Friday, July 21, 2017

Why Do Missionaries Have Such Large Bladders?

'Cause they only have one P day!!! haha

Last week during our correlation with the ward mission leader, we randomly get a text asking if this is still the missionaries in King George. We had no idea who it was from so we looked it up in the area book and found out his name was Joshua. It had his address so on Tuesday we stopped by. He opened the door and told the loud children in the background, "It's the missionaries so go and play." Sister Fletcher and I look at each other... he must know who we are! He said that he has been reading the Book of Mormon and asked when and where our church is so that he can come. He normally works on Sundays but is going to find a way to get it off so that he can come to church! It is rare that an investigator continues to read the Book of Mormon even when the missionaries leave. He believes most of what we believe with a couple of snags. We are excited to find out what those are as we continue to meet with him and help him progress! I love when Heavenly Father leads the prepared people right to us. Seriously we didn't even do anything!

Another huge miracle was when we received a referral a while back but haven't been able to get in contact with her because she lives so far away and never answers her phone. So I was kind of loosing hope in this referral. Not going to lie, not to much of these work out anyway. BUT we stop by at a different time one day and she is there. We give her the Book of Mormon that she ordered and she was super excited! She has been chatting with missionaries on Mormon.org. Her husband who lives there isn't interested at all...yet. Her name is Brenda and she said that we can come over three times a week! She lives like 11 miles away but I am completely grateful to blow our miles so that we can go and see Brenda. Wow she is so prepared. Another super prepared person that we didn't really do anything to get! 

I went on exchanges with Hermana Schmachtenburger this week which was such a blast! She is such a diligent missionary who is working hard always. She is going home soon so I learned so much from her. It is amazing how much you can learn in only 24 hours. We spent some time in Fredericksburg and Stafford trying to find all those prepared people who speak Spanish! 

Let me tell you, the days have been extremely hot AND humid. It was 97 degrees on Saturday but with the humidity it felt like 128. We only went tracting for an hour but by the end I was dripping for sure. We had a dinner in Colonial Beach though so as we are doing some tracting there, it started to pour down rain. We were visiting a very spunky member named Netty and she was telling us how when the missionaries were teaching her she refused to stop smoking and drinking her coffee. She said that she was not going to quit. Well the missionaries told her that they were going to keep praying for her. One day as she was driving, she felt the smoke and the coffee in her throat. It was stuck there and she could barely breathe, it was just stuck. She prayed to Heavenly Father that night and told her that she would never smoke or drink coffee again and she hasn't. The thought makes her sick. I know that prayer works and that Jesus Christ truly can change our nature. I also know that he answers prayers because as we walk into dinner we were soaking wet and the sweet Cubbages gave us towels to dry off and I ended the night cooled off from the heat of the day.  

As we are ending the night last night, we get a call from Brother Johnson. He tells us that there is a family that he is going to see on Tuesday night that has less active parents and unbaptized youth and he wants us to come with him! This is exactly what I am talking about how members and missionaries can work together to strengthen the kingdom of God! I am seriously so excited! I think that the ward is finally trusting us. It took a little while to break the ice, but more people are feeding us now, and asking to come out with us, and so many great things! I love King George!

My testimony is growing and growing more and more each day. The more I learn, the more I know that there is still so much to learn! If that makes any sense... haha well I hope that you all have a great week! 

-Sister Ruffner

Video (13) from tracie on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Let Us All Press On

King George: the days are hot and humid #freckles
the ward is super amazing #hasteningthework
we still have a huge millipede problem in our apartment #gross
AND... I love it #blessed.

Monday we went to go see Penny. She is a less active who the ward council wanted us to go see. When we walked in, she was super excited to see us! (You really never know when it comes to less actives). The first thing she asked us to do was sing a song. We sang so many hymns with her and it was so great! She is such a sweet lady who has a desire to come back to church. She is going through quite a few rough things right now and needs more direction in her life, and also wants some for her daughter as well! Sometimes hard things happen, but we always know that they are for our benefit. 

The fourth of July we went to a ward breakfast at a members house. The whole ward was there which was so great because we were able to meet some new members and be able to get to know them better. We also met with another less active named brother Foster. The senior couple who were serving here before us would go and see him often. He was a talker let me tell you. He only has a couple things to work out and then is going to head back to the temple! To end the night, since every one is watching fireworks, we had district meeting while the rest of our zone went to get ice cream with President... Since we were so far away from everyone, we weren't invited. But it was a great meeting and I am excited to serve with our new district for this area! 

Wednesday was a very busy day, but the highlight was when we had interviews with President Smith. Wow he really has the best advice for everything and I am so grateful to be able to serve with such an amazing President. He also is going to come to our ward on Sunday July 30th and give a talk in sacrament meeting, and give a training on how we can work better together as members and missionaries! It is going to be so amazing! 

There is a returning member who we have been talking to a lot lately, her name is Sister Norton and she is the sweetest and cutest in the whole world. She lives in this little trailer in a trailer park, and she invited us over for dinner. It was very cramped but I wasn't complaining because she was so sweet to have us over and get some food for us. 

