Monday, May 28, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

We must have entered the 'wet' season because this past week it has rained a lot!  One particular night, my companion and I had just finished teaching a lesson to a family who couldn't see how the Gospel could bless their lives.  None of us could feel the spirit - my companion was trying to prove to them that they needed to be baptized by someone who had authority, they were trying to prove to us that their pastor did have authority, and I was trying to follow the conversation as best as I could to try and bear my testimony and bring back the spirit.  Nothing ever was resolved and we ended the lesson on what little of a good note we could and headed out into the night.  As soon as we hit the streets, it began to rain...and then to pour!  I hadn't brought my umbrella with me, so my companion suggested that we stand under an overhanging for awhile.  It was 8:30, I was frustrated, tired, and anxious to be back in our apartment, so after staring out at the pouring rain for a couple minutes I turned to my companion and said, "let’s go" She protested and said that I would get soaked.  I replied, "I'd rather walk for thirty minutes in pouring rain, tramp through puddles up to my ankles in the streets, and be completely soaked when I get back to the apartment than not be able to understand what people say or preach the Gospel message that I love!" heehee! Needless to say, we walked home in the rain!

The next day, it was raining again and we had an appointment with a 14 year-old boy who my companion thought we should cut.  I didn't feel much like going out, but fought back my selfish desires and prayed for the spirit to be with me.  When we entered the home of the boy, rain was dripping through a couple places in the roof.  My companion and I were sitting on two little stools in a very narrow entryway.  The boy sat behind a table that was in the same entryway.  He stared at his feet and didn't say much.  To be honest, I can't even remember all that I said or the questions I asked, but I can say that I know without a doubt in my mind that the spirit was in that little entryway, and the spirit taught that 14-year old boy what he needed to hear that rainy morning.  It wasn't me who was speaking, it was the spirit.  I didn't say anything profound, I didn't use a lot of new words that I had never used before, and nothing was extremely spectacular or different, but I could feel the spirit using what small capacities I had to bless this boy and bring him closer to embracing the fullness of the Gospel.  The difference between the night before and this morning were incredible!  This truly is the Lord's work, and when we have His spirit with us we will be able to accomplish miracles in the lives of those people who we teach.

This past week I received a letter from a good friend who shared with me this quote, "The difference between an obstacle and an opportunity is our attitude toward it.  Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity."  My mission sure as a lot of opportunities!  Sometimes I look ahead at the type of missionary I want to be and the type of missionary I know I can be, and I want to achieve that vision without going through the process in the middle.  It's a lot like a chocolate chip cookie!  A bag of chocolate chips has the potential to be turned into a delicious chocolate chip cookie, but there are a lot of steps that need to happen in the middle before the cookie is produced - there needs to be mixing, adding ingredients, rolling, baking, scraping, and a baby bit of cooling before the final product of a heavenly Chocolate chip cookie is produced!  The same thing occurs in our life.  We each are trying to become better people, more faithful, more obedient, more like our Savior.  At times we become frustrated that we know who we can become, but yet still seem to be a simple chocolate chip.  But, we can't become discouraged when we are still only a chocolate chip with a little flour, egg, and is a process!  It's going to take a lot of steps to get us to where we want to be, but as long as we're still adding ingredients, mixing, and continuing through with this process, we will eventually receive our deepest desires, we will eventually become the people our Heavenly knows we can become (a chocolate chip cookie kind of a person!)  "The task before us is never as great as the power behind us!"

THANK YOU everyone who has sent me letters of encouragement and support!  Letters, chocolate, almoço with members, and açaí are what keep me mixing my cookie batter here in the mission, continually working toward my chocolate chip cookie!  Mail may take forever, but I promise that I will reply!!  But know that I do receive your letters and I LOVE every single one!!  Thank you!!!

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