Sister Denton's Marvelous Mission: March 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

3/28/11- Letter to the World

Hello World!

I'll highlight the best stuff because this is a LONG letter!

Wow!  This week was another week of miracles.  Heavenly Father truly blesses us when we do all we can!  I have a "Fabulous Things" calendar where I write something fabulous each day, but I've turned it into my "Miracle" calendar because they truly are happening every day!

Monday night we were tracting and this woman opened the door and let us right in!  She said she had some friends over and they were having a scriptural discussion and invited us to come sit in with them!  We had a captive audience of 6 as we taught a first lesson!  They asked wonderful questions and 4 of them wanted a Book of Mormon!  (The other 2 planned to share with their spouse).  It was such a neat experience to have people so open and willing to hear what we have to say!  We didn't get an exact return appointment, but they are open to us coming back.  The timing aspect is amazing, though.  After P-Day, we got home later than planned because our GPS died on the way back from the airport and Sis. Anderson and I didn't know how to get home! We made it and then had to use a map for the first time to plan how to get to a referral.  The referral wasn't home and we started tracting and that's when we found the Lins and Barrys.  The Barrys may not have been over had we been there earlier or later! 

Tuesday night we were tracting and met a bunch of potentials.  Tawna agreed to a baptismal date on the doorstep!  She missed our next appointment (church tour) and we haven't been able to get ahold of her since, but it is amazing to see how open people can be!!  She was really excited to hear that we have prophets and to read the Book of Mormon.  I really hope her family didn't tell her not to get involved!

We were able to do a lot of less active work, which was awesome.  I love teaching lessons that you just feel so good about afterward!  There is one family we teach that has some kids who are sometimes really hard to teach, but the lesson went great!  We also got to watch Prophet of the Restoration with a sister.  It was AWESOME.  That movie always is :D

We tried to see the Lins again, but they weren't home, so we went tracting and found Elmer!  He was SO open and even asked where church was!  He missed our next appointment (church tour), but we're going to try and get ahold of him again, too.  Again, timing was key.  We got him right before he left for work.  We also "open your mouthed" a woman who pulled in to drop her son off and she seemed really interested, too!  Timing is so important!  Heavenly Father lets us know where we need to be when!

We also had our second appointment with Josh and Elaine.  They are awesome.  They have SO much to work through, but it can be done.  They, too, missed their next appointment (church tour), but I think they just have a lot on their minds.  We're going to keep trying them, as well.  We're trying to work toward April 29 for baptism with them.

Another evidence of how much Heavenly Father is aware of his children.  We went to an appointment with Sis. Vance as our team-up and he wasn't home.  On the way back, she talked about an appointment she had the night before with the bishop.  Her new member husband had come with her and the bishop asked to speak with him first--for 30 minutes!!  Basically he asked the first few questions for baptism.  She asked if we could come in and talk to him.  We went in and we started chatting with him.  After a little while, Sis. Anderson read Alma 11:40 and he mentioned that the only thing that had kept him from baptism really was coffee, and he had just found out that it's not the caffiene, but the coffee, so since he can have Mountain Dew, he's fine giving up the coffee.  Then I read some of Mosiah 18 and his wife asked "What have ye against being baptized?"  He said, "Nothing...I have been."  And she said, "By the proper authority."  He agreed!  Because she's leaving Apr 9 for Hawaii for 3 months, they wanted to do it sooner rather than later.  We were discussing conference weekend and he said, "What about tomorrow?"  A few calls later, we had it approved and ready to go!  What a miracle for this family!  He's been involved with the church from the early 80s when his sister joined (who was in my last ward!!)  His sister had always told him he'd marry a mormon girl.  Just a couple of years ago, Bro and Sis Vance got married.  She said that on the first date, she mentioned being a "Good little mormon girl" and he was like "What?  No...oh no."  lol.  I absolutely love this family!

Bro Vance's baptism.  He didn't really want a program, so it was just a small gathering of family and missionaries.

That night we went and saw Sis. Russell again--the woman we found tracting--and she agreed to follow us to church on Sunday!

Yet another miracle.  We were tracting Barre Dr and the first 3 doors, no one even answered.  Then we saw a guy in the driveway of the first house waving us down.  We were a little hesitant to go there because he either wanted to talk to us or yell at us.  We went and he let us in and he (Anderson) and his wife (Lori) and us all sat on the floor and talked.  He had been wanting to read the Book of Mormon for years, and then we left a card for a free Book of Mormon on his door!  We were able to teach a lot of the 1st lesson and some of the second.  They were very open to listening.  They may come to the ward activity on Friday and hopefully a session of conference this weekend!  It's amazing that the Lord has truly prepared people!  We met another guy on that street we'll be teaching on Wednesday! (Michael)

The Lord truly blesses us when we give our all.  I've never tracted so much in my life, but it is SO rewarding!  We get to teach so many lessons and find so many who are willing to listen!

