Monday, May 19, 2014

Put your trust in Him forever.

castle in örebro

hello my dearies. . .

I don't think I could describe this week in one word. It was really quite a roller coaster- it started off okay and progressively got harder. But of course there were the few small blessings and miracles that kept me going.

We started off the week with Sister splits. I went to Örebro and was SHOCKED at how huge the buildings were there. They are not anywhere comparable to Stockholm which I have seen within the past four months- but I sometimes forget how small Katrineholm is. I kept repeating over and over again that the buildings were so beautiful and huge! I felt like I was in Sweden again! haha. When I got back to K-holm with Sis Emi, we had an awesome lesson planned with Frida, the lady that I talked about last week that we tracted into. As soon as we knocked on her door she let us in- which we were happy about but then she handed us the Book of Mormon back. My first thought was to just take the book and say "thanks anyways" but as soon as I opened my mouth- the words came out telling her (kindly) to just keep it and that maybe she will want to read it in the future. She took a huge breath and told us that her son was in the hospital and that she was not doing well but then she gave us her phone number and told us to call again next week. So that was a huge blessing. I'm grateful that the spirit knows what needs to be said more than I do.

After that, we had a full day ahead of us with nothing really planned. We did a lot of tracting and swing by's with no success. No one was answering their phones or their doors! Emi said to me " I think our phone is broken- maybe we should call the office." hahaha.

Thursday was a similar story- it was hard but we were very blessed. We had three lessons cancel on us so we prayed and tried to figure out what the Lord wanted us to do instead. We were deciding whether or not to go to Cats or out to Vingåker. We both felt that we should go to Vingåker and save Cat for another day. We walked up to the bus station but as we were walking, I had the thought to go to another bus stop instead. We waited for a bit and about five minutes later, our investigator Shila came to the same bus stop!! It was so awesome- we were both in shock because we had been trying to get a hold of her for a couple weeks. She looked surprised to see us as well but she invited us to come home to her house to have a lesson. It really is amazing how the Lord knows where we should be and what we should be doing.

Shila is from Nicaragua and came here because of her boyfriend who is Swedish. She is Christian and Sister LaFontaine and I tracted into her about a month ago. She started off asking us about the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity because she had read a little bit about it. I was a little nervous because I didn't want to scare her away- I know that she smokes, drinks, and lives with her boy friend. But we were honest with her and she didn't really say much more about it.

Emi on a bench
We taught the Restoration and it went really well. She had a lot of questions and the spirit was so strong. We taught her how to pray and she prayed for us and our families and for help to stop "sinning" so that she can feel better about herself. It was a perfect prayer. She said that she knows its bad to smoke and drink coffee because they are addictive and she knows that she needs to marry her boy friend. She said it is a lot to change but she wants to be better even if it takes some time. Both Emi and I hadn't had a lesson like that in quite a long time so we were both on cloud nine afterwards. It was the only lesson we taught that day but the rest of the day we worked hard with smiling faces because we were so grateful for that experience.  We walked out of Shila's apartment and a drunk guy on a bike road past us and yelled  "Hey! uhh.. merry christmas... and God... and all that stuff." hahhahaha and then he road his bike all wavey on the side walk- it was pretty funny. While we were tracting later that day, Emi was resting on a door that we had just knocked on and then the guy answered so she hurried and backed away which made me laugh as I was trying to contact this guy- and it did not help that he was standing there in bright pink and purple underwear... hah fail.

I am happy that we decided to continue with faith that day. The morning was hard and nothing was going right but it turned out that those other lessons canceled for a reason because we needed to teach Shila.

We are down to only two investigators which is hard but I am grateful for the two that we do have. They are not progressing a whole lot but we are working on getting them to keep more commitments. GOOD NEWS- a less active, Paoline that we have been meeting with for the past couple weeks, came to church yesterday! And Nils, who we have been teaching for the past four months, is now completely active and gave an awesome talk in church yesterday!

I guess I should have said that Sunday was the biggest roller coaster. It was a good day at church but last night around 8, I received HORRIBLE news from Sister Hosenfeld. My heart is broken and I am very confused. Missions are hard work. After talking to Sister Hosenfeld for an hour last night- I kept wondering why it is so hard to see success on our missions when the Lord has promised us success and when he has promised us that we will not fail... I looked at this situation and thought of this whole past week- how we are spending so many days barely getting one lesson, no one answered their phones or could meet, and we have lost contact with most of our investigators... But as soon as those thoughts entered my head, I got on my knees and cried to my Heavenly Father- and almost immediately I felt peace in my heart. I felt so ungrateful that I could even think that we have not seen success, especially after that one lesson with Shila.

The words that Sister Hosenfeld said to me entered my heart- and comforted me. She said that because our missions are so hard, we are growing so much and becoming so strong so that we will NEVER fall away. --- No matter what comes at me in my future, because of my mission... I WILL NOT FALL AWAY.

I never imagined my heart to get so hurt, sad, discouraged or frustrated-- but I know that I need these experiences... so at the end of the day- through all of this hard hard work and discouragement- what is most important to me is that my testimony stands as firm as ever... I KNOW that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. I know that I am called to be a missionary at this time by God through our living day Prophet Thomas S. Monson... To be a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know it. I know it with all of my heart. I know that I am doing the right thing. I know that by trusting in God and continuing with faith- (a lesson that I learned earlier this week), everything will be okay...

My mission has taught me so much about the importance of covenant keeping... Which a dear friend wrote me about earlier this week... She said "When we keep covenants we grow closer to the Lord and when we let even the slightest distraction get in the way of keeping our covenants, we will fall... we have to make daily choices to keep our covenants with our Heavenly Father." I have seen what breaking our covenants does to people so closely on my mission. It brings hatred, sadness, and guilt into their lives. It breaks my heart to see so many slip and fall but I am grateful for the reminder to always keep my covenants- because that is where true happiness comes. I know I can be better at teaching and living this principle.

I know that I have become fully converted on my mission and that I can say, like Nephi, that my trust is in the Lord FOREVER. I know that agency is given to each of us so that we can work out our own salvation and return home to God. My testimony has really helped me know that my mission is not a sacrifice. That I want to be here. I love this quote:

"Some outside our Church may feel that a mission is a great and unreasonable sacrifice. Our missionaries do not view it as a sacrifice. They view it as an opportunity to manifest their love to the Savior, who charged, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). They see it as an opportunity to express their love to all mankind. They see it as an opportunity to testify of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Redeemer of the world. They see it as an opportunity to build faith in Christ and to teach His saving and comforting doctrine."

- Richard Edgley

I am grateful that my mission is not over- and that it will not be over in four months. I love you all. Keep your covenants and know that they are what bring us true happiness. CHOOSE to trust in the Lord forever.

lunch I made today! Hummus- sorry not many pictures this week

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