"Lord, I Believe. Help Thou Mine Unbelief"
This week has been one of the hardest weeks to have desire to do anything. Its been so awful. But it has also been a really fun week and this transfer has gone by so fast! We get transfer calls on Sunday and that's insane to me. It doesn't feel like its been 6 weeks since the last set of transfers.
I'll probably be leaving this next transfer, so I've been trying to wrap up some of the things I've started here as well as trying to help Sister Pope learn the members, investigators, and just the area in general. It's a lot to remember, but she's great and will be amazing! Also since I'm leaving, I've been able to look back on what I've done in the Mica Peak Ward and how I've helped this ward grow and the progress I've made in my own life spiritually. I've learned a ton since I've been here, and I'm so grateful for the experiences that I've had. Heavenly Father put me here for a reason. And I've come to love each and every person I've taught and gained a relationship with. I've learned so many things, but these were the top five things that have really changed me for the better.
1. Heavenly Father LOVES Each of Us.
He doesn't just casually like us or occasionally think about us. His love is infinite and inexpressible. He knows everything we think and all the feelings we have every moment of every day. He knows the things we want and the blessings we need. He will give us what we need instead of what we want. This is a difficult and trying principle for our "natural man" to learn, but He knows what will help us the most in the end, and that is what he will give to us. He listens intently to each of our prayers because he knows the things we are asking for are so personal for us.
2. Numbers DO NOT Matter.
This is more of a missionary principle that I've learned. I haven't had much convert success here, but I know that doesn't make me a bad missionary. I've reactivated more less active members and helped more people go back to the temple than I've baptized. And I don't care at all. I know I have helped here, but in a different way than I would have expected. Our district struggles a lot in the same ways. But knowing that we are all here for the same purpose helps us to want to be better.
3. The Gift of Agency is Frustrating.
I LOVE that we can choose for ourselves. Don't get me wrong. It just is so hard when you are helping people progress to be a better person and they choose to not accept or not do their part. Especially when they have felt the spirit testify that what we are saying is true or they know and they just don't want to try. Agency is what we fought for before we came to earth, and I know its so important.
4. Accessing the Atonement is Possible and Necessary.
I was really concerned when I first got here that I wouldn't be successful and that Heavenly Father had forgotten me. I knew he loved me, but I didn't know what he wanted me to do and I didn't want to disappoint him. So, I learned that the atonement is for each of to use. and that we NEED to use it. We are all sinners and hypocrites. We all sin differently. Anything we do that isn't Christlike is a sin and requires repentance. But I've learned that the atonement is for ME. It's for me to use how I need it. I don't make big, huge mistakes everyday. But, I do have weaknesses and uncertainties that I need to leave with Heavenly Father. He can take care of all those things because my big brother paid the price for them and already knew I was going to struggle for those things. I can't focus on me, but there are things I need to work on. So I have to trust that Heavenly Father is going to make the things that I need happen. There is no possible way to over-use the atonement. Its a beautiful and positive thing. Being relieved of sin or sadness is the most rewarding thing I've experienced.
5. The Book of Mormon is True.
I gained a testimony of this slowly, but surely. I didn't get a miraculous sign or feeling as I read the last verse. At the end of my reading, I realized that my testimony came slowly at the end of each page. As I read, I understood that each prophet writing was called of God and that each experience and trial that came to those people really happened. And because the Book of Mormon is true, that this is His true church, and that Christ will one day come again to reign here on the earth. At the end of each page, my testimony was strengthened and I learned what was necessary for me at that time.
New Year's Eve was SO MUCH FUN. Oh my goodness. Most of the missionaries in our zone went to a cabin to play games and eat dinner. I wish you could have been there. You would have died. I never laughed so much in my life. I recorded videos. :) We played a game called telephone charades and the elders were so funny. We were all home and in bed by 10:30. So, no midnight celebrations for us! Haha.
We moved back into the Wilkinson's on Friday. And the worst part is I can't really unpack because I could just pack everything back up for transfers. So, our room looks like a tornado hit it because we don't really know what to do with all of our stuff. Hahaha.
I love you all! I'm so grateful for the influence you have been in my life and that I've been blessed because of your prayers.
Happy New Year!!