Oh man, I don’t even know where to start with this week!! We had a Zone Training which really set the tone for our week. I got to train on the importance of daily Personal and Companionship Study, which was good because I struggle getting the full study time in. So studying for my training really motivated me a lot. The Zone Leaders trained on “Setting Goals and Making Plans” and “Gratitude,” and I just loved it. One of the elders asked us to think about how we can be better goal achievers. And the other zone leader asked us to text in what we are most grateful each day and that they would send out voice mails each week to the whole zone of what we’ve all sent in.
We are still struggling to find people to teach. Its been really hard to stay positive. Sometimes I think about how long I’ve been here without the success I intended on. Which note, not good to do. With one of the zone leaders asking us to text in what we are grateful for each night, Sister Montero and I have grown so much. All day we just go back and forth listing things we are grateful for. We’ve made it kind of like a game and try to think of the most creative thing we could be grateful for, followed by something that really helped us feel God’s love.
Even though we haven’t had lessons with progressing investigators, we have had much success in other ways, and counting our blessings has kept me motivated and helped me to have a stronger desire to fulfill my purpose as a missionary. Really, sometimes the things that happen bring us to our knees in tears just pleading to know where we need to be to find the person who is ready to hear the gospel after struggling to help the people we are teaching, keep commitments.
But miracles are happening everyday. Like I’ve mentioned previously, we have AMAZING relationships with the leaders and members of the church in this area. We work so closely with them and they are so supportive. All of us are making plans together and are doing what we can to keep our flame of faith burning. This morning we got two messages from people at church about great things for our plans this week. Things may get hard, but the Lord is still here with us! And he always will be.
As a mission we are reading in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and studying what the Savior taught while he was here in America has built me up with so much Christlike love. I can’t even explain it, I am just happy and feel the spirit with me always as we do all we can to love others. On exchanges with Sister Duel, after we studied and talked together, I just had this strong love for all these sisters and faith in all we do together. I love getting to serve with all of them!
While I was serving in the Missionary Training Center, we sang the song “Because I Have Been Given Much” while we were in church. As I sang the lyrics:
Because I have been given much, I too must give…
Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care, I cannot see another’s lack and I not share.
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread, My roof’s safe shelter overhead, That he too may be comforted.
At that time in the MTC, I knew at that moment what my purpose as a missionary meant. The gospel shelters us, feeds us, and fills in where we lack. It makes us glow with love and God’s spirit, keeps us safe always as we obey, and comforts us at every moment. This is still how I feel about the gospel. I have been immensely blessed to have Christ’s gospel in my life, and now to be serving a mission. It makes me emotional just thinking about how good it feels to have the Holy Spirit with me at all times. All I want as a missionary is to invite others to follow Christ and feel that same constant love as they make covenants (promises) with God. While things have been hard, I have never wanted someone so badly to be baptized because I know how much the gospel blesses us.
So we’ve been trying even harder to just smile and invite everyone. Its funny because normally I don’t focus super well, but right now on my mission I don’t want to think about anything else besides missionary work. Here are some examples of this week that made us laugh:
One of our investigators canceled on us 3 times to come have a tour of the church with us and another lady from church. It was devastating. We decided to stop by Jamba Juice on the way to the Visitors’ Center for lunch. While we were driving we set more goals and made more plans on how we want to help everyone. When we got to the drive through window, it happened to be a kid who recently got back from his mission, so we decided to start talking to him about having a personal mission plan on what he can continue to do to share the gospel. Here’s my favorite one.. so I serve online on Mormon.org taking chats and answering phone calls. Our overall goal is to send the local missionaries to the person we are conversing with. I’ve increased my attention on online teaching over the past month and am still inviting with not many accepting. One morning a man called. After saying hello from Mormon.org and introducing myself, he said “What? Mormon.org… I was trying to call Direct TV!” I laughed with him and he started to ask me what we do at Mormon.org. I shared with him what we do an invited him to have local missionaries come and to continue to share more with him. He said, “Well, I love learning more about Jesus, so sure.” WHAT THE HECK? Things like this normally don’t happen. haha. We were probably only on the phone for 3 minutes. But I testified of what the missionaries will teach him is true and invited him to have an open heart and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And to be open with God in his prayers to know.
I know that God is always looking out for us. Sometimes things get tough, but as we strengthen our testimony of the Savior, we will always have a heart full of love and like the people Jesus visited in the book of 3 Nephi, we will want Jesus “to tarry a little longer with [us]. No matter how challenging things get, I am always happy and I know that every moment is worth it because there are people out there ready to hear the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.