Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mission difficulties and the power of prayer

SAN DIEGO —Hello Family!

Someone asked about transfers. Transfers were two weeks ago. Sister Kennington and I are still together and still training sisters. Almost positive I will be transferred on April 25 (next transfers) as I will have spent half of my mission in the Black Mountain branch singles ward. It will be a sad day when I have to leave!

I got to see a few familiar faces these past few weeks! I saw Jed and Annette at the Battalion, and when I was on shift at the temple, none other than Cindy Knowles, her family, and her fiance walk in! Crazy, huh?

Sara asked a good question. She asked what makes it hard about a mission because people always say, "missions are the hardest and best thing I have ever done".

I think for me it is a couple things. I have never been so physically exhausted in my life. Twelve hours a day nonstop. Being worthy and teaching by the spirit is exhausting in and of itself.  I have never had to deal with so many emotions — living with a companion for 24/7, having the weight of people's salvation on my shoulders, having to deal with their agency and their decisions to turn away from the precious truths of the Gospel.

Sara made a good point. She said, "You've done a lot of hard things in your life, why is a mission harder?" I think it is because I realize the eternal importance that where I am now is the most important point in my present and eternal life as well as the eternal life of others.

About this week. Well, its been a week of answered prayers. Sister Kennington and I have been praying with all of our hearts to find more people to teach. I have been learning so much about the power of prayer. I want to share three things that happened to us:

On Thursday, we went to visit an investigator who we added when we were trying to contact her brother (he was a referral from the sisters). Eljien, the brother, answered the door and is actually best friends with a less active we just stopped by a few days ago to see. He wants to learn more, and wants his less active friend to be there.

On Sunday, we were sitting in Fast and Testimony meeting and all of a sudden, one of the members who had already shared his testimony started walking up with a friend he brought with him. To give you an idea of the whole moment, Taylor (the member) in his white shirt and tie, walked an African American guy in a baggy shirt and jeans up to the pulpit.

I was honestly dumbfounded. What on earth? It was like a messed up sort of de ja vu, where I remember what happens in family wards, moms and dads walking their kids up to the pulpit to share testimony, but was what I was seeing real? Believe me I blinked a few times- it was. Devin, Taylor's friend, got up and told the congregation that he knew Jesus was real. He had read The Book of Mormon and learned about Joseph Smith from Taylor and knew that those things were true as well! Holy cow! We had our mission leader, our EQ president, Branch President along with a few more people all turn around in unison and ask us who on earth this guy was. We had no answer! We are now teaching him though, and he wants to get baptized!

Last, We stopped by a former whose Dad hates us. Cranky old men don't scare me, but I definitely don't enjoy going over there. We did anyway and his 19-year-old brother answered. He has cancer and will be at home for the next few months and wants to learn more. It was amazing.

Prayer is so real. God really will answer if we will ask. Take the time to talk with Father. And take the time to listen. That alone will change your life!

P.S. the picture I attached is from last night. Yes, I am a 21-year-old woman on the outside, 4-year-old girl on the inside! (we built a fort in the front room:)

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