Now let me just say,
THIS HAS BEEN THE LONGEST WEEK OF MY LIFE.
I bet you can guess which attribute we were working at....
Did you guess Patience?
You were right.
It hasn't been a bad week... not by any means! Its actually been wonderful. Just incredibly unbelievably unfathomably LONG. The days seemed to draaaag and I thought the week would never end.
What I've learned from this experience is that in order to help us become better and stronger, God sometimes makes things harder.
I've also learned to think twice before praying for patience!!
Well because this week equaled the length of an entire year, a year's worth of wonderful things happened!
So now I'll just try YOUR patience, and see if you can stand to read about it all :)
God is just so nice to us. He's blessed us with so many great friends to teach and help and take care of. A jetpack would have been nice this week.... Sister P and I are burning holes in our shoes from racing to appointments with our friends all over town.
We met with our lovely friend Yvonne, and she asked us a beautiful question.
"I know that Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. But WHY did He do that? Why would He suffer so much for OUR sins?"
That was the best question anybody has ever asked.
We told Yvonne all about our Savior Jesus Christ, and how His atoning sacrifice is what enables us to be strengthened in our trials and to be forgiven of our mistakes and to overcome our weaknesses. We told her how His death and resurrection is what makes it possible for us to live again. That's why He suffered and died. And He did it all because of His infinite LOVE for each of us.
We made a new friend from Columbia. I don't know if she was speaking Danish or English or Spanish.... I don't think she knew what she was speaking either. But she was hilarious. And she fed us some berries that looked potentially poisonous. They were like green grapes with long furry hairs growing all over them. But we're still alive so thats good :)
We also met up with one of our Atheist friends this week. He told us how science and religion can't both exist because they completely contradict each other.
You wanna know what I think?
Truth is truth is truth is truth. All truth is TRUTH.
TRUE science and TRUE religion don't contradict each other at all.
Check out this BEAUTIFUL video where a renowned scientist testifies of our premortal life, our divine Creator, and the limitless perspective of eternal life.
We went down to Odense to help the Sisters kick off the new transfer. They've been having a difficult time finding new investigators in their area, so we thought we'd dedicate the day to finding new friends!
Lately I've found a lot of inspiration in the quote that says something like
"To get somewhere we've never been, we must do something we've never done."
So thats what we did. A bunch of things we'd never done.
I got to spend the day with my favorite sister mish fish SISTER HADLEY (My last comp!)
It was a blast being together again :)
That morning I had studied Chapter 9 in Preach My Gospel, which is all about finding people. A line jumped out at me that said-
"During His mortal ministry, the Savior took upon Him the form of a servant (philippians 2:7) and went about doing good (Acts). As you follow His example, you will find those who will receive you."
We decided to follow His example. Because PMG promised us that if we did, we'd find people who would receive us.
So we put on our service clothes and ventured out into themorning sunshine looking for people to serve!
We knocked on some doors and talked to anyone who was out doing yard work, offering to help and serve them. Most of the people we met didn't accept our offer, but they thought it was wonderful that we were out serving people and so they were willing to chat with us and open to hear about our message. We gave out some cards and even got a referral!
We walked down one street where a very tall hedge separated us from a young man who was pulling weeds on the other side. We stood on our tip toes and talked to him over the towering hedge! He was a little bit puzzled at first, but he said we could come help him! He gave us some garden gloves and let us weed with him. He told us about his family, his job, his travels. We told him about our missions, our church, our message. He even shared his water with us and let us say a prayer with him. He was totally open to meeting with us, and thought it sounded fun to come to a church activity.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT.
As we spent the morning following Christ's example by taking the form of a servant and going about doing good, people did receive us. And they recognized us as disciples of Jesus Christ.
After lunch Sister Hadley and I met with investigator Jamine in the shade of a lovely tree. He (Jasmine is a man.... His sister named him...) has a lot of crap going on and is in the lowest of lows. The moment I saw him I could see how distressed and depressed he was. But I could tell he was a wonderful person and I just really enjoyed talking with him. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and the hope and peace God's plan gives us. In the middle of our conversation he just stopped and said that I made him happy! That for some reason I kept making him smile. I don't have a clue what I did.... I didn't do anything really. Maybe he could just tell that I really appreciated him as a person and that I was genuinely interested and grateful and glad to be there with him.
