What a spiritually rejuvenating week. The past few weeks have been rough. Being a trainer is more difficult than you'd think! The sit-down, formal companion-study training is easy... It's the real-life application that gets difficult. The new missionary is still adjusting and learning (which is hard to forget!). I have been learning so much about missionary work and about myself that I couldn't have learned if I had not been a trainer.
This wonderful less-active couple that I have been working with since February, got their temple recommends this week! The husband hasn't been to the temple in almost 20 years and is very excited to go back this weekend. I am so so happy for them. I love them with all my heart and I cannot wait for you to meet them when you come pick me up in 9 months (picking me up, wink wink). The couple has asked that we go with them for support and to "hold Sister Johnson's hand". I am waiting to hear back from the district leader if Sister Villoso and I can go. They are planning on attending the Salt Lake Temple with the bishop this Saturday evening. I am praying praying praying that we can go with them, but I don't know if it will happen!
Wednesday was the b-e-s-t day (besides Sunday, when I got to see you!) In the morning, we had birthday celebrations at the Tree --two cheesecakes, icecream, etc etc! And in the evening, we had a mission conference... I absolutely LOVED seeing and hearing from Elder Holland! What a complete miracle to hear an apostle speak. Especially Elder Holland! I found so much strength in his counsel and I know that the Lord provided many of those words for my benefit. He talked about the difficulties associated with serving a mission and acknowledged that it is SO HARD! He said that it has to be this hard because we need to walk the path that Christ walked. Serving a mission is hard, but it gives me the opportunity to suffer for this gospel that the Savior so willingly suffered for. Salvation is not easy!
We dropped FIVE investigators this week! Or they dropped us. (Dropped, meaning that we won't be teaching them because they're not ready right now). We had a member come with us who is preparing for her mission.. What a wonderful way to immerse her in missionary work! haha.
We had an AMAZING miracle just last night. This wonderful 16-year-old girl who has been coming to church for many years, but has not been a member, called us. I am very close to her and I know her well; she has been facing opposition from her parents and they haven't allowed her to be baptized. Through her struggle, she has actively attended church and young womens; she has gone to youth temple trips and spent the day in the waiting room. She has been a great example to all those around her. Well, in her phone call last night, she told us that her parents have given her permission to be baptized! I called her father this morning and he said that we are allowed to prepare her for baptism! The Lord is truly softening hearts and working miracles!
I have definitely seen the pattern that Heavenly Father has set for my mission... I work very hard, finding and teaching. I am excited. Whoever I am putting effort towards ends up dropping us. I am sad. And then, the Lord puts someone in our path who has been prepared to receive the gospel. I am humbled. Over & over again.
I love you so much! It was so wonderful and lovely and exciting to see you!! & Russ & Matthew & to talk to Adam! I love you all!!