Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The excitement and frustration of missionary work

Hello Family!

Thank you so much for all the letters! I do get them by Tuesday (i know you were wondering). The hard thing is we don't get our mail until after I email you, so i am always a week behind what you have written. Sorry! Just keep that in mind with my emails each week:)

I just want you all to know how much I truly love you with all my heart. Families are amazing! Friends are amazing! God's children are AMAZING! I can't describe the blessing Heavenly Father has been helping me with. I have been asking Him to help me see his children the way He sees them. Each time I think of you, or I talk to someone on the street, or I am teaching a lesson, my heart gets so full with the love i know he has for each of us. He KNOWS you! He loves you so much — the kind of love that you and I don't even understand. What a comfort that is to know in this busy and crazy world, that Father loves you more than you can imagine.

I am slowly but surely working on writing more letters. Love you all, be patient, I promise they are coming!
Answers to questions:
How many people are you teaching?
Right now, we are teaching four progressing investigators: Martha, Michael, Vernell and Frederico. One is an expecting mother whose husband is deployed. One is a recently divorced man with a daughter to raise, who considers himself half Mormon but does not want to change. Another is a woman who lived a super rough life in drugs and alcohol and who does not want to be alive.

They are all so different with their own unique stories. It is a testimony to me that Heavenly Father wants all of his children to have the gospel. No matter who they are in the world, God sees his children on the inside and not the outside. President Monson is such a good teacher about the individual worth of a soul. EVERY soul is worth rescuing.

How much time do you spend at the Battalion vs missionary work?
My day is split between six hours at the Battalion and six hours of proselyting. It is amazing how Heavenly Father can stretch time for us. I love serving at both. The Mormon Battalion site is the second-busiest church site in the world besides Temple Square, so we definitely have lots to do!

How many LDS/Non LDS people visit?
We have visitors from all over the world since old Town San Diego is a tourist attraction. For every three members we have about one non member visit the site.

Have you been yelled at yet?
Yes. Actually a few times, but you learn to not take it personally.

What is your P-day schedule?
We get up, study while we are at the laundromat, then go to the family history center to e-mail, then go shopping, go home and wash the car, write letters and we usually go play sports for a little bit. I never realized how truly precious p-day is: time goes by WAY too fast!

I think I may have missed a few questions this time. If there is something you want to know or more details about something, you could write me again and remind me that would be awesome.

Brittany's army crawl through San Diego

Journal from this week:
July 28th, 2011
Today we had our Mormon Battalion devotional. Sisters Christensen and Lewis talked about how powerful simple and short testimony is. Each of us went around the room and said one sentence of our testimony. It was amazing how strong the spirit came when we each spoke simple truths. Elder Evans shared Doctrine and Covenants 115: 5 with us.

"Arise and shine forth that thy light may be a standard to the nations."

I love being a standard to the nations. I can't describe how I feel being a missionary but I definitely feel Jesus Christ's love for me. We sang, "I Believe in Christ" and I started to cry.

"I believe in Christ, He stands supreme! From Him I'll gain my fondest dream. And while I strive through grief and pain, His voice is heard, "Ye shall obtain." I believe in Christ, so come what may. With Him I'll stand in that great day. When on the earth He comes again to rule among the Sons of men."

I believe in Christ! I know He is my Savior! I started singing that song and the spirit overwhelmed me with the realization of how much my brother Jesus Christ loves me. It is a love I cannot describe. I want the whole world to feel that love!

It frustrates me that so many people in this world are content with where they are in life and don't want to change. If they only knew. If they even had the tiniest of ideas how much the Savior loves them or what they could have with their families, people would be running up to us, begging us to teach them.

Something I realized being out here on a mission is how much I wish i would have been better at being a "member missionary". Elder Ballard came to talk to us this week and we were allowed to ask questions. Every single question a missionary would ask, Elder Ballard would ask them, Are you involving the members? He said that the Church needs its' members to stop just staying with each other, but reaching out and inviting non-members to dinner, activities and such.

As a missionary, I can see now how important you all are in this work. Really, you have no idea how much you mean to missionary work. It is just as much your responsibility as mine. I know you can do this! God is on your side.

I have a challenge for you this week: Will you invite a nonmember family to your homes for dinner one time during the month of August? And if possible, have the missionaries over as well. I promise you that just that act alone will change your life and spark a desire in your soul to bring others unto Christ.

Lesson I learned: I learned how to trust in God and not be afraid this week. There was a woman, Martha (our investigator) who was walking down the street from the pool the other day. In my mind, I thought, "Oh no she is pregnant, tired and busy," and honestly did not look very happy so I didn't want to go up and talk to her. But at that moment, Sis. Tardiff and I both looked at each other and knew we needed to talk to her.

She was so excited to talk to us. She said she was lost, didn't know what religion to join, and would love us to talk with her. We have now been teaching her for a week now and I know she will be baptized. God knows His children. We cannot be afraid in sharing the gospel. He knows who is ready — I don't. I know that as we trust in Him, and have faith that He is with us always, then God will send down the angels of Heaven and miracles will follow.

Shout outs:
Natassja: Girl, you are a native Londoner! I knew you would fit right in! That was so funny to hear that people are asking you for directions now. When you get time you will have to send me pictures:)

Jenna: Yay! I'm so glad you like work:) I know life is so crazy sometimes, but it always works out. This fall is going to be so great, I'm so excited for BYU to start!

Alex: Thank you so much for the mail. I can't believe you are starting medical school! Thanks for sharing those experiences!

Nick: I got your post card-thank you! I have been and will be praying for you to get a job. My companion and I both agree you are AMAZING at what you do. Dad sent pics of the blog- it looks fantastic!

Hannah: Thank you for the letter. I hope you get feeling better. You are amazing sis. You are a daughter of God. I know that because I have asked Him. You are special in His eyes, I hope you know that.

Chris: I heard you graduate from BYU soon. You are a STUD brother! So proud of you! Have you conquered that mountain you little sister beat you at yet? (I get to tease you about that until you climb it you know;))

Andy: Congrats on almost being married. That is SOOOOO great! I am so happy for you!

Well, time is up again, I love you all. You are amazing. Remember, God doesn't count the "number of times we fall in life, He counts the number of times we dust ourselves off and keep on going."

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