And I don't even know the last time something has made ME so happy... as knowing that I helped someone else (someone who has a huge load of trials and problems and reasons to cry) SMILE and feel happy inside.
That night we met up with 4 of the other Sisters and went down to the city center with a guitar and a uke and hymn books and Mormons bogs, and we made ourselves a little band! We sang about Jesus to all thenight strollers and passer-by's. Some people took pictures and videos. Some people came and talked to us. Some people took Books of Mormon and pamphlets and pass-along cards. It was AMAZING. And we all had SO much fun!
Singing is GREAT. Because you can sing about the restored truths of the gospel. You can sing about God's love. You can sing about the Savior of the world. People love listening to music. And when they listen to ours, they end up hearing about the gospel while they are at it. (We're sneaky. We know.)
Do you see what I mean about this week being forever long? We haven't even gotten toyet....
Our purple-haired less active friend came to church again!
Yeah! One more= tic tac toe 3 in a row she's REACTIVATED.
We spentfunday afternoon contacting former/potential investigators and finding new friends. Then we met with our friend Rado at the park. Rado rocks. He brought us cookies and orange juice and we had ourselves a little night picnic :) But Rado seemed way down when he met up with us. And he told us how its been a way hard summer. All he does is work and sleep, and he feels empty like something is missing.
He asked us about our missions. "Isn't it hard? Don't you feel restricted? I mean you can't go swimming or watch movies or any fun stuff like that."
We told him how we don't feel restricted at all. Not doing certain things actually GIVES us so much more. More opportunities and more possibilities. We just do less of the less-important stuff, and more of the more-important stuff. We told him how that's the secret we've discovered to being happy and not feeling empty.
Rado asked us why we decided to go on missions.
Sister P told him her story.
And I told him mine.
I was in college, taking TONS of classes and working 2 jobs. I went to school and work and my days were completely full, but somehow I felt so empty. I knew something was missing. I wanted to serve a mission.... I wanted to be a missionary SO bad, because I had gained such a strong testimony of the gospel and the atonement, and I wanted to SHARE it. Because I knew that would be so meaningful and worthwhile. But I couldn't. Because I was only 19 years old, and sisters had to be 21 to serve missions. So I just kept on being empty and feeling incomplete. But I prayed to God every day for missionary opportunities. I prayed for guidance and direction and I prayed to find the missing piece.
The moment the prophet announced the age change all my prayers were answered.
Now I'm a missionary! My life has never felt more meaningful or worthwhile. I've never felt less empty. My heart has never felt so full. My life has never been so complete.
But its not being a missionary that fills in the emptiness and confusion. Serving a full-time mission is not the missing piece.
Its when we realize God's plan for us, and when we choose to follow it, that life becomes meaningful. Emptiness goes away when we accept Gods love into our lives and when we SHARE it with others.
The best way to feel happy and loved is to give happiness and love away.
And when we try our complete best to follow Jesus Christ, we become complete.
I loved talking with Rado. I think we really cheered him up.
(And by we I mean He. And by He I mean Heavenly Father. We were just His little instruments.)
Nothing could have finished off my long long week better than Rado's smile.
My mission has really taught me what the more important stuff- and the most important stuff- really is.
Smiles are included in the "Most Important Stuff" category.
We should ALL do less of the less-important stuff and more of the more important.
Less stress. More happy.
Less TV. More family.
Less social media. More quality time.
Less contention. More peace.
Less selfish. More service.
Less worldly. More heavenly.
Like President Uchtdorf said,
"We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Diligently doing the things that matter most will lead us to the Savior of the World."
http://bcove.me/3svamx71 (In case the first beautiful video wasn't enough)
If you're reading this.... Congratulations! You've got a lot of patience.
jeg elsker jer!
Just thought I'd share this pic with y'all. In case you need a reason to smile.