Hello Family and Friends!
So yesterday I got the call that I am getting transferred! It's been crazy! I've been out 5 months, this will be my 4th area, and I will be on my 8th and 9th companion! I really am a problem missionary haha!! President called me, and told me that I'll be training one sister and Senior Comp. I miss those days when I could just be Junior and do whatever. But it's cool I guess. Excited to find out where. I'll find out tomorrow!
Looking back on the last 3 months, it's been such a cool adventure here in Ann Arbor. I really struggled my first week or two, because y'all know how much I loved Detroit. Before I was in Ann Arbor, I would email Sister Jory Miller. She told me that in her area, they had never taught a second lesson. They tracted hours upon hours. We had literally NO ONE in our teaching pool, and that was really discouraging. I think as missionaries, and just people in general, we've been given awesome gifts to hasten the work. What I didn't know I would be using as much on my mission is creativity. I've never had to get so creative in my life with regards to everything! Like finding, teaching, inviting, encouraging members to help in the efforts. All of those things, we've been getting really creative with how we teach, find, invite, etc.
After three months, our ward is on fire. They can't wait to help in the work, and they give us people to teach. We have a solid teaching pool. We have so many people that we don't have enough hours in the day to teach all of the people we have, let alone go door to door. Several people are on date to be baptized. P got back from California and is on fire. We are sticking with her until she is baptized (well, the other sisters will be).
There are a thousand ways of teaching the gospel, and I think sometimes missionaries think there is only one way, and that's knocking all day long. There's a quote in Preach My Gospel by President Hinckley that says that's not the case, and that the work will come through the members if we truly want to hasten the work. I know that is true. I've seen what hours and hours and hours of knocking does...essentially nothing, and our time as missionaries is so valuable. I've started meeting with members as frequently as possible, giving them things to do to get them stoked about missionary work. We did a missionary scavenger hunt for a month, and we would give it to members to do as a family and we would make them brownies. We would give them a list and say do 5 out of the 10 of them. It's getting people out of their comfort zone in a fun way. And then after conference, we started giving members "Game Plans" from that one talk in conference where the guy said "exclamation point" like...four hundred times. But we get to know concerns of members, pray with them about someone that they can reach out to, and commit them to reach out and bring them closer to Christ.
I'm not saying that because of me, all of these good things have happened in this area, but I am glad that I was here to see this area go from struggling to teach a lesson, to not having enough time to teach everyone. I know that my comps right now will keep this area bumpin', and I know that whatever I had to do in Ann Arbor, I did, so I'm excited for where I"m going next, and just going where the Lord takes me. Love you guys a ton! Tell AMy to buy me those Jesus slippers.
Love Sister Marshall