Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Back to the Fold

January 17

Well, I've got another hymn for you! Feeling very musical lately (let's be honest, more like the past 20 years). This is one of my mom's favorites and one my sisters and I like to sing in only slightly-ridiculous tones of voice. My companion and I are also memorizing it in Japanese this week!

  1. Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
    Dear are the sheep of his fold;
    Dear is the love that he gives them,
    Dearer than silver or gold.
    Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
    Dear are his "other" lost sheep;
    Over the mountains he follows,
    Over the waters so deep.

    Out in the desert they wander,
    Hungry and helpless and cold;
    Off to the rescue he hastens,
    Bringing them back to the fold.
All of us are beloved children of our Heavenly Father. This week, we received a referral from a woman who lives about an hour away. We received her friend's name and address and were asked to contact her as soon as possible. We figured out where she lives on the map and decided to go find her after English class on Saturday night. So at 8pm Saturday, we biked out to where we thought she lived and weaved up and down all the streets but could not come anywhere close to where she lived. Five minutes before we had to head in to be home on time, we found a block we knew was close. Excited, we pedaled up the mountain all the way to #69 (she lives in block #75) and couldn't go any further. Utterly dejected (and cold), we booked it back home, only for Sister Fritchen to experience her first bike wipe out and end up with a pretty gross-looking bruise on her face. So that was Saturday. We maintained hope though and decided Sunday we would go find her. So Sunday came around, we had about an hour, and it was raining (and possibly hailing a little, or maybe it was ice). Anyway, it was cold AND wet. We threw on our coats and rain gear and prayed to know if going to find this woman was the best use of the time we had left. We both felt strongly we needed to go find her, so we headed out. 30 minutes in, we weren't even in the area of Saturday night, and had no idea what to do. This song ran through my head over and over again, and even after we prayed again, we knew we had to go find this lady. So we continued on and found where we'd been before, realizing we just had to go kind of around and up the mountain more. We got to 73 with 5 minutes to go. Pedaling furiously, we sprinted up the mountain and found 74! Then...76. Where in the world was 75??? We couldn't give up now, we were right there! We looked frantically for it, if just to find the right block, and couldn't find it. We've spent two hours trying to find this one house which, to me, sounds like an awful lot of time for one person, especially in the dark and rain. But to the Lord, I know it's nothing. I know this woman is one of His beloved daughters who needs the gospel right now. Tonight, we will find her and whatever happens from that contact, we know it will be guided by the Spirit. We are doing all we can and more to bring others back to the fold of the good shepherd. He loves us more than we comprehend, and when we feel a portion of that love for another, we spare no expense in helping them return. 

Other highlights from the week:
 1. Gave an 82-year-old woman her first hug. In life. Everyone get up and go hug someone right now!
2. Our investigator said "I don't need confidence in myself, I have confidence in my Savior!" I may or may not have cried when he said that. 
3. We've received probably 100 Japanese oranges in the past 3 weeks. It's insane and I love it!
4. Friday, I went on companion exchanges with sister Sanders. We were knocking on doors and after awhile saw a cat in the middle of the street. Normally, I think cats are gross… But this one was pretty cute! We decided to call him Beethoven. We went up to a house, talked to the person, and came back down to the street, and Beethoven was there! Then, we went to another house and talk to the person for probably five minutes. Again, Beethoven was waiting for us. We finished where we had planned to proselyte and decided to pray. We went over by a cement wall that is probably dad's heart. We prayed, and all of a sudden, we hear the tinkling of a collar. We ended the prayer really fast and saw Beethoven on top of the wall, staring at us. It meowed, so we meowed back . He followed us for the rest of the night until we started biking home… guess he can't run as fast as a bike. It was hilarious!

The gospel is true! I love you all and am grateful for you! Have the best week!

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