First of all I would like to give a shout out to Ryan! He is now a return missionary! How cool. Can't believe it has already been 2 years since he left. Hope that I can be the kind of missionary that he was!
The weather has finally been getting nicer here, almost into the 70's! But then we woke up this morning and it was snowing. So we will have to see what the weather has in store for us this week.
We were pretty busy this week!
We visiting with a lot of less actives in the ward this week that we hadn't been able to get in with before, so that was pretty awesome. The Wausau ward is pretty big and retention is definitely an area that can be improved so Sister Weaver and I are working hard to help with that.
|Exchanges with Sisters Payne and Cook. (Check out my hair cut! I got 4 inches off.)|
Got to go on exchanges with Sister Cook. She is from McGrath, Alberta, Canada. That is one of the places that we went when I went up there for my soccer tournament so it was fun to reminisce about fun times and fun places up in Canada. We saw a lot of miracles. We were out tracting and met this guy from Brazil. He already had a copy of the Book of Mormon! I think he may have met with missionaries many years ago. We told him that the Book of Mormon was a record of people on the American continent, somewhere in central or south America. That really caught his attention! He said that he would read and that we could come back and teach him more. It is so cool to me how the Lord prepares me. Maybe he wasn't completely ready to accept the gospel when he received the Book of Mormon before, and the Lord led us to find him now that he is ready! So hope that all goes well.
Also got to go on exchanges with Sister Peel. She is from Mt. Pleasant, Utah which is where Jessie Jorgensen's farm is so it was fun to reminisce about that as well. She thought it was cool that someone actually knew where it was because it is a pretty small town. She finishes her mission in about 2 weeks so it was fun to be able to learn from her. We met with some less actives and then tried to find some new investigators. We got a referral from one of our investigators to visit her sister. She told us the street that her house was on and that is was the 2nd house on the left and it was blue. When we went to try to find the house, the 2nd house on the left was white and the one next to it was blue. So we didn't really know which one to try. We decided to try the blue house first. We knocked on the door and this guy answers. I asked if Patty was there and he said no. I said, "Oh no, we must have the wrong house then. Sorry! But what is your name?" And he said, "It's- get off my porch! Do you need a spelling for that?!" hahahahahahahahaha man I have been rejected my fair share of times but that has got to be one of the most interesting.
I also got to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday. Perks of being a missionary- they ask you to speak just a couple of days before the meeting! Yay! But I was actually very grateful for the opportunity to speak because the topic that they gave me to speak on was my very favorite- The Atonement! Man, I could just go on talking about that and how much I love it forever! I have been studying a talk that Elder Holland gave a while back called "Missionary Work and the Atonement." Man, is it a good one. This is one of my favorite quotes:
"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
I don't think we will ever come to understand the Atonement perfectly. However, I have come to understand it on my mission better than I ever have before and in ways that I never could have experienced if I wasn't here.
As a missionary, I understand to a certain extent a small degree of some of the things that the Savior felt. He was rejected, mocked, spit upon, judged unfairly, ignored, and persecuted. He worked diligently all the days of his ministry and still there were many, many people that did not want to listen to the amazing and beautiful gospel message that He had to share. I have felt some of those same feelings on my mission. But because of the Savior and His Atonement, I don't have to endure it alone. I can find strength, peace, and joy throughout anything that may come my way. And I am so grateful because I appreciate and understand that part of the Atonement in a very personal way now. I love my Savior. I am so grateful for the example that he set for us to follow and that He has offered divine help along the way. I know that He loves us. That is why He endured everything that He did! He loves us, and He loves God. That is his motivation for perfect obedience. I love this gospel and I love the ability that I have to tell people about Christ's Atonement every single day, whether they choose to listen or not!
I love you all!