Kenneth Cope added a verse to the song "Because I Have Been Given Much" in one of his arrangments.  The lyrics go as follows (from it may be a little off)

Because of Thy life's mission Lord, I too must serve.
I'll leave the comfort of my home to teach they word.
I'll find Thy lambs who've gone astray.
And those who've never known the way.
I will make Thy work my work today.

I love that!  Being a misisonary is AWESOME.

Love ya!  Have a fabulous miracle-filled week!!

Sister Denton

Monday, March 21, 2011

3/21/11- Letter to the World

Well hello world!
So we got some bitter-sweet news on Wednesday night.  Sister Green got her visa, so we dropped her off at the airport this morning.  She should be in Brasilia, Brazil tomorrow!  I'll see her in a year :D are the awesome things for the week!!
After tracting for 1 1/2 or so, the last house we stopped at was answered by a 15 year old girl.  We'd just been talking about how to approach minors, and I was about to just leave a card and call it good, but Sister Anderson kept talking.  She asked Lori what she would think about having a prophet today.  Her eyes grew huge and she said, "I was just asking that in youth group!  I wondered why there wouldn't be prophets today!"  We were able to testify that there are.  She kept asking questions that led to the entire first lesson!  She is so excited to read the Book of Mormon.  In fact, when we said we'd give her one, she was like, "Really!?  I was going to go get one!"  She is so sweet and I really hope we're able to continue teaching her.
Melanie had not been home, so we thought she ditched us, but we stopped by again and she still wants to meet with us, has been reading, and has questions!!
Leadership Training all day--we were invited.  President gave us some new goals and training.  'Twas awesome.  One of my favorite parts was when they announced the new music rule--it's alright to listen to LDS music besides hymns!  Hallelujah!  
We'd been praying for a family since Thursday (Sister Anderson is especially good at remembering to do it EVERY prayer).  We were following up with some Potentials, and Sister Green told us that the house numbers they wrote down didn't match with what she remembered, so she took us to this other house to follow up with "Alexis."  We rang the doorbell and after a little bit, there was a guy yelling that we just kind of ignored.  As we started walking to the next house, we saw him on the back porch.  He asked who we were looking for and we said anyone.  He invited us up to the porch.  His fiancee Elaine then told him to invite us in, which he (Josh) did.  She left, but a woman was still there, and Josh asked if we were going to be there long if we'd like to go sit down, so we did!  We taught him Lesson 1.  He didn't really understand all of it, but he wants to.  He's willing to read and pray.  He considers us sent from God because that doorbell we rang has never worked since they'd lived there.  Never once.  He said that obvdiously God wanted him to hear our message.  Elaine got home and we were able to tell her a couple of things and have a prayer with all of them and get a return appointment!  They have a LOT to work through, but all things are possible through Christ!  As we were walking back to the car, Sister Green realized that the house numbers that were written down WERE right.  The Lord works in mysterious ways!
After dinner, we went to tract some more.  Actually...funny story.  At dinner, one of us who shall remain nameless had stepped in dog poo inside the house (trust me, this relates).  After we left, she kept trying to get it off her foot, but finally just got in the car to go tract.  We stopped at the beginning of a street, but she didn't want to use their front yard to clean her feet off more, so we drove to the end of the street and parked in a parking lot to use a little patch of grass.  Because of this, we started tracting at the other end of the apartments.  The first house held no one, but the second house did.  She seemed real nice.  She put her dogs away and then opened the door, and the first questions we asked was, "Are you from around here?"  She was a little taken aback, but that's where the line of questioning went for a little bit.  She invited us in the doorway and Sis. Anderson started talking about the Book of Mormon without calling it that and asked if it could strengthen her faith.  She said it could and then asked what church we were from.  When we told her, she covered her mouth and gasped.  She said, "My son served a mission for that church and 2 other of my children joined that church at different times.  I'm also a member of that church, but recently moved here, and have been going back and forth on whether or not I should go back.  Come upstairs!"  It was wonderful.  I love being led by the hand of God!  He knew that she needed the church.  He really does know us personally!
Well, that's some of the adventures for the week!  I love being a missionary!  It's so amazing to see God's hand in every aspect of our lives!! 
Love ya!
Sister Denton

Monday, March 14, 2011

3/14/11- Letter to the World

Well, world, I'm in Lititz!  In Millersville, I was in the Lancaster 2nd Ward.  Here, I'm in the Lancaster 3rd Ward!  Same building, same district, same county!  It's great to be able to see some of my favorite people from my last area at church on Sunday!  The Lord loves me so much!  A few transfers ago, the Lancaster District split and we became part of the Ephrata District, but my District Leader from Lancaster became our District Leader in Ephrata.  I was sad leaving, because he'd been my only district leader and then I got transferred to the other area he's over!  I'm also excited to stay in the area because it's the only area that I know of where there are so many missionaries so close to each other.  It makes P-Days a lot more fun!
Emma had asked me to sing and speak at her baptism.  I kept saying she'd have to find someone else and she kept telling me that she was praying for me to go to Lititz so I could still go to her baptism.  That woman has amazing faith!  In order for me to be here, a couple of things had to happen.  We have a temple square sister in State College right now.  They usually come out for 2 transers.  Never in our mission have they stayed longer.  She stayed longer, so I am actually in a tripanionship with Sister Anderson and Sister Green, both of whom are AWESOME.  Sister Green is waiting for her visa to Brazil and could leave at any time.

