Sunday, October 27, 2013

Three Miracles, Just Serve, all in Wyoming!

The cold weather makes it that much harder to go out and work. Luckily it has been sunny the past few days, and that helps a BUNCH!! I am used to being able to sleep in, watch a movie and drink some nice hot chocolate and sit by a nice smelling fire in bad weather. NOPE, not on a mission and guess what, that's OK, because you get to be a part of MIRACLES!!!! If you don't have much time, read the moral of the week, that's the key part to this letter this week :)  But if you don't read about my days you might not hear about the MIRACLES!

Tuesday: We had dinner with the Relief Society President and her husband, and guess where? The local high school for a fundraiser dinner. They bought our dinner, and it was so fun to be in a high school with lockers, and not a campus-style high school like the ones in California! It was fun to switch up the dinner routine :) We got to help someone move at night and then we shared a message with them, because that's what we love to do. Help people and invite them to do things that will bring them closer to our Savior Jesus Christ, and recognize His hand in their lives!

Wednesday: We got to go to Mutual and help out with the YOUNG WOMEN. I loved it! We got to role play with them inviting someone to church or giving them a Book of Mormon, it was cool! This week they are going to bring a friend and practice teaching them a gospel principle. Missionary work is starting to catch on fire in this ward!

Thursday: Awesome district meeting! I love district meetings and the insight that we can receive. I got to do the recitation on My Missionary Commission by Elder Bruce R. McConkie. It is a great thing to memorize (and we do for our mission). We got to visit one of our investigators again, with the Spanish speaking elders. It was so good to be in her home and to hear Spanish. Yes, I have missed Spanish! I understand it and loved just hearing it and knowing what was going on for the most part. It was such a busy day.  Then we taught two more of our investigators and had great lessons with both of them.

Friday: We got to do service for 4 hours, cleaning someone's house and it was really fun!

Saturday: Three Miracles in ONE day!!! We went to go pick up the sisters here on bike (they were headed to our Just Serve project, so might as well pick them up). On our way to their apartment, we got a call from a teen investigator who comes to church every week but who doesn’t take the missionary discussions due to her parent’s wishes.  I haven’t talked with her since July.  She called to tell us she has permission for us to teach her --- MIRACLE!

At our Just Serve project I saw a non-member that I helped move in months ago, and it was good to see her. She invited us over for dinner this week. Miracle number two!!

That night we went over to celebrate another investigator’s birthday. Well her mom had a present for her daughter to open last... what was it?  Cards: "Announcing A Baptism." THAT'S RIGHT!!!  She is getting baptized!   I started crying, and her mom was like, “This present was more for Sister Smith.”  Thank you!!! haha I loved it! I love the relationships I've been able to build here! I am seriously so excited!  Miracle three.

Sunday: We went to three Sacrament Meetings and it was cool! We got to teach in Primary sharing time for a bit which was super fun!  We were able to teach five lessons that day and that is a huge accomplishment for us.

Monday: P-day!! P-days are so relaxing. I carved a pumpkin; it was fun!

Moral of the week: Weather the storms of life. This can be taken literally. If you are going to a mission that gets cold, or really hot, and you just want to stay inside, I completely understand! I've been there. But when you work, miracles occur, and Heavenly Father lets you be a part of them, and it is the COOLEST THING EVER!! Weather the storms of life, emotionally, spiritually -- you can do this. Some great advice I received from someone very dear to me: "Stay true to who you are without letting other personalities affect you.  Somehow, try to see if you can figure out how to become the eye of the storm where all is peaceful as the hurricane rages around you.  It takes Christ being at the center with you, as you already know.  But when things got so crazy for me, I tried to visualize being that eye of the storm and depending more on Christ to see me through.  Because, in my heart I knew, that if I could pull that off, I'd feel better and so would everyone else.  Unfortunately I wasn't successful at that much of the time, but I was at least some of the time.  And every time I didn't let someone's personality get under my skin, life was so much better all the way around." Second piece of advice from someone I hold dear to my heart: "Missions can be tough at times and they can test and try you but I know that if you keep strong & always have the Spirit with you (sometimes that is hard when you're down or things aren't going your way...and that's when the importance of prayer comes into the picture), you will always come away with something learned or a stronger testimony of something or a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father or...whatever the case may be, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.  So cliche but it's true.  Listening.  Really listening for answers, comfort, love... Listen for answers to prayers.  Listen for an “I love you” from our Father.  You never know how answers will come, a song, a kind word, a scripture, a beautiful Wyoming sunset ;), a hug... but we have to truly listen.  The Savior is our strength and we need to trust Him with all our heart.  Is that an answer?  I think so."

There are so many different personalities on a mission. You talk to people from all walks of life and it is cool! I talk to people I don't EVER think I would talk to at home. There are so many trials that you might never think would happen. Like a loved one passing away, or someone rejecting the gospel (ok that one you might assume will happen) but there are many different aspects, like getting sick, etc. The pain we feel can be emotional, physical, or spiritual -- the key is that we rely on the Savior for strength. I am definitely still working on that, but through time, prayer, study, and faith it will come, I know it! 

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