Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sometimes life gives you lemons...and you're fasting so you can't even make lemonade!

September 5,2016
Dearest family,

Um. So I know in the past I have said that we have had crazy weeks and it went by fast. But I take it all back. Because this week was the craziest and fastest week of my mission thus far.  So buckle your seatbelt folks because here we go!

Last Monday we didn't do too much. Hermana Clark was applying for BYU so we had to stay in the chapel. Elder Holman wrote some fake essays that were hilarious and I played ping pong with Elder Bussell. Monday night we got to visit some awesome investigators who are so prepared but their parents just won't let them be baptized. We are working on it!

We finished the night with M -  she has a huge dog who still thinks he is a puppy so I was sitting on the couch and he came and did a running jump and landed on me. It was hilarious but it hurt.

Tuesday morning you will never guess what we did. We weekly planned! Weird right? But we had kinda a crazy week planned so it was the only time we could! That night we got to teach A again. We took it really slow and just talked about who Christ is. Because she believes in God but doesn't understand where Christ fits in. After talking with us a while she said she understands.  It was the first time that she understood why she would need a figure like Christ. It is seriously my favorite part of the mission to teach and testify of Christ.

We finished the night teaching a noche de hogar with some members and we got to teach our investigator lesson 1. It was such a powerful lesson.

Wenesday morning we had a meeting with President about the upcoming zone conference. Elder Zwick is going to be coming to our mission next week. The logistics and planning or everything kinda blows my mind, but the meeting started at 10 and I didn't even look at the clock until 4. We sat there for 6 hours and I didn't even notice! There was still more to plan and figure out but we were all a little hangry. So we went to get some food and right as we ordered our food, we got a call from the Jerez Hermanas telling us they were in Malaga! I've never eaten so fast in my life! We got back to our piso and met up with Hermanas Whaley and Rollins! It was so good to be with them.

I got to be with sweet Hermana Whaley that night. It was seriously so so much fun I love that lady so much! We went to go see F that night and he told us that he didn't want to get baptized anymore. He had fallen and was scared. So we taught him about faith and just tried to love him as much as we could. Hermana Whaley put up with me getting lost and not knowing just about anything. That night we went to noche de hogar with the ward and played ninja and had a grad old time. Hermana Whaley is just the best!  I have been so blessed with incredible companions.

The next morning I was with Hermana Rollins! She is seriously the best!  I think she helped me more than I helped her. It was another morning of me getting lost and contacting people but we talked a lot and she helped me calm down. Then our dear friends had to get on the train and go back to Jerez and we got on the bus and went to eat with the Bishop's family.  It was super fun and S always cracks me up.

We got to teach F again with some members and the way they loved him was so cute and I loved being able to be there. Then we had a series of crazy phone calls trying to draw area lines and stress but we loved it. And then we got to teach C.  I was so focused on what we had been doing earlier that I couldn't focus on the lesson. So mid lesson I had to say a prayer and ask for help.  And I am so glad I did. C is so prepared it was an incredible outpouring of the Spirit. I'm so excited to continue working with him! Then we had to stay with the APs to help work out some schedules for training and ext.

When we got home that night Hermana Clark looked at me and said that we didn't need to plan because of intercambios and zone meeting. We both fell on the floor and cried with joy because we were so tired. We also accidentally held hands in the middle of the night as well. You can say we get along;) I love her so so much!

The next morning I came to and felt so so good! I was thinking man! I'm ready for this day. I wonder when the alarm is gonna go off? Apparently Hermana Clark had the same thought and she checked the clock. Then yells, "Hermana it's 9!!"  Our alarm didn't go off and we both didn't even move until 9.  We were dead. But we both jumped out of bed and repented and felt like horrible people.  But it was a pure accident. We had zone meeting that morning. It was e first zone meeting in 6 months that I didn't need to plan anything for. I just got to sit and listen and love it.  After we all went to a Brazilian buffet where they give you like 16 different meats and they bring it out and cut it for you.  It was pretty awesome I won't lie. Then we hopped on a bus and went over to Malaga 3 to do intercambios with those Hermanas.

I was with Hermana Ellsworth that night we had tons of fun teaching jehovah witness families and I actually got to teach J (Someone I met last year while I was here).  He has a bunch of awesome questions. That night I walked smack into the wall trying to turn off the light and we had rice bowls for a 10pm dinner.

The next morning I went with Hermana Burrell and we actually went into my old area:)  It was a blast and she is such a hard worker. Sometimes I get so sad when we contact people who are so awesome, but no matter what we say, we cannot convince them to listen to us. But one day soon they will I'm sure of it!

Then we headed back to our area for probably the worst afternoon of my mission. The funny part was, Hermana Clark and I were so happy!  Everything went wrong but we just kept smiling. It was genuinely fun to see what more could go wrong and just love it because we were missionaries. Even the bad days become fun days. The title of this email comes from a quote from this night.  Anyway let me tell you about it, shall I?  We had F's baptismal interview. Which he failed, but we will keep working on it! Then we taught an awesome lesson to S who is Muslim but he was super open about Christianity and I loved teaching him! Then we ran to Cynthia's and didn't even get to teach her because of some stuff that happened. Then we sprinted across Malaga to go to a pass off lesson with the zone leaders and the lesson failed.  We tried to get on a bus and the bus driver refused to let us on. Yeah, all sorts of stuff!  But it was fun!

Sunday was awesome! Always a joy:)

With all of these new responsibilities and worries here I have often had to remind myself of that.  My worry has turned from being able to simply accomplish it to being able to accomplish it well and make a difference for the people I am serving.  Not just the quantity of hard days I have accomplished, but the quality of my work within those days. It often makes me wonder if I can actually do it. If I have the ability to help these missionaries and the people I serve. I came to quite the negative conclusion that No. I cannot, I am completely average in every way.  But with that depressing thought comes a joyous truth, that God always takes average material and uses it to bring about incredible things. I know that if I can just give my heart to Him and strive with all my might, however little it may seem when compared to the task, He will use us to work miracles. When we are on His errand and doing His work He will lift us higher than we thought we could go. We know that God doesn't care what we look like or what we think our abilities are because He made us, and He knows His abilities and when we give ourselves to Him, He can work with humble clay.  It also reminds us at we are not the driving force behind our mission. When God takes average and accomplishes the extraordinary it is easy to see His hand. So I hope to be the instrument that He can use to bring to pass miracles so that others can see him in what was accomplished.


Hermana Smalley

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