Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013-I am a Child of God

Hola Todos!
So I'll probably say this in every letter, but time here in the field is the weirdest thing. I feel like it's been forever since I've had any contact with you, but at the same time I cannot believe that it is already the end of May!  This week was so full of amazing, hard, exciting, weird, crazy, awesome, miracle-y things!
I don't even know where to begin...
The work here is really interesting, definitely different than I was prepared for. Because we live in such a diverse area, we contact, tract, and talk to everyone, which means that the majority of people we come in contact with are not Spanish speaking. Which in one way honestly scares me, but I know that everyone needs this gospel, and I love meeting people! I have never seen so many different lifestyles and types of people in my life. And every single person I talk to teaches me so much and helps to redefine my purpose as a missionary. 
I was reading during personal study in Alma, and I read Alma 23-26. Alma 26 is one of my all-time favorites, and is so powerful to me as a missionary. In verse 3, Ammon talks about the  "blessing" of being an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I love that word, because honestly the opportunity to be a missionary is such a blessing. I've always loved and admired the example of Ammon, Alma, and the sons of Mosiah, and the amazing missionaries that they are. Yet, they always remember that this is the Lord's work, and that we are merely the instruments. I love in verse 16: When Ammon talks about how the Lord is so amazing and powerful. He has done and continues to do so much for me and for all of his children. "Who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold..."I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."
This is how I feel every day. This work is without a doubt THE hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I honestly feel so insignificant, so small, I am amazed that I was called to be a missionary. I've never been a missionary before, I don't know how to be a missionary, but I'm trying my best, and like he promised, the Lord is providing a way for me to "do the things he has commanded". 
Every day I witness miracles, some greater than others. But at the end of the day when I kneel down to pray, and thank my Heavenly Father for the blessings that He's given me, I am amazed at how much I have to thank him for and talk to him about, EVERY single day.
One thing that amazes me is the simple truths of the gospel. I meet Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, Born-Agains, and religions that I didn't even know existed. But every one of them has so much faith in Jesus. It's hard because they don't want to listen to what I have to say, but there are times when I'm motivated by the faith that others have, and the hope that keeps them going every day. Something I've noticed is a common trend is that at the door, when we ask people "What is most important to you?" or "What blessings has God given you in your life?" The answer is almost always "Family".
This makes it easy for me to relate with a lot of them, because that's my answer too. You all know how much I love you, and how much I miss you, and it always hits my heart when I say "As a missionary, I leave my family for 18 months..." It's hard, and I think of you often, but just like all of those other people, you are my motivation, my rock, my support system, and my hope. I want to be a missionary so that others can have an eternal family like I do. 
We had a lot of interesting experiences this week. Two of our most promising investigators decided that they no longer want to take lessons, or be baptized. It hurts. It hurts when someone you grow close to and come to love decides that it just isn't worth it anymore. It's hard to see how hard Satan is working on the hearts of the people. 
But at the same time, it amazes me every day to see the people that are so prepared for the gospel, that are just waiting for someone to knock on their door.
President Larkin each week will usually call us with some inspiration, with a challenge to go out and find more people. One day he told us that Saturdays were for finding families. That if we would try our hardest, the Lord would give each of us 1 family for the next seven Saturdays. On Saturday, all but one of our appointments fell through. So we tracted. It was POURING rain. we were soaked, freezing, and hungry and tired. We'd gone 3 hours with no luck, no one wanted to talk, no one spoke Spanish. We went to go to a lesson, and our appointment fell through. So, all out of plans, and back-up plans, we decided to stay where we were, and push through. We knocked the first four trailers, and nothing. Then, we realized it was time to go home. On our way out, I turned to Hermana Hansen, and said, we promised we'd find a family, and we need to invite one more person to be baptized today. So we went to one last door, knocked, and Jose answered the door. We told him who we were, and he asked us some questions, we talked about his family, and what he needed in his life. He let us teach him a little bit about the restored gospel, and then, we committed him to be baptized. He agreed to a lesson this next week with his FAMILY!!
It was one of those stories you hear about "the last door"... but honestly, our long day in the rain made finding him just that much more sweet!
I know that God answers prayers. That he hears us. That he shows us his love in little ways throughout every hour of every day. I've seen it. 
Sometimes he doesn't answer us right away, but in his timing, and in his way, he shows us the things that we need to do.
All this week I've been thinking a lot about the promise I made to be a missionary. We talked in a mission meeting about how before we came to earth, there were some, our friends, that agreed to come to earth without the gospel in their lives. In return, we promised to be missionaries, and go out and find them. I found myself thinking back to the quote by C.S. Lewis: "It is a serious thing to live in a society of potential Gods and Goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature would be strongly tempted to worship...THERE ARE NO ORDINARY PEOPLE."
Every time I sing "I am a Child of God" to someone on the street, or at their door, I am amazed at the power in that Primary song. I know that it's true, and that's the reason I'm here, to help others to see their divine heritage and potential, as a Child of God. With the opportunity one day to become "even as he is". 
I love you all so very much. I pray for you daily, and I thank my Heavenly Father for the great blessing that you are in my life. I couldn't do this without you, and I hope that you can feel of the miracles and blessings that come from this gospel and from the sacrifice of missionary work. I know that my time out here is so precious, and I'm working hard to make every minute count.
Para Siempre Dios Este Con Vos.
Les Quiero, MUCHISIMO!
Your Hermana C

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