I love being a missionary. I love being able to talk to people about the church, and being able to just share about my Savior with anyone and everyone that we meet. Opportunities to share to Gospel pop up at random times in random places. Just yesterday, we were walking through a neighborhood where a lot of Gypsies live. We were going to visit an investigator that my companion found a while back. The appointment fell through, and we ended up walking back to the chapel. On our way back, a group of gypsies stopped us and asked us if we were Jehovah's Witnesses. We replied that no, we were Mormon missionaries. They hadn't heard of us, and wondered if we believed in the Bible, which is when we pulled out our Bibles and showed them that we both believed in the same Christ. We then just started talking about what we believed and it was awesome! They have such a great faith in Christ, it's amazing. Towards the end of the conversation, they offered me some marijuana. I just started laughing and said, no thanks. They insisted, and said that after one smoke you would absolutely love it! I said no again and gave them a pass along card and invited them to church. They said it sounds interesting, but that they already were part of an Evangelical congregation. Regardless, they were really great people and I'm glad I got to meet them.
I honestly cannot tell you how much of a blessing it is to serve a mission. I could sit here and just list all of the things that have happened this week that have made me appreciate the Gospel more than ever, but I want to share some experiences that have really, genuinely changed my life.
Learning Spanish has been hard, especially when you set high expectations for yourself, which has been lesson number one for me: do the best in what you can, and let the Lord do the rest. Don't compare yourself to other people, because you are not in their situation. Do what you can. I know that God factors in degree of difficulty in our lives. He understands how difficult every one of our trials is for us specifically and will give us strength to overcome those that are tailored to make us the best we can be. Sometimes it's tough, and sometimes it feels like God is asking us to do the impossible. But, it makes us such better people when we endure to end, cheerfully submitting to what God has in store for us.
Another thing that I have learned: everything happens for a reason. EVERYTHING. This last Thursday, Elder Flint and I were out trying to get to our appointments, and literally every appointment/meeting that we had fell through. We kept going from house to house, trying to find at least one person to teach. Finally, we got to the last back up of our back up. We got to the bottom of the stairs in the apartment building we were in and decided to say a prayer, and we just asked God to lead us to someone who needs us. We then decided to go and visit people that were either old investigators or less active members in our area. This is the part where we expected some miraculous finding of someone who had been fervently praying that we stop by, right? Well, actually no. Even after the prayer, we kept knocking, and kept going for another half hour until finally, we found an investigator that my companion had taught previously that we were able to come into her home and teach her a message. I don't know if our visit did make a huge difference in her life, but what I know is that it made a huge difference in mine. God sometimes gives us a challenge, and afterwards, we expect immediate deliverance from the problems that we have. We expect an instant end of the pain- but I know that God knows us perfectly and when the natural man inside of all of us wants our trials and problems to stop He knows that we are supposed to keep going. In Job 23:10 it says, "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." We may not know why we are suffering so badly in the moment, but we can know, through the Gospel, that when we have passed through all of these trials, we will come forth as GOLD. The most precious, most excellent result that can happen to us.
I know that God lives and is in the details of our lives. I know that He cares about us. He knows our individual struggles. He wants to help us, we just have to let Him in.
Thank you so much for all of your support, letters, and love, it means so much to me to be out here and to have this opportunity.
|This is one of the most famous buildings in Alicante, really beautiful, but I have no idea what it's called.|
|Our zone on p-day. We got to go through an international boat race museum. The race starts in Alicante relatively soon, so we got to have some lunch and talk with the members.|