Monday, January 19, 2015

Howdy, All Y'all!

Good morning!

I'll try to make this snappy, seeing as it's MLKj. Day and we're sharing the computers in the Family History Center with the other missionaries, but writing a snappy letter usually turns into a novel anyway. So we'll see about that.

This week was so random. I don't really know what else to say. And I only remember bits and pieces of it. I remember doing a lot of finding. On Wednesday we tracted door to door for six hours straight and didn't really realize it until it was time for dinner. We got dropped... again... by even more investigators. Only leaving us with a couple. So this week we spent a lot of time, actually, almost all of our time on our knees praying for prepared people to teach. And we found quite a few. We've set up appointments all of which are for this upcoming week. So this week should exceed last week by far. All the days we didn't spend searching and trying to salvage that which is left of our area were spent ministering and going on emergency/planned exchanges with sisters who needed help.

I have to say, in the most selfish way I'm sure, that I am incredibly grateful to be in the position that I am. Each time I have a desire to be stressed or overwhelmed or feel inadequate, the Lord gives Sister Chandler and I the opportunity to minister to somebody who is suffering worse, which immediately allows us to forget our present troubles and seek guidance on how we can better serve them. It almost doesn't seem fair. But I guess I won't complain. We are consistently forced to turn outward, and it is the best possible solution to getting lazy or prideful.

I had a question earlier this week. Wondering why, if the Gospel's purpose is to bring us infinite happiness, why are there days that are so difficult? Not just as a missionary, but ever! Why do we allow ourselves to fall into the dumps? I learned pretty quickly that it has to do with our own perspective. I've tried to shift my outlook and be... happier. Pray for it, seek for it, just choose to do it. And it happens. Choosing to be happy doesn't mean just smiling and laughing and pretending to enjoy the world. It means working a little bit harder to receive more lasting joy. Being a little bit more patient, trying a little bit harder, pushing yourself a little bit further, studying a little bit longer.

Speaking of studying, yesterday we had an incredible sacrament meeting on Prayer and Scripture Study, and Brother Monson gave a terrific talk. (No, he's not related to the Prophet. And when I asked he winked and said, 'oh, yeah! Uncle Tom!') He talked about how we all have the same amount of time in the day, so we need to stop kidding ourselves. Of course we have time to study the scriptures. I pondered on that. Then he brought up the point of feasting upon the scriptures.

Here's  a personal confession: I've never doubted that the scriptures are the word of God, but I have doubted, and sometimes still do, that they can answer every single question that we have... Some things just feel too temporal. Brother Monson, in his talk, confessed that he's had similar feelings before, but then he squashed that fear with a scripture:

"Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." 

Nephi!? What?! Explain yourself!

"If ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock... if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all thing what ye should do."

Okay. So if we diligently study the scriptures, we will be more able to feel the Holy Ghost in our lives, and he will help us make decisions, and we will be more in tune with him.

So there you go. There's my novel. I apologize if it was boring. Here's an awkward moment on what we would call the Double Door Approach.

Sister Chandler and I were knocking doors at an apartment complex. We knocked once, no answer, we knocked again, no answer, so I reached into my bag to grab a pass-along card while my companion turned around to knock the door behind us. As she did, the door in front of me opened so Sister Chandler joined me at the door and we introduced ourselves to a Muslim guy who was definitely not interested. Then the door she had knocked opened and they yelled "NO" and slammed the door. And we stood in the center of two doors who had rejected us at the same time, and we shrugged our shoulders, and we moved right along. And for some reason, it was hilarious.

Well, y'all. That's my time. I hope you had a remarkable time. Don't neglect your prayers. No matter what you're going through, or who you are, or what you believe, prayer is the way we cope with our present trials. And the first step to resolving conflict.

Um... here's the only photo I have from this week. We made Horchata with lactose-free milk. It tasted like sugar.

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