So this week has been great! We had a great first lesson with this new investigator and we were able to find some other new people to teach too. I am so grateful for second chances and the Spirit to guide us. Also the weather finally decided to change into "winter" or at least the cooler season here. Last year I seem to think it came more in December and I was complaining a little bit about it last week, but I got to get out my jacket one night this week! and I heated up water for my shower on Sunday. So life is GREAT! and less hot.
Shout out for referrals this week. Most of the people we taught this week were referrals at some point from members and it really does make all the difference. So hopefully you can prayerfully find someone to invite to listen to the missionaries so we can all do our part in this great work!
Just wanted to share my testimony real quick of the Sacrament and just express how grateful I am for the Spirit. It is such a wonderful gift Heavenly Father has given us. It can help us to taste a piece of the joy that we can have for eternity if we live to qualify for the celestial kingdom. I sat in sacrament meeting this week watching the deacons pass the sacrament just completely overwhelmed by the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us. I mean seriously I couldn't stop smiling and I felt like my heart was gonna burst with all the happiness! I know Heavenly Father loves us beyond what we can understand and I know He has a plan for all of us!
As for questions:What would you say has been most surprising about a mission?
Ummm... a lot of things have been surprising. I think the most surprising thing at the beginning was how inadequate I felt. Also surprising is how sometimes you do just have to do your best and realize that is being successful. I read in the Joseph Feilding Smith manual this week that he served his entire mission in England and never had a single baptism but planted lots of seeds. It surprises me that that can be God's plan for some of His missionaries but it's true that everything we do benefits someone...even if that someone is ourselves! haha. And lastly everyone will tell you you will be surprised at how deeply you can love the people you serve but you really can't understand until you experience it. I have been surprised at the love I feel for the people we teach and even more surprised at the sorrow I feel when they don't choose the right. It is the best feeling and worst and I wouldn't trade my mission for ANYTHING.
What, if anything, would you have done differently in terms of preparation?
I would've done a lot different... Mostly I wish I had done more practice teaching. That would have been a huge help to me. It helps to better understand how to teach and prepare for questions. I should have attended mission prep class. I think that is mostly the only things I would have done different as far as preparation.
When you have been most successful on your mission, is there anything that the success can be attributed to?
Well of course the success is always attributed to God. :P haha. But um.... I think sometimes no matter what you do right, things aren't gonna look successful. And sometimes you have success when nothing seems different. But I know that companionship unity does REALLY help in the success. Also I think I would say how effective personal and companionship study are. There are days when I feel the Spirit more strongly or get much more testimony and knowledge out of my studies than other days and I know it makes a difference in my attitude and faith for the whole day. And of course being obedient.
So for spiritual thought: Satan's power is real. I read in Corinthians this week about how we should not be ignorant of him and his power because he does have power. Plus on top of his power we are fighting the natural man who is also an enemy to God. It is so easy for Satan to place negative thoughts in our minds. He can easily play on our weakness and lead us to lower self-esteem, doubt the gospel and God's power, doubt ourselves. He can make us feel not good enough. BUT we can't listen. That is simply a tool that he uses. We must turn to the one who made us, turn to the one who KNOWS we are good enough to overcome Satan. He loves us the way we are. We of course need to continue to improve and change but it doesn't have to feel bad. We don't need to be negative. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we all have hope. SO hope and change and tell Satan to go away because you are a child of God. You have unlimited potential and the power to access that potential if we can just press forward with a perfect brightness of hope. So whatever your worries, don't let Satan get you down! Look up and move forward.