Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Frogs Outside Our Window

Dear Everyone,

Last night frogs outside our window kept waking Sister Smaellie and I up all night long. They sound like wet rubber boots squeaking - most annoying thing ever! Luckily it's nap-day. Oops, did I say nap day? I meant writing-meaningful-letters-to-friends-and-family-day. But really. Sorry for being so lame at writing back! I still greatly appreciate your mail and will try to write back when possible.

This week changed my mission. We had a trio exchange (one extra missionary - Sister Johnson, who used to live with me and is now a Sister Training Leader - with Sister Smaellie and I) on Wednesday and it was fantastic. I don't know what made things really click, but they did. I understand planning a lot better now, and I see how it doesn't have to be a painful process. Before we would plan out every little thing, get stressed out because we weren't sure we were going to be able to see everybody, have agonizingly long lessons, and half the time never get to use the in-depth plans we'd created. Now we've started doing shorter and more spiritual lessons, praying to know who we should plan for, paying attention to how we feel as we plan (because it's not worth anything to plan if the spirit's not there, and it's not there if we're so stressed about everything that we can't even listen), and getting members out with confidence that we will be able to have appointments for them to go to. It makes the work more fun, faster, less emotionally exhausting, and more effective. We got more lessons last week, when we had to stay home for two days because Sister Smaellie was sick, than we have gotten in any other week of the transfer.  Anyway, I feel a lot better about planning and effective time use now.

One miracle spiritual moment we had this week was at the end of a disappointing lesson with a drunk man. As we were walking away this man from the half-house next door yelled out to us telling us that we were doing great work and even though he did bad things he recognized that we were representatives of Jesus Christ. We turned around and blessed Robert and his family and found out that they have been so prepared. They have questions that have answers only in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they want to make changes in their lives. I loved that the Lord touched his heart and in that exact moment we were able to meet them.
In the Book of Mormon this week I was studying in Ether, the story of the brother of Jared. One thing that really struck me was the importance of knowledge. Jared and his brother had a great knowledge and understanding of the nature of God. I noticed that Jared asked his brother to ask God that the curse not apply to them - so he knew what would happen before it did, or he couldn't have talked to him. Jared's brother had a knowledge of divine things that allowed him to create the stones that would conduct light, and his knowledge allowed him to exercise great faith in the Lord. I don't know if my explanation is making any sense, but basically what it came down to is what the Bible Dictionary says: "Knowledge of divine and spiritual things is absolutely essential for one's salvation." So cool.
I love you all!
Hermana Houghton

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