As always, Jake taught me another lesson. I had mentioned to him that I have a new calling as the Missionary Meal Coordinator for our ward and shared an experience with him. I had decided to make some phone calls for meal appointments and decided to start with some names I was not familiar with. Now... Ankeny 1st ward is larger than what we have been use to and I really do not know a lot of people. While making these calls I discovered that I had called some part member families and less active familes - unbeknownst to me - sheesh. Anyway... the words denied, denied, denied come to mind. Big sigh. For me it was the equivalent of having a door slammed in my face and it was quite discouraging!!! I said to Jake, I don't know how you do it! This is what he said:
"Mom, when we do all we can, the Lord blesses and sustains us. The outcome of just trying shows our Father in Heaven that we love that person and we are doing what we can to help. Even if we feel like we messed up. We just try and love them - we must have charity of heart."
That was really important for me to hear - thank you Elder Packham! Some of the other things he shared about my calling were:
Mom, your Heavenly Father has given you this calling because he knows your strengths and he knows your faith. He knows you perfectly. Keep trying! If you can't get them a dinner appointment ask them if they have any service or project that the missionaries can come do for free. Let them know that the missionaries always offer service to anyone. If they say yes, tell the missionaries and they can set that appointment up. You're doing a great job and don't get discouraged. Show your love to everyone. You already do and you have such a big heart. You'd be surprised at how many less active there are within the church mom. It's crazy. Everyone Elder Ashcroft and I go see are Less Actives. We'd have a ward in T-Falls if the less active came. You can get shut down 10 times but keep going back, keep calling, keep knocking.
I love that boy!!! So..to all my friends who read this blog that are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints... I would like to challenge you to reach out to a less active member or family. Invite them over - take them a plate of cookies - drop them a note! Do Something!!! This new calling is teaching me - as well as Jake's mission - that so many just need to know that we are here and we love them. For any of you who think this is too hard - let me share another story with you.
It is no secret that I haven't had the best experiences in my ward and I shared this thought with Mikey, "how do you encourage someone to come out to church when you know that the experiences you have had with some of the people have not been positive?" Mikey said, "Mom - you show them who you are - you show them the love you have for them - and you don't worry about anyone else."
I love that boy too!! Great advice from them both. Whether or not someone joins the church, is a less active, or anything - the most important thing to remember is that EVERYONE is our brother or sister and we should love them - and love, to me, is an action word.
Ok - more than enough about me. More from Elder Packham:
About my new area: It's harder to schedule appointments with us being gone every week but we make it work. We live out of a suitcase week to week. I'm going to buy a duffle bag here soon. In Plains we live out of a trailor, the bedroom is only big enough for a bunk bed and that's it. We take 1-2 minute showers in Plains because there's no hot water. In T-Falls we can take like 8 minute showers so its nice. We live in the back of the Branch Presidents garage. The other day Elder Ashcroft left the keys in the truck, so we went tracting (: It was SO funny! It's so beautiful out here! The first morning I was in T-falls I walked out side and the Branch Presidents wife was hand feeding the deer. The deer are EVERYWHERE they just feed on the lawns. It's awesome! The scenery is so beautiful! We walk alot. Elder Ashcroft is from Clovis California, right next to Fresno. He's the only person in his family to go statewide. Even both of his parents went foreign. In his first area he was there for 3 months but since then he's moved every 3 weeks, not even a whole transfer. I think it's because he can touch the hearts of so many people. He's so great! We laugh so much. He's like a little brother to me. He has the most positive attitude ever. He's like me! We get along so well. We went for a run this morning in the snow and it was cold. We ran 1/2 mile just cuz it was cold and we're out of shape. You get so out of shape on the mission! There's no time to work out or anything! Especially when members feed you the biggest meals you've ever eaten, there's no point in trying to stay in shape.
I loved conference. Conference was so great and I loved all of the talks! That's all I'm gonna say. I loved it.
Well I love you all, to the moon and back. Keep up the hard work with school and work. Have faith, Pray and Study! You won't go anywhere with your testimony without those two. I'm just so fired up right now. We're in the latter days, there's no time to slack off or not repent or be disobedient. We're re-reading the BOM in 6 weeks as a transfer. It's like 12 pages a day or something like that. We're highlighting everytime it mentions Christ or an Adjective of Christ like (he, him, myself, etc.) plus all of his names. In 1st Nephi alone it mentions Christ over 300 times. I'm not sure about the exact number. I stopped after 300. I love you all. Have a great week!
He makes me laugh - I love it!!! Anyone who knows Jake knows that he is ALWAYS good for a laugh! I so miss that!!! But, alas, once a week I get to laugh with him. His comment about running a 1/2 mile because it was so cold and he is out of shape was funny... I can't imagine that he is happy with that. Apparently he is being fed well in Montana - LOL!
Here are some pictures:
Thank you to everyone who is sharing Jake's journey with me!! I want to send three shout outs this week. Jake's good friend Cade Robinson has been called to serve in the New Mexico mission. His friend, Chloe Myers, has entered the MTC is preparing to go to California and Jake's cousin, Levi Cunningham, went in to the MTC yesterday and will be going to Peru. I know that Jake is excited for all them. He said this to me - "Missionary work is so important and there is no excuse t onot be anxiously engaged in the work. Every member is a missionary no matter who you are, what gender you are, or what age."