Monday, February 17, 2014

I love being a missionary AGAIN THIS WEEK!

Here is an excerpt from my letter to the  Mission President:

So this week was a bit of a struggle for me. I highly doubt that any one has had quite the mission experience I have had. I came in here to Kerman and there have been tons of prepared people. I have had the privilege to baptize 8 or 9 people in my first 2 and a half transfers. We have been busy busy busy. Suddenly, after we baptized Jimmy, I felt a "Well now what?" kind of feeling. Well now we go out and tract, that's what! Well we did... and we had about two days of absolutely nothing. Just no prepared people. And I got pretty down on that one night. It was really frustrating. Not only were we not finding new people, but people like Doralicia and Cecilia who I was really excited about were suddenly backing off... not only were we not moving forwards, we were moving backwards! By Friday, we had one new investigator with a goal of 5 for that week. I was pretty bummed. But, I just prayed and asked Heavenly Father to give me faith and be excited to work. Saturday we found 3 new investigators, all of them with a lot of potential. It was a miracle. That night I was much happier, but still sad because we haven't generally found new people to teach on Sundays, so I wasn't really counting on it, especially because we were helping out at a baptism after church. We weren't going to have much time at all to find anyone. Well that last night we went over to a part member family's house. Just the wife is a member, their newly married without any kids. He's a firefighter and not home much. She had been wanting us to come over and ease him into discussions, he'd had bad experiences with elders before, or at least not what he needed, and she thought maybe as sisters we could have the right approach. So we've visited her many times and he's always been at work. Well last night we went, he was home! My dad is also a firefighter, so we were able to have a more personal conversation because I grew up hearing about and living around the same unique lifestyle, it was great! We had a great conversation about what she learned in church that day, and we committed them to both pray individually and as a couple every night! I suggested that they do as my family does when my dad was at work during his 24 hour shifts. We always called him so that even though he wasn't home, our family could be united in family prayer every night. We challenged them to do the same thing, to always pray together, whether they're both at home, or he's at the station over night. They agreed to try, which wasn't a for sure yes, but definitely a step in the right direction! We're going over for dinner in about a week to follow up with them! AND HE WAS THE LAST INVESTIGATOR TO FILL OUR GOAL.

I know that if you live worthily and leave everything out on the field, God will help you to fulfill his goals. We try really hard to listen to the Spirit during our weekly planning, and we pray for each of our key indicators specifically. I know that that works. Even though we worked hard all week, God was just testing our faith and diligence by showing us 80% of our new investigators the last two days of the week. I believe in miracles!

That's actually the second family I talked to about praying on the phone! Because Claudia works nights and will never be home for prayers, so we told them about it too! And yeah, as I was writing that it really hit me... you really taught us how important family prayer is! And I've been able to share the experience with my District Leader who said he'd never thought of that, so it will be able to spread!

My patriarchal blessing says that I have been prepared for a life of service, and I'm just realizing now what that means. Little things like piano lessons are a big deal here. I play for everything. And our experiences as a busy family doing our best to pray, read, and go to church have really helped. There are so many things.... and yeah. It's been great. I really feel like I'm making a difference here. I'm able to connect specially with a lot of people. Especially kids! Every time I go to Lupe's, all the girls grab on to me and hold me, and I have to literally pull them off in order to get into the car. Every time. Which is like twice a week for a month. Haha. Lupe was really sweet this past Sunday. We were in Relief society, talking about families. She just offered a comment and said how grateful she was for the gospel in her life, how much it has changed her family, how she doesn't yell anymore at her kids and how grateful she was for the missionaries... she was crying and everything. I started to tear up too. She is part of my family, and it just makes me so happy. I wish you could see these people and the changes they go through.

It is amazing. And I am changing so much! We have a new elder in our district. He's so awesome, but when he talks he's so new. He refers to so many things of his old life and it just helps me to see how much I have changed since I have been here. I still have a realllllly long way to go, but it's really great to see the progress! We as missionaries are sooooo underqualified for pretty much every thing we do, but somehow it all works out and the Church grows! Like my sister training leader.... she has an investigator that calls THEM when she's close to committing suicide, and THEY try to talk her down in order to get help. Sister Organista and I are pretty much teaching the fatherless.... it's crazy.

I am so grateful for everything you and Dad have done for me. I have seen horrifying lifestyles, and I don't deserve the life I have/had.

I feel like being a missionary is preparing me to be a mom on so many levels.... like, knowing how many blessings are waiting for my investigators if they will just trust me and do what I say and read and pray and go to church.... and then they don't do it and I get frustrated because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH AND THEY ARENT LISTENING...... and yeah. I think it's going to help. Or at least prepare me for the feeling...

hey we also went to King's Canyon today with the Molloy family! We saw the giant sacoyas!!!!!! SO COOL! I have pictures....but I can't find my chord! So they'll be here next week. So fun!

Also! We're down to once a week physical therapy finally! Super exciting. He said that on a scale of 1-10, our whiplash was in the 6-8 range. Pretty severe. He said he'd seen people in less of a wreck than us with broken necks. We're super lucky. Also I get an interview with President on Thursday! Our once a quarter deal.

Other than that, not much new to report! Jimmy was confirmed and has the Aaronic priesthood now! Our investigators are all preparing to go to the temple to do baptisms, and both Jimmy and Brother Nunez each want to be baptized for their dads. So cool. I love being a missionary!

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