April 13, 2015
I feel like I have definitely succeeded in my goals this week. The past few nights I’ve actually slept through the night without tossing and begging for the night to end and being exhausted throughout the day. (As like what happened to me at college.) I’ve been accounting to the Lord at night, telling Him about my day, what I accomplished, the people we visited, how I felt it went, admitting my shortcomings and asking for forgiveness for my transgressions or sins (like trying to rely on myself instead of him, etc.). This last week as I’ve also focused on de-stressing, I’ve started recognizing when I feel stressed and trying to figure out what triggered it — sometimes it was the agency of others and the pain I feel when coming unto Christ isn’t important to them at that time of their lives, or when I feel insufficient or when I feel like I’m not doing something exactly in the manner it “should” to be considered “good.” But speaking with the Lord about all of this has been helping me a lot, and He is helping me start to see the good I am doing and how He feels about my service. He’s tried to tell me through my leaders, my companions, and through blessings, but I wasn’t seeing it. But now, through this accounting to him and writing down the miracles throughout the day (and taking a few minutes in the afternoon to have some fun to release that stress), I have been finding joy in the work. I also read back through my notes from the MTC about the character of Christ, and yes, I’ve learned through experience that I am happier when I focus on others instead of myself.
I’ve learned that the Lord has sent me to this area learning Spanish to not only humble me but also to help me break out of my shell. There are a lot of people here who speak Spanish — TONS. And I don’t have the excuse not to speak with them because of the language barrier — nope, I can speak the language. I can speak with them, and with the Spirit I can know what to say to help them come unto Christ. As I’ve spent these past months here, I’ve seen miracles in the lives of those who were willing to listen, to come back. I’ve learned that some people, no matter how much I want them to come unto Christ, choose not to listen. But I’m not here to force them to believe. I am here to share my testimony of Christ, to speak with everyone I can, to smile and bring light into this area, to leave this area stronger than I found it. I am here for the members, for my companion. I do have worth. I am here for a reason. And this lesson that I have learned will help me throughout the rest of my mission. This last transfer I was wishing to leave this area — I felt hopeless. But now, I love this area again. And my goal these next few weeks (as I don’t know if I will leave this coming transfer) is to build and strengthen this stake and area and to help my companion become the wonderful woman she was born to be.
Yesterday Hermana Flores woke up feeling extremely sick and exhausted. The elders came over and gave her a priesthood blessing, and she called the mission nurse. The nurse told Hermana Flores that she probably had a virus and needed to stay in the house all day so as not to give that virus to anyone else. So I spent the day serving her and making sure she had everything she needed; cutting out paper hearts to heart attack families; writing letters to families in our Spanish ward; sending messages of encouragement through text to the families we teach, expressing our love for them; coordinating efforts with ward members; etc. When Hermana Flores was awake and felt up to it, we actually taught a lesson to a returning less-active member through Skype. We cleaned up our area book, updating information and verifying commitments. I completed some requests from our leaders. And at the end of the day, instead of feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything because we weren’t outside contacting people, I felt at peace. It was a great learning experience for me about what it means to be a successful missionary, no matter what circumstances arise. And today Hermana Flores feels A LOT better, enough to go about teaching and helping others come unto Christ. And she, through her sickness yesterday, actually invited me to come unto Christ. Our greatest convert of the mission is ourselves, and our second greatest convert is our companions.
I feel at peace. The Lord is taking care of me. Yes, I have trials, but as I pass through them and look back, I realize that the Lord allows me to pass through them to refine me and help me see what I’m capable of being and becoming.