OKAY THIS WEEK WAS CRAZY. I begin:
Monday: This day I cried. I don't have a thorough recollection of what we did all day, but in the evening I had this overwhelming feeling that we needed to go see Robin and Carla, the two Mamas and their six kids, and we found Carla weeping on the porch and so she invited us inside and all of their stuff was in boxes. They broke up!!! I could see and feel the devastation in their eyes and in their body language, so it was hard to see immediately what a blessing this will be for them. I walked away feeling so heartachey that we wouldn't be able to visit this amazing family anymore. But I know that the Lord is working in them, and that because of their faith and their desire to do good, they will reap blessings. That family taught me to love anybody, no matter what their circumstance may be, and recognize that they are, indeed, children of God.
Tuesday I made a more conscious goal to OPEN MY MOUTH. I had a moment of realization where I thoughtm, "Gee. I'm five months in. Why don't I talk to every single person we see about the gospel?" So that's been a big goal for us and we've been working hard at it. A string of appointments feel through, so we ventured over to Lucy Park with a pail of chalk, crossed the ricketiest, sketchiest bridge of all time, and drew the Plan of Salvation on the sidewalk. I would love to say that we saw miracles from that, but we didn't...Although we did get prank called from it, so there's that. One of the members in our ward saw it and she snapped a picture of it and put it on the internet, and a bunch of the other members have said that it made their day. So hopefully that's purpose enough. Also, one of our investigators that we've been struggling to meet with said that we could come over if she could cut our hair. So... we got free hair cuts! I cut my hair pretty short because it's too hot and I was dying...
Wednesday I had mid-prayer revelation! We are supposed to have faith IN Jesus Christ and IN His Atonement. Not faith about it, or faith concerning it, but FAITH or TRUST that he can indeed save us from our sins and from our weaknesses. A lot of times we belive that we can be saved but first we need to be perfect, and then we'll be cleansed. No! The atonement of Jesus Christ is for everybody! We just have to choose it and then TRUST it. That meant a lot to me, it probably doesn't make much sense here. We had another Book of Mormon class and the sisters taught it. It was on how we should react when someone is unkind and they taught two steps: 1.Have Patience 2. Respond in Love. It's simple, but so true. Nothing we get upset about is worth the energy it took to get upset. Whenever we get frustrated, we are only harming ourselves and others around us. If we make the conscious choice to respond in love, we improve the outcome automatically. This has been very helpful for me this week.
Thursday...We weekly planned. All day. And we had to go on a brief little part-day exchange with some missionaries that were struggling. I'm sure more happened but this email is eternal.
Friday! We woke up eaaarrrrlllllyy and went to the church to play survival of the fittest dodgeball. It was intense. And so awesome. I never won because I'm a pansy. But we had district meeting and we all went to lunch at a Chinese Buffet and I got a fortune that said, "Getting away for the weekend will help clear your mind", which I thought was the worst fortune for a missionary ever because I can't think of anything more stressful than running away from a mission, and we got to meet up with some less active members and Wanda! (We love Wanda). Then we had dinner at Sister Afutitis house, who has the same personality as Lisa, I'm pretty sure, and Hermana Oquendo tried to teach us how to dance. Fail. Pictures to come. Then the other sisters, ever so slyly, taught Sister Afutiti's friend the restoration without her even knowing it and she accepted an invitation to be baptized. It was insane.
On Saturday we visited Blanca! The ice cream truck driver. We met with her and she divulged all kinds of life stories and various other spiritual experiences. The spirit was so strong. We asked her if she had a desire to be baptized and she said, "Yes! I really do want that!" It was amazing. The Lord truly does prepare people for us to randomly meet and help them make huge steps in their lives. In the evening, some members in the ward, The Babbels, had the Babbel Taco Challenge for all the missionaries. And folks, I ate 17 tacos. I have never been so upset with myself in all my life. But I was proud. I came in second. And Broke the sister missionary taco record. Which is kind of gross. But then two random people told me I was skinny that night, so that was good. Helped me feel less nasty. I woke up at three in the morning and my stomach felt like somebody blew up a balloon inside of it. It was rough. But still worth it, I declare.
Now, to see if you're still paying attention, I saved the big news for last! On Saturday night we got a call the my companion will be training in a trio and moving to a different area! So mostly it's big news for her and means that I will be staying in good ole' Wichita Falls. Most likely. I've come to terms with the fact that I'll probably be here for life. No, I'm kidding. I really do love this area. The ward is great, the people are great. And we have been meeting a lot of new people. I know the Lord has me here for so many reasons.
Welp! It's a grand day to be alive! A grand day to be sharing the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I can't stress enough, if you love God, love his commandments. If you want to be happy, keep those commandments. If you want to pretend to be happy and have a rough life, pretend you can create your own happiness and repent later. These are the lessons I'm learning. There is only one source of happiness. We all know how to attain it, but it takes a special kind of discipline to actually do it. Our Heavenly Father just wants us to depend on him, then he lets blessings flow!
I love you all.
The pictures are:
-The day we decided to cut our hair... hahah. We had manes.
-My companion teaching us to dance.
-Eating tacos. I think this was number eight for me... Blech.