Monday, January 23, 2012

It's a tough life (Jan 11)

Haha interesting title ay? Yeah, it's been kind of a tough week for me, I guess because we're just not seeing the success we saw last transfer and sometimes it gets kind of tough because you just wonder what more can we do? Of course there's a lot we can still do, but the good thing is, while it's tough, it's not too bad. We still plenty of miracles, we just have some people that aren't too willing to progress right now so we've moved on back to the finding stage, which is always the more difficult part of missionary work.

The Lord has really been tutoring me this transfer on making sure that I'm relying on Him and the spirit rather than my own abilities or knowledge. Unfortunately there comes a point where you feel like you know how to teach, haha such a silly thought. While we may know some good teaching techniques it's not worth a thing, because in the end if the spirit isn't touching the hearts of the investigators it doesn't matter how good your teaching techniques are, how good your teaching to their needs are, it won't do a thing. En cambio (not sure how to say that in English) if you have good teaching techniques and the spirit's with you and touches their hearts that's when miracles occur. Sadly I think I'd been kind of missing some of the spirit in our lessons. Thankfully the Lord helped me see it and is tutoring me in relying more on the spirit. It's just been one of those times where you're working so hard and yet nothing seems to be happening, haha thus our patience is tried. However, we're still doing well and we've especially grown in companionship unity which will make us more powerful instruments in the Lord's hands.

Besides the struggles of just trying to teach people we've been seeing some cool miracles. We've been having some pretty cool finding experiences with English people. For instance we went to this building to go check on a reference and the person was not interested at all. However, it was one of those things where we were just pretty determined to teach and I was convinced we were going to teach someone in that building. We didn't know where they would be but we decided to find out why we were there and just knock a few doors. We knock the first door and a Jew opens the door! Haha luckily he was a nice Jew and we still testified of the reality of the Book of Mormon as Another Testament of Jesus Christ and while perhaps not interested he was kind to us. Then we randomly chose another door and a really cool lady opened up the door. While we couldn't go inside because there wasn't another male, we were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon and the church and she was very interested and called the Book of Mormon a "Godsend". It was really cool to just see how the spirit can work through us and direct us to just keep going and then a miracle occurs. Once again, it was a reminder to me to trust in the Lord.

An unsettling pattern I'd begun to notice in myself and also seen strongly in the district is that we think we know how to do the work. Because of that we'd maybe started talking to less people each day, believing that because member work is the way to get things done then talking to people is a waste. Once again a pretty silly notion. Luckily the Lord corrected me with Elder Sterr before I'd stopped talking to people and then I was able to help remind our district the importance of trusting the Lord's promise as well. Haha so I guess you could say it's been a rather humbling week in a very good way!

We also had Zone conference this week which was especially incredible. President Matsumori's workshop was much different from the ones he usually does. He shared with us very personal stories and scriptures that had really helped him personally to face the trials of life. It was very interesting because President Matsumori is a very business like man, very closed emotionally I would say. He doesn't let out emotion easily, but he was in tears as he gave the workshop. It was powerful because it was him and it wasn't just a workshop. It once again taught me a lesson I need to apply in missionary work. I don't know if you all have noticed it but I seem to have an issue with letting people love me. Yeah, I think our whole family may have a little bit of that problem ;) Which is unfortunately something that limits me and my investigators. It keeps me from sharing some of those experiences, or making that testimony even more personal and allowing my investigators to hear not only my testimony but why I have one. I believe it's something the Lord is trying to tutor me on, he's trying to help me let people in maybe just a little bit more, not necessarily for my sake, but because my investigators need to feel it as well.

In short it's been a very reflective week, very humbling, fairly difficult, but with the hand of the Lord in all of it. It's been really good for me! Haha I don't know if I ever told you guys about in Olney, but it was a hard time for me on the mission, one of those times where you work so hard and nothing happens for so long. It literally drove me to my knees at times, but it's when I grew the most. Once again it seems that it's time to grow, and I am more than willing to submit to the process. Never easy, but definitely worth it!

The work is true, and I love the mission. I love seeing the lives of people change, I love seeing the light that comes into people's eyes as they hear the first vision or feel the spirit. I love the difference Christ makes in the lives of these people, and I love being able to serve Him. It's very cool how in the service to our King we come to know Him, and I can definitely say I have come to know Christ so much more. I thought I knew Him before but I had nowhere near the relationship I have with Him and my Father in Heaven as I do now. I am very grateful for the hard times, and the good times. Life just wouldn't be as good without both!

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