Hi! I think I just spent way too long writing a letter to the President about every crazy thing that's going on over here in StillwaterLand. So I apologize if this is short. But it's been a hectic week! Every companionship in Stillwater changed except myself and Sister Chandler. And every sister companionship that the two of us cover changed except one. So we've been doing a lot of...ministering. ;) And drawing maps with boundaries and labels, and having mini comfort pow-wows, and planning trainings... oh my. You never know what type of missionary work you're going to be doing, but the principle is generally the same... in everything we do we're helping others put their faith in Jesus Christ. Whether they have a perfect knowledge of who he is and what he has to offer, or if they barely understand his nature, it is the same.
But then it's funny. Because sometime we think we understand the Gospel. (I mean, it's all we teach all day long, for crying out loud!) But then sometimes we forget to apply it to our own lives. We think we're the exception. We think we can make excuses. Or we think we can solve our problems on our own. But I'm here to tell you, from my own personal experience, that that's just silly. Maybe we can figure it out on our own, but more likely we're just going to take the long route. The route that is neither scenic nor efficient. It's just harder. And windier. And bumpier. And there are nails on the road. So that's my opinion. And my really vague way of saying that this week I learned a lot about humility and how next time I think my way is better than God's way, I should probably do as King Benjamin says and "always retain in remembrance the greatness of God, and your own nothingness".
That's something I studied this week: King Benjamin's address in the book of Mosiah. He was so wise. Because he didn't just stand in front of a multitude and tell them how to live their lives... He lived his life as an example, just as Christ had. He labored his whole life serving and helping others prosper in the land, inspiring them to be better. THEN he stood in front of the multitude and told them how to live their lives. ;) Because he had seen the blessings that had come from it. And he wanted them to receive those same blessings. But he knew that it wasn't without sacrifice. No one can coast through life and expect to be perfect. We have to fall down and scrape our knees and whine and make really, really stupid decisions. Then we have to make a conscious effort to... get over it. And move on. But repentance isn't just one moment where we turn from sin to obedience. It's a consistent process of being a little bit better than we were the day before until we finally feel comfortable in our own skin. Then we stretch ourselves a little bit further, knowing full well that our potential grows when we do.
We met a really amazing man this week. His name is Dan. I accidentally wrote "Dan the Man" on his record, because he really is the man. We met him while we were walking through a nicer neighborhood, and he had told us that he had just started reading the bible. We went back and sat down with him and taught him the Restoration, all the while he was asking us questions that were guiding us through the whole lesson. Things like, "Well then if there used to be prophets, shouldn't there still be one today?" "Dan! There is!" "No way!"
"I was recently studying the organization of God's church and wondering why churches today didn't follow that same pattern!"
Dan owns a cute little boutique and gave us each necklaces with our abbreviations on them, then he invited us back over to teach him the Plan of Salvation and to eat salmon with a couple from our ward. But it won't be for a little while because he's going out of town... Pray for Dan, Okay?
Anyway, we have to go drive to Enid now, but I love you guys!
Here are some photos:
This fellas name is Myron German and I'm convinced we were best friends in the Pre-Earth Life.
This is our cold faces after tracting for three hours in the Oklahoma wind. It's freezing out here!
This is Layla, a cute lil' girl, doing my makeup. She put lipstick on my eyebrows...