It's funny, because sometimes my job feels a lot like dad's--talk on the phone and play on the computer. Well, we only get to play on the computer on Mondays, but whatever. We definitely sit in a lot of meetings. This week was double duty. We had something called specialized training this week where we had 6 hours of people talking and it's really interesting but it kind of gets hard to pay attention after the first 3 hours. Most of our week was taken up by meetings. It's so weird because every week I come to the computer with thoughts of what I'm going to write, and then I sit down and realize that my days are the same over and over and over again. They're fun and interesting for me, but for everyone else, it's like "we got up and saw some people and went to a meeting and saw some people then we ate dinner at these peoples house and saw some people and came home and collapsed into bed because we were so exhausted." That's pretty typically what my journal entries say. in a little more detail, of course, but the concept is the same.
We did have some cool experiences this week. So our investigator, S is still praying about whether he wants to be baptized on the 27th. his biggest problem is church attendance becuase he works 7 days a week. He believes everything we teach, he just doesn't know whether he wants to be baptized yet. Well, his family was out of town ths week (in utah for a baby blessing) but his wife C told us that S had the weekend off! So we prayed and prayed and prayed some more and told the bishop and the ward mission leader he was coming so we kept praying! And.....he came! He showed up for church on Sunday morning. He only stayed for the first hour, but he came! We sat by him and it was a pretty stellar sacrament meeting--we talked about scripture study and why it's so important to read the scriptures. We get to see him on Friday of this week! We're really excited. If you haven't been able to tell this late in my mission, I really am horrible at writing long emails. I don't really expect to get better, either.....sorry. Katie is much better at that than me.
I actually wanted to share something that I shared at district meeting about progress this week. I love progress, no matter how small. Here's my spiritual thought of the day :) A little bit of soul food :)
"Heavenly Father puts people in our paths so that we can change for the better. The fact that we can't get away from good people who want to help when we're doing wrong things means that He hasn't given up on us :)
"Why am I happy when I see just a little bit of progress in the people I work with and love? because that means that not only has Heavenly Father not given up, neither have they. I read a really cool talk earlier in my mission that talked about how the light within us can never fully die. It's Reuben J Clark:
'Every human being is born with the light of faith kindled in his heart as on analtar, and that light burns and the Lord sees that it burns, during the periodbefore we are accountable. When accountability comes then each of usdetermines how we shall feed and care for that light. If we shall liverighteously that light will glow until it suffuses the whole body, giving to ithealth and strength and spiritual light as well as bodily health. If we shall liveunrighteously that light will dwindle and finally almost flicker out. Yet it is myhope and my belief that the Lord never permits the light of faith wholly to beextinguished in any human heart, however faint the light may glow. The Lordhas provided that there shall still be there a spark which, with teaching, withthe spirit of righteousness, with love, with tenderness, with example, withliving the Gospel, shall brighten and glow again, however darkened the mindmay have been.'
"I read that and immediately took hope, especially because I've worked with a lot of people who have all but let that spark die. And it's SO HARD to watch people slip away when there's nothing you can do about it. It's one of the greatest dissappointments I have had to face as a missionary. But I have the faith that when we're ready, REALLY ready to change, we will. As humans, we have the capacity and capability to change. We know it brings happiness. That's why I'm happy. Because I'm living the gospel. Not because times are easy because they most certainly aren't. But I am happy because I am consecrating my life to Jesus Christ right now. And that brings a kind of joy I have never experienced before. Does it mean I'm always happy, or don't experience the sadness that comes with disappointment? No. But does it mean that I know I am acceptable before the Lord, and that brings something even greater than happiness--peace. Peace of conscience. Knowing that if I was called to die at this moment I would be okay. I know, too, that we can all feel the same way, if we want to. When we're ready to change, all of us can experience that peace of conscience which is what we're looking for. but it ONLY comes through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm not there perfectly yet, obviously. I make a lot of mistakes, but that's why I'm glad that repentance is part of the process. why am I so happy with just a little bit of progress? Because it's a starting block for eternal progression. We might think our little actions are a big deal, but I know they are. I am so grateful for any kind of progress.. Now, after we start we've got to keep going. It's HARD to change. I know. but it is SO worth it. We have to give so much up but we'd better not think we're ever on our own. when that desire is there, He will take that desire and grow it. But we have to take the first step and MAINTAIN THE GROUND WE'VE ALREADY WON. DON'T LET SATAN TAKE ANYTHING ELSE. we've got to win this battle and the war! We've got to start moving forward. We know what to do. We've just got to have the courage to do so. If we even have a twig of faith, God can grow it. That first step is the hardest but it's so worth it!"
I love y'all so much! you're amazing and I'm privileged and honored to be associated with this particular group of family and friends. I don't know what I did to deserve it. Love you!!!