What an amazing week it has been. I have learned so much about who I am and about the atonement this week. This week in my personal studies I really focused on the atonement and the Law of sacrifice. It is so beautiful that Christ gave us a perfect sacrifice, and the only thing he asks of us is that we be willing to sacrifice all that we have and all that we are to know him. It is not only a sacrifice of our time, talents, and the things that we usually think of when we think of the mission. He also asks us to sacrifice our sins, our grief, our habits, and be willing to trust him with our hurts so that he can heal us. I was super stressed this week. I had a little bit of a break down but after a blessing and a lot of prayer, I recognized that my success in the mission, is not always measured by numbers, that if I will just give it all that I have, the Lord will bless me. I think our biggest efforts and successes have been in reactivation and retention. Yesterday we did not have any investigators in church but of all the inactives, less actives and recent converts that I have taught, there were seventeen. This week we are going to “start over” double our efforts and put our faith in the Lord. I know he will bless us.
This week we met with a recent convert that is still struggling to overcome an addiction. I love this person so much, and it broke my heart to discover that they were still fighting this battle. They opened up to us and told us that they were willing to do anything. “My conversion,” they said, “is not something that I can do half way. I want to change. I want to be a better person.” We had a beautiful lesson about repentance and the atonement. We invited them to an YSA activity. Then came the time of trial. They came to the activity. On Sunday, they were in time for church and listened intently to all of the talks. In Principles of the Gospel class, they shared their testimony of repentance and sacrifice, how we should be willing to give all to the Lord so he can make us into the people that we need to be come. This is the atonement. This person taught me what it means to be truly repentant. We can do all things, we just have to actually “do” them.
You know, I think that there is an unspoken rule that missionaries always have to be positive, that there is nothing but goodness and happiness and rainbows in the field. Today I would like to break through this social taboo that we have put on missionary work. This week was hard. We couldn’t find a lot of new people, and the days were long and strenuous. I am not sure why, but a lot of people that were once positive have hardened their hearts and rejected us. We are probably going to have to drop a young woman that I have taught for all my time here and it breaks my heart but I know that the Lord has bigger and better plans. As missionaries, while the most important work cannot be measured, still have to submit numbers and a lot of times the numbers do not reflect the work and the effort that we put in. This week all my stresses and emotions sort of culminated into a great mess. I felt super overwhelmed and questioned what I was doing here in a third world country. I went to my room and poured out my soul in prayer, pleading for understanding from my Heavenly Father. Nothing…. about fifteen minutes later the phone rang. It was our district leader. As usual, I just brushed the tears aside and asked how I could help… He just responded and said, “Hermana I am calling because you need help.” I told him a little about how I was feeling and what I was struggling with. He responded, “Don’t, worry Hermana, you are one of the strongest sisters that I know” Being the nerd I am I just responded, “Yes Elder, but even Superman has kryptonite.”
There was silence on the other end of the line and then he responded, “Hermana, we are stronger than Superman.”
The mission is a refiner’s fire. Sometimes it gets a little too hot. Sometimes we get burned. But there is nothing in our way that we cannot overcome. We have strength from a god, the God of our fathers, Almighty God of Israel. I glory in my Jesus for with his strength I can do all things.
I guess that is my message to all of you, that we are stronger than our super heroes. We just have to believe that we are. The time has come to dust off our capes, and abandon our secret identities. The world needs heroes, needs people to stand up, stand strong, and aggressively live the standards that they profess to believe. I know that if we do our part, we will come off conquerors.
I love you all. I pray for you. Keep the fight!
Hurrah for Israel!