I hope that all of you have had a great week.. It sounds like it's been pretty good, I was so excited to hear that the Stamps won the Grey Cup! Woohoo! It also sounds to be unreasonably cold.. Yikes. But.. HAPPY DECEMBER! What, I feel like November came and went so quickly. It was a pretty rough month to be quite honest, so I'm pretty excited for it to be over.
This last week though.. was not an easy one. We had high hopes for it, but each day just a had a lot of setbacks. There were moments where things just felt pretty impossible. You know? Those moments where you're just like.. What more am I supposed to be doing? Why is NOTHING working out? But, as I look back I realize that each day held a tender mercy from the Lord.
Thursday was a good day. It was Thanksgiving! So we all got together at the mission office to have a little training, and then we had dinner and had a talent show! It was so fun. I love the missionaries in my mission, seriously.. I swear they're the best. The talent show was SO funny. My friends Elder Holm and Elder Price were the MC's and it was... so funny. Our district's talent was synchronized swimming.. The elders all choreographed a "swimming" piece to a hilarious song and Sister Coleman and I held up the 'water'. It was funny. I died laughing as I was holding it, super funny. Elder Holm loves to make fun of Canadian's (all in good fun) and so while we were waiting for one district to get ready, he was like "if your flag has a maple leaf on it, come up to the front". So, all 4 of us Canadian's get up there, and we had to sing the Start Spangled Banner. It was so funny.. Then the whole mission joined in and sang too, it was great. Seriously, we had so much fun.
There was also a dessert contest, and Sister Coleman and I made an apple pie.. and it came in 2nd.. So, we're pretty awesome. We lost to the Peja elders... Stupid.
Our training was so awesome, it introduced us to the "He is the Gift" initiative. I am IN LOVE with it. That video is incredibly powerful. I know that this is so inspired. Seriously, I know that so many hearts are going to be touched and changed because of the Spirit that it brings. I cannot wait to share it with my investigators. Obviously it's not translated into Albanian so some of the missionaries/stake leaders are going to work on doing translations and things like that. But I am so excited for this month, it's going to be incredible. I love inviting people to come unto Christ.
Anyway, so.. it came to Sunday, and again it was a pretty rough one with church. I kid you not, we invite our investigators and people like CRAZY to come to church, we do everything that we can think of.. We testify of it, but Sunday rolls around and it's like everyone leaves Tirana, or someone in the family has died or is in the hospital.. It so frustrating!!! So, we didn't have any investigators in church. I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's hard not to think that you're slacking or not being as good of a missionary as you ought to be. So, I was just feeling kind of discouraged.
Later in the day, we had a lesson with Elona.. Which was going really well, until her husband's brother came in. I kid you not, the spirit left.. Immediately. Sister Coleman, the member who was with us and I all just felt the Spirit leave us. I realized that I'm in a state right now where the Spirit is with me so often that I've become so accustomed to having it with me that not having it there was such a crazy experience for me. I just wanted to leave so bad. We stayed for a little bit and he just argued with us and it was just.. not good. I didn't feel good after.
So, we come into our house at the end of the day and I was just feeling kinda down. I just felt really confused, Sister Coleman and I have been truly trying, and truly working and I just felt unsure as to why all of these things were continually falling through. In my heart I was just praying to know that the Lord was with us, I promise that this is a work that can ONLY be done through His power and His guidance. So, as we started daily planning I opened my Book of Mormon and I read,
"12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort...
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs... and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you..."
(Mosiah 24: 12-16)
I cannot properly describe the feelings of peace and absolute love that filled my heart when I read that. I truly felt the hand of the Lord.. My worries and my feelings of inadequacy were immediately lifted. I am so grateful for the Lord, for His love for me and for all of us. I know that He knows us, I am absolutely convinced and absolutely certain that He is our Savior and that He suffered for our afflictions and because He did so, we can always turn to Him. No matter how big or small that affliction may appear. I cannot tell you how much my testimony is grown that the Lord truly does come to us in our times of need. All we need to do is seek Him out, and turn unto Him.
|Campfire for FHE. Seriously it made me so happy|
I love being a missionary so much. When I think about all of the things I've learned and come to understand I am overwhelmed at how blessed I am that I have this opportunity. I love being able to stand on the street and invite people to feel the happiness that I have found, to know that they have a loving Heavenly Father and a merciful Redeemer. I know that this gospel is the greatest thing I have and I know that it will bless any sincere seeker of truth. I know that the Lord visits us in our afflictions, and I know that He walks alongside us in moments of joy. He is in every moment of every day. I am so thankful for Him. I am so thankful for this gospel and the peace that it brings.
I hope that you all have a great week! Don't freeze!
With great love,