For this week I've decided to answer some questions that have been sent my way!! These four questions pretty much sum up my whole week!
What was my biggest challenge of the week? We have a member, Tatay B, who was offended by something our Branch President said about 9 weeks ago. Normally, this wouldn't be a huge deal but the member was one who would always work with us and was a great member missionary. The way things have boiled down are that now all of our recent converts who know Tatay B well are starting to be offended by the church as well because of what happened to Tatay B. One case in particular was Nanay Johnson. She is best friends with Nanay B. We went to visit her on Friday after she hadn't come to church for two weeks. When we got there she told us she wouldn't be coming to church anymore and that she doesn't want us visiting her either. She wouldn't even let us share a message or scripture with her. I really love Nanay Johnson and her conversion is one of the favorite stories I was able to be a part of. To see her spiral down so quickly over something that she wasn't involved with is heartbreaking! Needless to say, we had to go eat our emotions away with ice cream right after the visit!!
What was my biggest concern of the week? This one is tough because as a missionary, I am constantly concerned for those around me. My investigators, my recent converts, my companion, for everyone!! I guess if I had to chose I would say my biggest concern of the week was being called as a Sister Training Leader. As STL, I am in charge of all the sisters in my zone and have to evaluate their work, help them with any problems, go on exchanges with them, give them advice, etc. I still feel so young in the mission! I can't believe I've already been on my mission for almost six months! I just really want to do the best I can to help the sisters in my zone! I know that the Lord doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called!!
What was my biggest success of the week? BROTHER BARRIOS CAME TO CHURCH!!!! Ahhh, I'm still so happy/shocked! Brother Barrios is a less active member. He is a return missionary and his whole family is active except him. At first we thought that it was his job that was keeping him from coming but it turns out that he has Sundays off. We have been visiting him periodically but he hasn't come to church even though he has committed many times. This week, none of our investigators came to church so I was feeling a little bummed. Then I saw Brother Barrios walk in and all was forgotten!! I just had the biggest smile on my face!! I know he felt the Spirit there and hope he will come again next week! It might seem silly that one man coming to church would be my biggest success but it just meant a lot to see the fruit of all our efforts come to pass!
Who was my favorite person of the week? Me. Haha, just kidding! This one is tough, too!! I guess I'm going to give the missionary answer on this one and say Jesus Christ. I've been thinking about the Atonement a lot lately in relation to missionary work. I love what Jeffrey R. Holland said, "Why would we think the work of Salvation would be easy for us when it was never easy for Him?" Every time I get frustrated with my investigators not keeping their commitments or with anything, I just think of Christ standing next to me going through it with me and what He would do in response. I know that He knows perfectly all that we are going through and is ready to support and comfort us when we need it. I am so thankful for the Atonement and the way that was provided for us all to return to our loving Heavenly Father.
I know that this church is true. I wouldn't be halfway across the world if I didn't! I know that this gospel has the power to change lives. It has changed mine and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thankful for this knowledge in my life!
I love you all so much and am always praying for you.
This is what the Moon looked like last week. I'm not sure why but there was this cool ring around it for three nights! I don't know if it was like this in America, too, but I just thought I would share this sweet picture I snapped of it!