Saturday, August 13, 2016

We said we knew how to find God, and were here to help him

June 27, 2016
What a wonderful week that it has been! 

I have been putting together a profile for some of my Book of Mormon heroes. This week I was trying to figure out what kind of missionary Ether was. If we look at numerical success, converts baptized, or words written about him, he looks like one of the least successful missionaries in the history of ever. But if we are talking about courage, persistence, and determination to do the Lord's work, I'm not sure we can find a better example.

I learned that Ether was of Royal decent, and in any other circumstance should have been a king. But he spent his life in a cave. We know that he had many incredible prophecies and that he saw the days of Christ and Zion. And yet the people esteemed him as nothing and cast him out. (Ether 13: 3,13) in Ether 12 we learn that he literally preached all day never giving up, and that the Spirit was so strong with him he could not be stopped. He was commanded by God to go tell basically a War Lord that he needed to repent or he would watch his people die. That would be pretty scary. But he did it. Day after day he went out, received nothing but rejection, slept in a cave, watched more destruction and then did it again. Not to mention the kind of people he was called to preach too!   The verses describing them are some of the most blood chilling verses in the Book of Mormon. And yet he still went out, trying with all his might to save them. I hope to develop this kind of diligence and courage. I hope I can become the kind of missionary that Ether would be proud to have on his team.

Really quick, last thing I learned, I always thought it interesting that the people never stopped. They just kept killing each other. It says they would cry all night only to rise again the next morning and do the exact thing that caused their cries the next morning. It made me realize -  do I do that as a missionary? Get home at night discouraged and cry to Heavenly Father begging for forgiveness, only to go out the next day and do the exact same thing? Or am I learning to change my habits, looking to improve and do this work differently. I know I will never lose the need to repent, but I do crave that feeling of coming home, knowing I am straight with God, because I gave everything I had. I guess that's the goal of every day. And that's what I have to work for.

So that was my big spiritual thought for the week:)   Let's add in the details shall we ?

Monday night Hermana Gale and I were both dead tired and all of our plans failed. We didn't really know what to do with ourselves, but we promised Heavenly Father that we were going to talk to everyone! So we did and we found P! He is incredible. He was telling us that he has always believed in God but recently he has been feeling very far from him. But he doesn't know what to do or how to draw closer to Him. We testified that we knew how and were here to help him.

We had an awesome district meeting on Tuesday, then we all ate together and shared stories. We liked it. That night was another night of just contacting - all our plans failed, but we got really good at practicing new ways of finding people and just breaking out of the silence shell. I have found my best way is to just say, "10 seconds for the Lord"  - the idea is when you get scared to do something, but you know you should, you give the Lord 10 seconds and just do it and after it starts its easier to finish. It works for me:)

Wednesday we got to teach M. It was such a good lesson! This week we saw so many miracles teaching our investigators. But this lesson she told us she is looking for a place to join and she wants to feel at home. It was amazing to be able to share with her my first experience in church here in Spain. Where I was so confused and so lost, and yes, scared, and I walked into the church building and just felt at home. I knew it was where I belonged.

We finished the night with O and A. This was so embarrassing! A worked so hard and gave us so so much food. But I have been feeling a little sick my my stomach again and eating has been a little rough so I couldn't finish. Cute A saw me pushing my food around and busted up laughing. Despite my protests, she took my plate and made me a drink to calm my stomach. First time I haven't finished everything given to me.

Thursday after weekly planning we had intercambios. I learned so so much from Hermana Vigo and Hermana Martin. It was kinda a rough night. All of our citas failed again. But we were able to meet with D! And he brought his friend D! Last time we taught him we were very direct with our beliefs about the authority of our church. He told us he had been thinking about it and he felt really good about everything we had told him and he was so ready to learn more!

The next morning I worked with Hermana Martin. It was so fun!  We went to Alcantarilla and just worked hard all morning. My favorite part of intercambios is being back with my dear Hermana Gale. We laid in bed and just talked for a good long while. It was awesome!

Monica we got to teach on Friday night. She is just awesome and came to church with us on Sunday! Also R got his mission call so we all got to go over and be with him. I'm pretty sure he is the first ward mission leader to get his call. He is going to Barcelona in one month! Woah!

Anyway Saturday was an awesome day of running around visiting people and giving them some love! We loved it:)

Sunday we had some awesome lessons. My favorite was with J. He began the lesson telling us he would not pray because he didn't have faith. So we explained to him what faith really is. He then told us he wanted to pray but didn't think he could because he didn't believe in God. So we opened to Alma 22 and read the King's first prayer. It was so powerful. And you know what?  He prayed! Right then and there! It was awesome!

This p day we played soccer. It was a blast!

Love you all so much!
Hermana Smalley

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