21 September 2015

For crying out loud, what could be better?

It has been a great week:) I have an amazing companion and am a missionary for crying out loud, what could be better???!

On Monday we went to the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER for p day and oh my it was so much fun! Absolutely beautiful and so windy... Brushing through my hair after was slightly painful. At one point it was sunny but at the same time raining/hailing it felt like and so windy. To use a quote from Elder Ramsay to describe it, it felt like being hugged by a swarm of wasps. Haha You know the 101 Dalmatians Disney movie where they are trudging through the snow trying to save all of the puppies from Cruela De Vil? That is basically what we looked like on the hike back from the light house because of the wind. Ha it was insane! We went with Elder Haysman from Australia, Davis from Idaho, Ramsay from Utah and Isaksen from Norway! It sure was a great day:)

I had a really bizarre experience on Friday with a former investigator who turned out to be a gypsy.... Yeah no joke there are loads of them in Sittingbourne ha. So we had some service planned that day and it got canceled...... Service never gets canceled......., so we decided to go stop by this former investigator that the Elders had taught before and I have met once. So we got there and she let us in, then like 4 minutes later her 15 year old son came in as well and before we know it we started teaching them about prayer and the purpose of life!!!

We were really excited because it was going really well! Then at the end we invited them to church and the son said he would like to come, but the mom said no. She then asked us a question along the lines of.... "Do you ever have moments when you see things and then a few weeks later it happens?" We were like uhhh..... And we didn't quite understand her question. So then she starts explaining that that was happening right now to her and she kept saying... "I don't know how to describe it to you but I am seeing things...." Again, we were
like uhhh....... So I asked her what it was, and she said "I can't say, I am just trying to figure out if it is from God or some other spirit." Well at this point a really weird feeling came into the room and we didn't know what the heck to do. I think one of us said something like, "well every thing that is good comes from God."

She then thought for a second and said, "what the heck I will just tell you." I don't remember exactly what she said but basically she began to prophecy about the future.... She was prophesying about her and her son and how their experience was going to go with the church..... And it wasn't anything good either. You guys, a gypsy began to prophecy to us. Like legit..... Seriously the Spirit that came into the room when that happened was not from God. 

Wow it makes me cringe thinking about it.... It was so bizarre and I just felt uncomfortable and wanted to get the heck out of there! 

When she stopped for a second Sister Mathews quickly jumped in and said, "Sister Ranck can you
say the prayer before we leave?" So I prayed and we quickly left.

Seriously it was the strangest experience I have had and we had a great conversation after to recover from it....... Crazy stuff. 

On Saturday morning we did a ward service project and went to this park that was by the sea and picked up rubbish! So we of course volunteered to go out on the little island:) Who knew that picking up rubbish would be so fun. It was especially fun wearing jeans for a change and serving:) and the sun was shining which was refreshing after a week of pretty much straight rain! We split off into groups and Sister Mathews and I went with the Bartling family.... Love this family. The two little boys.., Noah (Sammys look alike) and Theo are so cute and just remind me of my little bros so that was nice:) we sure had a grand old time picking up beer cans. Ha.... 

Not gonna lie, this week was pretty spiritually and emotionally draining! We are lucky if we speak to
just two or three nice people a day who actually listen and talk to us. It is just exhausting being surrounded by so much disbelief. I have been thinking a lot about the Prophets and people we read about in the scriptures, and what it must have been like for them. These stories are coming to life so much more as I experience first hand some of the things that they experience! I feel a small portion of what the sons of Mosiah felt at the beginning of their mission when they said that their hearts were depressed. We are so blessed to be in Utah surrounded by believers. I can't even tell you how refreshing it is to just speak to someone who has a belief in God!

If you do not have your OWN testimony, if you have not received a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon for yourself, will you just do the thing necessary to get one already? Read the Book of Mormon! Go to your Father in Heaven in prayer! There is no room for lukewarm conversion..... That will not sustain you in today's world. 

Sorry this email is real long but emailing is like a weekly journal for me! 

Okay so this week I had a very humbling experience where I really felt how much the Lord is in this work. So not gonna lie, the work has been tough here in Gillingham. We haven't seen much fruits at all and as I was saying, it has been exhausting. Attempting to find through our own efforts has not been successful. And this is a really struggling ward as well! It's full of first generation converts.... Literally almost everyone had missionaries knock on their door or some thing. But also at the moment, they are last generation converts as almost all of their children have fallen away due to a lack of true personal conversion. It's also a dying ward, meaning that the bulk of the members have grandchildren and are just simply getting old. Just 20 years ago or so there were like 170 active members, and currently we are lucky if we get 50 or 60 people out to church.

So again after quite a long Sunday, I was just feeling very stuck, and was running out of ideas! How
do we find these people? I know the Lord loves them and wants us to find them but where the heck are they? How can we strengthen the ward? What am I doing wrong? What do we need to do differently?

Well God sure answered all of those questions last night. Long story short, with a series of events we realised that we are trying to do this work in our own way.......... Well no wonder we haven't seen any kind of results! God kindly rebuked us and said, "Okay sisters, I appreciate your hard work, but now it's time to listen to me and start doing this work the way I need you to......... which is to start with the members." 

................Yes sir..............

So last night Sister Mathews and I really felt the Lord inspire us as we made plans and set goals for the next few weeks and we are really excited! President Stevens specifically told us that he felt very inspired to have us together this transfer and we are about to find out why. 

Sister Mathews is amazing and I love her to pieces! With all of the walking around we did this week we really did become so much closer, so that was a blessing in disguise and now we are ready to go "baptise nations" as Elder Ramsay says! Ha.. 

But on the real though we both have such a great desire to build up and strengthen this ward! I am really looking forward to the weeks to come:)

Love you all and this is the greatest work in the world. 

God is real, Christ is our Savior, and the Gospel is a plan for how we can have REAL happiness. Don't try to go through life your own way because it simply doesn't work. His way is always best <3

Click Here to see Sara and Her Companion at the White Cliffs of Dover.



Sister Ranck

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