God is a God of Miracles! Hurrah for Israel!!! :)
Wow, what an incredible week! I don't think I have ever had so much success and results from working hard and setting goals than I have this week. Last night, Sister Hunt and I reviewed over our week, and we were PUMPED. So stoked and happy and we felt accomplished. God has helped us and strengthened us SO much this week, and I can honestly say that I have felt Him bear me up and keep me going every day this week. I have been struggling with some aspects of missionary work lately, and so it has been wonderful to see how God has made up for my weaknesses and has given me success as I earnestly strive to achieve and look for it!
Wow, where do I begin???
First things first! The best ones will take the longest, so this might not be as long of an email. I'll try to stay focused haha. I can't possibly write them all, but here are a few experiences from this week!
We found 3 new investigators this week. That's more than I have ever received in a week, I think throughout my whole mission! We set a baptismal date with Megan!:) We helped two or three more investigators progress, and we had one come to sacrament meeting! Very rewarding week.
We had a lesson with the Dukes, the couple working towards the temple, and it was awesome! We went over President Monson's conference talk, Choices, and then finished the Restoration. The Spirit was so strong, and it confirmed to me ever so strongly that the Restoration really did happen, Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration, the priesthood is restored, and this is the true Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth today.
We met a couple, Enrique and Grisa, who moved here from Puerto Rico. Enrique speaks fluent English and Spanish, but Grisa speaks mainly Spanish. They were a referral from a man in Sister Hunt's last area in Sahuarita. We met with them, and they are AWESOME! It sounds like Enrique has had many positive experiences with Mormons throughout his life, and he recognizes that we have a glow about us. He mentioned how impressed he was with the missionaries that go out into the field and come back fluent in another language. He said he was told a little bit about the "language school" we go to before we go on our missions, and found that fascinating, haha. He wondered about it, and we told him that we learn by the Spirit with all things, no matter what kind of knowledge, and so when we are going out to do the Lord's work, he gives us the extra help of the Spirit to help us learn the language. Kinda cool, they thought that was interesting!
They both loved how the church has a big focus on families. They love the values we have, and love that we actually live our religion! It's funny, that's not the first time I have heard that from a nonmember! This gospel is not just a fun thing to do on Sundays, it is very much a lifestyle! We have another appointment with them on Saturday! Woo!
Wednesday was our Zone Conference with both the Northwest and Central Zones. It was awesome! We learned about setting inspired goals, effective and Spirit-driven planning, being diligent with our time, recognizing and relying upon the Spirit, etc. It was really good, and I felt the Spirit super strong! There was a beautiful musical number as well. Savior, Redeemer of My Soul, one of my absolute favorites. :)
That night, we had an intense lesson, that totally turned out completely differently than I had ever experienced. We went to go visit a less active lady named Darlene. We taught the Restoration, and we both felt the Spirit fill the room. I then felt an overwhelming prompting to invite her to kneel with us right then and ask God if Joseph Smith truly did see God the Father and Jesus Christ, and if this Gospel really is true. We testified that we can continue to receive further witnesses of the truths we already know when we ask God to strengthen our testimony. She told us that she never had even thought about asking God, but has always just believed, having faith that it was true. And to our complete surprise, she declined, and said that this was a difficult assignment for her to do, as it was against her beliefs. She did not want to disrespect us as servants of God, but felt that we were accusing her of not being strong enough, and causing her to doubt the faith she already had, and felt it was disrespectful to ask God these things. We had no words or ideas for how to respond to this woman, but tried our hardest to ask inspired questions, and carefully respond to her comments and concerns. She then opened up to us why she felt this way, and it all made sense... Wow. It seemed like after everything Sister Hunt or I would say, something else would come up, and we seemed like terrible people for asking her to do such a thing, for coming into her home, and forcing her to think and doubt and wonder if we are truly there to build her up, or to tear her down. It was very rough. She was deep in thought, and cried a little.
And it just came to the point where I didn't know what to say anymore. Sister Hunt had been silent for a while. And because I didn't say anything, Darlene asked if I was okay. and I said I didn't know. But then I just expressed to her that I was sorry that she took things the way she did and that we made her feel that way, and told her that our true purpose was not to tear her down, but to build her up and help her strengthen her faith. We assured her of our love for her, and God's love for her, and I just cried. I have never been so much at a loss for words, or what to do. I could not understand why, nor deny that the Spirit had given me such a strong prompting to ask her to kneel down and pray to know. We just testified of truth, etc. and then Darlene came over and offered me a hug. And she said it was okay. But we continued to try, and then Sister Hunt bursted into tears as well. I've never had that happen on my mission like that before. But we talked about it later and concluded that yes, we did indeed follow the Spirit, and because of that, we were able to get to the core of her struggles, and have a better understanding of where she is at Spiritually. I now have experienced a time where the Spirit has instructed me to do something that did not turn out as planned, but if we trust in God, that the Spirit will guide us to do right, that everything will work out in the end. We ended on good terms, and the Lord continues to bless us with His Spirit.
We had a lesson with Maria from Columbia about La Resturacion! I need to brush up on my Spanish...
Another lesson with Mirjana from Serbia, and we read from the Book of Mormon with her. That's all she wants to do, so after some thought, we realized, well, she's reading from the source we get most of our truths from! So this is good!
Another lesson with Donna, and we taught the Restoration! She asked questions and made comments that perfectly lead up to the next points in the lesson. I love when that happens! She is going to pray to know if God and Christ are two separate beings, and if Joseph Smith really had the First Vision. :)
Another awesome Sunday with awesome talks and lessons! Lucky us, we get to go to 5 hours worth of church :) It's good for us though.
Anyway, that's all the time I have, sorry!
I hope you all have a great week!
I am happier, healthier, and safe! I keep you in my prayers!
I love you,