Another wonderful week has flown by, the time is going faster and faster the longer i am out! It is going by way too fast! Yesterday we had a mission conference in Richmond and Elder Sitati of the seventy who is from kenya came and spoke to us. It was awesome!! He started off by opening it up to any question that anyone had... and he didnt answer them, but instead went on to talk to us about our purpose as missionaries and broke it down into 8 different sections and each section that he broke down had an action verb in it such as invite, help, receive, faith, repentance, baptism, and endure. It really stood out to me because in order for us to fulfill our purpose as missionaries (and members as well) we must act! We never get anywhere in this gospel unless we decide to act. We cant expect to feel of the converting power of this gospel unless we do something about it and we especially cant expect anyone else to feel it either if we dont act on inviting and be examples to others of living the gospel. We went through each different section of our purpose and studied the "why" and "how" of each part by searching in the scriptures and finding answers to not necessarily the questions we asked earlier but how we go about fulfilling our purpose and being successful.... but by the end he went back through the questions that were asked and had us answer them because the answers were all found as we studied our purpose as missionaries. It was a huge testimony to me that any question of the soul can be found in the scriptures and that the lord will give us the direction we need if we will just study the scriptures diligently... not just read them, but study them! I have always recited my purpose as a missionary as just something i would with the young women theme or anything else i had memorized...it was always something that was just memorized and we recited it cuz we are missionaries and that is what we do... haha but in this study of our purpose i found power and meaning behind why i really am out here. It is a power that will always stay with me and carry with me throughout my mission. It is a power that from now on i will always use to draw my motivation and strength from. There is power in this gospel. There is power in the Savior. Power in His atoning sacrifice. There is power all throughout this restored gospel that can give you the strength and energy that you need to get through anything. There is a purpose for why we are all here. Although I am a missionary and know my purpose out here.... what is your purpose? What are you going to do to gain power from your purpose here on earth? Who will you be? Who will you become? Those are questions i ask myself everyday so that i can return home a better me and so i can become what the savior needs me to become and learn from the different things i experience out here to reach my full potential as a missionary... and to continue to progress when i'm not wearing the name tag anymore. We all have a purpose here and there is power in that purpose!
Something else that really stood out to me from Elder Sitati was that the only thing we ever should worry about or stress about is if we are truly doing our best. He was a funny guy after every time he said something he would just laugh because he would say it in a way like "duhhh, this is so obvious" he told us that if our investigators arent keeping commitments then they arent ready right now (duhh) haha and that there is no wasted effort in this work. As long as we have lifted up our voices and taught by the spirit and invited... then that is all that we can really do! Those who are ready will come to the gospel... they will repent and be humbled... and will keep their commitments. There is no reason for us to stress about anything... as long as we are truly doing our best. That was a huge lesson to me that as long as i focus on how converted i am becoming to this gospel and as long as i am doing everything i can to invite and fulfill my purpose at every opportunity then that is simply all i can do. I heard a quote recently that said "Missionaries should be full time teachers and members should be full time finders" This is all of ya'lls purpose here. As members of the church we are to find people for the full-time missionaries to teach. Every person we pass by every day, and every person we see... they are all our brothers and sisters. They need the gospel as much as we do. Strive to look at them through the eyes of the Savior. I know how hard it can be to be a member missionary, in fact, i was most likely the worst before my mission haha but i have loved seeing both sides of it. The missionaries need you! They need your help, wherever you are at ,there is someone waiting to hear the gospel. And guess what? You dont have to be special to share the gospel... you dont have to have certain talents and abilities... no matter how unspecial we all think that we are there is at least one thing special about us and that is our testimonies! The lord wont ever let us down... but we must have faith that he wont!
I'm not sure what the Lord is trying to teach me about this area haha but we had a pretty rough week with teaching and finding... but it was still awesome. We had a really sweet lesson with our investigator named Tyrell... we found him a couple weeks ago cuz we actually had an appointment fall through so we went to contact a potential investigator that some other missionaries found and when we got there it didnt really look like anyone was home but we decided to go and try anyway so i go to get out of the car and there is a man just standing right outside of my car door when i got out. I just screamed. It scared me so bad. Haha poor guy. Anyway, we started talking to him about the church and it just wasnt going anywhere but he still wanted to talk and while we were standing there talking a car pulled up to tyrells house and he got out and came over to us and all the man said that we were talking to was "Tyrell i think you really need to listen to what these girls have to say" and he was super chill about it and agreed to it and we started teaching him. This past week we were sitting on his front porch one night just teaching him about the plan of salvation. Idk what it was but i could see something spark in his eye when we taught him about the celestial kingdom. I could see in his eyes that he had found something he had been looking for for a very long time. The spirit was very powerful. He told us he would do whatever it takes to get there. He is really funny to teach cuz sometimes you cant tell if he is really paying attention or not cuz he doesnt say much but then you ask him a question and he goes on and on about it and is very sincere about it. Unfortunately, he is moving away for a little bit cuz his mom is dying. We went and saw him the other day and he was just a wreck but all he said was "I just keep thinking about the celestial kingdom" we arent sure how long he is going to be gone but i am just so thankful that we could teach him especially about the plan of salvation so that he knows his mom will be okay whatever happens. I know the Lord put him in our path for a reason and i know that whether it is my companion or i or some other missionaries that later harvest the seed that was planted that it will all be in the Lords time and that he will be ready. I am so grateful for this gospel. I am so grateful to be here serving the people of Virginia. Although sometimes i find myself getting caught up in asking, "why here? why virginia?" I hope ya'll know that i know i was sent here for a reason and i may not always see those reasons or be able to harvest the seeds i have planted but my testimony increases every day of why i was sent to this mission. And i know that the Lord needs me here at this time. I love you all! Ya'll are the best. Have a great week. XOXO