Sister Emily DeFord

Called to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Colorado Fort Collins mission.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week 53: 8/18/14

August 18, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Well I want to start off with a couple of stories, not mine, but good ones nonetheless.  A few weeks ago, Brother R____ gave a talk in Sacrament meeting.  He said he had a dream once where he and his wife were standing in front of a wall covered with chalkboards.  They had chalk in their hands and were instructed to list out all od their sins on the chalkboards.  He said that his wife only had a chalkboard or two and she was done, but for him they kept adding more and bringing out bigger and bigger ladders for him to reach the extra chalkboards.  After many hours he finally climbed down the ladder.  She gave him a hug and said, "I'm so proud of you, you're finally done." And he told her, "I'm not done yet, I just came down for more chalk!"
Yesterday, Brother G_______ spoke in Sacrament meeting.  Following Brother R____'s talk, he also had a dream with chalk.  He and Bishop L____ were standing in front of a building with all kinds of words written on it, and a ladder going straight up.  They too each had a bucket of chalk.  They were told that the words were all of the sins in the world, and to go up the ladder and circle the ones they thought applied to them.  Brother G_______ said he struggled to reach all of the words from the ladder and made very slow progress.  Bishop moved a little more quickly and soon was a few floors ahead on the building.  Then Brother G_______ saw him coming down.  Thinking of Brother R____'s talk, he was going to tease the Bishop about needing more chalk, but saw that his bucket was still full.  Instead, Bishop told him, "No I don't need more chalk, but the Savior is just a few floors up and he has already taken care of each of these sins.  You don't need to worry about them anymore.  He sent me back to get you and bring you to him."
How much time do we spend trying to identify and circle and worry over each of our sins, instead of quickly making our way to the Savior?  That one gave me a lot to ponder on.
There is just no hiding when you are a missionary!  This week, we were just walking through the parking lot of an apartment building after visiting someone and a man called out to us, "Do you know Jesus?"  "Yes!" we said.  "Are you a Christian?" he called again and we again said "yes, do you know Jesus too?"  "Yes, I'm a Christian" he said, and then told us about how he knew we were Christian (he had been too far away to see our tags at all) because we glowed.  That's why he came over to talk with us, and we were able to set an appointment with his family.
Then!  At the animal shelter where we wear jeans and the same t-shirt as all of the volunteers, everyone has to wear a nametag too so we really blend in, a little girl came up to talk to us with her grandma and says, "Hey!  I go to that church!"  I guess we don't blend like we thought :)
We had an amazing exchange this week with the Eastridge sisters which I really appreciated and learned a lot from.  Seriously, I'm not always sure what the other sisters learn on exchanges, but I sure learn a lot!  Though exchanges have not made me get to know Cheyenne any better...I lose track of where we are before we get back to their area and then am somewhat confused directionally for a day.  There aren't any convenient mountains here like in Longmont!  Plus, the streets here tend to be at weird angles to each other.
Anyway, we did forget to take an exchange picture, that is a bummer :( but I do have a picture of the personal cake we made for R_____ for his birthday!  Plus trimming down a not-birthday candle to light for the cake since we forgot to get candles on Monday :) Maybe not used as anticipated, but the sunshine candle was put to a good purpose ;)

We also had an incredible lesson with A______ this week!  She is only 17 and the only member in her family.  She has been going through some tough things and hasn't been to church in a long time.  We happened to have the perfect timing to catch her at home--one of those where we pull up and the car isn't there, but prayed anyway and when we were done there they were!--and retaught about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  At the end of it, A______ shared some of her feelings and testimony, and her face was glowing :) It was a beautiful moment.
You know how whenever there is a ward activity and we decide to do a food contest, the missionaries are the go-to for judges?  Well, it never occurred to me that I was in that position, until we were asked to judge the pies at the ward BBQ!  (Celebrating the Corner Stone ward's third birthday)  So we sacrificed, and did it ;) Just kidding, we got to eat some delicious pie!  Which is one of my favorite things anyway, so life is good :)
This week, since it was a year since I went into the MTC and started up my missionary journal, I decided to look back at my journal to what I was thinking a year ago.  It was interesting, because I can remember those thoughts and feelings like it was last week, yet I feel like a very different Sister DeFord.  There has been a lot of learning and growing and spiritual maturing that has come since then.  Hopefully you still recognize me at home ;)
TMFWD should!  Because Samantha sent me some news today which makes that fitting ;)
love, Sister Emily DeFord

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