Happy November!To the Fam Bam:
This week has been great! I've been able to see miracles, and also witness the Lord's love and hand in my life, I've had greater sensitivity to the Spirit, and God has just been blessing us so much.
I've definitely learned a lot of spiritual lessons this week. It was a week of refining, that's for sure.
Lately I have been feeling like I've been focusing so much on trying to be perfect in my behavior and actions as a missionary. I think that because of this, most of my energy and thoughts are spent simply correcting the flaws of the outward missionary, that my spiritual growth and learning and skills are weakening! I have come to better realize that I will never be a perfect missionary, and that I need to try my best, allowing the Savior to change and correct and strengthen me. It is when I realized this that I gained more confidence, effectiveness, and sensitivity to the Spirit.
This week, I have been pondering upon some of the changes I have been making and the improvements that I have been able to accomplish this past transfer. When I prayed about it, I was blessed to realize that I really am doing a lot better than I give myself credit for.
Currently, when pondering on how I have changed spiritually, here are a few of my successes/blessings/results of my efforts to be better!
- I have had more meaningful and Spirit-led studies.
- I have expressed more gratitude, and thus am happier and more in-tune to the Spirit
- I've been more consistent with writing down inspiration and revelation in my study journal
- I've been reading more conference talks, which has been AMAZING! I love it! Overall, feasting upon the word of God. It really does bring joy and direction!
- I have been better about receiving and ACTING upon promptings I receive!
- Choosing more Spirit and purpose-filled music
- I have received help from Heavenly Father to have more confidence in contacting people, and door approaches for tracting.
- I have been trying to focus on serving others and I have been blessed with an increase of love for my fellowmen!
- God has been blessing me with the ability to remember names. Which has been extremely helpful!!! (I am reminded of Grandpa Ellsworth, who was also good at remembering names, correct?)
- Better follow-through with commitments and invitations, referrals, etc.
God really is amazing. I have been feeling of His love a lot lately! I have been trying to better understand the aspect of faith, and gaining access to the Enabling Power of the Atonement, and my studies have been wonderful! Here are a couple of experiences this week that were particularly meaningful and strengthened my faith!
This week, our investigator Diane received a healing blessing. And wow, was the Spirit powerful, and her whole countenance changed. She SMILED. She gave a genuine smile! She has had a very rough life, and because of some traumatic experiences earlier this year, it has prevented her from feeling joy and truly embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There comes a numbness, so to speak, when we block ourselves off from any feeling, in order to prevent ourselves from being hurt again. We felt inspired to ask her if she wanted a priesthood blessing. We bore our testimonies of them and reassured her that her faith was so strong, and that God wats her to be happy, and wants to bless her! She accepted. So we went over there, and our Ward Mission Leader and another man came over to her house. We taught about the doctrine of the Priesthood, and how the anointing of the sick and afflicted has been done for centuries. (See James 5) One of the men taught very simply and clearly about what the priesthood was, and how it works. We explained that it was the power of God that was given to His children to accomplish His purposes in helping us attain eternal life and joy. She understood very well, and asked a couple of questions. After our discussion, they proceeded to give her a beautiful blessing. After which, we asked her how she felt. She said, "I just feel.... lifted! Like a huge burden was just taken off of my shoulders! Like... this source of energy or something! I could feel the Spirit of Christ when you were speaking." Isn't that amazing? We confirmed to her that what she was feeling was the Holy Ghost, confirming that this sacred power is real, and that this Gospel is true. She said that for the first time, "I felt something... I don't even know what words to use to describe it! Lucky!" And she SMILED! Oh Diane, It was such an incredible experience to be a part of.
We went tracting this week, on a street that a less active and a potential lived on. We knocked every door. Remember President Uchtdorf's talk, "Fourth Floor, Last Door"? Well, we tracted up and down that street, and we came upon the last door, after having been rejected every time. (Most were nice about it, at least), Well we went to this last door, which was where a potential investigator lived. We knocked on the door, and here was the gist of our conversation:
"Are you the Carpet Cleaners?"
No, we're the Sister Missionaries!
"Oh. I was hoping you were the Carpet Cleaners. We really need our carpets cleaned, but nobody will come out here! And the one I called went out of business!
Oh, we're sorry! We actually know of someone who totally would clean your carpets! In fact, he actually lives in Vail! He just cleaned ours last week. (He just so happens to be the Bishop! heehee)
"Really? That would be great!"
Yeah! Here, we'll get your number and give it to him.
He came outside and told us that the missionaries used to stop by all of the time and speak with his wife, but she was ill that day. We started to talk to him about their visits, and he said he enjoyed them, but he felt that he had done too many bad things to receive forgiveness. He was a Vietnam Veteran, and told us of a couple of experiences that he had had there, and what he had done. NO WONDER he feels bad! Poor man obviously had PTSD. :/ But he asked us some of the most basic questions of the soul:
"-Why do so many evil things happen to such good people? Why does God allow it to happen to one good person, but not the next?
-Why are we even here on earth?
-What is the purpose of life if all we do is suffer and then die?
-Why would God want someone like me?
-How can I possibly be happy in a world like this?"
Well Johnny, these are exactly the questions that we answer as missionaries. We know that it is through our Savior Jesus Christ that we are able to find true happiness and joy, and a forgiveness of our sins. God has a purpose for you here on this earth, and He wants you to be happy.
"Are you happy?"
Yes, absolutely! The Gospel is what makes us happy!
"Probably because you two haven't done anything bad your whole life!"
No, each of us makes mistakes and each of us is guilty of sin. The reason we are happy is because we understand what the Purpose of this life is, and we know we can be forgiven through Jesus Christ. And we know you can experience this joy too. Do you want to be happy, Johnny?
"Yes, I do. But I'm not. I've never been happy."
Well we testify that you CAN be happy..... etc. We gave him a Plan of Salvation Pamphlet and invited him to read it. We promised that a lot of his questions would be answered in that booklet. And we left him with a prayer. It was a pretty successful door contacting experience, I'd say! :)
Another experience was quite interesting....probably the craziest of my mission. I helped save a dog from being eaten alive by a pitbull, and that was fun... not... But anyway, long story short, we contacted this recent convert and less active family who had recently moved in. They were very bitter towards the ward and it's leaders. So we listened to their complaints and accusations of them, and then we hear the dogs barking and squealing outside. The wife leaves, and we were left alone with this man. Umm... not okay... Then we hear her screaming for help. We go outside and she had also been attacked and the ropes tied around her and knocked her down. The pitbull was trying to eat the little dog, and the owner was screaming to try and help but yelled for me to come help grab one of them. So I helped, and pulled the other dog away from the two fighting, and it was all just a fun experience. With death threats to the dog, and contention, and more angry words, all that good stuff. Anyway. The dog was bleeding, the family was not happy. But it was a fun first meeting. We met with them last night and it went a lot better :)
I wanted to share a couple of the talks I read this week!
Talk: The Atonement Covers All Pain by Kent F. Richards, April 2011 Gen Conf.
-Christ chose to experience pains and afflictions in order to understand us, rather than just receive it through revelation. Perhaps we also need to experience the depths of mortality in order to understand Him.
Talk: The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing, Richard G. Scott
READ IT! Sorry, out of time.
Anyway, I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!!!!
P.S. The Coyotes out here are obnoxious. They come up pretty close to our house. And they howl ALL NIGHT LONG. I've also noticed that people on this side of the state speak differently. They have their own slang and terms and lack of grammar. It's funny though. :) "I says"