This week I went on 3 different exchanges (when you go with other missionaries), and well in one of them it was really overwhelming because I didn't know the area or the investigators and Hermana Carlson wanted to give this sister (Sister Halestone, from Cedar City, only person we know in common is Sister Fife) a chance to take over the area. Good thing this was an English speaking area, because I needed that little boost of confidence when I basically took over her area. I also went to Hermana Lister and Hermana Wilsbach's area with our sister training leader, Hermana Wilsbach. (I have a story about her that I will share later), and I became really discouraged because in these 2 days that I was in other areas our area had a lot of growth and success. So I did what I seem to do every 6 weeks and had a pity party and blamed our lack of success on me and my inability to teach and speak the language. So I was just sobbing, yada yada, and so I went to get in the shower. I came back and Hermana Carlson had written me all these nice notes on post-its that covered my bed, and they all said the nicest things about me and why she loves to have me as a companion. This was SO SO SO helpful. She also told me that I'm learning a lot faster than other sisters she's trained and that Satan knows that, so he's trying to bring me down because he knows how many people I will affect if I continue on the right path. So that was conforting. Really it was.
But then the next day, we had another exchange and Hermana Elmer came here with me. She was great. I loved having her here. She just had a really fun personality, and I really liked her. Also she let me take the lead in the lessons (she's the only other spanish speaker in Hermana Carlson's group of sisters so she thought it would be best to do their exchange first), and so I took the lead, and she just helped where needed. She also told me (which I've never heard before, apparently I'm the only one) that one of the prophets made a promise that when you finish the Book of Mormon in your language you will be fluent in the language. Guess who's made it a goal to finish the Book of Mormon in Spanish by January 1? This girl. Yep, it's crazy, 4 chapters a day and I actually have to read a few of them in my "spare time," so during all my meals basically, but I want to learn the language, and I want to be fluent in the language that I am preaching in, so I'll do it. I'm also telling you all so you can reward me when I do it or send me rotten tomatoes in the mail when I don't. But where progress is recorded, progress is made, so some encouragement would be sweet. :) I would also encourage you guys to try and finish it by the end of the year too. From the beginning or from wherever you are, I know that you will feel the presence of the Lord in your life when you do so. Also, if I can do it in spanish, you can do it in your native tongue, in your spare time, on your smart phones, yada yada. But seriously. I want to challenge you. I can testify that the Book of Mormon changes lives. It has helped me so much in mine and I know if you read it with the intent to learn, you will, and you will feel our Heavenly Father's love for you so much more.
Before I forget I'll tell you the Hermana Wilzbach story. As sister training leader for our area, she's supposed to check up on the sisters and find ways to help them in whatever way possible. Well, she had been praying about how to help me with my problems and recieved an answer in a dream. She had a dream that I was this really successful missionary and that I had all these people surrounded around me in white, and I was teaching a lot of people, baptized a lot of people and had just changed the lives of many, and so that was so encouraging to hear.
I have experienced miracles though. Many. Ramon and his family have been in the process of moving. They don't have a phone or a car, and so we lost touch with them when they forgot that they had an appointment with us. So we were just riding our bikes around the area where they said they were moving for maybe 45 minutes or so, and no such luck but we just had faith we would find them. Yesterday after being held up by random things on our way home from church we got cut off and looked out the window to see Ramon and his wife on the sidewalk. It was a miracle because there was no way that was coincidence. We should have been on that street 10 minutes earlier, and all these little things that added up. I know it was God blessing us for our faith and our diligence the day before.
Another miracle came when we were trying a referral who we've had for probably more time than I've been here. No one has been able to come in contact with him, but last night we finally met him! He wasn't really interested in our message, but after we bore testimony and asked him if we could pray with him. He said yes and then we prayed, and he asked if we could pray again for his friend, and then he asked where our church was. Success! I know that this church is true, and I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. I know that we go through hard times, but with faith anything is possible. I want to challenge you to read the scriptures daily, but also I want you to pray as famililies (or as roomates or whatever) to find someone that you can invite to learn from the missionaries. I know that we are all children of God and He wants us all to return to him. I love you all very much and hope all is well. Happy Birthday to Jessica! Keep the faith!
P.S. Shoutout to Suzie for the package. I loved it and used that fake cockroach on Hermana Carlson :)