This week flew by, my mind is still in a fog, BUT, transfer calls came in and..... WE'RE BOTH STAYING!!! I finally get to finish training a trainee :D and my first 2 trainees are now companions AND my Sister Training leaders! AND one of my old companions is training a new missionary in my district! So, essentially, my whole mission is just coming together this transfer, what a time to be alive!!
All I have time for is a quick sum up of the week. FIRST, M., probably the most enthusiastic person on the PLANET!, we finally got to meet with her again and teach her son and they both just ate up the restoration. When we shared Amos 8 and talked about how God’s full church was lost for a while and there was an apostasy, she SCREAMED, like she got punched, and started going "NO, that’s AWFUL, oh NO!! Say it isn’t so!" It felt like something you’d see in an old Mormon movie, but she was serious. So, thankfully, the next thing we taught her was about Joseph Smith and how he restored that church again, and she says "WOW, God is so great he let the earth repent and restored a prophet, He's so good at forgiving!" I never even thought of it like that before, she just blew my mind. And made me feel like a calm and laid back individual.
Later that week we stopped by again with a 15 year old young woman from the ward. We walked around the area, met 2 less active members who wanted to go to church again, and talked to another one of our investigators, before we stopped by. The lesson with them was great, then we visited another less active family who said they’d come to church on Sunday. We dropped the young woman off and are thinking "wow, what a productive evening, God is so good, I’m so glad she got to experience that!" THEN, on Sunday, she gets up and bears her testimony on how she went out with the missionaries. We're thinking "yes, she loves missionary work and the gospel!" and the first thing she says is "I didn’t want to go, but my mom made me, but I’m glad she did!" HA, I felt kindda bad about dragging her out but the WORK OF THE LORD MUST GO ON!!
We also got to teach the youth all about missions and what they’re like, and all the young women got super pumped to go on them someday, it was just a youth filled week. It made me kindda homesick but SUPER GRATEFUL that this church has such a good youth program. It really helped me when I was growing up, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
Anywho, our district made it an action plan to go talk to people at the park, and whenever I’ve done that before I’ve had little to no success. But, we did it anyway, since we committed to it, and I was humbled quite fast. We met a senior named T. who starting tearing up when we told him about the Book of Mormon and how it'll help him have the relationship with Jesus Christ that he's been looking for. Just goes to show that God knows better than I do
We had Zone Training Meeting and it was just lovely. The President asked us to start having a pen and paper with us when we pray, so we can write down our impressions, forcing us to have a 2 way communication with God instead of just us talking at Him then going to bed. And oh man, it CHANGED MY LIFE!! I invite all of you to try it, I received some of the best revelation of my life by doing that this week. And what I learned from Heavenly Father is reflected perfectly in a talk from the ensign this month!
It’s by Elder Bednar and it’s called “Accepting the Lord’s Will and Timing,” talking about how we go through trials to prove to Heavenly Father that we "won't shrink" when times get hard. In Luke 22:42 it talks about Christ suffering for the sins of the world, and he says "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Prayer is not a way to change GOD's will, but a way to change OUR will to align with Heavenly Father's. Elder Bednar talked about how various people were going through trials that they felt they couldn’t handle, and asked God to heal them. The question that was posed to them, and is posed to all of us, is "do you have the faith to NOT be healed?" It got me thinking, do I have the faith to not be healed? Do I have the faith to be okay with God putting me through hard times as a way to grow and get better? Can I have the faith to believe He CAN remove the bitter cup from me, but also the faith to accept that sometimes I need to drink from it so I can learn? Just as Christ always submitted to the will of the Father, we must also be willing to endure all the heartaches that life has in store for us. But, unlike Christ, WE don’t have to go through them alone.
My mission has definitely turned out differently than I expected. And my life in general has taken similar unexpected turns and ups and downs. I was reflecting on what Elder Bednar said and realized that all that I have been through is exactly what God needed me to experience. He never left me, He's there to support and comfort me, but as I rely on Him as a way to get THROUGH the hard times instead of a way to ESCAPE them, we give ourselves a chance to be better