Saturday, September 3, 2016

So I guess that was my one mistake!

August 1, 2016
Dearest family,

Well I just don't believe how quickly this week slipped away. But here I am again writing a weekly email. We are on our way to consejo right now, so apologies if this is a little scattered.

I mentioned last week that the ayudantes asked the mission leaders to do a week of consecration. I'm sure I'll talk more about this next week because of consejo but really quick I wanted to share a little bit of my experience this week. When they first told us, I won't lie I was a little put out. I have never really understood the whole consecration week thing. I mean, shouldn't we be doing our best to be consecrated everyday not just for one week? If we know how to improve, why don't we just do it? Yeah... sassy, I know.  But we decided to give it a go. Looking to sacrifice more than we ever had, give even more. The ayudantes kept us updated on different things people were doing to be more consecrated. Extra studies before bed ex. But as we were talking, Hermana Whaley and I realized that maybe it shouldn't be about finding some new way to sacrifice. But instead, focusing of the quality of our sacrifice. Instead of offering something new, doing better what the Lord was already asking of us. We realized that the law of sacrifice, or initial obedience wasn't hard for us. But the law of consecration, continued obedience, giving more of ourselves, was the hard part. It's like the difference in the Savior's invitation first "come" (initial sacrifice) "follow me" (continued consecration). So we focused on that this week -  Putting our whole heart and soul into this work. We weren't perfect, not even close. And I wish I could tell you we saw some fantastic miracles, but the work continued much the same.  The real change was inside ourselves. And that's fine by me.

Alright consecration rant over - let me tell you about this week. After p day we walked home (30min) just to get a call from the elders telling us that we still had the key to the church. I denied it and just then, the key fell out of my clothes. We sprinted getting ready so we could get it to the elders. I apologized to the elders and Elder Adcock just told me that it was okay, if we didn't mess up at least once a transfer we would be taken up by flaming chariots... So I guess that was my one mistake.

Then we went to a noche de Hogar with M and J. Not much to report here, it was fun and she gave us cake. After we hit the streets. Empty streets. Literally it was like a ghost town. But hey, we kept trying and kept working.

Tuesday we were supposed to go to Malaga for intercambios but the SuShes failed us... Seems like it was the cool thing to do this week. But no pasa nada. We went out and worked. Summer has officially hit the south of Spain and it is wonderfully hot here! We got to teach some awesome street lessons and just keep rolling forward.

That afternoon we got to go teach H and J. They are just the cutest things. Jessica is officially praying every morning and night. I don't think I believed just how different the Chinese culture is until I began teaching them. It has been such a big learning experience and also something beautiful. For the first time in my mission we got to sit down and teach a lesson just about Jesus Christ. Starting with his birth, going through his life, and finishing with his
invitation for each of us to follow him. It was a pretty unique experience and such a privilege.

Wednesday morning we went and helped clean the church, woohoo. Then we taught a recent convert. We talked to her about not under appreciating the scriptures and the treasure they are for us. The scriptures are something we
need to be studying daily, learning and gaining strength from. Good reminder for us too. That night back to work finding those elect that are hiding so well.

That night we went to some less active members. It was probably one of the most frustrating lessons I have had on my mission. It was then I learned the importance of not getting complacent -  Honoring the covenants I have made and always working hard to keep learning. I think that is all I should say here.

Friday morning we had district meeting. It was awesome! I have the best district in the whole world. That night we did intercambios with Hermanas Burrell and George. Hermana Burrell and I worked super hard.  We talked with everyone and saw such a huge miracle. We were passing by a future but we didn't have a complete address. We found him taught lesson one and set a fecha.(a date)  It was awesome!

Morning soccer with all the intercambios was a party as always. Except Elder Rivero and I made the mistake of being on opposing teams again. We both ended up moaning on the ground flat on our backs, but it was fine.

Saturday night we went with the elders to give M a blessing. It was such a powerful experience. The next day she leaned over to me in church and whispered that she wasn't going to come because she had so much to do and was in pain, but then she thought. No I'm going to put God first. Man I love that lady.

Sunday was awesome. We had district lunch at the chapel together. It is always super interesting to see what the elders come up with to eat.

Alright here goes: reasons I am in love with Hermana Whaley:
Our companionship name is Small Whale 
One day during medio dia we only had 5 min left of our time. And I jumped up and said, "Hermana, how quick do you think we can make cookie dough?" She had been laying on the couch, jumps up and runs into the kitchen and we made cookie dough We tried giving up pillow talk for consecration week but Saturday night we failed. We talked for forever with the lights off heads on pillow of course.
She loves the water almost as much as I do
just some examples for why I have been blessed with the best companion.

I'm sorry I really just cannot believe how quickly this week flew by. It seems like I'm living in a dream. I love it here so much and I can't wait to see what the Lord can make of me:)
All my love,

Hermana Smalley

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