September 15, 2015
This week has been a good one- as always. I feel like every week is a good week in the mission field! Sister Bell and I have been able to work hard despite a few sick days. Our district leader shared a quote with us last night that says, "Numbers don't show your hard work, the wear and tear on your shoes do." I love that. Even though we don't have a million investigators, we are still working hard to find and to teach.
Monday: P-DAY! We didn't do much. We went thrift store shopping... fun. And we just hung out with some members. That evening we contacted a few less active members. At one point we parked our car in a neighborhood and were walking down a main road to get to a house when these guys (40s or 50s) yell at us from across the street. "Hey are you real life Mormons?" We laugh and say yes. THEN the guy looks at the other one and is like, "quick take a picture." Then me being stupid- not really thinking- I stop walking and strike a pose. I don't even know where it came from. But the guys laughed and then we were able to have a good conversation. Sometimes being awkward has its benefits. They sent us to some Mormons they know (the ones we were already planning on visiting) and we acted like we had no clue there were members on that road. That night we also taught a recent convert, Kristina. I just love her.
Tuesday: We did our studies in the morning and then we went and did service. I am really bad at telling everyone what I do during the week so I am not sure if I have talked about Ryan's House. But we volunteer at this place where homeless kids or kids that have a bad home life can go to get food or just hang out. Usually they just send us to the back room to do inventory or help organize things. I love when we get volunteer work that has to do with clothes! Then we went tracting for a little bit. Sister Bell has been getting really bad headaches and she got one while we were tracting so we left and contacted less actives. We taught a lesson to a less active (who is like completely active now), JC. He is great and I am so excited for the day he goes to the temple to be sealed to his wife for all eternity. He comes to week every Sunday. This week he brought his grandsons for the second time! He is sharing the gospel with his family!
Wednesday: Wednesdays are our crazy busy days because we have meetings on the mainland so we have to catch the boat pretty early. We had zone meeting this week and it was great! During the meeting they dismissed all of us to go tracting and practice some things that we learned. We were assigned new companions for that half hour and were sent to these random apartments. Sister Lundeen and I tracted 5 houses. Only 1 was not home. The first door was a woman, a husband, and 4 daughters! Low and behold we got the elders a return appointment with this family later that day! Hopefully they became new investigators for them. The next two doors were also very nice people and we got return appointments for both of them. The last person we talked to was NOT INTERESTED. I tried to give her a pamphlet but she said she would just "toss it" so then not thinking again I asked her if she would just want to leave the pamphlet lying around her house but before I finished the sentence she slammed the door in our face. Sister Lundeen just laughed and laughed like, "what the...? would you mind just leaving this around the house?" but I told her that even though she didn't want the pamphlet if she had it in her home you never know who might pick it up to start reading. After zone meeting we had to get an oil change, stop by the mission office for ferry passes, and then we went grocery shopping. THEN we waited in the ferry line, finally caught a boat, and then came back and emailed. The library was closed Monday for the holiday and closed Tuesday for some sort of training. Then we contacted a few more people and did studies! OH AND THE BEST PART OF THE DAY: I GOT PANDA EXPRESS!!!!!!!!
Thursday: On Thursday we spent a lot of time inside. Sister Bell had some pretty crazy headaches from exhaustion so our mission doctor said that she needed to get caught up on sleep. We were able to do some service that day and we were also able to tract a little bit.
Friday: This our weekly planning day so we did a lot of planning. We also contacted more people and tracted. That's about what we do all day everyday! Missionary work is the greatest work on earth!
Saturday: WE HAD A BAPTISM! Well kind of. There is this guy named Francisco and he lives in Pencove (out of area), he is Hispanic, YSA age, but he comes to our ward. So long story short, he had like a thousand opinions of where to get baptized. He was being taught by the Spanish missionaries but he couldn't attend the Spanish branch because of his work schedule and same with the Pencove ward. He comes to our ward every week because that is where his fellowship is and that is where his schedule permits him to go. So weird situation but he was baptized in our ward. We had to plan the program and get everything ready. We even sang a musical number. I had decided after the first time I sang in sacrament that it got me out of singing for the rest of my mission but now that I sung at the baptism - I get out of it for the rest of my life! The baptism turned out great though and we got to eat tamales and delicious food afterwards. We got to teach another recent convert that day named Kirsten. SHE IS GREAT! And then we tracted the rest of the day!
Sunday: Yesterday we attended our meetings and church. We then went tracting for a few hours. We got to talk to some great people. One was a former investigator and we got to talk with him about the atonement. The other was a man who just moved into the area 2 weeks ago from Texas and is a pastor of a local church. Good thing he didn't bash. Nicest guy ever and he looked like dad so it kinda freaked me out. Then we talked to a really nice lady who invited us back for tea. She knows a missionary so we were able to talk about the things missionaries do! Overall it was successful!
One of the greatest things I learned this week is on increasing our faith. We can do that by living a life of gratitude, being obedient out of love, giving of ourselves and serving, know that we depend completely on God, and being anxiously engaged in a good cause.
I have also realized today how much you really do change on a mission. However, you only change if you apply the things you are learning. If you just go through the motions you will probably stay the same or even become "worse". It's like that commercial that came out right before I left about toothpaste... "If you aren't whitening, you are yellowing." If we aren't constantly applying the basic principles of the Gospel that we are sharing with everyone and we aren't striving to strengthen our testimony than we are "yellowing". Something else I read in Preach my Gospel today that I shared with Sister Bell is it says that if we are doing all the things the Lord has asked us to do, we will still experience disappointment but we will not become disappointed in ourselves. I have seen that over and over and over again as a missionary. Sometimes you do question how effective you are or question what could have been better but you are not disappointed in yourself because you know that in that moment of time you did your very best. So you go home, study harder, pray harder, and brush your teeth and when you get put in a similar situation you apply those things and show your white pearls off with a smile. That's the great thing about missions (or life)... you are constantly improving.
I love being a missionary. I am sad to know that I only have 8ish months left but I am so excited to take the things I have learned home and apply them to the rest of my life and my future family! Let's be real though... I still have 8 months. That's a long time! I still have so much to learn and so many skills/attributes to acquire. Missions are hard to describe but they really do change who you are and change your perspective on what truly does matter!
I am grateful for the Atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ and the comfort it brings to me. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth. I know that we can live with our families forever as we keep the commandments and live righteously. I know that we can be used as instruments in the Lord's hands as well.
Have a great week my favorite people! I love you all and I am so grateful for all the love and support you give to me and all the other missionaries throughout the world. FAITH BEFORE FEAR. #HoldtotheRodda There is sunshine in my soul.