Man, this week has been a roller coaster! There were so many frustrations, but so many tender mercies in the making! So many good things happened, but so many frustrating things started pilling up at the end of the week; by Saturday evening, I was just not feeling the Spirit and my stomach was doing flip-flops because I just felt stuck in a rut.
Sis Craig and I decided to fast every Sunday this transfer so we could meet our baptism goals for this transfer. Sunday morning and I'm still not feeling the Spirit. I felt like everything good that happened was great, but all the bad stuff was just weighing so heavily that all the good stuff was being buried. And you know what...as a missionary, feeling those frustrations can really put you into a pit! There are no family or friends or "comfort places" you can turn to to forget about it for a while. And besides, a missionary cant just "forget about it" because its our callinnnnng. Siiigh. Anyway, we get to church and my heart just filled with gratitude. I can't even express how much I love my ward. How grateful I am to be a member of Christ's restored Church, and that no matter where in the world I go, I can always feel at home and find family with members of the church. The Farmington Ward has become my family! We were just standing at the doors wishing everyone "Happy Father's Day" and it just dawned on me how much I actually look up to these people and love them like I've known them forever. Once again, I say, when I opened my mission call and read "Missouri St Louis Mission", I didn't realize all the names behind it. I honestly can't even picture my life with the people I've met on my mission. My leaders, my companions, the other missionaries, the members, my investigators....they all mean so much to me! And because I feel that love, I know how much more Heavenly Father loves them and loves me. I only get a glimpse of that infinite love our Father has for all of us.
Sacrament meeting was AWESOME. Sis Chapman, the camp director, shared their experiences at camp. We has also helped Sis Toombs pack all the camp food into her car earlier this week(she was the camp cook). I just gained a new appreciation for my leaders, because I am seeing how much hard work and preparation these leaders put in to make a spiritual, fun-filled week for the youth. Girls Camp is a necessity for the YW because it's a time they focus on practicing gospel living without worldly distractions; its where they build testimonies. I've always had such a strong testimony of the youth programs because I know how much good it did to shape me growing up, but this week just strengthened that. Soooo summer is here and y'all are probably getting ready for youth or YSA conference. As you prepare to go, think about the reason those are even held for you. What are you going to get out of camp/conference this year? What questions are you searching answers for? What kinds of things are you seeking to learn? After camp/conference, what are you seeking to apply?
The primary kids sang part of the primary theme song for this year. I'm sitting there in tears. They sang the 3rd verse on Mother's Day, and yesterday they sang the 2nd verse for Father's Day:
A father's place is to preside, provide, to love and teach the gospel to his children. A father leads in family prayer to share their love for Father in Heaven. God gave us families to help us to become what He wants us to be-- This is how he shares His love, for the family is of God.
Patriarch Dale Wright gets up to give his talk and says, "we just heard what heaven sounds like". Gah. I just love that song because it's just SOOOO TRUE. God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be. We teach this to people everyday! Because we do, it has allowed me to reflect many times on how my family has been a blessing to me, and how I learned the gospel from them. I ask people all the time how much they love their kids, and then explain that God gives us families so we can begin to understand how much love God has for us as His children. I am so grateful for the chance to do that because it reminds me how blessed I have been to grow up in the home that I did, with the parents and siblings and extended family that I have; which I am so extremely grateful for.
Dad, I just want to let you know how grateful I am that you are--like the song says--one that presides, provides, loves, and teaches, and that you fulfill your sacred duties as a father. Thanks for teaching me that I'm capable of so many things, and for treating me, Laura, Arielle, and most especially Mom, with the utmost respect and love. Because of you, I've been able to learn how much my Heavenly Father loves me because He shows it through you. You are the pure example of a worthy Priesthood holder who knows they have been given the responsibility to take care of Daughters of God. You take care of 4 of them :) (Not to mention a whole lot of others because you are a brother, son, and bishop too!)
Anyway, I wish I could tell you about all the awesome lessons we had because we had quite a few this week that were just so evident that the Spirit was working with them. But here are my tender mercies/miracles/funnies of the week:
* Last week's district meeting was about Alma 32. Sis Craig and I have been using that as a basis for our lessons all week and it has been so great!!! Its awesome how you can explain any gospel principle with that chapter :) We had at least 3 investigators who really soaked in what we were sharing. With the help of the Spirit, their walls were knocked down to help them know what they need to learn.
* David Thorn, my most stubborn investigator, accepted the invitation to be baptized!!!!! He's......special. Haha, like I said before he's really hard to deal with and most time as we're getting out of the car I say, "I don't know if I'm ready for this". Mostly because I've just learned that he's super hardheaded until you give him a stern talking to. So this week we planned to teach repentance and invite him to be baptized a second time, but he kept going on all his random tangents that I've heard about a billion times already. It just came to the point where we just had to quickly tie in what he was saying to a straight forward invitation to be baptized. Long story short, he said God's telling him that he needs to get baptized. Now he's just praying about a date. Pray for him! I'm probably never going to see him get baptized, but I just hope whoever comes in next stays patient with him....cuz it's taken me this long!
* We had a super frustrating lesson with one of our investigators this week that I was just close to tears. It came to the point where the Spirit said not to argue and just bear testimony of eternal families. This morning I was reading in the Book of Mormon and I have found why I have felt the way I did this past week: "And now I, Sister Limas, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief...and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plan as word can be". Hahahaha I was just laughing to myself this morning as I read that. It also reminded me of a testimony of someone who had said they learned the Book of Mormon was true because "no one but a missionary could have written this story. Joseph Smith could never have know what it was like to be a missionary to the Lamanites, for no one he knew had ever done such a thing before". I guess my tender mercy is just the fact that I can fully for relate to people in the Book of Mormon haha.
* We were looking for less-actives, and in the process found a new investigator! This lady was telling us why she didn't need us to be talking to her because she believed in this and that. So then I say, "ok, well do you know of anyone we can share our message with? Anyone who needs help right now that could use our messages of Jesus Christ?" And all of a sudden she's taken a back and says, "well, funny you should ask because I need help right now". And she starts telling us her story and my heart just wept for her! We shared a few verses in the BOM with her and she invited us to come back next week. YEEEUS! I was so grateful for that experience because I've been praying for help on how to get Sis Craig have more confidence in her choices and recognize that it's the Spirit. She was the one who picked out that less-active name to see, which lead us to this new investigator. Prayers are answered!!
* Kalene Bassett's hugs :)
* Sis Thomas told us her son was in Alaska and told the missionaries there that he had cute sister missionaries in his ward BAHAHAHA
* Seeing Taeler Duvall at church. HAHAAAA. Whenever I see that kid I just yell out his name and when I get to him and make faces he just starts giggling. haha oh he's my little sunshine :)
* Jennifer Owen is the only young adult sister planning to go on a mission right now. And she asked us if she could come out with us this week! :D She rejected our invitation before, but now she actually wants to come :D
* We've been praying for service opportunities because the Elders' previous weekly community service pretty much just waster our time. But this week we got to help out the members so much....and in the process get my arms pretty toned :p hahaha. The Holmes and the Elkingtons are moving out this week, so they needed a lot of help. PLUS, the boy scout yard sale was this week, so we did a lot of loading and hauling there too. Whewww. Love it!
* We found out that Farmington was one of the highlight areas at Mission Leaders Council, yet again! :D Hoorah! I don't even know what that means, but that's the 3rd time!
Anyway, I gotta go cuz I have less than 5 mins left.
Hope your week is awesome!
|Our booth for Farmington Country Days|
|Cotton candy at the Scout Yard Sale :)|
|Farewell to the Elkington girls: Gabby, Evelyn, and Alainna.|