Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 27, 2014

Dear Mom :), family and friends,
I have to say this week has been rough. I think it's rough because we have had to hand over a couple investigators to the other sisters since they moved to their ward. We have also had to hand over some less actives who want to go to the college branch. Almost all of our investigators are no longer progressing and its hard. We have definitely had success in other ways, like with less actives and our ward but they have had 6 baptisms in the last 3 weeks. It's hard because I know that I can always try harder, and I am trying hard. So I tend to think "What am I doing wrong?" even though I know it's not just our fault. I can definitely do better though. It's hard to see other missionaries and their success and not get too down on myself. That has really been stressing me and sister Austin out. Therefore we have been driving each other crazy! 
Oh my goodness its been a hard week. But about 2 days ago we had a really good companionship inventory. I remember Travis and others always saying how awkward those were. Maybe it's cause I'm a girl but they are not awkward hahaha. They really help a ton. After being complete girls and expressing our feelings we went to go see the Taylors. Who were reactivated last week :) 
Brother Taylor still will not read his scriptures, he is so stubborn and we had one of the best lessons ever with them. We have tried to talk to him about the Book of Mormon before and he always gets upset. This time we still tried to talk about the Book of Mormon and talk to them about how we must read it every day, and study out of it. The Book of Mormon will bless us. We learn from it, we gain testimony from it about the gospel and all the parts of the gospel. Well we asked him to study from it. He then said "I know I need to, I understand it is a good thing, and I will" We were taken back, and then he said, "I will study it, not read." That was the difference. Heavenly Father has us say study instead of read. Such a simple thing and it clicked for brother Taylor. He didn't want to read from cover to cover but he was willing to study out of it. How amazing is that. Heavenly Father saw we were struggling and we really tried to just let Heavenly Father use us as instruments and by doing that Heavenly Father helped brother Taylor understand. That was so special to experience. :) This man who was and is stubborn, finally decided he needed to study! :)
Yesterday we spoke in church :) I am not a speaker and we had to speak on 3 Nephi 9:15-22 which is not very missionary related but I decided to make it missionary oriented. We only had 7 minutes each cause a missionary just came home and spoke, and they wanted to give him most of the time. I was so grateful it was only 7 minutes cause well like I said speaking scares me. I have born my testimony in sacrament a ton, and that is fine, but speaking scares me so much. Plus we had no time this week to prepare really and so we prepared it the night before. Luckily it turned out decent..but still it was scary! Rylee, the RM spoke last and oh my goodness he is what I want to be at the end of my mission. I have grown up a lot spiritually but oh my I have so so so much more to grow. He served in Fort Worth Texas. His homecoming talk was different than most. Most share lost of stories, and he shared a couple. But what he talked on was what a preach my gospel missionary was and what a disciple of Christ was, and how there was no difference. If we are trying to be a disciple of Christ we can be a preach my gospel missionary. He talked about how we all can be a preach my gospel missionary, we don't have to have a badge to say we are. He shared some experiences and bore his testimony and I was glued. I want to be like him when I come home. So I decided to change up some things. For my personal study instead of just reading out of the Book of Mormon and squeezing a few things in. I decided to start studying the lessons more. I have taught them a hundred times and am used to them and Sister Austin pointed out that sometimes I teach them the same way to everyone. Therefore I have decided to study them more so that when I teach I can fully teach by the spirit and teach the person rather than teaching a lesson, which it talks about in Preach My Gospel. I had gotten in a rut and hearing Rylee talk, and the last two weeks of my mission really got me thinking and I have started to try harder and learn more. I tried hard before, but it was time to up the level. Like when you get used to running 2 miles and yes your working, but you're used to it, and so you have to bump it up to 3 so you can continue progressing. That is kinda how I feel right now and I love pushing my self more. My studies have become so much more purposeful and Sister Austin and I are learning more. I am so thankful I had that eye opener. 
Today while I was making my bed I started thinking about what my friends might be doing right then, and I realized it's probably just their usual thing. I am on a mission, and yes making my bed and having my daily routine is usual, but right now, our lives are different and my life is not the same as theirs, at least not right now. I am on a mission for the Lord. I have learned so much and have never been so sad, and never so happy and  full of joy. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father and my Savior who help me every day. They help comfort me, they help guide me, they help strengthen me. I was not a very courageous person before coming out, and oh boy I have a lot to learn. But these last two weeks I have been trying to be courageous and just asking people straight up about why they don't read, or come to church. I know that, that strength is not mine at all. It is my Heavenly Father. I know that I am only able to do what I am doing here as long as I am letting the Lord use me for an instrument. Just like Ammon in the Book of Mormon when he talks about how is is not his strength but his Gods and he will boast of his God. I love Ammon, he is so cool. Anyways I just rambled on. 
I love this gospel. I love seeing the miracles the Lord performs on a daily basis. I love my Heavenly Father and I love His children. I know that the Book of Mormon will provide us with the strengthen we need to get through the day, to helping us learn Christ's teachings. I know that with God all things are possible. I know that Jesus Christ is my Redeemer. I know Heavenly Father is my Father. I know that we can be a family together forever if we keep our covenants we make in the temple. I love my family so much. I love all of you. I am grateful I have an eternal family :)
              Love Andrea

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