Remember that person SisStew and I tracted into? We had an incredible first lesson with her. She poured her heart out to us, expressed her worry for her 16 year old daughter who's pregnant, and also told us that God has been telling her that there is something missing in her life. We're going to meet with her again tomorrow, but she agreed to be baptized if she comes to know it's true! She's very grounded and I feel like she's going to be an incredible Mormon. :)
I'm gonna be honest, this week has been super rough. This area is so hard. The members aren't on board, and everyone is stuck in their old ways, and it's just difficult to find work here. My poor companions had to catch the brunt of my frustrations, too. I guess you could say I'm the leader of this companionship - just in that I'm the boldest and most committed? I don't know. But when I don't feel motivated, neither do they, so we can't get anything done. We had a good comp inventory and figured it all out, but it's been rough.
We had an incredible STM (training by the ZL's) on Monday that was so inspiring to me. They played a part of a talk from Elder Holland to a group of Mission Presidents and just as I was sitting there wondering why this work has to be so hard, he addressed the very question.
Some highlights: "Salvation was NEVER easy. This is the truth. Why would we think it would be easy for us if it was so hard for the Savior? As a representative of Christ, you must be prepared to walk and feel some of that which He felt. Even He asked if there might be some easier way. If you come to love and appreciate it, you will be lifted up by the Atonement. You have every reason to stand tall. For a moment you might understand a part of what He went through for you."
It was so powerful and such a humbling experience for me. The Savior of the World was rejected and crucified by those whom He loved so much. But He pressed on still.
I also had a great talk with the Sister Training Leaders this week, Sisters Armistead and Smith. They expressed that they understood completely what I was going through, to which I was grateful. They gave me some incredible advice. Simple, but powerful.
1. Memorize scriptures.
2. Be obedient.
3. Let this area, this difficult area, be about you. Look to see the change in yourself, and let yourself become truly converted.
4. Study diligently.
5. Love and serve and teach your companions. They need you."
They reminded me that Elgin is NOT my whole mission, it will end! When you're done here, look at the changes you've made, "give this place two middle fingers and never come back!" Hahaha it was just what I needed. They were a heaven-send, truly.
Even Elder Winterton said that the 3rd transfer is the hardest - because you're away from your trainer, new comps, new area, and it's tough. BUT it's uphill. There's a new fire and a new focus that comes with the trial.
|Roadside Prayer TeePee. Not Something I'd Ever Seen Before|
ONWARD AND UPWARD!
We had a baptism this week!! Antonio got baptized and it was wonderful. I'm glad they had a jumpsuit for him - he definitely came in a t-shirt and jeans. :) But it was wonderful. And the water was cold, apparently.
And then there was Sunday! The speakers didn't show up so the Branch Pres and one of his counselors spoke instead. The counselor called us all to repentance fire and brimstone style, so that was pretty sweet... hahaha!
Gospel Principles was a collective Restoration to the Riverside kids (did I tell you about them? We go to Riverside every Monday and do FHE with them. It's a boarding school for Native American kids who are taken out of bad homes. It's awesome.) - three of them are getting baptized on Thursday! Damien, Brett, and Alyssa. (sweet name right)
And RS was TINY! Because we need primary teachers and because of the weather, there were 10 of us total, including my trio! It was an awesome lesson on service.
After church we went to the Bateman's house for dinner and a lesson with the Riversiders and the Elders (they are the Elders' investigators). Brother Bateman is the ward mission leader and he's awesome - he also is the one who leads FHE at Riverside and who brings the kids who want to come to church and to youth activities and such. And we bonded a lot with Sister Bateman! She has two kids on missions right now. We helped her make the best fried chicken I've ever had. Seriously. It was incredible. I wanted to cry. And we donned our aprons beautifully!
After dinner we had the Doctrine of Christ lesson and WoW and Law of Chastity. Sister Bateman taught the Law of Chastity and we just had to keep from cracking up! She explained that when she and her hubby were dating they had times they wanted to "Jump each others' bones" and we laughed so hard! And oh my heck close your eyes for this one... She was teaching about having good thoughts and told them to watch out for those "hot and sweaty thoughts!" It was freaking hilarious. Oh teaching the L of C. Good times.
|The Three of Us at the Batemans|
Over all it was a rough week, but filled with growth and learning. I feel so much closer to Christ, and like I'm a better person and I can more fully see my potential. I'll challenge you to memorize scriptures along with me - ones that you can gain comfort from in times of trial. I'd love to hear which ones you choose, and I'll let you know which ones I choose, too.
I know that a mission is where I need to be. And I know it's hard, but I also know that THIS is why we are here. We are on this Earth to grow - to progress. And the only way we can progress is through these experiences.
I love you all so dearly. I love the gospel. Study the scriptures and share what you know.
PS. The mission office is no longer allowed to forward our mail to us. Please send lots of letters and Christmas cards to:
Sister Alyssa Clark
113 "E" Street
Elgin, OK 73538