Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 22nd, 2012 Letter

I think I am FINALLY feeling like I am getting a hang of things. Whew! That was a rough transition. I know there is still a lot more for me to learn, and changing areas and companions will just bring more transitions, but I feel like I have finally found my role as a missionary. It took way too long :)

On Thursday Sister Lee and I went to the John Johnson Farm to read D&C 76 in the Room of Revelation. It just so happened that February 16th was the 170th anniversary of when the revelation was given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon! It was so neat to read the revelation and then look up and imagine them sitting in front of us, receiving the revelation exactly 170 years ago. It was a great blessing. I love serving here!

On Monday night we had an extra training meeting in Kirtland. We talked about the Church websites, especially Mormon. org, and how we should know them as well as we know the scriptures! I was surprised by that, but as they went over the different ways we can use the website, it is an incredible tool we can use! Especially for chatting. We talked about how technology has advanced so far, and we aren't using them to our best capacity. As visiting center sisters we have every resource given to missionaries at our disposal- internet, phones, referrals, historic sites, theaters and proselyting areas. It is a priviledge to have so many tools, and we need to become proficient in using all of them if we are going to be the best missionaries we can be. It seems like an enormous task, but also so exciting! They talked about how we are the pioneers/guinea pigs who will learn how to use these things, so they can be streamlined for missionary use and eventually be given to all missionaries. Once that happens, the gospel can spread so much quicker. I feel like the gospel is on the verge of flooding the world, and we as latter day saints in these latter days get to experience it first hand!! We are so blessed!

Something that has really surprised me as a missionary is the role of the members. At home, I felt like I wanted to spread the gospel full-time so I could touch lives and bring them happiness. Missionaries definitely do get to do that, but what I didn't realize was what a powerful effect the members of the church have. Full time missionaries facilitate the spirit and invite others to come to Christ, but it is the members who have the driving force and influence to really make a difference! Without the members, missionary work would be slow and, in many cases, ineffective. When members are the ones to reach out to those they meet and those they love, they are in such a better position to help those people than missionaries can do by knocking on doors and passing out Mormon pass along cards. It is a power I didn't realize I had as a member, but from a missionary perspective, it is impossible to miss! The people in the ward I am serving in seem to get that idea pretty well, and they are such a good example to me of how I want to be when I get off my mission.

Nick was confirmed on Sunday! I was able to feel such a powerful and peaceful spirit during his blessing. I felt good at the baptism, but it wasn't until the confirmation that I really felt what a blessing it was to be a part of Nick's life while he made this life-changing decision. The gift of having the spirit with us always to sanctify, comfort, and direct us is a blessing I normally overlook. But I have been so thankful for it as I have had to depend on it as a missionary (because in many instances, I have no idea what I am going to do and I am constantly praying that I can have some idea of what I need to say!) It is so quiet! I can't get over that! It really does feel like your own thoughts or feelings, but in hindsight you can see it was a prompting. So cool! Our president advises us to 'return and report' in your prayers at night, to account for what you did during the day. It is neat to have that time to think about the day and see His hand where I didn't recognize it during the day. He is there all the time! But I think it is easy to overlook when we don't take the time to meditate and thank Him.

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