge desire to follow
God and I am so excited to be able to teach her more! We are friends
on Facebook so that's cool :)

Zone conference was way fun! I feel like it happened forever ago but,
it was on Tuesday. We talked a lot about Facebook obviously. It really
is the weirdest thing logging into my Facebook and using it each day.
It is going to take me a little while to get used to it for sure.

This week I finished the Book of Mormon. I am so incredibly grateful
for the Book of Mormon and all that we learn and feel as we read it. I
know the Book of Mormon is true. It is one of my best friends.
President Hinckley said, "Without reservation I promise you that if
you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many
times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts...
the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to
walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger
testimony of the living reality of the Son of God." I know this is
true. I have felt it in my own life as I have studied the Book of
Mormon. How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who wouldn't
leave us alone in these last days but is consistently giving us
guidance and direction through ancient and modern day prophets. I am
super excited for general conference this next weekend to receive the
guidance we need for the next 6 months. Heed their message, do what
they say and I know you will not be led astray.


❤️ Sister Ruffner
We taught sunbeams this Sunday and it was the greatest thing.
The little girl with the red hair is named Plum.

Hastening The Work Once Again

This week I was called Elder Ruffner, Everett took us out to eat lamb shank, and a bug flew right up my nose as we were talking to Miss Lisa. We also said lots of goodbyes for Sister Franks. She has served in the Glen Allen ward for 6 months! So that is pretty crazy so everyone wanted to feed us and give us pie. So I got my fare share of food this week. 
My new companion is Sister Perry. Sister Tibbits trained Sister Perry in Tappahannock just like me! So that was cool. I am super excited for this transfer because we really don't have many people we are teaching right now and no one is progressing yet. So we have set some awesome goals and I am expecting to see these be accomplished. I am expecting miracles this transfer and am so excited to be a part of them all!

Well, the first week of the transfer is filled with lots of planning and meetings. We were able to go have companion studies will all the sisters in our zone and help them to set their goals. Goals are something that I have been thinking a lot about and working on. I know that by setting and working on goals and plans that we will be able to reach our potential.

Something we have been focusing a lot on is our purpose. Now that we have these extra tools to do missionary work with, our purpose is the same. We are still to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. My testimony was strengthened this week in the fact that Jesus Christ truly is the only way. We can not save ourselves. It takes more than just faith in the Savior, but action. "Man unquestionably has impressive powers and can bring to pass great things by tireless efforts and indomitable will. But after all our obedience and good works, we cannot be saved from the effect of our sins without the grace extended by the atonement of Jesus Christ." There are too many people in the world who believe that Christ was a great teacher, but not the Savior. That he was just a human like us, that we have to save ourselves, some people are still waiting for the Messiah to come and save them. This gave me a greater desire to share the gospel, to not give up when people say that they already attend another church or have already found Jesus. One example this week, we were at the door of someone who is going through a rough time and said that she had attended so many different churches and decided they were all of man and she didn't want to try any more churches. We started talking to her about the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the gospel. She became very curious and said she would read the book and that we could come back. I know that this is the message that the world needs! How grateful am I to be able to share it with those around me. 

It is official, I am now a Facebook missionary. There have been a lot of changes while I have been on my mission. I am reminded again of how lucky I am to be serving in this dispensation of the fullness of times. I am so grateful to be able to use another one of Heavenly Fathers amazing tools to accelerate the work of salvation. All of these advancements are the Lord hastening His work in the latter days. There are new ways to testify of the Savior, to invite others to come unto Him and to share the message of the restoration of the gospel. It truly is a marvelous work and a wonder and I am so grateful to be apart of it!


❤Sister Ruffner

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. 

❤ Sister Ruffner

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