Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Week 46

Family Picture - Hermana Josie trained Hermana Green, which makes her my mom, and I have two "Daughters" Hermana Post and Zimmerman, Hermana Santos trained Hermana Rodriguez, who is training Hermana Medina, and we are all in the same Zone.


So, to preface, these last 2-3 months in my mission has challenged me in a lot of ways, but I have grown so much more, and for that I am grateful.  Part of these challenges have come from a lot of internal and emotional challenges that caused me to ask myself, "Am I doing what the Lord needs me to do? Am I doing it good enough?  For months I felt like I was having a battle with myself, every day, trying to figure out why I felt this weird 
feeling of not talking to as many people as I should be talking to, after all that's my purpose, to invite ALL people to come unto Christ, not just a handful.  Each day I felt so bad, but I kept working and praying to figure this out, all the while I was still seeing miracles and experiencing happiness!  It was weird, I was so happy, but feeling like I still needed to do more.  This weird, ominous feeling was eating me alive inside, which caused a lot of self reflection, mainly because I couldn't understand the source of my problem, but seguimos adelante (we press forward).  And then, I finally understood and received and answer to my prayers and what this was all about.  On Saturday, I had caught a little cold and towards the end of the day, I was physically drained and exhausted. It started to rain very hard and I knew that that wasn't going to help me get better, haha.  But we kept tracting, and once we got home at the end of the night I was beat, I walked in to see Hermana Thelin and Hermana Zimmerman feeling a little down. They told me they had had kind of a hard day, and we came to a lot of realizations. They started sharing with me what they had been feeling, and I to them.  I explained how I have no problem getting rejected, I am not afraid to talk to people, and I have a drive to do the work, but there is something holding me back from my full potential, and I just didn't know what.  That unknown thing was making me super frustrated, and making me feel as if I was falling short.  Then, Hermana Thelin shared with me this quote that has changed my life moving forward.  She shared with me how missionaries will sometimes feel this way and how our attitude of work focuses on 1 of 3 phases, "I have to do this, I ought to do this, I get to do this."  She went on to explain how, sometimes we are in a attitude of, "I have to do this work because if we don't we will feel fear and disappointment."  That fear, is what drives the work, but that is not how missionary work is.  So you change, and you move up to, "I ought to do this because the gospel provides the help the world needs, and even though I am scared at times, I know it's for my good."  That is progress, but we are still using "I ought to do this" as a motive, or something forced.  Once we shift our attitudes to, "I get to do this" then that changes everything.  I get to do this because I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I have the PRIVILEGE of spending this time in my life completely and utterly serving him and his work!!  Once I heard this, everything made so much sense to me.  I realized in that moment that as I was given a leadership position of being a trainer for Hermana Zimmerman and Hermana Post, I quickly realized I had a lot of responsibility.  I had so much fear that I wouldn't help them as much as I could, or that they wouldn't learn Spanish, or wouldn't be successful and it would be my fault, not theirs, if they weren't as prepared as they should've been.  That scared me and without knowing, this caused a cloud of fear to take over my thoughts and decisions.  I realized I had been living more in fear, and relying on trying to do ever thing myself, rather than relying on my faith and trust in the Lord.  Having these realizations I felt about 3 different emotions in about 3 seconds, crying, sadness and anger, but then overjoyed with tears of happiness, and felt as if 100 bricks just got lifted off my shoulders.  I hugged these three wonderful missionaries, Hermanas Post, Zimmerman, and Thelin, and slept very well that night.  The next day, I read a quote that said, "The feeling of fear does not come from Heavenly Father or His Son, Jesus Christ, it comes from the Devil.  As missionaries we must learn how to self-discern these feelings and recognize that when you do feel those feelings, you are being played by the Devil."  This entire experience helped me understand and discern the thoughts that come into my mind and has already helped me these last couple of days!  I am so humbled and grateful for this experience and the personal growth the Lord is blessing me with!!   We are talking to EVERYONE now, and things could not be better.  I may always feel a bit inadequate and not living up to my full potential, but that's alright, because "I know in whom I have trusted" and I know that as I put my faith and trust in the Lord, all will be OK, and He will qualify my efforts and allow me to be successful, and that is all the happiness and joy I will ever need!!!

