I finished my giant journal yesterday!! And what makes it even cooler is that I started writing in it on Jan 25 last year and finished it on Jan 25 this year. I've written every day. It's kind of weird that there's a book documenting an entire year of my life written by my own hand. It's been interesting to look back on when I was only 4 months out and how I thought then and to read different entries and see myself change, or see different success or struggles arise. I really have changed a lot since the start of my mission.
On another note, campus is back in full swing and I am a happy camper..well, missionary :P There are bunches of people and it feels good to be contacting! We've been trying to figure out a lot of new things this semester because all the family ward missionaries in the surrounding wards are joining us. It makes for a lot of coordination so we don't overwhelm campus and a lot of questions and practice so we and the other new missionaries can get comfortable and confident on campus. We've been trying to approach people under the umbrella of LDSSA (latter-day saint student association) the church's on-campus club. After a lot of confusion I think we have a better understanding of it and we can use it as a great tool to introduce people to the church and be on campus! :)
We've done so many things this week. We've walked around and talked to people, set up an interactive board in the MSC, and I'm eager to try out our A-frames as a contacting method. I feel like a toddler with a new toy, and there's so many different ways to use the board and the A-frame and just to contact on campus in general! We have so much follow up to do right now it's great! And we already have 5 new investigators this week!
I think the biggest event of the week was the MSC open house, which is a day for all the clubs on campus to set up a booth and tell people what they're all about. We set one up and talked to a lot of people. It was interesting because I'm the only missionary still here who was also in this area when we did this last year. This semester was definitely better! We focused more on individuals and inviting them to LDSSA and to learn about what we do in the church. We talked about the Book of Mormon and got a bunch of numbers for people who want to learn more instead of just handing out a million flyers for institute. I'm excited to see how the missionaries in the future keep making it better :)
We had a couple really good lessons this week too. We met with a girl named Hillary who we met on campus and she was really sweet. She asked the day before the lesson if she could bring a friend, and of course we said, Absolutely! These 2 reminded me a lot of 2 people we taught last semester where we met one on campus and they brought a friend and the friend ended up being the most interested and asking lots of amazing questions! Ellen came with a really old copy of the Book of Mormon that her dad had and we answered a bunch of questions and then taught the Restoration and they left eager to read it. I'm excited to see what happens with them :)
There's lots of good things happening here, the occasional sad moment when an individual decides to stop learning more, or feels like they've found greater truth elsewhere and can't see the light and Truth that is found in the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel. But hey, it happens and no effort is wasted. We wouldn't have found Ellen if it weren't for the missionaries that visited her dad and left a Book of Mormon! 2 Cor 3:6-9 says, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." Keep laboring in the Lord's work, you never know what miracles you could help happen.
In our dinner appointment last night we were talking to this family (one of the few meals with families that we have in the YSA ward) and discussing how to best inspire others to do missionary work. The father mentioned that success is probably the most inspiring, and as others see the joy from missionary work, they want to be a part of it. So, my challenge to you is to pray for opportunities to share the Gospel this week and then use them when they come, and then to share your success in testimony meeting(remembering that success=inviting see the end of chp 1 of PMG). I'm excited to hear about your experiences.
Love you lots!