(This post was sent on August 31,2015)
GETTING TO KNOW THE MEMBERS
I want to tell you a couple of cool experiences that happened this week. First: we're given a mileage allowance for the month, and with all the trips to Rapid City (four hours away) and Pierre (two hours) that we've done this month, our remaining miles were shrinking rather rapidly. All of a sudden, last week like three families in our branch, who live in outer towns in our area, invited us over for dinner. We weren't sure how we were going to make it out there and still keep within our mile limit, but we really wanted to go because it's super important to take those opportunities to visit with the members. So, during our weekly planning day, we came up with a rough plan: We would ask the families who invited us to come pick us up. They lived in Ainsworth and Springview, both about an hour away. A member here in Valentine owns a dental clinic in Ainsworth that has an apartment below it, and has offered its use to the missionaries. So, we took up the offer. We called the families and told them our idea, and you know what? It all worked out. Plus, the long drives were an excellent time to get to know them better.
At first, I was apprehensive about asking them for rides, because I don't like imposing on people and I enjoy self-sufficiency. But, I realized that having the members help us actually helped them. They really want to help with missionary work, but they sometimes aren't sure how. This was one way to show them that we really do need them, and that we appreciate what they do for us. Sister Stone and I even made them little thank-you cards :)
Another cool thing: we went to dinner with the Stoker family on Saturday night in Springview, and Sister Stoker asked us if she could come tracting with us. It was really cool! Not a lot of people think tracting sounds fun, but she does. So, after dinner, the three of us went out and knocked on some doors. The first person to answer wasn't very excited to see us and promptly said goodbye. Sister Stoker asked if she could try a different approach, and we gave an emphatic "Of course!" The next door we knocked on ended up being someone she knew, and the lady let us right in. They talked about the things they had in common, and Sister Stoker introduced us, and also offered her a Book of Mormon. It was wonderful! We gave her our number and got hers, and we plan on setting up an appointment to see her again. The whole thing was really cool.
Our mission president, President Hess, knows the members of the Nashville Tribute Band and said that he'd see if he could get them to come and play for us. He also approved their Redeemer album, and he's going through the other ones to see if they'll be mission appropriate. I'm so excited! I absolutely love them.