This week's been an exciting one. And although my brain felt fried as I tried to help my 2 new companions learn the area that I don't know fully yet, (in my mere six weeks here) it wasn't too bad. The Lord definitely blessed me with increased strength and remembering things and perseverance. Anyone who knows me knows my planning skills were dismal, to say the least before the mission, but I've definitely improved in that area in the last 6 months. We were still productive this week even though I had to lead planning and think of everything we needed to do because my companions were brand new. We got where we needed to be, we found everything okay, and we didn't run out of car allotment of miles for the month. I've also been blessed with great companions that helped me adjust to everything and are loving and supportive and great teachers. They are Sister Pugh (say pew) and Sister Harrison. Sister Pugh was in the MTC with me, and Sister Harrison has been out for 9 months. It feels like they've been here longer than just a week, but it's flown by and we're learning and getting better at working together every day.
Some fun things this week:
We've gotten to do lots of service projects recently. We helped paint a couple people's houses, (practiced my contortion skills as I painted inside a closet with shelves), put down sand and bricks to make a sidewalk, filled flower beds with dirt, not to mention the roofing we did a couple weeks ago.
The last night my companion was here she requested crepes. We were at our WML's house for dinner. So I got to help his wife make crepes. Thankfully I've had lots of practice with that (thanks grandpa S!) and it was really fun and quite delicious with nutella.
We had dinner with an older couple in the ward, the Bailey's, and come to find out they served a mission in New Zealand! They were on the South Island though, so they said they didn't know G&G Sessions, but they showed us a lot of cool NZ things that reminded me a lot of G&G. They had a noah's ark carved by an islander and all the different animals were out of a different wood native to NZ, it was interesting and beautiful.
The highlight of the week was Sunday. We had an amazing woman come and be a guest speaker in our ward. She was in my new companion's last area, and she's a missionary guru. She had amazing experiences to share and tons of amazing insight. The main principle she highlighted are the different roles of full time missionaries and member missionaries in hastening the work of salvation. When people join the church they have to go through 2 types of conversion, spiritual and social. Full time missionaries are responsible for the spiritual part. We know how to teach the lessons, what order to teach in, how to testify, invite and build testimonies. It's all we do, all day every day. You members on the other hand can do what we cannot on the social end of things. We're in an area for a few months, which makes it really difficult for us to do the job of building friendships. Missionary work is most effective if "You bring 'em, we ask 'em" If you invite your friends to activities, and make the missionaries aware that you have a friend with you! we'll do the hard stuff, we'll invite, we'll teach, but sometimes we don't know who's who yet, so let us know if you have a friend, and tell us what you need us to do. Remember, you succeed when you invite! And it usually takes 3 Nos to get a Yes. As both members and missionaries get to understand their roles better and we work together, the work can move forward more effectively. I'm excited to increase how well we work with members.
As someone said in the women's meeting on Saturday to not only love more but love better. I'm excited to not only work more but work better and help the members see the joy that comes from missionary work.
Love you all!