Monday, August 5, 2013

twasn't me, twas the Lord

Hi!

So, update on one of the ladies we are teaching. I've been super excited to write you since last Monday, because she was progressing so much so fast, but alas we hit a wall last night. But she is still wonderful. We taught her the Restoration and the Plan, and she loved them. We love her so much. She was so receptive and would always be like, "this goes right along with the Bible!" It was great. And, we set a baptismal date with her! August 24, we knew it was soon but we prayed and felt good and at the pace she was at, we knew she could make it. When we extended it, she said yes and was like, "How could I say no?" and even was like, "I've been baptized before, but not like that. I need to be baptized like that!" Awesome, right?! We were on top of the world.

....until yesterday. She wouldn't come to church with us because she just really felt uncomfortable and wanted a church tour first, which we hadn't been able to do because her work schedule is so all over the place. But she had promised she'd come the next week, and we were positive she would. We brought an awesome member with us to our appointment after church, which ended up being a huge blessing. We were all ready to teach her the Word of Wisdom and were excited about it, but when we walked in I could kind of tell something was different. She said she had been up all night "prayin' to God" and just feels like she doesn't want to "be a Mormon" and just wants to stick with the Bible. WHAT. Haha my heart dropped when she said that. She even said she'd give us the BoM back that we had given her. I felt sick. We totally ditched our lesson plan and just talked about the BoM and read Bible verses that talk about the BoM (she LOVES the Bible, and thankfully I had studied where those verses are - I'm getting better little by little!). Our member is a convert and she was so wonderful at testifying about her conversion and everything. The lady we were teaching agreed to read and pray more, but I'm worried. She gets really stubborn and she'll agree with everything we say, but then just go back to what she decided before we had ever started talking, as if nothing we said had even been heard. So we are praying lots for her. I'm also trying to get my motives all in the right place because I know I really just need to love her regardless of whether or not she accepts the message, because it's not about me at all! 

Oh and the subject line...when we were driving away from our lesson with her where she accepted the baptismal invite, we were reflecting on how much the Lord has worked with and prepared her. We didn't do anything - we were just there to share the message, and the Spirit worked with her! It wasn't us at all. I almost didn't put that subject line there because now I'm like, well maybe that didn't work after all - but I know that it STILL is the Lord's work, He has STILL prepared her, and He will STILL prepare her, even if she isn't ready to make changes now. How I love Him and the people we teach!

Anyways, I've been a little more down since that event, just so worried, but all your emails really lifted me up, so thanks everyone :) I just felt your love so much and felt that boost I needed to keep going and try harder! Our zone leaders spoke at our district mtg, and sometimes I just feel like I'm so weak and there's nothing that I can do that's right, but I know the Lord doesn't want me to feel that way. I just need to pick something that I can improve at (there's a ton, haha) and work on that, and keep trying, and thank goodness for the Atonement because I feel a need for it as a missionary probably more than I ever have in my life haha!

What else...the intersections and roads here are CRAZY haha. 5-way intersections all the time. But there is such cool architecture! Unfortunately it's all these sweet churches for the most part, so I can't take pics in front of them. 

We moved into our new home! Transfers are Aug 29 and every 6 weeks from there, so I could get transferred at any time. I really hope I don't too soon though, I love this ward! But anyways, we miss living with the Beytien's but are enjoying having a house to ourselves!

Sis Call and I were asked to give a 10-min presentation in Relief Society on the importance of members in missionary work and ways they can start sharing the gospel with their friends. I felt really good about how it went. I feel like the ward is starting to trust us more, and that is exciting and humbling!

One thing I'm working on is trusting in the scripture that says that if we open our mouths, it will be given to us "in the moment" what we should say. It's hard for me because I don't feel like I've always seen that be true. I know the scriptures are true, and I'm sure I'm the problem (not the scripture, because hello, God doesn't lie!), but there have been countless times where I'm like, where's what I'm supposed to say?! and I think of a response an hour later or whatever, AFTER the moment has passed. I'm not giving up though! Thoughts? I'm also working on having better comp study. I love personal study, but I feel like comp study is still a little awkward. My companion is great but we definitely have different styles, so it's hard for me when I give my input or say something and she just sits there and doesn't say anything in response. Haha it makes me feel awkward. But I've known several people like that so hopefully she doesn't hate me, it's just her way of thinking (while I'm one who thinks everything out loud....hmmm, now that I think about it, that probably drives her crazy!). Anyways, I'm trying to just love and serve her, because I know that that's all I can do!

Last Monday, we went to a Marshallese family's home for FHE/dinner, and it was amazing! They make TUBS full of delicious grilled chicken, not to mention all the other amazing food. And you eat it with your hands and it's just tons of food all the time haha. They found out I had recently had a birthday, along with another elder, so they gathered around and sang to us in Marshallese and all shook our hands, and the cute little girls gave me a Marshallese headband and him a Marshallese necklace! It felt like I was in "Other Side of Heaven", only in Iowa :)

I had my "click day" on Saturday! One month down! Not counting though ;)

Interviews were good! The time with Pres and Sis Jensen went by too fast - I was only able to ask one question - but I came away feeling very loved, and that was enough for now :)

Holy cow I write a lot. One last thing for now. Mornings are getting much better, probably due to my rock-hard bed (haha), as for the first couple weeks it was a nightmare trying to get out of bed. But, I've learned to accept that I"m still in my first trimester and am experiencing some morning [home]sickness. Haha I'm never homesick, except in the mornings before I start getting really busy. Then I miss yall a lot. But I've dealt with it before so I know that once I get busy I'll be fine, and I just laugh at my punniness at the morning [home]sickness, even though it's not very funny :)

I absolutely love the scriptures! they are so wonderful. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the gospel that blesses my life so much. I know it will bless the lives of the people here! Thank you so much for all your encouraging words! Love you tons!!!

Love,
Sister Whipple

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