It's been a week of up and downs. We went downtown on Monday which was super fun! We got to go to the museum of natural science and walk around and go up on a huge tower to see the view of the city. It was fun to get out of our normal area and do something different. Not to mention the people in our district are super fun and we had a good time together.
Some miracles from this week: one of our recent converts, Sandra followed the promptings from the Spirit and invited a total stranger to church. The elders had a great lesson with him and he's very willing to learn! It's amazing to see people who just found the church so recently turn around and start sharing it with others. They want those around them to have the same joy they've found.
I was reading about King Lamoni's father in the Book of Mormon today and was thinking about the power of recent converts in sharing their testimony. This is right after the king has prayed to know God is there, he falls to the earth, and then Aaron raises him up, Alma says, "And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord." Anyone can have a "recent convert experience" as you take steps to strengthen and grow your own testimony you will feel the desire to share it with others which will further increase your testimony. You have more influence than you know.
Our investigator Charlie disappeared for a while which scared us silly. We were so worried about him. Turns out his phone wasn't working very well, but we want to make sure we really understand any concerns he has too. Joining the church is a huge change a huge commitment. As missionaries, we need to listen and understand so we can really help those we teach with their individual needs.
We've gotten some great referrals from other missionaries with some wonderful people we hope to keep teaching. We're trying to do our best to keep inviting others to learn and find people for them to teach too! I was also eaten alive by mosquitoes this week (nothing new) but I got some other whopper bite that got huge and swollen... so the mission doctor put me on some antibiotics and it's better now :)
We found a celestial area to talk to people at. We taught 3 mini lessons in an hour there one night just walking around. People were so nice and willing to listen! We even found a YSA which doesn't happen very often!
We also had a great lesson with this girl named Christina! Her friend Dillon has been talking to her a lot about the church and we got to meet her last night and had a great lesson! We hope to keep helping her learn. Dillon has been great in answering her questions and helping her learn more! It's amazing what can happen when everybody comes together to move the work forward :)
This 25 thing has been really hard. It's been trial and error and Sister Nielsen and I have really been trying to figure out how to make it work better in this area that we're in. The Lord is working a mighty change in me. I'm more aware of the people around me and more motivated to go talk to them. With the goal in mind you won't let people pass you by, we're trying to invite everyone!! It still takes a lot of effort and it's still stretching me a lot in an almost painful way, but it's good for me too.
I've been reflecting on this tough patch right now, this challenge to invite 25 people a day, and what I need to learn from it. What does the Lord want me to learn from this right now? I came up with a couple of answers:
It's teaching me to not wait to begin. sometimes just knowing how to begin, getting started, that first invite of the day even can be a struggle. My dad always says in reference to exercising "showing up is the hardest part" Same goes for inviting, just the first words are hard, and then it gets easier.
It's teaching me greater faith and perseverance. sometimes people don't want to listen, you have a really unsuccessful day and nobody wants to keep talking to people who don't want to listen. So having the faith that the Lord will put people in your path who want to listen and to keep going anyways takes strength.
It's teaching me how to exercise faith. Faith is an action! So having an opportunity to daily, hourly even to exercise my faith by extending an invitation to someone to learn more is a blessing and a challenge. It has definitely increased my testimony and hopefully I'll be able to use that to strengthen others in the future.
I'd invite you to look at some of the things you may be struggling with right now. Everything happens for a reason, and often we're stuck with a trial until we learn what we need to from it. Figuring out what needs to change helps us be able to focus and to change it. Take some time to think about that, you'll be surprised what insights the Lord has to give you.
Love you lots!!