As of yesterday, I am officially done being trained. That by no means means that I feel prepared for this next transfer though. I am staying in the area, so I don't have to worry about learning a new area, but Sister Workman is getting transferred to Pembroke to be a sister training leader. Both of our elders are also getting transferred, so I will be the only missionary staying in the area this next transfer. Which means that I not only have a new companion, but I also have three missionaries to introduce to the area/ward/investigators. The Lord clearly has much more faith in me than I do. This next week will be full of lots of prayer and growth. It will be a great time to learn to rely completely on the Lord because I know that there is no way that I can do it on my own. I am more than a little anxious about it, but I know that as I rely completely on Heavenly Father and do whatever is asked of me that He will magnify my abilities and give me the peace and strength that I need.
That stress has actually already given me sweet experiences that have strengthened my testimony. We found out Saturday evening that Sister Workman is being transferred, so I have had all weekend to process the changes that are happening. I have been praying a lot and asking for peace and comfort. I know that President James is inspired and that he seeks guidance from Heavenly Father in every decision and so I don't doubt that this is what Heavenly Father wants. That doesn't always make things easier though. As I have prayed and really sought His help and guidance personally, I have felt so strongly that He is aware of me and is going to help me. I know that Heavenly Father doesn't ask me to do things that I won't be able to accomplish. I know that peace comes when we most need it, if we sincerely ask our Heavenly Father to make us more than we can be on our own. I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity to strengthen my faith and become more of the missionary that Heavenly Father wants me to be. I know that I am doing His work and that He will not leave me alone as long as I turn my heart completely over to Him. I am excited to see what He has in store for me.
I had an interesting insight while cleaning last week. Every transfer we deep clean our apartment and really focus on cleaning everything. As I was scrubbing the oven rack, I thought about how satisfying it is to see things becoming clean and how it is worth all the effort it took. I realized that that is how Christ feels about us when we repent. It makes Him so happy to see us becoming better and cleaner. His Atonement was infinitely more of a struggle than cleaning the oven but I was able to get a glimpse of how willing He was to suffer so much agony for us. Christ loves us so much more than we recognize. The greatest evidence of His love for us is His willingness to suffer and die for each and every one of us. I know that the Atonement is real and that it covers everything. We do not have to suffer the pains, sorrows, and guilt of life because Christ already has. He has taken all of the burdens of the world so that we do not have to carry them alone. All He asks is that we use the precious gift He has give us and repent. I am so grateful for His sacrifice that allows me to become a little better every day. The 'spiritual deep cleaning' that is possible because of the Atonement is the greatest gift I have ever been given.
Since Sister Workman is leaving tomorrow, we are going to Duke Gardens today and seeing an original copy of the Book of Mormon that Duke has, so there will be lots of pictures next week :)