The baptism was absolutely phenomenal.  The Spirit was so strong.  It was super hard for me to even speak at the beginning of my talk.  Emily is such a wonderful daughter of God.  It was such a tender mercy of the Lord for me to be able to attend.  If I had been transferred to any of the other sisters areas, there would have been no way.  I realized another tender mercy, too!  Sister Johnson and I had told Emma that we would be there in a year as she goes through the temple.  Technically, I could be released either Feb 7 or Mar 20.  Mar 20 would be after a year, and I really don't want to make her wait.  I realized last night, though, that because she was baptized on a Sunday, she's not getting confirmed until next Sunday...the 20th of Mar.  So I really could go!!  I love evidences of Heavenly Father's love for us!!!
This week has been amazing.  Sister Green, Sister Anderson, and I get along SO well.  We seem to be always smiling and laughing (except of course when we need to be serious :D).  In Lititz before this week, the average "other lessons" would be around 10.  Millersville was around that too.  Last week, we got 29.  It's just amazing to see the Lord let us find all of these people who are actually willing to listen to us!  We met one woman last week, Sara, who is amazing.  We have another appointment with her tonight.  When we asked her to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true she said, "Well if you are all out teaching about it, it must be.  You wouldn't come share about a lie, would you?"  She also said that she'd been praying to get closer to Christ and recognized that we may be the answer to her prayer!   We found another woman that we have an appointment with this week, too!
We also have a couple we're teaching who is a referral from the Ephrata elders.  They are teaching Ethan's parents and brother and sister-in-law and they are trying to get another sibling in the area.  We have another appointment with Ethan and his wife Rebecca next week, so hopefully you'll hear more then!  They have a snake, so I got to hold him!
The people in this area seem to be wonderful.  The ward is absolutely fabulous at helping with missionary work.  There are some great people we're working with!  We have two Recent Converts that I am especially excited to be working with!  One is Sister Balinski--she was praying to come closer to God when the Sister Missionaries showed up a little over a year ago.  She is rock-solid.  I love her testimony!  The other is Tyson, who I wrote about around Christmas time when I was in the tri.  He was baptized in December and is just incredible.  There really aren't words to describe the changes he's made in his life.  His testimony blows me out of the water.  I love Recent Converts!  I love investigators!  I love missionary work!!
Well, that's it for the week, I guess!  We have a Leadership Traning Meeting on Saint Patrick's Day, which should be fun!
Love you all!
Sister Denton!

Monday, March 7, 2011

3/7/11- Letter to the World

Hello World!'s finally happened.  I'm getting transferred.  It was bound to happen sometime!  I've been in my first area almost 6 months!  A third of my mission.  Crazy, by the way!  I have less than a year left, depending on what transfer I come home.  18 months falls in between two transfers, so I'll either be home Feb 7, 2012 or March 20, 2012.

So, the best part of this week is still Emma.  She is truly incredible.  Ellie, her daughter, was blessed yesterday and it was really cool.  She said that at first she felt nervous, but after, she felt "loving and caring."  So cute.  Out of the mouths of babes.  We taught Emma about tithing and the commitment asks if you'll pay after your baptism.  She asked if she could do it this week (yesterday) even though she wasn't baptized yet.  She is just amazing.  That's all there is to it.  We had her try on her baptism dress yesterday and she couldn't stop smiling.  She said it made her feel free.  We also talked some about going through the temple in a year, and she is just SO excited for that day.  Sister Johnson and I will both be home from our missions, so we're going to come out for it to the DC temple!  We discussed doing baptisms right away and that she can find her own family's names to allow them to move from Spirit Prison to Spirit Paradise and she really liked that idea.  Emma truly is a blessing from our Heavenly Father.  She is already doing so much good and she is going to bless SO many people because of this.

Saturday was awesome again and strengthened my testimony that as we do as we're asked, we'll be blessed.  Again, in the 6th hour of tracting, we saw the most results.  Heavenly Father works that way a lot.  For instance, with family scripture study.  We may not see blessings from it right away, but as we truly show that we're committed to it, they'll come rolling in.

Random funny for the week--there are a lot of Marquees in Pennsylvania.  Two we saw this week were:

Our shop man is extra god.

Dairy Queen.  Opening March 3.  Better than kittens climbing a double rainbow.

Well, I guess that's it for the week!

I'll let you know where I am next week!

Sister Denton