Yesterday was a long 7 1/2 hour zone conference. But, I love the mission meetings. You always leave with an extra umph! and wanting to go out and get to work! We love President Clements and everything he does. He is an awesome mission president.
I still can't believe that Charity is getting married! So much is changing! But, it sounds like everything is going mostly well. Miranda is about to leave the house. That's gonna be quite the change. Who's gonna do the cleaning when mom is busy?!? ;) Who are Austin and Shae gonna hang out with!? She's always been a fairly responsible girl. She'll do well at school, I'm sure. Mom, try not to cry too much. Also, what's her address? I need that. Which apartment number and what not. It will be a fun adventure.
As for our past week...Once again, we've been out tracting. We tract anywhere between 3 and 5 hours a day. We added an investigator, her name is Roseanna. I've talked about her before, but we were never able to teach her, so now she is officially an investigator--we just have to figure out how to help her have the desire to know that everything she's been taught is true. We also added another investigator, but he leaves for school at the end of this week. And, when we called him yesterday we don't know how sober he was. But, hopefully he will keep our appointment tomorrow. We've been working with Ryan who is a recent convert who fell back into addiction. It's been a struggle. We've also been working with Patrick who is less active. We had an AWESOME lesson with him. The Spirit was strong, he was moved to tears and he said he would do everything for Christ. We read Alma 7:11-13 and everytime it talked about the people we inserted Patrick's name. It was powerful. Roseanna, Patrick and Ryan all said they would come to church. Church came and went with no sign of any of them. That was a tough night for me. Thankfully, zone conference was Monday and our Zone leaders shared a poem that really cheered me up. It's called The Race:
"Quit, give up, you're beaten," they shout at me and plead,
"There's just too much against you now, this time you can't succeed."
And as I start to hang my head in front of failures face,
My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will as I recall that scene,
For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.
A children's race, young boys, young men, how I remember well.
Excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn't hard to tell.
They all lined up, so full of hope, each thought to win the race,
Or tie for first or if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son,
And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they went, young hearts and hopes afire,
To win and be the hero, that was each boy's desire.
And one boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the lead, and thought, "My dad will be so proud."
But as they speeded down the field, across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his hands flew out to brace,
And 'mid the laughter of the crowd, he fell flat upon his face.
So down he fell, and with him hope- he couldn't win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, "Get up and win the race."
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that's all,
And ran with all his mind and might, to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and win,
His mind went faster than his legs, he slipped and fell again.
He wished then, he'd quit before, with only one disgrace,
"I'm hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn't try to race."
But in the laughing crowd, he searched and found his father's face,
That steady look which said again, "Get up and win the race."
So up he jumped, to try again, ten yards behind the last,
"If I'm to gain those yards," he thought, "I've got to move real fast."
Exerting everything he had, he gained eight or ten,
But trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeated he lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye,
"There's no sense running anymore, three strikes, I'm out, why try?"
The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had fled away,
So far behind, so error prone, a loser all the way.
"I've lost, so what's the use," he thought, "I'll live with my disgrace,"
but then he thought about his dad whom soon he'd have to face.
"Get up," an echo sounded low, "Get up and take your place.
You were not meant for failure here. Get up and win the race.
With borrowed will, get up, you haven't lost at all,
For winning is no more than this: to rise each time you fall."
So up he rose, to run once more, and with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn't quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he'd ever been,
Still he gave it all he had and ran as if to win.
Three times he'd fallen, stumbling, three times he rose again,
Too far behind to hope to win but sill, he ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner as he crossed the line, first place
Head high, proud and happy, no falling, no disgrace.
But when the fallen youngster crossed the line in last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, un-proud,
You would have thought he'd won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, "I didn't do so well,"
"To me, you won," his father said, "You rose each time you fell."
And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,
The memory of that young boy helps me in my race.
For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
"Quit, give up, you're beaten," they still shout in my face
but then another voice within me says,
"Get up and win the race."
"Get up and win the race."
I really liked this poem and it meant a lot to me. So, we are back up and refuse to give up. Sometimes I have to remind myself that people have their agency and as much as I may not like it at times, it's so very essential in God's plan for us.
Really, not a lot has been happening. I got the package, thanks so much, my face feels so much better--and my lips are softer too :D Did you close my account? I suppose I can cut up my card now? Oh, next week pday might not be on Monday either, we might be going to the temple. :) I know, it's been a weird transfer. So as of today I have been in Minnesota for 6 months! It has flown by. All my missionary friends are going home, but I'm sure I'll make more friends as I go! So, President Clements said that they were thinking about doing a mission blog, but they have decided against it, because some people will search them out, find the names of those baptized and track them down and anti them. That, I thought, is absolutely ridiculous! Who would spend their time tearing down a church? The devil is one powerful being, but he will not win. Last week at ZLC President talked about how life is like a basketball game, but the score is already posted. All we have to do is decide which jersey we want to wear. Do we want to wear the winning jersey (or the Lord's) or do we want to lose? Anyway, good luck with the upcoming week! I love you all! Keep working hard and enjoying life. Good luck with the house, you are in my prayers. Have you found a new house that you want? Well, I love you! I'd better write President and the others who have emailed me!