Monday, September 28, 2015
I love the scripture Alma 17:11. "Go forth among (the people of Sidney), thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be PATIENT in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth GOOD EXAMPLES unto them (and my companion) in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls." To sum up my first full week of being a trainer, I would use the words patience and charity. It's funny, with each of my companions, I felt like by the end of our time together, I truly developed patience and charity for them. So at the start of each transfer, I feel like I have a good grasp on both of them, but then you realize you have to learn them again. Isn't that so great about the gospel? So many times we go back to square one. We get to start all over again. That is what the gospel is all about...having faith, repenting, renewing our covenants, and pushing forward with a smile on our face. It seems as though I have to start with faith daily...weekly...every transfer. But it is good. It reminds me of where I came from, just how much I've grown, and helps me realize the missionary that God wants me to be. What a blessing it is to constantly see our weaknesses, so we can know exactly what the Lord wants us to work on. I pray that I may continue doing my best as a trainer so that I can be a good example, always have the Spirit, and truly love my companion.
So...I want to succeed at being a missionary. And I want to succeed in life. But by coming on my mission, I have learned a whole new definition of success. It's not winning every game, every race, getting the highest score on a test, it's not having a baptism every other week. Success has a much deeper, profound meaning than that. I love this quote that my mom shared with me by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Okay, so basically, Women's conference was the best thing in the whole world. (note from mom: emily said that she loved seeing familiar faces in the choir which was from our area/ward/stake. that was very fun for her :)
We have a new investigator, Rose. She is first nations! She is such a testimony to me that God is preparing people to hear the message of the Restoration. We went back for our first real lesson with her. She told us that the first time Sister Wright and I met her she felt something. She felt so good and her whole day just went better. It was so incredible. She just cried and cried as we talked about how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love her. So powerful.
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
I have realized that success is being happy and making others happy. So often we think that we can't be happy unless everything is going perfect, but I have learned that we must take each moment and find the happiness in it. Take each moment and make it perfect. Success is when we can feel the Spirit and when we help our brothers and sisters feel it too. Success is when we realize "With myself, I am nothing, but with the Savior, I am everything." Success is accomplishing a task by putting YOUR best efforts into it. Success comes from lifting others and yourself and not comparing. Success is when you are confident that God is real, that He loves you, and that He knows you.
I felt the Spirit so strong. And Laura, Heather, and Kristine were all able to make it. So good. I will just tell you a few things that I learned from the Spirit in that meeting. I learned that we must do more than just exist. We must fulfill our divine purpose. Trust God and believe in good things to come. I felt so strongly that the battle we fight everyday against satan and sin is so real. It's time to decide what team you're on. There's no gray area. You are either on God's team and you're on the field playing or you are on Satan's team. It's not easy being on God's team. It never has been, it isn't now, and it never will be. It is worth it though. Think of those around you..think of all those people that you influence every day. They need you to be their example. If you're not on the team..get on the team. If you already are on the team..stay on the team. God needs you and They need you. I love Philippians 4:13. My favorite part of the conference was by Sister Reeves, I believe. She was talking about how when we get to the judgement bar and Heavenly Father shows us all of the incredible blessings He wanted to give us we will say, "Was that all that was required of me?" Really....family and friends...God wants to bless us so much. He has given us the gospel. ALL we need to do is live it. Love it. It is happiness and it is safety.
We had a bitter sweet experience yesterday. We have been praying for a long time for ways to help Laura progress. She just hasn't been giving it her all and we haven't been sure about her real intent. So the answer to our prayers was to stop teaching her for sometime and let her gain her own testimony. We went into that lesson with Sister Snarr, not knowing exactly what to say, but we trusted that the Spirit would guide. We told her how much we loved her and how this short time is for her to gain her own testimony. We showed her her teaching record...which is like a book because we've taught her so much. It was sad...and she just cried as we left. I was crying as we walked back to our car, but then the Spirit came over me and all I could feel was peace and relief. I know that this will be exactly what she needs. She texted us that night saying, "We have shared plenty of tears and laughter and many miracles. Most important is all the lessons we shared. Thank you for everything, love you tons. My prayer is for you to find oodles of people to bring to the church in the short time you have left of your mission. With the help of the Spirit, I know you will achieve this. Time will go fast. All my love." It truly is incredible to have Laura as a friend and I'm grateful I could teach her. She will always be a part of me. I am also grateful that I can fulfill my purpose as a missionary and use this time now to find people who are chosen and ready to hear the gospel. Laura will be baptized one day...I know it.
Yesterday at testimony meeting, Brother Murray got up right as he walked into the chapel 20 minutes late. He told us how in the middle of the sacrament he realized that one of the bishopric members was gone...so that means Russ is gone. Russ always gets a ride with this bishopric member because he is in a wheel chair. So Bro. Murray ran to go pick Russ up. When he got to Russ's house, he found Russ inside, getting gloves on, ready to wheel himself to church even though he had already missed sacrament meeting. What an example of diligence and commitment.
Well it has been a great week. It's been a great mission. I'm glad I have so much time left to serve the Lord. I love this work. And I just invite all of you to accept and love the gospel in your life. This is real. God's love is real. You need Him. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God. We have a living prophet on the earth today. He will guide you...He is talking for God and he is talking straight to you. I hope all of you have the chance to listen to him this Saturday and Sunday!
Love you all so much!