On Sunday a less active showed up at church named Joshua. He said that he got baptized when he was 15 years old and didn't even want to get baptized, his parents made him when they joined the church. Some really hard things have been happening in his life which made him show up at church today. Remember before when I said that we have great members here in King George? Well we do, and Brother Johnson invited us and Joshua over for dinner as well as some others in the ward and we were able to share the first lesson with them and invite Joshua to meet with us two times a week for four weeks. He said that he would! He hasn't been to church in about 15 years so he is a little rusty. He doesn't really have anything right now, but now at least he has a Book of Mormon! "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." 

Something I have learned this week is that no matter what others are doing around you, you can still choose to follow the commandments and make the right choices. Sometimes you have to be bold and stand up for what you believe in, but you never have to give in. There are no excuses to not following the commandments and there are no short cuts to Salvation. It is going to be hard for everyone. But I also know that if we follow our Savior in all that we do, we will be okay. We can have faith that our Savior has "overcome the world." I know that it isn't always easy to make the right choices and to keep all the commandments (especially the small ones) even when those around you aren't. I do know that when we do, we can have confidence in Heavenly Fathers plan for us, and when we return to Him we can gratefully say that we did it. It was hard, but I did it. "While perfection is not complete in this life, overcoming the world keeps our hope aflame that one day we 'shall stand before our Redeemer; and see his face with pleasure,' and here His voice: 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.'" As you strive to do all that is right, regardless of others, I know you will be blessed with the strength and the power to press forward. Always remember when you trust and follow our Savior, the devil "shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereone if men build they cannot fall." Don't ever give up, there is happiness and peace ahead. I know this is true! "Fear not, though the enemy deride; Courage for the Lord is on our side. We will heed not what the wicked may say, But the Lord alone we will obey." 

THE CHURCH IS TRUE
I LOVE YOU ALL ❤😁

Sister Ruffner





Video (12) from tracie on Vimeo.

1st Week in King George 👑

SUPER happy to be serving in King George! They haven't had missionaries in a while so there are so many prepared people, in the ward and on the street! 

Tuesday we went to the funeral for the two year old boy in our ward who passed away last week. It was a very special event, this has really brought the ward together. As we were welcoming people into the chapel, a member of the ward council comes up to us and tells us that they have a less active member who wants the missionaries to come over and teach her daughter. So we are definitely going over there today! 

Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Hermanas, our sister training leaders, and we went tracting all day long so that was exciting haha. But I learned so much from Hermana Morgan about missionary work so it was worth it! The next day we headed straight over to zone conference where we talked a lot about faith and how our faith is what causes miracles, and when hard things happen it is Heavenly Father helping us have more faith. I am here to tell you that Heavenly Father answers prayers, not always in the way that you want to but in the way that is best going to help you grow into the person He knows you can become. 

We have been doing tons of contacting and trying to find people to teach, and having so much success! We went to a trailer park yesterday and found four new investigators! I didn't pass out 100 Book of mormons in June, but I'm not giving up until I have passed out 100. Hopefully by the end of this month I will have accomplished my goal. 
One miracle in particular, we were walking down the street in this trailer park (on the beach I might add) and a lady was sitting on her porch and we go up to her and she is super receptive! She lets us share our message and we shared a short restoration and give her a Book of Mormon and when we were sharing the first vision her eyes got all big and she really loved our message. It makes sense that God wouldn't leave us alone in this crazy world. We are going back to see her tonight! It is so great to know that there are prepared people in each of our areas in Virginia, and Heavenly Father is leading us right to them! 

This week I have been thinking a lot about why I am on my mission, and who I want to become. As I strive to learn all I can about Jesus Christ and how I can be more like him, I have focused a lot on how Jesus Christ served and taught those around him. But lately I've been thinking about why Jesus Christ taught and served the way He did. That should be my reasoning as well. D&C 100:4 "Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls." Jesus Christ suffered more than we can imagine for the salvation of souls. That is why I am out here, to give others that chance. I love my Savior and that is why I am here, I open my mouth and talk to everyone for Him. I am not out here for anything else. I am a missionary for my Savior because I love Him, and He loves the people in my area. "When the Savior taught, His purpose wasn't to fill time or unload a bunch of information. Everything He does- including teaching- is meant to lead others to His Father. The Savior's whole desire and mission is to save Heavenly Father's children. In our quest to teach as He did, we can learn to be motivated by the same purpose that motivated Him." My focus and purpose of my mission has changed over the past couple of weeks and I am striving everyday to be a more converted disciple of Jesus Christ and a more consecrated missionary for Him. As my one full year to be a missionary is half way over I reflect again on my goal to give every ounce of energy, every conscious thought, and every drop of passion to this work-- to submit my will to God's will whatever it may be. I know that as I give my all, it will only be a small repayment of His all. I know that as we work our hardest to follow Him that our weaknesses will become strengths. I am super grateful for my Savior and all He does for me!! 

LOVE YOU ALL ❤❤

Sister Ruffner