Monday, August 24, 2015

Never have I felt so much fear in my life!

July 27, 2015 

I have officially been gone two months. That is so strange. These two months have been so full. I can only look up and smile because I have been so blessed. I am learning so much. And slowly learning how to kill the natural man inside of me. Sometimes he goes kicking and screaming, but you better believe that he is going!

Let me see, on Monday we went swimming! Not really, but here in Spain there are little parks with fountains for people to run through because it is seriously so hot all the time. So me and my companion went running through that in skirts and all :)  After that we went and taught a Family Home Evening to the R family. But in reality, three families were there. We talked of the importance of the sacrament. This is something I have such a testimony of!  What a blessing that we get to commit every week to better follow the Savior. We get to change and have the Spirit better me to stay on track and make me stronger.

On Tuesday we had a district reunion. It was so good. I had to share a thought from the missionary Manuel. I talked about the honor we have to serve and how we need to live up to it by obeying with exactness. I got some amazing help from my district leader. He shared some of the promises we get as missionaries and how we can live well to deserve them.  After that, I had my very first kebab. I can't really explain them but they are really good! Then we had intercambios (exchanges)! I went with Hermana Merrill to her area - this was so fun! We walked a ton! And I had my first door slam to the face. So yeah, I was kinda at a low by the end of the day. But it was so cool to learn from Hermana Merrill. We went to noche de hogar (family home evening) and I was surprised to find I needed to bear my testimony to the ward about missionary work. No one laughed so I think my Spanish was alright.

Wednesday we had some amazing lessons with a recent convert about the blessings of the temple. It is something I feel so strongly about because I can't go now. These people have to travel 6 hours to go to the temple, but it is so worth it. All of you are 5 min from the temple - Don't you dare overlook that blessing! We then went and taught a less active member and she was so excited to have us come and her little kids put on a sword fight for us. It was so cute. After that I headed back to my own area.

I was so excited to see Hermana Rocha and I got to meet our mini-missionary M.  She is amazing and has such a love for the work!  She was such an example to me! We ate with the R family again. Their food is still so good!  Everytime we eat there I am so excited because they feed us so well. (My excitement for food probably will never change!) Then we went off to Saint Vincent and it started raining! We danced because it was such a relief from the heat. We then taught G about the importance of modern prophets. She is amazing!  I'm so excited for her to know for herself of the goodness of the church. Then we ate with J, a new member.  He sat us down and we ate plates of fruit for dessert. You better believe I ate all of it ;)  That night we were way behind so we ended up sprinting for 15 min to get to Pizo on time.  Obedience is important, but man I've never before had sweat really drip off my face as it did in that moment ;)  It is so hot!  Our poor mini-missionary had no idea what she was getting into ;)

Thursday we did weekly planning and Hermana Rocha informed me we were going to go on splits (separately go to teaching appointments with members). Never have I felt so much fear in my life! I was panicking. She wanted me to go out with someone else in a city I didn't know, and find these citas we had planned!? Crazy! Then I remembered that fear and faith can't exist together. So I did my best to have faith. I spit with D, a 19 year old  member who is awesome! We gave an awesome lesson on the restoration. Heavenly Father blessed us to have the Spirit and find the cita and return to Daniella's house all on time.

How merciful is our God. He can take this little Hermana who struggles to speak Spanish and has no sense of direction, and guide her through the streets and allow her to have the Spirit so she could talk. Amazing!

Also, we were teaching out on the street and during our lesson, someone came out on the street and started yelling up to someone in the building.  We look up and see this huge mattress hanging out of the window and you better believe they just dropped it right out of the Simpson's building!  So funny, and right as we were trying to teach of the Savior and of his mortal ministry!

Friday morning we had a long morning of failed appointments and walking. But we met Js a recent convert who has been having some really rough health problems.  I know that if our other appointments hadn't failed we wouldn't have been able meet him.  And he really needed to feel the Spirit in that moment.  We bore testimony to him of the power of the atonement and he came to church for the first time in a while this Sunday!  During the afternoon we walked through the most beautiful part of our area - right by the beach.  Man I wish I could package up this beautiful place and send it to you.  But I can't.. Know that it's amazing! That night we had an appointment with A.  She is so special.  Teaching her is such a blessing!  She loves the Lord, but really struggles with fear of leaving the house.  We talked of courage and she agreed to leave and walk around the block with us!

Saturday M left. It was really sad to see her go, but I know she is going to be an amazing missionary. We met with one of our investigator families and shared horchata and brownies. We got to teach another less active member in the park. It was so cool to see the flame of belief spark again in his eyes.  I love this work!

Saturday night I hit a new low. I lost our list of people we wanted to contact.  All of them.  Gone.  I sat and cried and cried. My companion simply looked at me and said, “Hermanita (little sister, instead of Sister Smalley),  the Lord has provided a backup plan”, and pointed to our area book. There we found all the information that had been lost.  We needed to work hard to sort them into quadrants, but we were able to do that :)

And then came Sunday!  Oh how I love Sunday's on the mission!  I love our little ward!  I sincerely love each of these people, and we had an investigator come to church with us. The joy of introducing her to everyone was amazing. I taught young women's without my companion (she stayed with our investigator) there was some laughter because of my Spanish, but we talked about the importance of taking the Lord’s name upon us and not shaming Him.  Each of these girls is so strong! They are trying to be examples when they feel so alone.  I learned so much from them.  Also they had me conducting in sacrament meeting. Like seriously,  I can't conduct music at all, but they all think I can here... It was an experience!  Afterwards, a member told me that he liked that I conducted hymns like rock and roll ;)  We had an amazing talk with our ZL (zone leader) that night.  We have a crazy goal of 25 baptisms this month. We are all working so hard, but this week has been hard for our zone. Appointments are falling through for everyone.  But we talked about how after the trial of our faith, we will see the miracles.  I have a firm testimony of this.  If we can endure well 3 hard days, a miracle day will come.  Even if it doesn't, I'm going to endure it well.

Today we hiked to a castle. Cool huh?:)  Not much to day besides seeing the ocean  - that hurts because I can't swim ;)

Family how I love you all :)  This opportunity I have is so great,  I want to live up to it. I know I can with the Lord's help.

Question of the week: I hope this isn't silly, but we are always told to invite people to be baptized right of the bat.  I was reading over the commitments of baptism and it isn't something to be entered into lightly.  So my question is, Why do we do it so quickly?  And how can I help those we invite better understand that covenant?  I have complete faith in Preach My Gospel so I know it's what we should do, I'm just wondering why.

So much love you can't imagine,
Hermana Smalley

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