This was an awesome week. There were some HUGE bummers but also tons of miracles as always. The Young Womens asked me to help them make "cookies americanas" aka chocolate chip cookies. It was way fun.
We also had a Seventh Day Adventist come to church for the first time and the lesson in Gospel Principles was about keeping the Sabbath Day... so that was interesting!
Dad wrote me last week and wanted me to think about how my mission has changed me. That thought is just a little overwhelming but I was thinking about how one of my favorite things about the mission is the chance to develop Christlike attributes.
Faith. I learned a lot about faith this week when this lady we´ve been teaching for a while and who has had a ton of contact with the church decided she didn't want anything more to do with any of it... she even tried to give us the Book of Mormon back. It was one of the saddest times of my life. It was a make it or break it lesson and we used the scriptures and had her all convinced to baptism, but her sister for the first time decided to sit in with us.... and told her it was way too soon and that she wasn't ready, and that she needed to keep learning, and that this isn't what she wanted. When we left my companion said, wow the devil really used his tools well tonight, but so did we! I was all upset thinking, how is it that the devil won? But then I realized that he didn't win, it was nothing but a lack of faith on her part. The Lords power really is WAY stronger than the adversary. But the Lords power only works according to our own faith. That night we found out she had been praying to know the truth but with 0 sincerity, with 0 intent to ACT, therefore although she loves the Lord a lot, she has 0 faith.
Hope. Hope is more than knowing that something CAN happen, it´s believing that it will. When we really have hope we do everything in our power to gain promised blessings of the Lord. When we have hope, we will face challenges still, but our lives will only get better.
Charity and Love. I have really learned on the mission that if you dont love the people you serve, you wont have success. Elder Zwick told us that with pure discipleship we will be accepted, because when we really follow the Lord, we love the people around us. Ive never been one to have a ton of compassion, but I know I have come a looong way on my mission. We have so much more capability to love than we know! and that means so much more capability to serve!
Patience. After waiting 15 months for my visa I really learned the meaning of patience. Patience is trusting in the Lords plan for us. Trusting him completely. We have to trust that we are exactly where he wants us, and that we have a purpose there. If we dont, we dont trust that he loves us! Which is the first and most important thing we can understand about our Heavenly Father. If we can learn to be patient, we can be happy even in our afflictions.
Knowledge. Well, I think Ive talked enough about my love for the scriptures for this one. Even though Ive seen so many miracles and other things that have strengthened my faith. It is my knowledge that has really deepened my testimony, and given power and authority to my calling.
Virtue. Key to having the spirit! Which means key to having success! One of the best moments on the mission was when I walked into a recent converts house that was always playing something kinda sketchy, and she was watching BYU tv! She learned the importance of virtue.
Humility. Where do I start. When I told people I was going on a mission. A lot of them said- You have to understand... a mission is hard. And I was always like- HA, I can do anything! But what I continue to learn, is that I cant do anything! Its the Lord. I learned that he really can turn our weaknesses into strengths. He`s willing to too, we just have to give him the glory. This work does not depend on us or on our goodness or on our love or power. It depends on HIS.
Diligence. I learned that being away from the apartment 8 hours, is not diligence. Neither is walking really fast. Diligence is realizing that everything you do brings you closer or farther from your objective. Being diligent is a sacrifice, but its worth it! If you WORK all day, all your days, to bring one soul to Him, how great will be your joy!
Obedience. I remember the first letter I wrote home was about how I was sick of all the lectures about obedience, Mom replied and said, "just think of it as living an obedient life for a while..." Now when I think of that I laugh. Because now I understand that obedience is the FIRST law of heaven. It is everything. It helped me learn the importance of the Atonement. Maybe before thinking about what we hope or expect of God we should think of what he hopes or expects of us! And we can be sure the commandments and words of the prophets will answer that perfectly. What a blessing. To know exactly what the Lord expects of us! That means we know exactly what we need to do to return to him and to be HAPPY!
I LOVE YOU ALL.
THANK YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH for you support and prayers and love.