"As you bear your trials with patience, you will be blessed".
That's what Elder Williams had said in the Priesthood blessing he gave me a month ago (i cannot believe that was a month ago. I cannot keep up with the time! I haven't looked at my desk calendar in forever and the last time i marked it was the beginning of december...and now december is gone. Holy Flip!) Anyway... oh the word "patience". I started studing patience about a month before I left my last area, so now everytime I do scripture stude and read "patience" I'm like, "oh, there's that word again!" Haha. It's pretty much a sigh lol. From what I've learned about patience in the last 3 month, it's that it goes hand in hand with faith, hope, and diligence...which are all Christ-like attributes we need to help us endure to the end. We have this goal that we HOPE to achieve (like the hope that we will crosee the finish line at the end of a marathon). FAITH is the action that allows us to fulfill our hope (you gotta take that first step!). Where does diligence and patience come in? Diligence goes hand in hand with Faith...it's always doing SOMETHING to reach your goal (warming up, jogging, running, pace-walking...you name it!) And then there's the silent action of patience that goes with hope. It's that glow of home that allows us to press forward patiently as we diligently continue to take our steps of faith. Patience is a little tricky for me to describe, but if I were to attempt, I'd say patience is that feeling within yourself that motivates you to hold on a little longer. I'm going to do extra prep, push a little harder, run a little faster...it's that feeling of knowing that what you hope for--your end goal--is going to be worth it, no matter all the work you're going to have to put in.
Anyway, HOW TRUE is the promise of being blessed as we're patient through our trials? VERY! We found 3 new investigators this past week! Aw yaaaah! Which bring our teaching pool to 12 :) And we have 3 more potentials we'll be seeing today, and 5 more this upcoming week. Yeeeuh baby! Wish us luck! I'll tell you about our 3 new investigators in a sec but can I just rant for a sec?
I am SO sick of being sick!!! Staying in the house is such a dangerous place to be cuz it jus tmakes you wallow away in sorrow. And it doesn't help that when I am actaully feeling a bit better, then my comp is sick. And in the last few weeks there jas just been so much negative energy! Oh my goodness, I can't even deal! (dont worry, not towards each other! whew!) Like my companion was thinking of ways we could get kidnapped just so we wouldn't have to do exchanges with the STLs. I mean, I wasn't looking forward to exchanges either, but I dont want to be kidnapped to avoid it! LOL oh goodness. She was most definitely just over-exaggerating, but that is just how much she DOESNT like the other sisters in our ward. And then the nightmare happened. Before they came on exchanges, they told Sis Linton that we couldn't do service all day. And Sis Linton went OFF on them saying how she came here to serve and doesn't care about how many baptisms we get (see, this is probably why we dont have any progressing investigators with a date right now -_-") I was so scared. I like Sis Johnson and Sis Zundel, but it's always SO AWKWARD when the 4 of us are together cuz i know my companion doesn't like them. Anyway, the nightmare continues cuz the next morning during comp study she said it strait to their face that she didn't like or trust them and that she and other people think they think they are better than everyone else. HOLY FLIPPIN POOP A LOOPS. The room was so silent and I just about cried cuz I could just feel the heat and contention. When we split, I was with Sis Zundel, and I just had to apologize to her about everything that was happening. But I had a REALLY REALLY good time with her! It just felt SO GOOOOOOD to work and have someone motivated to push just one more person/door. SO GOOD :D
So Sis Zundel and I picked up Lydia Johnson as a new investigator. Background story: A few weeks ago we were going through our potential list and a "rose grimes" stood out to me. So we drive over to her house and knock, but no one is home. But there was a ton of noise coming from the house next door. As nervous as I was, I told Sis Linton that we should probably go knock on it. We did and Lydia opens the door. Sis Linton tells her what we teach about and she says "i'd like to listen to more, but i have a kid in the bath". So we set an appointment to come the following week. During the rest of the week, we thought we'd go back to that neighbourhood, Fisher Ct, hoping it would be like the blessed Willow St. But I've already shared this story about tracting and no one wanting to talk to us except for that one lady Lisa (who we didn't even pick up as an investigator! grr. oh well, we'll go back and check up on her). Anyway, I had lost all hope for Fisher Ct cuz Lydia was in bed when we tried to see her. BUT, when Sis Zundel and I went back this weekend, Lydia opend the door and invited us in. AND FED US NACHOS! (oh man, i love cheese, but it is KIIIIILLING me right now). But we got talking and her foster kids were saying how they've never been baptized (oh hello ;D) and that they wanted to go to church. So we invited them to come out and Sis Zundel was like we can teach you a little bit now if you have time. And so we taught the restoration with the pamphlets just like Bro Donaldson taught us...and it went GREAT! Gah, it felt SOOOO good to be teaching again! We gave her a BOM and she said she'd read it and the pamphlet over. When we left her house my heart was just brimming with joy! Then Sis Zundel turns to me and says "you are so good at teaching! I get what you're saying now about the whole 'silence' thing!" Baha i had told her earlier about Sister Fernandez and our impeccable teaching in unity haha. After sis zundel tells me this i just told her how sis ash totally grilled me for word vomitting at lessons, so i've been working on the whole silence thing and letting the spirit work it's magic. SCORE. She just said that its usually so awkward to leave silences, but she liked the fact that i let the spirit speak to Lydia first before I started to speak, and how I bore testimony of what was most important. Oh man, that just felt really good! I told Sis Zundel afterwards that I was really glad she was the one that came with me to that appointment because there has just been so much negative energy lately that I didn't feel adequate enough to teach because I wasn't sure if the spirit was going to use me. She said she understood, but reassured me that the lesson went so well. GAH I AM SO EXCITED FOR LYDIA! She is so solid! Like during the lesson during the silences, i will admit i slightly started to panic. And things were just forming into my head that I just wanted to shout for joy with. But i took a deep breath before I said any of it, and to my surpirse it came out the way the spirit wasnted and needed it to. Shocked me a bit, but it was pretty awesome. I love bearing testimony, but I don't think i've ever done it like that before. It was pretty cool.
