Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day

Exciting news... I cut off 5 inches of my hair 😁
AND I love it

Also, we went to go teach Linda the restoration and she loved it! She said that we can come back again on Wednesday
I don't think I have told you about Jerry yet. So Jerry is a great guy with some anger problems. He always tells us a story of how someone did something to him and that he wants to kill them. "I'm gonna kill 'em" Is what he says. BUT we haven't given up on him yet because the Spirit told us not to, he also reads the Book of Mormon and takes notes and writes down questions from the things he reads. He has stopped hanging out with his friends who cause him trouble and so we are making progress here! It is always so great going to teach Jerry. 

What a great Mother's day! There are so many amazing women who have blessed and influenced me in my life. I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today without my mom. She is an amazing example of love and service. I strive to be more like that each day. Thank you for all that you do for me mom! 
"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."
Church yesterday was absolutely great, as usual. It is always so fun to see the primary kids go to the front and sing. Of course they gave all the women chocolate so that was another plus of the day. But the best part of the whole day was when I talked to the family! Oh my gosh I love my family so much! 


-Sister Ruffner

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Open Your Mouth

Good news! This last Saturday was transfer calls and Sister Buchmiller and I did not get a call. Which means we are both staying here in Charlottesville 2nd Ward! I am super excited to stay here and continue to teach the people we have found.

We were finding a lot yesterday after church and we went to go see a former investigator named Terri. She said that the Elders before had answered a lot of her questions and then she got busy with other things. But, she recently picked up her Bible again and started to read. She said that she hasn't been going to church and she is on a journey to get to know God better. She is so willing and wanting to meet with us! She is also Johns neighbor, so he can be a good influence for her. Wow God's plan is so perfect.

We were walking around this apartment complex and a lady with her son Nathan was walking back from the bus stop and we stopped and talked to her. She willingly took a Book of Mormon because she loves the Bible and wants to read anything about Jesus Christ that is going to bring her closer to Him. She loves her Savior and wants us to come back on Tuesday morning!

Linda is from Africa and said that she had seen missionaries walking around in Africa, but didn't talk to them much. She loves Jesus Christ as well and accepted a Book of Mormon. She says if it's about Jesus Christ than she is definitely going to read it. We are going back this week to teach her more!

"You are surrounded by people. You pass them on the street, visit them in their homes, and travel among them. All of them are children of God, your brothers and sisters. God loves them just as He loves you. Many of these people are searching for purpose in life. They are concerned for their families. They need the sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of God, members of His eternal family. They want to feel secure in a world of changing values. They want "peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come", but they are "kept from the truth because they know not where to find it"".
There are so many people that we have found just by talking to everyone we see outside. God has commanded us to open our mouths at all times and in all things and in all places and He will fill them. I have come to know that this is true! It does take a lot of faith to share the gospel with others and to open your mouth and share it with everyone that you see. But, you never know who really needs it or who is searching. It is so important that we share this restored gospel with everyone! You may still see disappointments but, you won't be disappointed in yourself because you know you did your best.

I love this gospel with all of my heart and learn new things about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ every day. There is always more to learn and more to share. God knows you and He loves you. I know that He answers prayers because He continually answers mine every time. I also know He is answering others prayers by sending Sister Buchmiller and I to them. The gospel is true and it really does change lives!

-Sister Ruffner

ALSO... I just got the best news in the whole entire world!!! Remember
Doug? Well he is getting BAPTIZED!!!!!!
His heart has really been softened in the past couple of months and it
has been great to see! Wow the church is so true! I almost had a heart
attack myself when I heard the news! He told the Elders to let Sister
Ruffner and Sister Jackson know because they are the ones who really
influenced me to do this.
The feeling I felt when I heard that Doug is getting baptized
confirmed to me again why I am on my mission. The Joy that comes from
bringing people to the gospel and able to be sealed to their families
is indescribable. My joy is so incredibly full!
Doug's wife and kids and grandkids are all members and now Doug can
join them in the temple and be sealed to them! This gospel brings so
much happiness!!
To refresh your mind...

1. Sister Kennedy made Sister Buchmiller and I each a pie. She loves us so much! She won't read the Book of Mormon but will make us "homesick pies filled with love".
2. Also our mission did something called "More Fit for the Kingdom" and each companionship competed for our zone and....... Sister Buchmiller and I won for the sisters in our zone!
3. The Rotunda building, wow University of Virginia has such a beautiful campus!
4. The other day I rang this doorbell and it crumpled under my finger...

"Follow Me"

What another great week being a representative of Jesus Christ. There truly is nothing better. 

Wow let me tell you, John has progressed so much! He doesn't have the greatest education and can't read very well, let alone scripture language...He started off reading 4 or 5 verses every couple of days. The more we have read with John the faster he has gotten and he now reads chapters every couple of days! It is amazing to see the power of the Holy Ghost and the power of prayer! John's eyes literally glow he is so happy! He has found true purpose in his life. He calls the Book of Mormon the road map to life. He has truly experienced the power of the Atonement, and continues to use it each day! It is so exciting to see the effects of the gospel. 

