Guess what? I forgot to tell you that I have been out over 2 months now. Crazy huh? Time is flying by a bit. Well, the days are long but the weeks are short. Like, I can't believe that it is Monday again already. So weird! But it's been a learning week that is for sure. It was interesting. This was one of our busiest weeks but we didn't see a lot of progress or success. We had a tons of meetings this week. Missionary Coordination, District meeting, 2nd Training meeting, Breakfast at President Crane(Stake President), Women Broadcast, all sorts of meetings this week. But we were certainly taught what we needed to this week. We are lacking faith. We may have faith in theory but do we have faith to move to action and make miracles happen.
We have been struggling with the F family. Brother F has not been progressing in the past 2 or 3 weeks because they have been so busy with flood repairs. So we had been praying to know what to do to help him progress to baptism. It also gets discouraging when you have people telling you that what you should be doing to help him, but you have tried everything that you possibly could and those people don't understand that. I was feeling really discouraged and this week I started doubting my ability as a missionary. I realized more weaknesses this week than I have so far while being out here. I have a lot of improving to do. But usually I realize the improvements I need to make, learn from them, and move forward. But I have been letting them get me down this week. Which I need to snap out of. A big part of it has been measuring my success off of the wrong things I think. We can't be measuring our success based on others. There is a quote from Preach my Gospel that says, "Avoid comparing yourself to other missionaries and measuring the outward results of your efforts against theirs." I didn't realize that I had been comparing myself to other missionaries but I have been. There are ways that I am going to be touching the lives of others that others could not. I need to realize not to measure just what is being seen on the outside, the numbers. I also realized I have, without meaning to, been focusing more on reaching goals of numbers or "doing missionary work" then I have been on loving as the Savior would and doing as the Savior would. I am trying to find the balance of setting my vision to baptism and strive to go about it the way the Savior would. It is a tricky balance. I am still working on it.
Oh wow, I just got on a tangent. Back to Brother F. So we had kind of been lacking faith with him and didn't think that he would be progressing for a while or that he would be at church. But yesterday we were sitting at church and during the opening hymn, he walked in with 3 of his family members! I elbowed Sister M really hard by accident because I was so surprised. The Lord reminded us of some important lessons. He IS in charge. If we do our part, he will do the rest. Also, we need to never lose faith and don't give up on people no matter how impossible it is becoming. The lessons were all exactly what he needed, but he forgot his hearing aids...so I don't know how much he heard...but I am sure he felt the spirit that day. haha.
Oh random story of a tender mercy. After my e-mail was sent last week, our amazing day did not get over. The Sunday night before we had been visiting some less-actives in the country and their neighbors were having a campfire. Sister M and I started talking about how we missed campfires and how much we loved them. Then the next night, Monday night, we went over to a member's house for dinner and when we got there, she said, "We are having a campfire dinner tonight!" Haha, so we got to roast hot dogs and marshmellows in skirts around a campfire! Best tender mercy ever! We told them how we had just been wishing we could have a campfire the day before. It really showed us how much our Heavenly Father loves us and is aware of us. Little things.
Also, this week, there were some neat lessons we have been able to be a part of. We have a less-active, who hasn't been to church in forever. So we met her at the church. She is a visual learner, we have been realizing, so we had two object lessons for her about the importance of the Sacrament and how it can help her have the Holy Ghost more fully in her life. Then we took her into the chapel and invited her to pray for the strength to come to church this week. The spirit was very strong.
Ok, two more stories. One, we were able to eat dinner this week with a non-member, Mary, who I have talked a little about. We tracted into her and she had us change the heater filter. Anyway, her grandson, 14, visited her this week and she wanted him to meet us, her angels(as she calls us). She is the sweetest. We ate with her, talked to her grandson about his missionary work and his life, she joined in and asked questions sometimes, then we taught her a lesson on Faith, relating it to gardening, since she loves gardening. She still says she isn't interested in learning more about our church but she loves us coming and teaching her. Haha. She is confusing. But we love her and will keep visiting and slowly see her heart softening. I am including a picture of Mary, and also of Grandma Ruby! Haha. This is a soft sculpture of an old granny that someone made for Mary and she puts it in random place to scare people. She used to drive around with it buckled in the front seat of her car!
Second story, I have a dog story finally. Not as bad as it could be though, because we were in our car, but let me tell you, it scared me!! So we were out in the country, of course, and people just let their dogs run wild basically so it can be a little iffy to tract out there. But we were visiting a less-active and she had a really long dirt walkway but we said, why not, let's drive up it and see if she is home. We didn't realize how many dogs were up that drive way though. So our car starts driving and as we get to the house, 5 huge dogs run at the car. But they don't just bark at the car, they JUMP at the car. The dogs are thudding on the car and barking and...we decided that if we wanted to stay in one piece we were not going to get out of the car. We thought someone would come out and call the dogs away but...nope! So we had to somehow turn the car around in the tiny dirt space, without hitting the dogs thudding at our car. So we will not be going back there. We'll send the Elders over or something...ha.
We got to teach the Sunday school lesson this week. I was able to teach the Atonement. My favorite topic. There was a wonderful quote by Henry B. Eyring, "The Atonement will comfort us when we must wait in distress for the Savior’s promised relief that He knows, from experience, how to heal and help us. … And faith in that power will give us patience as we pray and work and wait for help. He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience.”14
The atonement truly helps us through all trials and afflictions. Our Savior chose to experience everything that we would so that he could empathize with us. He knows how to best help us. We just need to give our burdens to Him and he will help us. I love our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am so blessed to have this opportunity to come closer to him as I represent him for 18 months of my life. I love you all so much!! Thanks for all your support and your e-mails!!
|This is a member's house. Beauty & the Beast!|
|Mary and Grandma Ruby!|
|Fort Collins Temple is starting!! So exciting!!|
|Fort Collins Temple site!|