Monday, December 1, 2014

Wrong Door...Right Door

Hello Everyone - 

Sister Rossi and I had another wonderful week.  Here's why...

Haksong is getting baptized on December 13th. He is the nephew of Sister Muir, a lady in our ward. We were originally teaching him, then the Elders taught him, and then we ended up teaching him...again. We are really excited. As stated before, the Oakton Ward is so amazing at fellowshipping new members; I know that Haksong will be well taken care of. 

Thanksgiving was a memorable experience. One I will never forget because of the love we felt from friends I know I will have forever. Sister Rossi and I were invited to Thanksgiving dinner by the Hudners. They are empty nesters. They remind me so much of my grandparents. Sister Hudner is a member but her husband, Dennis Hudner, is not. About a month ago, Sister Rossi and I had dinner at their home and he personally invited us over for Thanksgiving with their family. We were thrilled. We did not realize how big of a deal this was until we shared the news at our weekly meeting we have with the bishop and the other auxiliary leaders in the ward. Bishop Burton's jaw dropped when he heard that Dennis Hudner loved us enough to invite us to Thanksgiving dinner. Apparently he has never formed any good relationships with church members. He is always friendly but never reached out to any ward member in the past 20 something years they have been in the area. And all it took was me talking New York City and films (Woody Allen can definitely turn into a gospel discussion...right?) and Sister Rossi exhibiting her fantastic sarcastic wit...who knew? 

This was such a big deal that Bishop Burton sent in a request to our mission president, President Riggs, that neither of us get transferred before Thanksgiving. Bishop Burton's wish was granted! On Thanksgiving, we went to the Hudners and enjoyed a delicious dinner with them and a few of their friends. It was a little odd at first. There we were, two 19 year-old sister missionaries with a gathering of some 60+ year-olds. But thanks to our "gift of gab" (shout-out to our moms) we started chatting with their friends, and the scene became more comfortable and everyone warmed up to us. We were enriched with good food and a lot of wisdom, that is for sure! My grandfather (Poppa) always said, "It's a shame that young people don't have the wisdom that the older generation has." So true! At the end, Dennis invited us to come over any time. He said that after our missions, we better come back and visit. Such a memory. I have grown to love the Hudners. They will be my friends forever.  

And this week we had a MIRACLE HAPPEN!!!  Sister Rossi followed a prompting. This is really HER story. Sister Rossi always explains things better anyway :) 

"A few months ago, Sister Kelly and her last companion met a member, Alex McClain, on the street and he told them he would love to have the missionaries over as his wife and son are not members of our church. For the past month, Sister Kelly and I have stopped by his home many times, trying to contact him. We never received a reply. We just figured he wasn't interested. However, a few weeks ago, we went back to the house and saw him in the parking lot and he invited us to come over Tuesday.  

We showed up Tuesday, and he didn't answer the door. We figured Brother McClain was just being nice but didn't want to really meet with us. Then this week we decided to go back again. When we arrived at the door, the lights were off in the house. We decided to turn around and leave. As we did, I saw that the neighbor's lights were on. I had the thought that we should meet the neighbors but was going to ignore it. We had other people to go visit, I really didn't want to bother him, and it was late. 

Then I remembered...a few days before I had been studying "Recognizing the Spirit" in the "Preach My Gospel" manuel that we, as missionaries study daily.  In the "Recognizing the Spirit" section, it discusses how in order to know if it is a prompting or not...we need to act. It adds, that as disciples of Christ we need to be willing to get out of our comfort zone to follow promptings. I boldly told Sister Kelly that we needed to go back and knock on the door. 

We knocked and someone shouted,  "Who is it?" We said, "The missionaries," and I for sure thought we were going to be ignored after that. But then a woman came and opened the door and quickly ushered us in. She told us to come in and sit down. We were so confused! Never had I been invited into a home at a "door approach." She acted like she was waiting for us. When we got into the family room, it all made sense. Who was on the couch? None other than Alex McClain.  

In short, we had been knocking on the wrong door FOR THE PAST THREE MONTHS.  Brother McClain told us that they had been waiting for us since last Tuesday and just thought he got the wrong time. We ended up chatting with them for quite some time. They fed us and even offered to take us into D.C. sometime. His wife said that she has always wanted to see the Christmas temple lights and wants to go with us! Brother McClain also shared that he wants to take his 9 year-old son to our church because it has been over 15 years since he, himself, has gone. His son had never been. It was such a testimony builder to me that Heavenly Father is taking such great care of this work and His children. And especially, that Heavenly Father's unconditional loving spirit guides His missionaries. Sister Kelly and I love this work. "


Sister Kiersten Rossi

Family and friends, what a remarkable story. I am so grateful I was a part of it. What a week!

And as always, I love you all! 

Sister Elizabeth Kelly 

The Hudners

Haksong's Korean friend who we were teaching. He went back to Korea.
Note his outstretched arm...he is a pro at the "selfies."

The snow never bothered us anyway....#Frozen

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