"Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you" -1 Peter 5:7
That's my motto for this next transfer. Sister Cleverly and I are staying together in Northridge again! It's a long time to be in one area but I guess there is still work for me to do! The beginning of last transfer (6 week block in the mission) was a bit stressful but now we have found our groove and we're going to continue to see great things happen here. I'm not going to worry so much because I've realized that this is truly the Lord's work and He is in charge. As I cast all my cares upon Him, He will prepare the way and help me because He cares. He cares about this area, He cares about the people here, and He cares about me, little Sister Sydney Jorgensen, as small and inadequate as I often feel.
This week we had a really powerful lesson with Larry, who we are starting to focus on again because he will be able to (hopefully) be baptized in April. We talked about the Atonement and for the first time in his whole life, the concept of Christ's sacrifice was starting to click with him. Christ's suffering is so personal to each one of us; even if I or you were the only person on the Earth, Christ still would have come down to atone for us individually. That's how much He loves us! And that's how much Heavenly Father wants us back home. It was a very spiritual lesson and I could tell Larry was really pondering. This showed me how important it is to help people gain an understanding of the Atonement and what it can do for them personally. Though I still don't fully understand the Atonement, I have felt its power in my life as it gives me strength to do things I certainly can't do on my own... like being a missionary!
We started teaching the Otts, a part member family with two sons, 9 and 11, who love to play sports and haven't been baptized yet. The nonmember dad asked me a lot of questions about being a Mormon in Alabama and I got to share some of my experiences and talk about Ensley. I felt like I really connected with him and I was able to just be myself and not a missionary robot! The dad straight up said the only thing holding them back from being baptized was not being able to play sports on Sundays. He asked my opinion and I was pretty bold about setting priorities, as I shared some personal examples (thank you to my brother Josh!). When we put God first, everything else works out for the best. That's the simple truth. We're praying for their hearts to continue to be softened!
Jason and Shelly, our miracle family from a few weeks ago, have been church hopping but still want to meet with us. We had a lesson about reading the Book of Mormon and praying to receive an answer. We committed them to read 3 Nephi 11 so this week we will talk more about restored Priesthood authority and baptism. We are not going to let them go!
My favorite moment this week was when one of the less active members we visit read two chapters in the Book of Mormon on her own for the first time since she was a child. We read a few verses with her and asked her to read the rest of the chapter and she just kept reading! I can't even tell you how happy that made me! It's amazing when people keep commitments. Now she needs to make it a daily thing and she will continue to feel a difference in her day.
It's those neat moments, seeing small "fruits of our labors", that make it all worth it- all the disappointments, the stress, the exhaustion, the flat tire... oh yes, my baby blue and white beach cruiser had a flat this week. I learned quite a bit of humility as we had to depend on people for rides to all our appointments but it worked out just fine. Thanks to the Elders for getting me a new bike tube and now I am quite the bike fixer-upper. Well, not really, but I can put on a new tube and tire! Look at all these fun skills I am learning on my mission.
I'm looking forward to another 6 weeks full of miracles and hopefully a baptism!! We can do it! Heavenly Father will continue to lead and guide us as we serve with all our might!
Remember, cast your burden upon the Lord because He cares for you. And believe it or not, He cares about those little things. Onward to valiance!
P.S. This was when we went out to lunch for Sister Acker who leaves to go home TOMORROW!! They all liked the fun mardi gras stuff you (mom) sent :)