Well, my time is running short! I'm taking forever on la computadora....uh computer! :D
We had a pretty busy week, but most of it was contacting. We received 16 Future Investigators (meaning 16 people gave us their information, agreeing to learn more) and we hope to get 3 new investigators out of that.
We are currently teaching Nate, from Job Corps, who has taken lessons from missionaries before. His concerns are about Joseph Smith, polygamy, and tithing. We had a lesson with him Saturday night and invited him to come to church, we promised him that he would receive an answer to his questions and all he said was possibly. We arranged for a member to pick him up and then he texted us and said, "probably next week." It's so frustrating when they don't come! They say they want to know, but fail to follow through. And, it was even more frustrating when every testimony borne in Sacrament meeting was specifically directed toward the Restoration or Tithing. We will be talking to him this week about the importance of church and we will give him the notes we took of the testimonies shared. He's the only one that is a serious investigator at this time.
Last night we went contacting and approached this young man, he didn't say much and then we realized that he couldn't speak English! But, he spoke Spanish. I looked at Sister Madsen, looked at the young man and said "Somos missioneros por la Iglesia de JesuChristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias." Sister Madsen was shocked. haha. Then I said "No hablo mucho espanol!" (I know, this is extremely bad Spanish, but he mostly understood!) He laughed a little bit, and so I asked "Que iglesia tu?" He gave me the address of his church... "Quiere que otra missioneros que hablan espanol...uhhh.....to call you?" (With my hand acting as a phone against my ear. It got the point across. "Que es tu nombre?" He gave us his name... "Y tu numero?" And we got his number. hahaha....Well, it worked. I thought you would enjoy the story. It was fun :)
Here is the excerpt from what I told president in my letter about how I'm doing. This will help you know what my goals are for the next 6 months. While studying I've also thought about how this will apply post-mission as well. It's been interesting to see that the things I've learned are more than just "mission skills". Instead, they are life-long skills.
I'm doing pretty well. I'm working on being able to give all of my heart to the Lord. I read a talk in the June 2011 Ensign called "The Heart and a Willing Mind." It talked about the process of turning your will over to the Lord and there is a quote by Neal A. Maxwell that I really love:
"The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's altar. . . . The many other things we give to God . . . are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God's will, then we are really giving something to Him. . . . There is a part of us that is ultimately sovereign, the mind and heart. . . . And when we submit to His will, then we've really given Him the one thing He asks of us."
I have also had the chorus of a song stuck in my head. This song was written by a woman named Christy Hinckson. The chorus goes: "All of my heart, no more no less. All of my heart, was His request. He gave His all, not merely a part. So I can give, all of my heart." So, I am working on really turning my will over to the Lord. Giving it all to Him and pressing forward.
We had dinner with a member this week and he was talking about his mission. He shared with us one thing that he realized, looking back on his mission, that he wished he would have changed. He said, "I realized I had an attitude of thinking that I deserved a baptism." He went on to talk about how sometimes we get into the thinking that we deserve something. But, in all reality, we deserve nothing, but owe everything to the Lord. I've thought a lot about that.
I've worked hard in this area, but maybe I've had too much of an "I deserve" attitude and not enough of an "I'll give everything" attitude. I hope to change this with the help of my Savior. After all, this is His work, not mine.
So, that's my focus. I hope it will change the tone of my mission as well as my imperfect point of view. I have so much that I want to accomplish in 6 months, but the biggest way to do that is to learn to turn my will over to the Lord. It's going to be hard, but much worth it. I also hope that my love for the Savior will increase throughout this process.
Well, family, I love you and I hope that you are doing well. I miss you and pray for you always!