Margaret from London decided to have us over for dinner one night, SO NICE. She bought a pizza and made a salad and since she grew up in the war years she made us eat all of it. I practically rolled out of her house at the end of the night. Oh the things I do for these people to come to Christ...

 We were walking outside one day and this boy was blowing bubbles with his dad Jerome. We wen't and talked to them and he said that he has been meaning to start going to church again and to bring his son to church. He asked is 3 year old, "Do you want to go to church?" He said yes! He is going to love primary :)

The other day I was reading in Matthew 4
18: And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19: And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20: And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
21: And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22: And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

I thought it was so cool how they straightway and immediately followed Jesus Christ. They left their nets behind and followed him. If the Savior were to call me today, would I be just as willing to leave my nets and follow Him? 
What are some nets that could be keeping us from following the call of Jesus Christ?
work, laziness, computer, phone, money, school, doubt, fear, etc. It can and will be different for each person. 
I know that completely following the Savior won't always be an easy thing. You can look at the lives of the prophets, they were all persecuted and endured many trials. It is no different today. There are so many trials that will come, but as we follow Christ we know that we are walking with Christ. We are given all that we need to succeed. He will reach out, heal, enable, and strengthen us as we struggle. With our Savior we will be able to do things we couldn't only on our own. 
"As Jesus the Christ stood on the shores of the Sea of Galilee 2,000 years ago, so stand He today, issuing the same call He gave to those faithful fishermen and now to all who will hear His voice: "Follow me!" We have nets that must be tended and nets that must be mended. But when the Master of the ocean, earth, and sky calls to us, "Follow me," we should leave the entangling, worldly nets behind and follow His footsteps."
I know that as we follow our Savior Jesus Christ that we will experience more joy than we can even comprehend. When we go through hard things, we will not ever regret leaving the things of the world, and following Him as He leads us to complete joy and eventually, eternal life.

The church is true everybody, and I plead with you to straightway and immediately heed the Savior's call to leave your nets and follow Him!

❤Sister Ruffner

Video (8).MOV from tracie on Vimeo.

Video_1 (6) from tracie on Vimeo.

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

I don't know if any old man is snoring but wow I have never seen so much rain in my whole life. I don't think it has stopped raining in the last 3 days. I can't decide if that is a good or a bad thing. I didn't miss swimming anymore when we wen't tracting the other day because I felt like I had just jumped into a pool. WE WERE SO WET. On the other hand, everything is turning so green! There are no more bare trees with no leaves. I feel like just walking down the street that I am in the jungle... 

Update on John:
He is doing great! Reading the Book of Mormon every day and super excited to get the Priesthood! Should be getting it next Sunday. 

We met with Jean again this week and she really is the sweetest lady you will ever meet! She said that her only concern with being baptized is that she doesn't think she can commit to the church. So glad that she finally brought out her concern with being baptized. When we wen't to go see her on Thursday every time we asked her if she would be baptized she completely and immediately would change the subject. It was almost comical. We asked if she would prepare to be baptized on May 6th and she started talking about how she broke her thumbs when she went white water rafting. 
Don't worry... SHE CAME TO CHURCH. It was crazy because Ward Council got out a little late so we walk into the chapel and didn't see Jean anywhere so we sat down thinking that she didn't come. During Sacrament meeting we get a text from the Gospel Principles teacher that he is sick and asked if we would give the lesson. Of course we said yes, so right after Sacrament Meeting we wen't to the classroom. We found out later that night when we called her that she was there! She found Brother Quillon and sat by him and said that so many members talked to her. So in a way it was a good thing because she felt so welcomed and comfortable in the church. She loved it! It was so great to hear! Wow are ward is so amazing with fellow shipping and making our investigators feel welcome. If you ever see someone new at church that you don't know... go say hi!

Randomly one day we decided to go see this less active and her husband was outside who is not a member and was super nice to us! We talked for a couple minutes and then he said to come back tomorrow when his wife will be there. So we go back tomorrow and I have met way to many less actives who just want nothing to do with the missionaries so needless to say, I was nervous. She was so nice! She told us that her and her husband Henry go to bed and wake up really early so we would need to come earlier in the day. We set up a time to meet her today! It was such a great miracle she wanted to meet with us.

Calling potential and former investigators has been working really well in this area. It has never worked in any of my past areas but every time we call someone they say that we can come by and meet with them and their families! Thank you to all the missionaries who served here before us.
One in particular, Margaret. She is from London England so some things she says really don't make any sense, but her accent is my favorite :) She loves having us come over and she said she would always read the Book of Mormon with the Elders before. She said she was so happy to hear that Sister's were coming over. She said that she still hasn't decided whether the Book of Mormon is true or not yet, but willing to keep reading and praying!

I am so grateful for this opportunity for me to be a missionary! I am so grateful that I am able to meet so many amazing people each day. I am grateful to be able to walk in the Saviors shoes and be his representative. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of this gospel and that I am able to share this good news to all that I come in contact with. How great is my calling!

Well, that's another end to another great week

Sister Ruffner

Video_1 (5) from tracie on Vimeo.