Its been a very winter filled week! Lots of snow, rain, and slush!
Well I got pulled over for the first time in my life. We were driving home from the Visitors’ Center one night and a cop started flashing his lights. My first thought was that I am going exactly the speed limit (because, Tiwi, our little box in our car that monitors our driving hadn’t notified me of anything) and got worried of what I was doing wrong. Apparently I was driving with my car headlights on.. oops! haha
This week I went on exchanges with Sister Albances and had a great experience. Both of us are towards the end of our missions, but she goes home much sooner than me (only 2 more weeks). We talked a lot about what we wanted to have accomplished by the end of our missions. Even if she only has 2 weeks, there is always something to improve on. And that is because it is never too late to change. Don’t delay change 😉 but its never too late to improve, learn, and grow.
Through out our exchange I made the goal of 3 things in particular I want to have accomplished by the end of my mission. And I have every ounce of faith that I will change and learn from these things.
#1 Go to bed on time (and we are already improving!)
#2 Talk with Everyone
#3 Use the guest (referral) cards in the Visitors’ Center
For some reason, I struggle with going to bed on time. Don’t know why. It seems like no matter what changes we make, we improve for a few days, but then fall back into habits. But my commitment has changed, and I am going to get better at it.
Talking with everyone makes me nervous sometimes! Once I am in the conversation, I go all out and share the gospel with them. Its just the initial getting them engaged in conversation that is hard. In the Visitors’ Center its SO easy to talk to everyone and I love it. But its going up to someone else and saying more than “Hi, how are you?” that is tricky. So while I was with Sister Albances we prayed that we would have opportunities to practice talking to everyone, and I am glad we did! After I talked to people, I quickly realized that it is something I love to do and have enjoyed my whole mission, but I just need to not fear and do it. We talked to a man outside who wasn’t too interested but willing to have conversation. Every time you talk to someone, there is something that they say that will highlight and aspect of the gospel. In our conversation as I listened to him, I felt prompted to talk to him about prayer, so I did! And although he isn’t interested in us coming back, I felt like I was able to help him and fulfill my purpose as a missionary as I invited him to pray. We normally work through referrals rather than knocking on random doors, but we decided to knock a few doors for the experience. One of the people we met was really cool and said she hadn’t been to church since she was a kid. She said she didn’t really remember anything about our religion and invited us to come back to teach her and her fiance. She even said she’d consider coming to church on Sunday. Overall, I know that as we ask God for opportunities to help us grow, he will give them to us 🙂
Now using the guest cards in the Visitors’ Center! We have cards that people can fill out to refer their friends to missionaries, for themselves if they are interested in learning more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or to write down personal impressions for themselves to take home. Although I am out of the habit of introducing the guest cards when we give someone a tour, and never really feel like I use them effectively when I do, I changed my mindset! Last night I decided to use them when I was introducing a video, and even though no one filled one out, it was a great way to talk about being able to receive personal revelation and impressions in the Visitors Center which the guests responded really well too.
All my goals are a work in progress, but I am excited to achieve them and have memorable experiences along the way. And I am super lucky to have Sister Towne to help me out! We discussed a lot this week on what our personal goals were and how we can help each other achieve those. Sister Towne is awesome. We’ve gotten along since day one, but no that we have been serving with each other for a while, we are really becoming super close friends.
This week we made a lot of plans with the church members on how we can teach people how to use the Idaho Falls Temple Open House and sharing the gospel through social media as missionary opportunities. We were asked to train in 3 different wards next Sunday, teach all the youth in February for a stake mutual activity, and speak in several sacrament meetings next month. I am seeing a lot of success and growth where I am serving. And I don’t know if I will be transferred to a new area before a lot of this happens, but I am SO grateful that the members want the missionaries to teach and train, whether it be by us or the next missionaries!
I am amazed at how great the people are here. We called the Stake President on Saturday, asking what he thought about us and the elders teaching the youth how to use social media to share the gospel as a stake mutual activity (activity with all the LDS youth in a certain area), rather trying to talk to all the classes individually, and he was so excited and told us he would get back to us soon. The very next morning we were in some church meetings and the youth leaders were already talking about it. We were so grateful for how fast he responded and set up this event. In the mean time, we wanted to practice with a smaller group. On Sunday, we were talking to a girls youth class about the Temple Open House and we found out the teacher for one of the following class was sick. The youth president invited us to come talk to a small group in replacement of the lesson since the other leader was out sick. It was perfect and we were able to use that time to teach two of the young women about using social media. It was a wonderful experience! One girl reached out to one of her friends who was struggling through media and was in tears and smiling by the end of the lesson.
I know that God wants us to follow His son, Jesus Christ, and be kind to those around us. There are so many negative things that are used for social media now a days, but I believe that it can be used for just as much, and if not, more. God knows His children, He knows who needs to be uplifted. And as we reach out personally to our friends to help them feel of God’s love, we will grow closer to Him and our friends.
SO grateful to be on a mission!