Man, this week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. It has also been one of the most fulfilling and faith-building. Here's a bit about how it went:
MONDAY: We spent all day ministering to some sisters, which means that P-day was not very relaxing and there were no sports to release my frustration. On top of that we had to go on exchanges starting that night, so we pretty much had no breaks. Not gonna lie, I was not a happy camper. But I kept praying for the strength to make it through the next 5 minutes, and the Lord granted me the grace I needed. No, He did not make my life easier, but He made me equal to the task.
TUESDAY: I was on exchanges all day with Sis. Winberg, who is so wonderful and was a bright ray of sunshine for me. She gave me the perfect opportunity to look outside myself as I talked to her and served her on that exchange. As a result the self-pitying feelings that I had melted away as I immersed myself in her struggles and helped her through them. I now have a testimony that this scripture is true:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
As I have lost myself in service to others, I have found strength, talents, and abilities that had not been there before.
The whole experience took a lot out of me, though, so at the end of the day I totally crashed.
WEDNESDAY: We went and visited a less-active lady who's trying to come back in the morning, and it turns out that she lived in Samoa for a few years and as a result was all into the island life and we reminisced for a while. I don't usually get trunky, but that almost made me trunky. Plus it was like a billion degrees outside and she kept talking about how she was going to clean her pool and then go swimming... But don't worry. I'm all refocused now. Later that day we had a really awesome miracle. Our appointment cancelled, so we went to go check on a referral that we'd gotten earlier that day from Mormon.org. She wasn't home, but her neighbor was sitting on the stairs so we started chatting with him. Turns out that he'd prayed for a "church home" two days ago and then we showed up! I LOVE it when we're obviously in the right place at the right time.
THURSDAY: WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!! It was such a spiritual high. I LOVE going to the temple as a missionary. You get to go with all your friends!
Later that evening we had kind of a spiritual low. We went to meet Dustin, this guy who had texted us and said that he'd met with missionaries before, given them a list of questions to answer, and then they'd never gotten back to him. We thought this could go one of two ways: he could be the greatest miracle in the history of missionary work or he could be crazy. Unfortunately it was the latter. He legitimately had questions and said that if they were answered he'd get baptized immediately, but he wouldn't listen when we tried to answer them. What was worse was that the Spirit was not there at all, so there was no point in us being there or trying to reason with him because without the Spirit we could not teach. Fortunately we scheduled him for the last hour of the day, so we didn't get stuck there for hours. It was interesting to see how when the work is progressing (and it has been a lot in this area) Satan's opposition also increases. But overall it was a good day, because the power of God always trumps the power of Satan.
FRIDAY: More exchanges! (see why I'm so tired?). I was with Sis. Odom this time, who's an awesome sister even though she's only been out about 6 months. I think I learned more from her that she did from me. We went to see Comesha and Elijah and Sis. Adair told me they needed to be taught the Plan of Salvation. Well when we got there Comesha said that she'd been taught that recently. Luckily when you have the Spirit it's very easy to improvise, so we ended up reading the first story in the children's Book of Mormon by switching from that to the regular Book of Mormon so Elijah could get more exposure to the B of M but still understand it. It ended up being really great!
SATURDAY: We had a lesson with Angie about the Doctrine of Christ and it was AWESOME! She's still so prepared. She's been having some health challenges unfortunately but she's really excited and ready to get baptized. AND SHE'D READ!!! It was a miracle :).
SUNDAY: We had a fairly good day at church. Comesha, Elijah, Angie, and Myrianna all said that they'd come to church but bailed at the last minute. Darn 8 o'clock monster. We still had Josie there, though, as well as some less-actives so it was happy. The Gospel Principles lesson was on charity, and it made me take a good look at my motives. Why am I doing this? I love to serve the Lord, but I also love worldly recognition (who doesn't right?). Which is the more dominant motivation at a given time? It's something that I have to check a lot, but I think most of the time charity wins. That afternoon we went to visit Landon, who at first had been like, "no I'm not going to read the Book of Mormon". BUT when we taught him this time he said, "I should really be reading the Book of Mormon." WHAT?!?!?! Miracle! The Lord softens hearts!!!!! This man has so much potential! I'm really excited for him.
Well that was my week. Hope you liked it. I sure did, and I'm excited for the additional challenges that this week will bring (I think it's supposed to be hotter).
LOVE YOU ALL!!
1. the Quail Creek Zone
2. Village crew! (us plus the elders)
3. Gettin' all artsy! I should be a photographer
PS: the inspiration for the title is this talk