December 5, 2016
So, a little more background to the picture. Every month, President James selects some excerpts from our letters to him to include in the newsletter. They are always anonymous but always uplifting and inspiring. This is actually the second time one of my letters has made it into the Tarheel (the monthly newsletter. The first one was about Lisa) and it was really cool to read this one again. By the time we got the Tarheels, I had forgotten about this experience. Reading about it made me remember it again and it came at the perfect time. In case it is too hard to read, it basically talks about an experience I had with one of our investigators. Somehow, the topic came up of how we came to be in Durham serving missions. We were explaining how/why we decided to serve and talked about what we do as missionaries. She was so impressed with our dedication and kept going on and on about how much of a sacrifice we were making. Not only was it weird to have her praising us so much, what she said didn't really make sense. I couldn't figure out why until Sister Ruske and I were talking about it later that night. I realized that it was weird because I don't see my mission as a sacrifice. I have received way too many blessings to see these 18 months in terms of what I left behind. Of course there are some days where I miss people/things from home, but what I get to do every day is worth more than anything I put on hold. Seeing people I have come to love so much come to know that the gospel I love is true is worth not going to school, missing my family, not seeing my little brother for 3 years, being far from home, and it is worth every single door closed on me. I am so incredibly grateful to be able to share the gospel all day, every day for 18 months that I cannot see it as a sacrifice.
Well, since I can't remember anything too exciting that happened this week, I'll just give y'all a brief overview of each day. Sorry if it's boring :)
Monday- Preparation day, obviously. A pretty normal day, honestly. We did find a new investigator in the evening though. OH! WAIT! After we had gone tracting, we called a member to come pick us up. We didn't feel like we should be tracting so late, so we decided to go to the grocery store around the corner and talk to people there. We had prayed about it and felt like that was a good place to be. We walked in and the first person we saw was a former investigator! I had been thinking about her recently. She had really wanted to get baptized, but didn't feel ready to commit so we had to drop her. But she was so excited to see us and we set up to go see her later in the week (more details later)! I love seeing how Heavenly Father makes everything work perfectly when we follow His guidance!
Tuesday- Zone training. We spent most of the day up in Chapel Hill, being taught and (hopefully) becoming better missionaries. Then everything else fell through later that day. Literally everything. One of our investigators dropped us (dang boyfriend who isn't interested in listening to us), our dinner appointment was sick, and some potentials we were going to see texted us to say they are happy with their church and "didn't want to waste our time" *SIGH* That's okay though. Some days are like that.
Wednesday-We saw Christina! I love her so much and she is so cute!! We taught her the Word of Wisdom and the law of chastity last week and she still wants to meet with us :) She has been trying really hard to quit smoking and drinking coffee and has been making amazing progress! I am so proud of her! Also, funny story. Every other week we have a class/meeting with our ward missionaries. So after dinner we got dropped off so we could get ready to teach it. Only to find out that it is actually only the first and third Wednesday, not the fifth. Luckily we had left our bikes at the church on Monday after emailing, so we didn't have to walk home!
Thursday-Weekly planning, although we had to split it up so we could go teach a lesson. We went tracting afterwards and found a new investigator. None of our 3 appointments in the neighborhood were home, but we were able to at least see one of them. He was on his way out so we couldn't talk for too long. He told us that his wife is best friends with a member of our ward and that they really want to learn more about the church! Members are so important! Seriously, we could not do this work without you! Even if you think you can't be a missionary, your example makes a bigger difference than you realize. This evening was the RS activity, dinner and stories of service from the ward. Christina came and she loved it! We were a little late, but she was already sitting with people and making friends with them. This ward is full of awesome fellowshippers!
Friday-Not everything fell through today! We had some really amazing lessons. Christina is still doing well, we just had to push her baptismal date back because she is still struggling with coffee/smoking (not to mention her boyfriend). We were supposed to meet her at Starbucks so I could tell her all the things she can have (thank you Washington upbringing!) but she slept late so we just met her at home. We also saw Lisa. She has been struggling with some family things recently, so more prayers her way would be much appreciated <3 We found a new investigator and watched the #LIGHTtheWORLD video with him. If y'all haven't seen it, go watch it right now. mormon.org
Saturday-We found this super cute older couple! They met with missionaries 30 years ago before they moved to NC and had very fond memories. We showed them the #LIGHTtheWORLD video (I'm pretty sure I have seen it about 20 times at this point and I never get tired of it) and talked about service. In the evening, we made cookies with a less-active member and helped her decorate her tree. I am so excited for Christmas! It still isn't too cold, which is nice because I want to go caroling :)
Sunday-We met with that former investigator that we ran into on Monday. She is still excited about getting baptized and even had a dream a couple days ago that she had actually gotten baptized! I'm pretty sure her (almost) 18-month journey to baptism is almost over. We explained that church will change times next year and the time we will be at next year works better with her schedule! We set a baptismal date with her and I am positive she is going to make it!
Here are my last few days of gratitude from November
Nov 28- Walmart. Kind of superficial, yes, but who said I always had to be grateful for deeply meaningful things?
Nov 29- Animals. This was the day where nothing worked out the way we planned, not even dinner. No one wanted to see us, no one was home when we went tracting, and a seemingly solid investigator dropped us. BUT while we were tracting this cute cat kept following us from house to house and being super friendly. It was a little tender mercy, but it brightened my day.
Nov 30- Working GPS. The night before my GPS had died and wouldn't turn on when I plugged it in. I was a little worried, but it was all okay! It turned out to just be the outlet, it worked just fine when I plugged it in somewhere else. #nowiwontbelost