So transfer calls come again...most intense day of a missionary's life. (besides hoping and praying your investigator comes to their own baptism). Although hoping I'd stay in the area for another transfer, I was positive I'd be going out full proselyting to either Great Bend or Hays, Kansas. (two cities in the middle of no where......as far away from the mission home as possible) Even President Van Komen has said "Every missionary struggles in Great Bend". Ha ha thanks President. Sister Juergens and I are sitting and waiting for the voicemail to come to tell us where we are headed. Our phone beeps and we tackle each other in the process of hitting the button to listen to the message. We hold hands like we are waiting to hear who will be crowned the next "Miss Independence..." basically. Elder Clayton, one of the assistants goes through the ENTIRE list of where everyone in the Independence Zone is headed before he finally says "And Sister Love will be going to the jail to be with Sister Card." WHAT?! Number 1. It was a privilege to even serve in the Visitor's Center. Number 2. The visitor's center and the Independence 4th ward have been amazing to me and I have felt spoiled as a missionary. Number 3. I technically should be out serving full pros. all the time since I'm not given the call as a "VC Sister". But the Liberty Jail?! Only amazing and special missionaries serve here and I have never felt so inadequate. I had set myself up to never serve here. I am still in shock that I am in this amazing spiritual site where Joseph Smith became the prophet the Lord needed him to be. The spirit here is incredible. I love explaining the history and taking groups in relaying to them that they are entering a place almost as spiritual as a temple.
I love being in Liberty, Missouri. It's this small town with tons of history. It's a lot different than Independence. From what church records say, Independence, Missouri has one of the highest numbers of members of the church with mental illnesses. Not only is Satan bombarding the people there, he is also getting into the minds of the members in that area. The adversary is so strong and beats on Independence. It's a breath of fresh air to be serving in Liberty. I live in this old house right behind the jail with five other sisters. We all have different personalities and ways of doing missionary work. We laugh all the time and grow together during our spiritual and life discussions. One of my favorite parts of this area is our ward mission leader, Brother Freestone. Brother Freestone is involved in working with the government (FBI) and works undercover = best stories ever. I love hearing how he has busted drug dealers by going in acting as one. He is the most humble and spiritual man and helps us so much in this work.
We are teaching so many people right now and many are coming close to baptism. Ben is very intellectual watched the Joseph Smith movie with us. Afterwards, he said he was touched and almost started crying as he said "I think God is trying to lead me to the truth." Something our mission is focusing on right now is asking heaven sent questions. I experienced this when we were talking about knowing whether the church is true. I felt impressed to ask "How do you think God is going to answer that?" He sat back and said "I don't know. How will he?" We were able to explain to him the still small voice and how he can know. He told us that he doubts his wife will be interested in learning. After that he said, "You know what? If it's true, I don't care. I don't care! God is more important than a 25 year marriage." Wow. He has such a strong testimony. We hope he will receive an answer soon.
We had an amazing experience yesterday where we went to visit a referral given to us by a man that just walked into the jail. Sister Card, my new companion, said they had the referral for a while but that they weren't able to see him. The night before, we received a call from the man who gave the referral, asking what time church was. We realized that we needed to meet this referral. His name is Louis and his family is from Mexico. He is really humble and just wants to learn. We have an appointment with him tonight and we'll invite him to be baptized. I love this work!
My new companion, Sister Card is so smart. She went to Boston University for art and graduated from BYU in psychology and art. We have had several occasions where we've been able to ask people questions that make them think and realize that there may be more to the church than they thought. We met Matthew while trying to visit some potential investigators and he said he doesn't agree with baptisms for the dead. We explained that everyone will have the chance to learn about the gospel in the spirit world. He fought that we made up the spirit world in order to justify baptisms for the dead. Sister Card told him the bible talks about the spirit world. "Oh ya? Where exactly does it talk about it?" Sister Card told him in 1 Peter. Silence for a while........"Well, I haven't really read through 1 Peter, but still." It's nice to be able to teach people who need to have their minds opened. I am so grateful that I am able to serve here and learn so much about the history in this area. It's impossible to come here and not leave with a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the Savior. Love you all!