Monday, July 21, 2014

One more year

Dear everyone,

Today is kind of special because in exactly one year, I'll be on my way home. Due to some weird things with Christmas and a 7 weeks transfer and other things I don't fully understand, I will finish my mission on 21 July 2015, not 4 August. So, you know. There's that. It's kind of exciting, but also kind of scary, because I ONLY HAVE A YEAR LEFT. I've already completed 1/3 of my mission. Tomorrow, I'll have less than a year to go. Seriously. What happened.

It's been good, though. This last week has probably been one of the craziest, most dynamic and life changing weeks of my mission. I'm not going to share everything, but here are some hightlights. 

1. Roberto. Roberto is/was one of our investigators that absolutely loves the church, and especially the Book of Mormon. Our lessons are always hilarious because he always shares with us what he's been reading, and how it's affected his life. He was so impressed with Lehi's dream that he read it 4 times, and then we spent a lesson talking about it. He refuses to read or participate in anything that isn't in the Book of Mormon. We started off trying to teach him with the scriptures and pamphlets, but he just refused to read the pamphlets and straight out told us that they weren't interesting to him at all, and that if we wanted to teach him something, we had to do it with the Book of Mormon. It changed my mission because I suddenly had to learn how to teach the entire Plan of Salvation from the Book of Mormon, or different commandments, or the Restoration, or various other things. It's been amazing as a missionary, because now I have such a greater knowledge of the scriptures, and my testimony that the Book of Mormon can answer literally every question we could ever have is absolutely true. I love it when investigators have questions, and we can just be like, let's read about this in the scriptures! The words of God are so much more powerful than our own. The other funny thing about Roberto is that last Sunday he suddenly announced that he was reading in the Book of Mormon, and praying, and God told him to be baptized, so by golly he was going to be baptized that week. It was a little crazy, but he was baptized Thursday, and is well on his way to converting everyone he comes in contact with. Seriously, there's nothing like the referrals of a recent convert. 

2. I'm finally getting the hang of this Holy Spirit thing. This is going to sound strange coming from a missionary that has 6 months in the mission, but it's actually a pretty common thing, I think. As new missionaries, we seem to think that we just go out and teach, and the Spirit just likes to hang out with us all day and give us everything we need and ask for. Ha. Nothing worth having was ever that easily given. I've been working for months now and finally feel like I can let the Spirit speak through me. He will accompany the words I say, and touch the hearts of the people we teach. Our lessons, in some form or another, really took a turn this week, and I could feel the power. One thing one of the missionaries in our zone was talking to me about is that when he feels like he doesn't have the Spirit, he says a prayer in his heart and asks for it to accompany him. This really changed the way I think about the Spirit. I think a lot of times, as members and as missionaries, we just expect to have the blessings of God because we're being good people and trying to make good decisions. It doesn't work like that, though. We have to put more effort into the things that are actually worth having, and ask God to give us the things that we seek. We have to humble ourselves before Him and recognize that everything we have comes from him.

3. Speaking of which, I'd just like to testify that this is the Lord's work, not ours. We witness God gathering his children before our eyes, and it's not because of anything we're doing as missionaries. We teach people, and give them the tools they need to improve their relationship with God and become converted to His plan for them, but that's all we do. We are instruments, and just like it is impossible for an instrument to play itself, it is impossible for a missionary to do this work without God. When God works through us, we have the opportunity to follow His will and help Him in bringing His children back home to His presence. 

Well. I've got to go. Hopefully someone learned something from my incessant ramblings of the typical missionary who talks too much. Hehe :P I love you all, and have an excellent week!

Hermana Day

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