Wednesday, January 7, 2015
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
This week has been another incredible week!!! Every single day is so different and teaches me new things, yet they all kind of blend together...I think that's why a mission goes by so fast! I can't believe it's already 2015. I am so excited for this new year and all that will happen. Looking back on 2014 and seeing where I was last January compared to now is a BIG difference.
I invite all of you to make a vision about where you want to see yourself at the end of 2015 and then all of the little goals and plans/resolutions can come from your main vision. We need to be able to see the whole perspective in order to motivate us in our daily progression.
There were so many experiences that I want to share with your from this last week....one of the coolest things we've done so far happened last Monday after emailing. We went out to a member's house that lives a long way from town in the jungle. They are incredibly poor in a worldly sense, have 11 children, and have scripture study for an hour every single night. They are amazing!!!!!! We went on a hike with a few of the kids, saw some snakes/monkeys, lots of green, and got bitten by a lot of mosquitos. It was so cool to see these 7 and 9 year old boys with a machete leading us through the jungle, fishing, and just being stud muffins!
Many of the kids aren't formally educated here, but they have a different kind of education that is just as valuable. Their families are their best friends, they love the Lord, and they know how to survive. One thing I want to do better this year is show my love/pray for my family. Whether you're far away from them or living in the same house, we can all do better at showing our gratitude and love for our siblings, parents, and children. I am so grateful that the people here are teaching me what truly matters and brings us joy in life and throughout eternity. I love these people so much!!!!
Another miracle happened at church yesterday. As a district (all 4 elders) we have been praying and pondering about what first steps are necessary to help the branch start to grow and strengthen. Many of the members are less active and most have no transportation. There are many obstacles, but we thought that we could start by trying to get hometeaching started along with getting people callings.
We fasted for many things yesterday, and during Sunday school, one of the members bore her testimony and taught about how we need to fulfill our callings as members. No calling is too big or too small-we are all needed to further the Lord's work. This was exactly what we had been praying for and wanting to share with the branch. I am so grateful for this sister being in tune with the Spirit. As missionaries, we are loved, but anything coming from a member is much, much more powerful. To have her share her testimony and feelings was so moving and inspiring!
I realized that my calling as a missionary is no greater or less than any other person's calling in the church. I am where the Lord wants me to be right now, and I will not become doubtful, lazy, or frustrated. Heavenly Father gives us callings to help others, but they also bless our own lives. I am so humbled and grateful to be a missionary and representative of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Another cool experience came when we were teaching an investigator. Elder C and I have been working on teaching with better unity so that we can teach more powerfully with the Spirit. We had planned to teach the Law of Chastity and build on the Word of Wisdom but when we got to the lesson, we both felt the need to focus more on how the gospel can bless his family and help him be a better parent. Elder C and I both had the same feelings and didn't even stumble. It was incredible to feel as if we were truly teaching towards a need. Our investigator shared some stories with us, and it was a wonderful, spiritual experience where we all learned a lot. I am so grateful to be companions with Elder C, and I am grateful for the Holy Ghost. The good moments as a missionary are indescribable and just make it all worth it!!!
I've really been trying to strive for continuous revelation and the Spirit, almost to the point of silliness! I realized this week in D and C 58:26-29 that the Lord doesn't expect us and won't compel us in absolutely every single little thing we do.
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.
29 But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.
I know that as we do all that we can to have the Holy Ghost with us, Heavenly Father will trust us more and more and give us feelings of confirmation after we make a decision. I am so humbled to be learning these things as a missionary, and I am so grateful for the Atonement. I often feel like I'm making a million mistakes, but I know that Christ helps me through everything. It gives me peace to know that someone knows exactly how I feel in every situation I'm put in.
Lastly, I would just invite you all to show more excitement about the gospel. Smiling, energy, happiness....they're all contagious and will help others have a desire to come to church, read their scriptures, and come closer to Christ. This is an exciting message that we have to share, so let's be excited about it!
I am so grateful for all of you and all that you have done for me. I feel your love and your prayers, and I wouldn't be here without all of you. This week, Brother H is scheduled to be baptised, so pray extra hard for him. I love you all!!