Well, the past ten days have been crazy, but they have been so good!
First, in case you miss me and the odd things I do, I will share a funny story. We were cleaning the car today and I grabbed my roll of coins and an empty water bottle off the seat. My plan was to throw the water bottle in the trash and then to start the vacuums…well ha I drop the water bottle in the trash, but I hear a really loud noise and all of a sudden my hand was a lot lighter. I actually dropped my roll of quarters in the trash and I was still holding the water bottle. yup. (: Lucky us, the trash was totally full. We found an empty garbage bag and had to dig to the bottom. Sister Wevers was laughing the whole time. She looks at me and says, "Whoever you are with never has to have a dull moment". -ha…she tells me her life has been crazy since we have been companions. (: I took it as a way of her telling me she likes that I keep things interesting.
My next goal is to convince her that our living room is perfect for building a fort and watching our missionary training videos in. I am getting there. Pictures to come provided my plans go through.
Where to start? Oh! I know! So, our mission president last zone conference invited us to do almost everything differently. I think my jaw kind of dropped when he asked that because it was just a little overwhelming, but then also…challenge accepted. It sounded like an adventure(: He, in faith, asked us to change how we find (more creatively) teach (go directly to repentance) and baptize (create incredible baptismal services where all who are present can become converted). He asked us to be e.x.a.c.t.l.y. obedient, to have faith to see miracles, to wear ourselves out in the work of the Lord, and to recognize that this is Jesus Christ's work. He promised us that if we relied on the Spirit of God to do those things differently that we would be a miracle mission. I was in and super pumped. I decided that I would start by taking good care of the people we or other missionaries had already taught. One day, we found a person who had no address (BIGGEST pet peeve) but Sister Wevers knew where she lived. We planned to go by and grab it. Well, when we got there we decided to get out of the car and meet her. She opens the door and says “Hey! I was just getting ready to sit down and read the Book of Mormon. She let us go in and read with her(: AND she let us set up a time to come back. Turns out she is traditionally Catholic her WHOLE life. When we taught her the restoration she completely understood that we were claiming that Jesus Christ restored the priesthood authority and all of his doctrine to one church- and that church was the church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints. The best part…when we invited her to be baptized and confirmed by this authority, she didn't kick us out. (: She said, ”you understand I have been Catholic my whole life and that would be a really big deal for me right”? We testified to her we knew that it was worth it. She still didn't kick us out, but instead asked, “okay well how can I know it is true”? We invited her to read the Book of Mormon and to come to church. She declined the church and said no way was she missing her church Sunday. Yesterday we showed up for a lesson, but she was all dressed to go to church. We had not clearly explained that we only had services on Sundays. oops. We told her they were only on Sundays and she said, well I can't go then. We taught her the plan of salvation. She was interested and really wanted to know if it was true. I invited her to come to this church until she got her answer from God.-for as long as it took. It was a bold invitation and when it actually came out of my mouth I felt a power bigger than me hold me up and assuring me that what I was asking her to do was right. She said, “okay, I will see what I can do”. And she came up with a plan to try and get there. I am convinced that invitations given with love to act are the best way to do the Lord’s work. And the best part of it-I know who I am so it isn't hard to do it.
Our friends are eating the restored gospel of Jesus Christ up. AND they are reading the Book of Mormon. (: Brother Mackey came to a baptismal service this Saturday and passed out the programs for it. After the baptismal service he looks at me, grabs his dreads, and says, "these are gonna be a mess". But he never once had the thought of- I won't do it. I love this man’s desire to serve God! When the Lord asks him to jump- or we ask him to jump- he asks- how high? And he jumps even higher than that every time. We taught him about fasting this week and he says, “I think I am going to fast from my video games on Sunday”. He did. Such a good man. We had a few bumps in the roads with the baptisms coming up, but the Lord is working all of it out I just know it(: Hopefully we will see a few in the next 6 weeks!
Something that has been on my mind this week is doing the Lord’s will. And doing it with a cheerful heart. For those of you that don't know, after talking with the doctor me and good President Salisbury made the decision it was best for me to go home in June rather than July to help me get the bar in my chest out sooner. It has been causing much pain and discomfort and the sooner, the better. With the change of my departure date I was so worried that I wasn't going to stay out for my entire time. It is a 6-week difference but I was so nervous we looked over something or I didn't have enough faith to be healed or something had to be wrong. I was afraid it was going to ruin my life! (dramatic, right? but I promise you it was really how I felt) The words that sweet Sister Adams said to me, my trainer, Sister Wevers, President Salisbury, my mom, everyone else, and God especially spoke to me comforted me. My testimony grew in other’s ability to say the right thing. I got a blessing from a very nice man in our ward. As I was bawling. He just gently spoke to me. A few things he said to me struck me to the core. I will try to do the chat my comp and I had and a line of my blessing justice: -God's perception of time is so very different than ours- Where you spend those weeks DO NOT MATTER- he knows where he wants you and if you let him, you can be right where he needs ya. How you spend those weeks does matter. Sister Campbell, the only personal thing you can give to God is your will. HE wants your heart all. of. it. ALL OF IT!. I learned an important lesson that day- missions ARE NOT where we start our service to the Lord or end it. -it is one calling in a sea of many….and it just so happened the Lord needed me for 17 months in this beautiful land of broccoli forests (that is what it looks like here right now) and people I will forever be changed by (: The scripture I picked for my mission plaque has come back to me a few times this week:
You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
I know that this is what God is asking me to do.
-That being said. I am ready to soak up these next 6 weeks and make the most of them(: Please pray for us that the road bumps leading to the baptisms we have planned will smooth out- the Lord willing (:
I LOVE MY CALLING(:
And I love y'all!
Sister Justina Campbell
West Virginia Charleston Mission
Beautiful land of broccoli forests.
A bird pooped on my hand.
My Ward mission leader is a retired NFL player for the ravens. He is so sweet! I really like him and he helps with the work. Bless his heart. I love members that do missionary work (:
We volunteered at the sellar (vendor) event downtown. We both wore polka dots and our new friend (she asked US for a Book of Mormon) asked us if polka dots was our uniform...oops.