One of the cool tender mercies of this week has to do with a cat, who absolutely enjoys to eat purses haha. We felt that we needed to visit a returning less active member and with this particular member it's always a shot in the dark on whether or not she will be home. We knocked on her door and immediately the door swung open. She said, "Oh! I'm so glad y'all are here! Heavenly Father always sends you when I'm having a bad day." It was nice to know that we helped her. :) Little did I know that as we were talking and reading one of her favorite talks called, The Atonement Covers All Pain (which is a super great talk by the way!) one of the cats she was cat-sitting was eating/chewing up the leather strap on my bag!! I'll admit I was a little upset on the inside, but then the returning less-active said, "Oh! Hold on, I know just what you need!" and then left to another room. After a little while of waiting she returned with a mint condition antique coach bag for both me and my companion (antique coach bags range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars...).....say whatttt??!! Haha Needless to say we were both very grateful to her!
Yesterday we were in this golden apartment complex (where we found two new investigators, one right after the other) and while we were out and about we saw this lady bringing in her groceries from her car...in the rain. We went up to her and offered our help and when she kindly declined we explained who we are which in response she said, "I appreciate what y'all do but I'm actually happy in the Church I'm at." Which is one of the typical responses we get, but then she surprised us by opening up to us a little bit more. We testified of gospel truths and shared a message of peace. By the end she gave us both a hug and said, "Thank y'all so much, I really needed to hear that." It was such a great moment. :)
The last tender mercy/miracle I want to share is of a less-active/part-member family. When we knocked on their door last night they opened the door kind of surprised but super friendly and immediately invited us into their home. We had a really good visit/spiritual message and by the end they said something that really hit me. The less-active said, "In the two years we've lived in Georgia y'all are the third visit we've had from anyone in the Church". In that moment my heart hurt. It made me wonder about just how many people there are in the Church, active or not, who don't receive the fellowship that they need and then I was reminded by the Spirit more forcefully this time that many of the less-active members are less-active simply because they don't have a friend and or feel alone.
Yesterday after Church, unlike what we usually do, we had to linger a little longer in the building in order to use the wifi. While we were fulfilling missionary responsibilities we overheard part of the testimony meeting of the Ward after us. The second testimony borne was from a less-active member who was coming to Church for the first time in years. She said that about a month ago the Sister Missionaries knocked on her door and she remembered telling them that she did not want any of the "spiritual stuff", but that right now all she needed was a friend. As she continued to share her story and testimony she again said that all of those years all she really needed was a friend. After a month of the missionaries coming over and just simply serving her and being her friend she was reminded of the blessings that come from living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and had a desire to come back to Church. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what testimony you have everyone needs a friend. Sometimes through mortal weakness someone may be forgotten, but Heavenly Father will not and does not forget. I know that we heard her testimony for a reason. Although people are not perfect the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is and although this world will change, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will not. I am so grateful for a firm foundation in these last days. I know my Savior lives and I know that this is His Church.
I pray y'all have a blessed week. Remember y'all are always in my prayers. I love y'all sooooooo much-ooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice
My bed :)