This week we did a ton of member work! We taught 7 RCLA's (Recent converts and less actives) and 16 MRL's (Member restoration lessons/member visits) NEW RECORD FOR THE YSA!!! My companions are super good at doing that kind of thing. They have helped me see that the work speeds forward with the help of the members. They are also so good at keeping track of the commitments we've left. It's been hard because our ward mission leader moved to France so we haven't had one for a month - we're getting one soon though. Do we even have a ward mission leader in our home ward? You should find out... and help them - and feed the missionaries! I'm sure the Utah missionaries get fed like crazy.. we don't. We're super lucky though because we have 2 per week for the rest of the month! Our members are so awesome and I'm finally getting to really know them! They all have so many people they could invite to church and an apostle even said that every member of the church is CURRENTLY in contact with someone who is ready to hear the gospel.
CHALLENGE: This challenge applies to everyone!! I challenge all of you at home to pray about who you could share the gospel with. Dad, I know you have a ton of co-workers, and Mom, you have a lot of friends through ebay and facebook, and Cory just knows everyone... Can ya do it? :) *yes we can!* Thanks!
I had a cool experience this week. I woke up feeling terrible and sick and just miserable. I was praying to start studies to know what I needed to do to have a great week and to focus on my studies... then I opened up the book, The Continuous Conversion, you sent me to the page I left off on, and it was entitled "Sacrifice Is Required For Our Sake..." UH.. Ok. I need to sacrifice things. Become selfless. It was like a smack in the face!! It talked about sacrificing things in order to receive the blessings we pray for. This is not for Heavenly Father, but for us. To help us learn and grow. It says "He is not trying to see how much He can squeeze out of us, but rather how much He can squeeze into us" SO TRUE. It also says "we will be judged according to our works because of how those works have shaped us. .... the promised prize... is not just what we get, but what we become. Becoming like Christ becomes its own reward." So then I decided to just work. I felt better and happier and the day was just smooth!
Also, this week we, as a zone, are doing something really cool. We are starting a fast in a few hours and each companionship is going to get 7 new investigators this week! That's a huge stretch, especially for YSA, but I'm super stoked because I know it's going to happen. With that much prayer and determination, it WILL happen.
I'm just really focused on the atonement and working hard! OH! Something CRAZY happened this week. So I started having the neck and head pains and piercing headaches, and I was telling my companions about it. They were saying maybe I should rest or something. I agreed but I also said "I just want to work so hard but I can't because I'm miserable!" I got a blessing from Elder Byington (one of the assistants, and also serving in our area) and he gave a great blessing. You could tell he was focusing on listening to the spirit. He said my family is already receiving blessings. It was very comforting and the pain left for the rest of the day! When the Elder's gave me a blessing, they asked what was going on and I said it again without knowing it - I do want to work so hard and I desire more than anything else to be here. That's that.. First time that's happened though. I WANT TO BE HERE AND I WANT TO SERVE WITH ALL MY HEART!!! WHOO HOO!!
Update on Cha. She is doing so good! She is such an example to me of how the atonement can change people. I've been working on that this week. That was a common topic in church, zone meeting, and companion study. When I first met Cha, I thought she would have a hard time gaining a strong testimony. I was only one week into my mission and I kick myself for thinking that. Cha is a whole new person! She has such a strong testimony. She has fought so hard to change and to live the word of wisdom. She even got anti-ed by random phone numbers right before and after her baptism. She just bore her testimony and ignored what the people said... without us even telling her what to do! She knows this gospel is true and she has already seen it bless her life so much! She is living the gospel completely and trying to set an example for her parents and siblings. She is so amazing and her testimony lifts me up. It's such a miracle to me!
We set a date with Emad!!! He's getting baptized in February! It was the 9th...but there's a fireside that night so we might have to move it. But still... EMAD'S GETTING BAPTIZED!!! He's understanding things and progressing. We gave him an Arabic Book of Mormon and he was like a giddy little boy when he got it. He started mumbling and reading it super fast! He LOVES it! Ah. Emad!
Bob - Do you remember him? Sister Giles and I met him back in September or October. We told him we were missionaries and he said he had a friend named Jesse who was Mormon. We gave Bob a Book of Mormon and he said it was the best gift he's ever gotten. He lives in Indiana and comes to Nashville every weekend. We would text him every now and then but hadn't heard from him for a while. About 2 weeks ago, I sent him a text and invited him to church and HE CAME. He brought his wife, Celeste and Jesse (who is less active and apparently very famous - He looks like a Brazilian Elvis.) Bob stayed all three hours and asked questions and loved everything about it. He finished the whole Book of Mormon in a week and wants to re-read it and also read the Pearl of Great Price. Things are finally starting to pick up and take off and I'm starting to enjoy every aspect of missionary work.
Dad and Mom, your example, with both being missionaries is such a strength to me. I know that you both had similar experiences and that you had to work through them somehow too. I know I can and one day I'll be a fantastic parent, just like mine. I love you so much!! Thank you for your support and love and believing in me. Thank you for telling me that my Heavenly Father is proud of me. Elder Byington said that in the blessing. It must be true! I love you!
Well that's about it for this week. It's been super good! And it's only going to get better. I love you!
The "little kid" pizza that Emad made for me.