Our other new investigators are Ginger and John. We had received a media referral for an Allan McChone, and when we went to his address, it was Ginger. Apparently Allan was her ex husband and they both took the missionary discussions. Allan was the only one who joined though. But Ginger loves Mormons and loves the discussions so she invited us to come back and teach her and John! John doesn't sound all that interested, but I definitely see potential. I told sis linton we have to be careful about focusing too much on Ginger cuz she actually wants it, and then not paying as much attention to John. I just told her the potential is there, we just need to help him a bit.
Oh this Sunday Sister Linton and I had to give a 5 minute talk each to fill in for someone else. We just had to talk about our decision to serve a mission and to tie it to spiritual gifts if we could. Oh man, I was sitting there so gittery, and sis linton is like are you ok? I'm like "i'm so nervous I'm about to puke". WHAT THE CHEEEESE? Since when does Ariana Rae Afu Limas get nervous to give a talk during sacrament meeting. UGH. Oh i hate how weak and frail my body is right now. UGHHHH. Dont get me wrong...I've been exercising like a BAUS! Like, so well I can do way more than just one pushup now. (Shocked? Yeah, me too hahaha). But like, outwardly physically I'm doing perfectly fine...it's just the insides. THE NERRRRVE! Sigh. I'm giving in though. I'll talk to my president about it during interviews this transfer (errr, there is only 3 weeks left of this transfer. seriously, where is the time going? :/) I just really really really don't want to be told by Dr Anderson that there's something wrong with me. GAAAAH. ANYWAY, i spoke and for the record, DID NOT puke. I talked about my mission story in the span of 3 mins (which is a miracle considering there is so much to it LOL its so hard leaving stuff out!)
Moving onward...CHRISTMAS WAS GREAT! A few thank yous...
- Mom, dad, laura, and arielle: Thanks so much for the package! I loved how you wrapped everything inside. That made opening it tons of fun. Love the outfit, and i wore it right away :) And also, thank you for always sending something for my companions. I enjoy watching their face expressions when I tell them my family has sent them something :D
- Sara & Holly: Thanks for the moccassins! Haha its such a conincidence. My companion just bought some and told me to buy some too but i'm like nahh, i already have a pair (except they have holes LOL). But i love them! And the fact that they are so bright! And I absolutely loved the card and envelope and wrapping. Bahaha you guys know me so well. I enjoyed the fact that you scratched out a word in the card and put "poop" instead. YEEEUS. And to mr anonymous...that is Dannykins handwriting, right? Bahaha over 2 years later and i still know his handwriting XD (not unless it wasn't, then please disregard this message :P)
- Stan the Man: Thank you for putting a smile on my face :) haha i love how even after 8 months apart you still know me so well. Silly boy :P
- Don Mills Ward Relief Society & YSA: Thank you so much for the chocolates and all the kind notes! I got home from exchanges and asked sis linton if she checked the mail and she says "no i forgot". But i walk in and there is a package for me sitting on the couch. Ahaaa i'm like nu-unhhhh you liar!!! I just loved reading them all! It made me so happy :) You are all awesome and i miss Don Mills TONS!
- Marek Hospitality/ Tim Hortons co-workers: So I also got your card right when I got home from exchanges. But at first I thought it was from the Filipino ward fam! But then I saw Kelly's name, and Chris, and Kumar, and Ate Ema and Virgie, and Robert!!! GAAAAAH. I "eeeeked" so loud when I realized it was from work. Bahaha. Oh you all are too sweet.
- FAMJAM. Skyping was AWESOME. I loved being part of all the regular christmas singing and dancing and prayer for the food. It was pretty legit. It was so hard to hang up!
And here is the though from Sis Brook's that I absolutely loved!:
"Okay so we all get a beautifully wrapped gift. it comes from the Saviour. He was born, died, and resurrected to give us all the gift of Eternal life. But what we do with that gift is up to us. It looks beautiful just as it is. We could just sit it on a shelf and admire it every day and thank the Lord for this beautiful package. Or we could excercise our faith in the Saviour and say I think there is more to this gift. I am going to exercise my faith and open it. I am going to sacrifice or throw away the beautiful wrapping and bow to see waht's inside. IN other words, repent. When we open the gift we find a guitar (or whatever you decide the gift should be) and you tihnk wow this is one gorgeous guitar. So then you have another choice. Do you put th eguitar on display and admire it every now and then and think I'm so grateful I have this gift or do you pick up the guitar and start strumming the strings (get baptized and receive the Holy Ghost). Do you keep practicing and learn how to put the notes together to perform a song? (Study the scriptures and come to church). Do you keep practicing so you can get better and accompany others? (pay tithing, serve in a calling, and go to the temple). Do you strive to perfect your use of this gift until the day when the Saviour stands before you to hear what you did with the gift He gave you?"
^ Pretty awesome, right? Thanks Sister Brooks! But I atest to what she says! NEGLECT NOT THE GIFT THAT IS IN THEE! There is so much you have to give! Share it with others!!!
On a last note, can I just say my district is AWESOME? Elder Smith is like, so what do you guys do for fun on pday? And we're like nothing unless there is an activity planned. But we all just chilled and played bball last monday, and we're all going shopping this monday. THANK GOODNESS. I hate staying in the apartment. All the trainings that were given at our district meeting were about being happy and having a good balance between fun and work. It was pretty awesome. My district is just so great.
Anyway, hope you all have a fantabulous week!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Be good, be obedient, and have fun! Work on those goals ;)