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 sugar...life 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!!