Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Growing Week

 A little statue at the house of a less-active/recent convert. I like it.

Dear Family, Friends, and Everyone,

This week was a growing week. It really taught Sister Smaellie and me to rely on the Lord.
One thing that was reemphasized for me this week was in my new favorite scripture, 2 Nephi 26:24. God's love is the reason for all of this, and so we can trust in Him that every trial is for the best and will create the best possible results.
We had an amazing exchange with our Sister Training Leaders. I went down to work in the YSA ward in Fort Lauderdale with Sister Stegelmeier, while Sister Smaellie stayed in West Palm with Sister Dougall... who doesn't speak Spanish :) It was fun and a great learning experience. I really love getting to see missionary work from someone else's perspective - it helps me get my head on straight again and figure out the difference between the Lord's expectations for us as missionaries and my own expectations for myself and my work. Also Sister Smaellie took over the area like a boss! It's crazy to think that we only have 2 more weeks of training together!
Crocs! I've worn them every day this week except for Sunday.  I love them.
Something I've really learned and focused on this week is setting a vision, goals, and plans, and then accounting to the Lord for them. Doing this helps me to have direction, listen to the Spirit, and apply what I learn so that I grow from it. An example of this set up would be that I set a vision of having the Spirit with me more strongly throughout the day. My goal is to be more patient, focused, and loving. My plans are to share my testimony in every letter I write today, open my mouth to talk to random people about the gospel at least three times today at Walmart, and perform an act of service for my companion. The accountability comes as I write down miracles that I see from this throughout the day, and then in my nightly prayers. I've started carrying around a little memo pad miracle book, and now I write down my vision, goals, and plans in that. It's awesome.
A wonderful spiritual experience came this week while we were doing companionship study yesterday afternoon. Yesterday was painful - the family we've been working with that was all set for baptism yesterday (the P family) disappeared. We stopped by their house before church with breakfast to help them be ready on time and all was well. Then we didn't see them again, even though we went by several more times. They didn't get baptized and we still have no idea what happened. To top it off, none of our other investigators came to church or answered us at all. So by the time we were doing companionship study, it was rough. I was silently praying to know what I could do to invite the Spirit and help us keep going forward with faith. I got an immediate answer - we needed the Savior's peace and blessing. So we knelt down and my companion asked Heavenly Father, by virtue of our calling as missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ, to bless us with the Savior's peace and blessing to help us in fulfilling our sacred calling. It was beautiful and peaceful and brought the Spirit and hope back to us. We went out and taught two amazing lessons, left several powerful harvest blessings, and taught a wonderful Less Active who has just started to come back. We saw many miracles in a day that my companion had told me she hated only a few hours earlier. I really felt how we can rely on the power of the Atonement as missionaries, to support us as well as our investigators.
BTW, don't think we've given up on the P family. They are so ready to get baptized. They had their interviews on Thursday, came to the ward activity on Friday, and are awesome. A committed to kicking out her 'esposo' so she could get baptized. We're not sure what is happening with that, but she's an amazing strong woman and her desires are high, so we are going to see what we can do to help them this week.
The Canales family fed us lunch yesterday. They're awesome.
We also met lots of really cool new people this week. I wish I could tell you about all of them. But I'll just close by telling you that we're working with a Less Active we found harvesting, and also teaching his wife who's not a member. We went by yesterday and they weren't there, so we left their neighbor with a Book of Mormon to read as she was going to the Laundromat. It was cool - I love giving out such a huge and impactful book to so many people.
Love you all a ton!!

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