Monday, May 26, 2014

"Adversity is Necessary, Misery is Optional"

We had another great week!  We found more new investigators in these two weeks than I have found in my mission!  They have been fantastic!  We have seen so many little miracles and we have been blessed to work with wonderful less-active members who are willing to act, investigators who easily accept the invitations to pray about Joseph Smith and be baptized, and an absolutely fantastic ward that is sooooo mission minded, it doesn't seem possible.

Needless to say, I am very happy with where I am at right now.   I'm still learning so much every day!  Yesterday, my companion and I were able to go to a meeting where a general authority was present.  He said something that made me think a lot:

"Adversity is necessary, misery is optional...Our salvation is not dependent on whether or not someone loves us, but it is dependent on whether or not we loved them."

I know that no matter where we are in life, we always are given opportunities to make us happy.  It's up to us to take them and be grateful for what we have.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mothers Day Call from the Hospital!

Well, where do I begin with the happenings of this last week?

Let's start with transfers.....

I got transferred on Tuesday and I have a new companion.  She is only a transfer younger than me in the mission....the oldest companion I have had since I was in Corpus.  She is super cool, and we are tearing it up down here!  It is both of our first transfers since we were greenies where we have not been the Senior Companion (We're co-seniors right now), so needless to say, it's an adjustment for the both of us, but we're working it out quite well.

We are now enterening Week 2 of the transfer, and man, it has be eventful to say the least....
We decided to take a shortcut through the canal roads.  We were on bikes and we had been biking for quite some time when we came to a dead end.  I was kind of stressed about how much time we wasted coming all the way out here just to have to turn around and go a different way.  However, there were some guys across the canal fishing. We asked them for directions, gave them a card and we found a secret way out of the canals back onto a dirt road that neither one of us knew existed.  We ended up finding a new investigator on that road and after a lesson, she now has a baptismal date!

On Friday night, my companion woke up because her leg was itching really bad from a bug bite.  Saturday morning, we went to play basketball with other missionaries and her bug bite popped open and started oozing.  It also started to swell up really bad.  She called the missionary doctor who lives in San Antonio.  He told her just to take some Benadryl and get to work.  So we worked all day on Saturday.

At 8:30ish, after an appointment fell through, we decided we had better have a member take a picture of her bite to send to the missionary doctor.   At around 9, we got permission to go to the Emergency Room.  My companion was seen around 9:30...long story short, she found out her bite was infected and she had cellulitis so at 2:45 am, she was admitted to the hospital.  After 7 bags of IV medicine, hours of ukelele playing, pizza and ice cream from the Zone Leaders, and calling our mothers for Mothers Day from the hospital; we were able to go home Monday afternoon.  I'm still trying to catch up on all that sleep I missed!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Baby Chicks!

Another happening this week, we got to hold baby chicks at a member family's house! It was super fun and really quite entertaining watching the two daughters try to catch them in the chicken coop (they're both afraid of chickens). So after several screams and me almost falling to the floor laughing, we were finally able to work as a member-missionary team to catch the baby chickens! Then after, we all sat down to a wonderful taco dinner. A perfect ending to a perfect night.

I love the mission :D

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sober? We'll Come See You!

We met this guy, who said he was a member of the church, who was completely drunk. He pulls up to us in his truck begging us to come and see him that day. Luckily, we were on a pretty tight schedule, so we told him it would be best to come and see him another day. We continued on and he drove around the block and came up to us again, asking if we could come and see him. Same thing, we told him no, we'd come back another day. I was starting to get a little frustrated, but then a "long-lost" less-active member sees us and runs up with a big smile on his face telling us that he had been praying to find us and we were in the right place at the right time to meet him.   We had been praying someone would find us too, so we could get away from the other guy.  Long story short, we now have a set appointment with the less-active member and he wants to come to church. :)  All that happened because the drunk would not leave us alone.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

They're Finding Us!

Well, this week, it was a lot of fun!   We are trying to do what we as missionaries should be doing - finding and teaching new investigators, preparing them for baptism, the works....


The only people who really want to talk to us and spiritually progress right now are our less-active members who we didn't know existed until they came up and contacted us on the streets! They're also the only ones we can get to consistently come to church.  :)

I personally think it is a very good take on missionary work. Probably about 75% of the members in our area are less-active. The only problem is, we want to reach the goals we have set for  "investigators at church" and "members present at a lesson".

We're still working on a good balance between the two ;)

Well, this week was really successful when it comes to less-active work, and pretty okay when it comes to investigator work, so I say drop of awesome for us!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Lessons Learned!

Well, this week was really tiring, but really great!  My companion and I got this crazy idea to set really high goals for ourselves this week - higher than either one of us has hit in our entire missions!  Well, we worked our tails off, and ran into a ton of problems, and although we weren't able to hit all our goals, we learned some valuable lessons in the process.

1) It's hard to plan and balance time, but it's worth it!

Along with setting almost ridiculously high goals for ourselves, we also set goals to visit every one of our members and less-actives this week....and we have a lot.  We have to really be dedicated and focused on our goals because there is a lot of work to do and not very much time to do it.  One of the biggest reasons for not hitting our goals was because we didn't use our time as well as we could have.  But luckily we have this week to redo everything and fix the mistakes we made last week.  We already have appointments set with almost all of our members and we've identified others who are willing to meet with us and keep commitments!  Talk about golden members!

2) We need to simply focus on the basics

Having so many solid appointments in a day means we're planning lessons like crazy.  Sometimes I think that the next day's lessons are supposed to make our members and investigators make huge, leaping strides in their spiritual progress, making daily planning stressful, long, and exhausting!  But one thing I realized this week as I was reading "Act in Doctrine" by Elder David A. Bednar, was that our individual lessons don't need to be life-changing moments, but rather they just need to bring the Spirit.  Lots of subtle, spirit-filled moments go farther than huge, elaborate discourses.

This changed completely the focus of our lessons and the commitments we are having our members and investigators keep.  This week, we created a small Book of Mormon reading chart for all of them.  Every time they read and pray together as a family, they just check off a box for the day.  It only goes for a week, so they won't get tired of it and we promised them all a prize on Sunday if they can read every single day.  The kids are super excited for the challenge!

3) It's more important to love the investigators than to worry if you're doing everything right.

I think this is a lesson I still have yet to learn!  Often, I am so worried about if I am teaching well or if I am doing every little thing possible to get these investigators to baptism that I forget that these are people with their own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.  We should really be helping these people get baptized because we love them, not loving them because we want them baptized.  Keeping this in mind has helped us more easily shift our focus to what is most important in this work: bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of our brothers and sisters (Moses 1:39)