Tuesday, May 20, 2014

April 28, 2014 - If you´re happy and you know it....‏

This week passed by super quick! The weather´s getting colder, and the days are definitely getting shorter... 
This past week we were working hard to find that balance between intercambios, scheduled events, leadership meetings, and trying hard to make our ¨end-of-the-month¨goals a reality.
*Mauricio and Ivana got married on Friday morning!! They are extremely happy and you can just SEE the difference in them already.
He did not get baptized because of some difficulties with his job.... he has had to work Sundays, and so confirmation wouldn´t be possible... But, he is working with that, and is planning to be baptized the first or second weekend in June.
*We had a goal to get into one new house every day, and we nearly completed that goal. We have been working more with members, and had 6 really good ¨with member¨lessons this week with friends, family and neighbors that aren´t members. I love working with member referrals, and the ones we got this week are GOLD! 

This week I had an experience that really impacted me.
The past few months that I´ve been in this area, I´ve really been focusing on what the Lord wants from me. What this area needs. What the people need. and how to allow the experiences I have to help me to become what he wants me to become. It´s not a typical area. It´s really hard, and a lot of times, the ¨results¨you expect to see aren´t the ones that come. 
Finding new investigators is tricky... well finding people who will really listen and keep commitments. President is constantly saying that it´s a miracle if people even let us in their houses. And that our biggest task after that is getting them to let us come back. It´s hard sometimes. Sometimes no matter how well the first lesson goes, they are never home again, they get scared and avoid us, they decide that they´re ¨fine¨ with how their lives are.... there´s all kinds of things that keep people from progressing. 
This past week for weekly planning, we were talking about our investigators, the people we are working with, the reasons why some of them progress and some no... honestly it got to this point where I was just kind of frustrated and sad. I couldn´t really explain why... I just felt super low, super confused... like ¨what more could I be doing? I´ve been here for almost 5 months and I feel like I´ve just about seen it all...¨ I was beginning to wonder if I just wasn´t learning what the Lord wanted me to learn.
I finally just started talking to my comp about how I was feeling about the area. Kind of just thinking out loud, really. I told her: ¨There are just so many of these people that I have come to love so much. I´ve seen them go through so much, and I´ve seen how the gospel can bless their lives. I´ve been there as they´ve said they´ve felt the spirit. I´ve seen them take those first steps, and seen how things have already changed so much. I just want them to want it, and want them to do what they know they need to do. I love them, and I can feel how much the Lord loves them. Why don´t they see it?¨
I realized in that moment: ¨This is what Elder Holland meant when he talked about how missionaries, to really understand the atonement, and how the Savior feels (even if in the smallest sense)... we have to ¨spend a few moments in Gethsemane....take a few steps toward Calvary...¨ That is what it means to really see them as He does, to love them as He would, and to ¨desire their salvation¨. 
Now, that is NOT saying that I´m always perfect at that, but it made me realize that the reason I was sad, the reason I was frustrated, the reason I felt confused, was because I LOVE THEM. I love them and I want the best for them, and I want them to want it for themselves.
We went to walmart, and I was standing there in line to check out, I had this feeling hit me. I all of the sudden had tears in my eyes, and my comp said ¨What´s wrong?¨And I just told her, ¨I just love these people!¨I laughed because it seemed silly but at the same time, I realized that that is what this is all about.

This week we had interviews with Presidente Ávila. The last ones with him as our mission president! As I walked into my interview, he asked how I was and honestly the first thing that came to my mind was ¨I am HAPPY, President.¨ He smiled and nodded, ¨I can see that.¨ and then asked me ¨So tell me... how has it been for Hermana Cox in Dorrego? What has been the greatest thing you´ve learned? What changes have you seen?¨
I told him how over the past few weeks, I´ve honestly had some of the most insane growing moments of my entire mission. How there have been the lowest of lows, but also that the Lord really has opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart to the greatness of this opportunity that I have to be a missionary. My time here in Dorrego has been really distinct. I have learned so much, and I´m grateful to know that the Lord knows his children so personally. 

I´ve been focusing a lot lately on the whole concept of ¨In the world but not OF the world.¨ How we, as missionaries, are So different. We are special. We have a calling like no other. A power that we have been given to fulfill this, the Lord´s work. He sends us out at this time, to change us as much as, if not even more than, the people we find and teach here. We are literally ¨set apart¨from the things of this world to be on a higher level, to turn ourselves over to him and allow him to work with us in that ¨higher order¨
I´ve thought a lot about the ways I´ve changed, the things I´ve learned, the qualities that I am able to strengthen from my experiences here. The change i´ve seen in myself from the beginning to even now is huge. I´ve thought about the reason the Lord chooses 18,19,20,21 + KIDS to do this work. Honestly there could be a lot more ¨success¨ if they sent out people with more ¨experience¨ who were trained as teachers, fluent in another language, good public speakers. But as always, the Lord´s plan is perfect. 
He knows what things await us in the future. What awaits us in the ¨real world¨, what awaits our families, our kids. He knows the kinds of people he needs to be to be leaders, and more importantly, the parents of the future generations. This is our preparation for the rest of our lives....the eternities.
I know that this time is priceless in teaching us, growing us, molding us for what lies ahead. To give us capacities and help us grow in ways that aren´t possible in any other way. I´m often overwhelmed with gratitude to my Padre Celestial for giving me this great opportunity. For knowing me well enough to know that this is exactly what I needed at this time in my life. It´s amazing what he can teach us, show us, and help us to become if we give him our all, serve with our all, and allow him to change us. Not just for now, but for ever. 

I love this work. Sometimes it´s honestly painful how much is asked of us. But in the end nothing he ever asks of us can even compare with the amazing way that he blesses us in every aspect of our lives. I´ve said it before, but I´ll say it again...
Coming on a mission is the best decision I´ve made in my life.... FOR my life. 
I hope you all know how much I love you, miss you, yes, but how much I´m loving and making the most of my time here. It´s short, and there´s a lot that goes into every day. But honestly I wouldn´t trade it for anything.
I´m happy and I know it. 

Love you all so much! I hope you have a great week! 

xoxox Your Hermana C

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