Monday, April 7, 2014

everything will be okay.


Wow. What a wonderful week it has been!

Of course, being able to listen to the Lord's servants this weekend was a beautiful way to end the week.

At the beginning of the week, we taught a few lessons, which made me feel a little restless afterwards. I just couldn't stop thinking about our investigators and if I or we as a companionship, are really doing anything to help them come closer to Christ. We have people to meet with, of whom I love deeply, but I have been a little unsure of their desires or reasons for meeting with us. It is hard to get them to keep commitments, and I feel like we are sometimes just getting a lesson to "get a lesson". Sometimes I walk away from teaching someone thinking, "did that even change or inspire them in any way to be better?" I have also been struggling with feeling confident in the language. Almost everyone we teach only speaks English or very little Swedish, which forces us to use a lot of google translate or have someone translate over the phone. I sometimes think it would have been more useful for me to learn Arabic. (haha). But I do feel like I am just on a plateau. Not getting any better, not sounding like a Swede... just kind of drifting.  

This week as I was reading my scriptures, I came up with a new goal for me to work on... and that is: NOT DOUBTING. Just as Russell M. Nelson said in his General Conference talk, we need to have FAITH- more importantly, faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.

I feel like I have faith in the Savior. I have faith that the church is true and that I can be healed. But at times on my mission, I doubt. I doubt myself, I feel inadequate to do this work and therefore I doubt the work. I doubt that I can really help someone come to Christ. I doubt my abilities to speak the Swedish language. And even sometimes, as I approach someone on the street, I doubt that they will listen. 

She ate a burger and said "That is the LAST time I am eating a burger!"
This week as I was studying, I realized that if I REALLY loved and trusted and had full faith in the Savior, I wouldn't have any doubts. I wouldn't doubt my testimony, my ability to learn a language, the power that I have to carry the spirit with me and to testify at all times. I was promised when I was set apart that I would be able to accomplish all of these things- all of the things that I sometimes doubt... I know that I need to strengthen my faith. President Newell once said, "if the missionaries here had more faith, they would baptize monthly." I have faith, but I need more faith. Faith in Gods word, His spirit, His love, His mercy, His grace. Faith in myself, my abilities, my testimony. Faith in God's children, my brothers and sisters, that they will be prepared.
Once I focused on faith this week, I saw some miracles happen with some of our investigators. Three of them, Goltom, Abraham, and Anicet committed to stop drinking coffee. Esther, invited us back and listened to us intently. Nour, after not being able to meet for two or three weeks, answered her door and set up a time for us to meet on Tuesday. We were also able to meet with less actives and see some progression with their testimonies and wanting to come back. And we also received a call from the Elders in Malmö reporting on an investigator that we used to teach, who then moved to Malmö and was given as a referral. He is their most progressing investigator, has referred one of his friends to the missionaries, and has decided to be baptized once he receives an answer. 

Looking back on this past week, I have noticed, that maybe these small miracles have been happening all along. I have also noticed that faith is a positive word. It is an action word. So once I decided to increase my faith with the work, I was able to see the beautiful tender mercies around me and know with a surety that they are coming from God... that this is His work and he is moving it forward. Not every miracle results in a baptism. But as I see these investigators take baby steps towards becoming better, they are coming closer to Christ and they are strengthening ME and MY testimony.

I am happy that we were able to meet with Esther again. When we first sat down, she told us that she has not opened the Book of Mormon because she doesn't understand why we need another book. When she said that, my heart sank low into my stomach. I opened up the Book of Mormon and began to read. Both me and my companion bore strong testimony and afterwards she said that she wants to have a testimony like ours. She wants to be able to believe in something so strongly that she can stand up for it no matter what... I felt the spirit in the room change. I felt like she was beginning to understand a little more. I felt God'
s love for this sweet woman, and also that we need to be very patient and sensitive to her beliefs and to helping her accept the gospel. And I have faith that she will. 

Esther told us about her mother~ She said "My mother has a pure heart. I have the same body, face, and sicknesses as my mom, but I don't have her heart!" She said that every time something went wrong or they ran out of money... her mom would just turn to the kids and smile and say "everything will be okay." She had so much faith that God would not leave them comfortless. At the end of each month they would go to town and buy groceries for the next month. Esther's mother would pull out a list of names of all of the people that she knew who were suffering... and before they would make it home, she would bring food around to all of them. What an amazing example.

I loved the messages from conference. I felt like most everyone really focused on how we REALLY need to prepare. They were bold and they touched on all of the simple things like: being kind, being grounded, serving others, reading, praying, and going to church. I really hope that you all had the opportunity to really sit down and listen and take notes from these inspired leaders.

I loved President Uchtdorf's message on gratitude. I loved the power and testimony that Sister Reeves gave about standing on solid ground. I loved W. Craig Zwick's on being cautious with our words, as well as Elder Holland's on being kind. I am grateful for these reminders. . . to be MORE grateful, to be kindER, to be strongER, to stand up for what I believe a little more, and to reach out and serve those around me with more love and compassion. Because when we do these simple things, "everything, truly, will be okay." 

srrrry that this is so long! But let's be real... I could write for hours. :) The weather has been a little warmer! We made Sushi with our investigator Grace this week! I received the BEST package from my wonderful mommy! In conclusion: I have no reason not to be the happiest girl in the world.
Love u miss u. peace & blessangs.


Ps. I told my companion that I hoped my mom sent me fruit snacks instead of candy... YOU READ MY MIND. LITERALLY. I was sooo happy!! Thank you sosososo much for the packie! I LOVED everything!!

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