Monday, November 24, 2008

"I can't wait to go home and play with my tractor."

This is a long one, but enjoy it while it lasts. Ha!

That's right, quote is by Sis. Soza. When we went to John Deere, we hit up the gift shop. Ever want John Deere windchimes? Or a John Deere retractable dog leesh? Maybe just a simple John Deere picnic set would do. That's right. You name it, they have it. Don't forget the John Deere strawberry perserves. The highlight (other than the riding lawnmower) was the 20 min film with some song about grain and soil to the tune of "Be Still My Soul". That's right. Very moving.

Anyway, enough about John Deere. Oh, but the point was that Sis. Soza bought a mini tractor that she then became obsessed with and couldn't stop thinking about. She'd just bring it up at random times throughout the day. Good times.

So there's a family that moved into the ward and most of them are members except the 12-yr old girl, Kayla. The mom and the other 2 girls are recent converts. We're teaching Kayla right now and the family's way into it. It's cool. Yesterday they came to church for the 1st time!

SIDENOTE ON CHURCH: That made it officially our 1st and only investigator at church in Bettendorf. What a way to go out with a bang! Precious cause we found out later that a ward member who'd served a mission and comes out to appts with us lots prayed that we'd have one at church on Sun cause we mentioned to her that we hadn't yet. The curse of whatever happens between Sat night and Sun morning that keeps people from coming. Anyway, precious. Because she prayed for it, it happened!

Anyway, point being, we met them because their relatives already lived in the ward...the Lemmons. We kept feeling strongly since we got here that we should work with them. Funny cause they haven't been to church in 14 yrs and don't have much desire to come back. But i realized last night that we never would've known the Richards moved in except for that we'd been working with the Lemmons. That's how the Lord works. Something I call pre-prompting promptings. This is why we can never second-guess the Lord. When the Holy Ghost tells us to do something, do it! (I'm not perfect at this, mind you. But every time I do it I remember why I should be.) Anyway, like as missionaries sometimes we feel prompted to go visit someone. It doesn't seem logical or like they'll be receptive but we do and on the way, we find someone else. Really it was that "someone else" who the promting was for but the Lord just gave it to us in a way we can understand cause we probably wouldn't be so in tune with promptings like "go to that spot in the sidewalk at 1:42 and look for a man in a blue jacket." But the Lord helps us find them in ways we understand. Anyway, I don't know how much of that made sense, but it's an important lesson to me.

so we're teaching this kid who's roommates with a guy who's a member but doesn't come. it's fascintating cause he's really philosophical. He studied theology in school. He went off the other day how he doesn't know that he'd want to live in the Celestial Kingdom and get to a point of perfect happiness and perfect knowledge because that would be boring. He'd prefer living life again. I think he was picturing eternity as eternal bliss without resistance. It was cool cause the member who came with us explained to him all about how you live life once and you have ups and downs and learn, and then you have kids and you learn everythign in an even deeper way as you watch them go through it and try to then teach them as parents. He reminded Mike that God's plan is perfect and that whatever Mike really and truly desired, within the bounds of God's laws, is what he would attain after this life.

My Peoria mission pres at interviews on Thurs. reminded us of the power that's in every day of missionary work and to keep finding, teaching, and testifying til the very end. So Sis. Soza and I are working on our week o' miracles. We're excited to see the things that will happen. We really want to leave the area stronger than we found it and leave the remaining sisters with lots to do. Anyway, so that's the plan. Go big or go home. Or i guess in our case, go big and go home. Ha! It's cool too cause even our travel plans were guided by the Spirit. As some of you know, our return date changed and is pretty illogical with how it lined up with transfers but it happened because those making the decisions felt strongly impressed by the Spirit to do it this way. That means they are people waiting on our flights home to hear the gospel. :) Anyway, that's all. I want to live it up here. Please don't think that means I'll be miserable at home. I'm living it up here so I can live it up there too. Give everything I have and come home with the things the Lord meant for me to.

Just so people know where I am...I'll serve in Bettendorf until Friday night at 5pm, then drive to Peoria and spend the night with the Ericksons (at the mission home). Sat AM we go to Nauvoo for a temple trip, Sunday is church and zone conference and we'll serve at Carthage, then Monday I don't know exactly what they have planned and Tues we fly home.

so i discovered this in my regular Bible reading and have decided to use it as a theme for the last week of my mission. It's when Paul's heading to Jerusalem and he's hearing all kinds of things about what it'll be like when he gets there. (Kinda like when everyone tries to talk to you about going home...):

"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." -Acts 20:24

FAM-Some people to keep in your prayers this week:
As we work and pray for our "Week O' Miracles" will you keep these guys in your prayers (we finally have investgators!):
Heather and Billy; Kim Millage; Kayla Richards; Mike Levis; Rachael Gammel; Lynn Rolfes; and Cristina and whoever we have yet to find. :)

I know that's a lot but I know it'll help. Thanks!

Love you all,
Sis. Cartwright

P.S. Brock informed us today that we he grows up, he wants to be a missionary...and a cheerleader.

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