Thursday, September 22, 2011

Discouragement and Happiness

Dear Family and Friends,

So this last week was like the hardest week of my mission, it was also a very good one. So we have been working very hard. My new companion is really great. She struggles like the rest of us, but we are doing wonderful together. Last week, we knocked, and tried to contact so many people. I loved it.

We have a lot of progressing investigators. I really thought things were just going great. I gave a great training the other day in District Meeting over how to fight discouragement through having charity and bearing a strong testimony. Its amazing what can happen if you have charity. I really felt the Spirit and I learned so much from the Elders and my companion in this training. We were also invited to sing at stake conference with all of the rest of the missionaries. It was amazing. Right before the conference we practiced. They decided to have us sing in Spanish....there are not that many of us. I was really glad that I could do that for the ward members that came. It was a whole session on missionary work. It was great. Our mission president spoke and it was amazing. We also had a nonmember sing "O Divine Redeemer" (and I really need that song now). It was so powerful. I love the way music can invite the Spirit.

After the conference we were planning on visiting our great investigators Thelma, Felix and Esperanza. We were so excited to see them. They had already done their reading and we brought cookies for the kids. We were so excited to put them on date. I felt so good about it. We went and they thought it was Sunday that we were supposed to come by and Felix was sleeping. So we made an appointment for Sunday afternoon. Lately I have been really struggling to understand why I haven't seen any baptisms. It is not everything, but it hurts when you see other missionaries that don't work as hard get baptisms. I was so excited. We were listening to Stake Conference in Spanish (which is still harder to understand than English lol) and there was a wonderful talk. The stake president talked about the purpose of life. He said that the purpose of life is not to receive blessing (or in other words the purpose of a mission is not to have tons of baptisms) it is to prove faithful to Jesus Christ. This really hit me. It was just so true. My mission president always says I am a great missionary. During this talk Thelma called and told us that her husband doesn't want us to meet with them any more. He wants them to be Catholic (yesterday he took them to church for the first time in years). I couldn't hold back the tears honestly. I just didn't understand. Everything was going so perfectly and then it was just gone. I had spent all morning thinking about her. So yesterday was just a really hard day. I felt like I couldn't be the missionary I wanted to be. It hurt all day long.

So this morning I needed to read some things to bring me up. I read some really great scriptures.
D&C 123:17
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

This scripture changed the way I thought about my work. I need to do the work cheerfully with all of my power and then leave it up to God and wait for the miracles to happen. I really don't know why I have seen so many people get so close to baptism and move, don't want to listen or just say they don't want it. I don't know, but I really think I have a lesson to learn. I don't know God's ways and His ways are not mine, but He does work in mysterious ways for the salvation of His children.

I then read 2 Nephi 4:15-35

This gave me some much comfort because God just knows me so well. Read it!

I am still sad about Thelma, but there are other great blessings and prospects. On Friday we taught Juan and Hilda the nonsmoking program. They haven't smoked since. We went by today (yes today :) ) because Juan doesn't work today. We had an amazing lesson about baptism. Juan asked us why we needed to get baptized in water. It was so amazing how the Spirit led my words and how strong it was. They both understood so much. They looked at each other with new understanding. We put them on date for the 15th of October. I am so excited. It felt so good.

Also can I just say I love being a missionary. Today we were at the grocery store and someone asked me if i was a LDS missionary (its my favorite question). I love that I can say yes! His name was Jake. A lot of his family are members. It was so nice to talk to him and invite him to learn more. I love that.

So I am still in the work out program. Every morning....I hate it, but after eating salads and working out hard core I definitely feel better. We played soccer today and Frisbee. So my companion is super good.....and you all know me so I won't lie. I'm not that good. I did block the ball with my body a couple of times. The elders are nice and tell me good job...but I know the truth lol.

Tomorrow is Zone Conference and it is all about how to fight discouragement and I am so excited.

Funny story time!
1. The other day we went to lunch at a less actives house. She told me what we were eating and in my head I So I kept trying to whisper it to Hna. Romero.....psssssstt! Pig Skin! pssssstttt! Pig Skin! Yep we ate boiled pig skin. I won't lie I didn't like it. I got a huge piece. Hna. Romero got a napkin when she wasn't looking and wrapped her food in it and hit it between her legs. I was too close to the member so i couldn't. I tried to cut it up to look like I ate more and then hid some of it in the corn husks of the tamale I was eating. It was just so funny. I can't adequately describe over email why it was so funny.
2. Yesterday we talked to a creepy old guy named Larry. It was one of the most interesting contacts. It stared out with " When God made your face, He was just showing off!" He was trying to convince me about science....luckily I could at least prove in my head he was wrong. That degree came in handy. Luckily a testimony is so much more powerful.

Family and Friends - I love the gospel. I love the Book of Mormon. I know it is true. I know that God loves us and that He gives us trials because we have so much to learn. I know that we can prove He is real, because I can test the commandments. I can test His promises. He always does what He says He will. I love being a missionary. I don't want to the time to go any faster and I don't want to ever have to not be a missionary. I love you all very much. I hope you liked this email. I am doing great.

Hermana Spencer

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