Investigators:  OKAY, MIRACLE OF THE WEEK NICOLE ACCEPTED A FECHA (BAPTISM DATE) FOR THE 22ND OF JULY!!!!!!!   We taught her an AMAZING lesson that we had been wanting to teach for months.  It was to read Alma 32 with them, but each time we tried to, it didn't feel right, or something would come up.  So, we read through Alma 32 with Nicole and Ivette and Nicole FINALLY understood the importance of real intent. Side note: every Thursday morning we have weekly planning, where we take 2 hours to plan for each investigator, recent convert, reference, and less active we are teaching, what their needs are, what we are going to teach them, what members we feel would help them, what commitments to give them, etc..  That morning we decided that we were going to give Nicole, Mosiah 4 to read after we had this lesson with her.  So after she accepted the invitation to be baptized, we told her how she can pray and read the scriptures to get a confirmation and answers to her questions.  We said, "Hey, if you pray before you read the Book of Mormon, with faith that you will receive an answer, you can flip to any page and we guarentee you you will find what you need."  She wanted to try that right then and there and I was like, "oh no" but she did it.  She was praying, flipping through pages, feeling them with her fingers (all with her eyes closed), and opened the book.  She then read the words in, Mosiah 4.  SHE OPENED RIGHT TO WHAT WE WERE GOING TO LEAVE HER WITH. IT WAS NUTS!  The Spirit was so strong and we explained to her why we were freaking out and why we were excited and she was like, "OH MY GOSH THATS AMAZING, I want the Holy Ghost! This feels amazing!"  She said the closing prayer, we kneeled and prayed, and she asked Heavenly Father to help her recognize these things and confirm if she needs to get baptized.  It was an amazing night. They didnt come to church yesterday, they were sick, but we are going to see them tomorrow.
Oh my goodness, President and Hermana Smart are incredible. It felt as if I had known them for years. I know without any doubt that they were meant to be called here, at this time, for our  mission. They are so amazing. President Smart reminds me a lot of Nick (y'know, Jess's hubby). They are just the sweetest things. One thing I love that Sister Smart said was,"What I lack in knowledge, I will make up for in love."  She is the most tender thing. I love them already.

CAN YOU SEND ME A RECIPE BOOK (and the recipe for your great mexican food Mom and also the spinach and artichoke dip.  Everyone in our house is deciding to whip out cooking skills and I have none so I have to show them I can cook something other than eggs and biscuits and gravy. You laugh, but I need to, HAHA!!

DADDDDDDD COOL THING THAT HAPPENED! So once again, your spiritual thought last week helped me receive revelation for the second week in a row. (perks of having your Dad be your Bishop) (and perks of having a cool Dad). So, as you know, I have been praying to know which school I needed to go to, really whether to stay at Idaho, or to go to a school in utah.  Ever since Mom put it in her letter a while back, I have seriously thought about it.  Before reading your email, I decided that I wanted something more. I felt that if I stayed at Idaho, I would be settling.  It was comfortable, a good school, good environment, my friends were there, but it didn't feel right.  I came to the conclusion that I hungered for something more challenging, that would open doors for better opportunities in education and a career.  I had talked to a lot of my companions and mission friends and I felt good about it.  THEN I read your email last week, and BOOM got a confirmation on the thoughts I was receiving. If you go back, and look at the example you used, you mentioned college and mentioned THE EXACT SAME WORDS AND FEELINGS I have felt!  We were both in tune with the Spirit and I felt a burst of joy realizing that I knew I needed to go to UVU or BYU, whichever one, I am fine with.  Right now, I am really liking BYU, but as of right now, I know I am going to one of those two schools in UTAH!  I am so excited and feel so much peace and joy and excitement for the future. It feels right. 

I am so happy for our family and that we are finally ALL sealed together forever. I love my life. I love who I am. I love my family. I love my family here in Puerto Rico. I am grateful to be called to the Lord's work. 

Have a great week everyone,
Love, Hermana Green
A picture of Neil L Andersen asking me a question and me laughing and smiling and not knowing what to say in the presence of an Apostle of the Lord.

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