Saturday, August 13, 2016

We have infinite room for improvement

June 20, 2016
Dearest family,

Wow what a crazy week for the family!  Spencer went to college, well I guess that's pretty much it. But that's insane! He's so grown up. Best of luck buddy:)

Alright so this week, man what an adventure! Tuesday morning we had an awesome district meeting. We did the "hot seat" round five with Elder Mitchell. Some favorite questions, "if you could choose to live on the 
beach and never be able to get in, or live in the desert and never even see water" and "what is your favorite type of water?" Elders have some really deep questions.

Elder Mitchell gave a taller [workshop] about our personal progression and how we have infinite room for progression. I really had never thought of it in that way. No wonder it can be so discouraging sometimes! When we think of an eternal ability to improve, that's a lot of work to do hija. But we can also start by looking at just how far we have come.

And we can also make sure we are doing all that we are asked to do by the Lord to improve. When you think of room for infinite improvement and no guidelines. Well that's just scary!  But God in his infinite love for us has given us the guidelines. The commandments. When we obey we are just becoming what he needs us to become. Something so much greater than we can on our own. Man I love this plan God has. So let's not get discouraged! Perfection is a path not a destination. Heck maybe we only have taken one step, maybe we only have our pinky toe on that path, but that's something right? We are just that much closer to becoming something awesome.

After district meeting we went to the bus station and picked up Hermana Giraldo and Sabin to do intercambios. I won't lie, right when I became a SHE, I didn't like it. Not one bit. I felt like I couldn't focus on my purpose. I couldn't focus on my area or my investigators and I was a little put out by it. But I have come to love learning from the amazing sisters that I serve with. Each and every one of them brings a new flavor to this work, and they all work so hard and when I get the chance to help them, I find myself helping myself. Amazing how that works. I had the chance to talk to quite a few Hermanas this week about the struggles they are going through. They told me how they were feeling tired beyond belief and yet that the Lord was asking even more from them, and as much as they wanted to give it, they didn't know where they could find the energy to do that. At first I wanted to throw up my hands and say, "tell me about it sister, that's about where we all are!" Because they were my exact same feelings and frustrations that I have been trying so hard to figure out on my own and had come up dry. But I was amazed that as I listened to the spirit the very answers I had needed for so long came out of my own mouth. I can tell you they didn't come from me. I love helping these amazing sisters. Wow sorry I'm a little rambly today.

Anyway intercambios. That night I was with Hermana Giraldo. We started by going to a noche de Hogar with the elders. We have been teaching this incredible investigator who is definatly going to get baptized and was such a miracle. His name is K. We had only ever taught him in a park before but we found out he lives in the elders area. So off we went to pass him to the elders. It was fun to be able to teach with them and just see different teaching styles. Then we ran from there and hopped on a bus to alcantarilla to teach a cute less active family. It was so fun to teach them and feel the Spirit. As we talked to them about their conversion the spirit was so so strong. It was

incredible to see how much personal revelation can stick with people and bring the Spirit when remembered.

Wednesday morning we all went to play basketball and just had a blast. I got to work with Hermana Sabin. We got to teach M. She is awesome! When we got there she sat down and told us that she was told to listen to whatever we had to say. Because that morning she wanted to call us and tell us we couldn't come, but couldn't find our number. She felt super sick and she started praying and told God that if he wanted her to listen to us, that He had to make her better. And she felt better. We had an awesome lesson!

That night we got to eat with R again - I love that family! They take such good care of us. Friday everyone failed us! Even our bishop failed us. But we aren't mad, it was such a good day. We just went out and talked to everyone and taught on the streets. Anyway, that night, we had noche de Hogar. R and all of us have worked so hard to try

and redo them so that more people will come and so many people came! It was awesome. It was a little sad because I had a member pull me aside and yell at me for all the reasons it went wrong and whatnot. It was a good humbling moment for Hermana Smalley. But everyone else seemed to have a great time and it turned out super well. Just remember, You never know the work someone put into something - just always try to be supportive and loving to the people trying to do activities.

Saturday night we had three baptisms! None of them were our investigators but they were in our chapel so Elders Mitchell, Andrus and Hermana Gale and I were all there trying to work the behind the scenes. The elders were running around trying to get the program's printed and we had to get the paper work and all sorts of stuff to

make it run smoothly. We were all a little stressed but the other missionaries had an awesome baptism. So all worth it!  Then everyone left and we were left with the clean up. It was a good bonding moment.

Sunday was an awesome day. Got to take the sacrament and be a perfect missionary all over again:)

That night we got to teach J and J. Man J understands the Book of Mormon better than I do! Now we just need to help him have a little more faith. Then we went with the Bishop to U and he gave an amazing testimony.

I love Spain I love the mission!

Hermana Smalley

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