Well this week we have been blessed with having a car!!! The Sisters in the neighboring Area got the chicken pox, really, really bad! Both have had it before, but Sister Kaetler got it again and they are now quarantined for two weeks. No one in, no one out. They are not able to be out and about with their car, so we are able to have it till they get better. Don't worry, we sprayed lysol all over the car and the keys before we got in it. We also figured it is cold enough at night that it should kill any other viruses that are in the car! Having a car has been so nice because this week at night it got below zero. BRRRR!!!!! It is really nice because when we are walking, it is hard to get rides at night-time so we walk. I try to count my blessings though because even though it is really cold, you can always see the beautiful stars!
This week has really solidified a few eternal truths in my mind. I have gained the knowledge that if someone has a certain issue with the Church, the perfect remedy to their situation is to strengthen their testimony of Jesus Christ and His Atonement and the Restoration. This truth is especially applicable in our Area. We have several families that we are working with that are wonderful. They have made the decision that when they are baptized, they will get baptized together as a family. This is really great and exciting, but it is difficult when the whole family is ready for baptism except for one person that is not ready to make that commitment. In both cases the mother of the family has some issues with teachings of the Church or the people. Upon review of their Teaching Record, I have seen that previous missionaries have attempted to address those issues at various times to no avail. I have been thinking a lot about this, and I have come to know that the way to address their concerns is to focus on the principles of the three lessons. If they truly gain a testimony of each of those things, their issues will be irrelevant because they cannot deny the truthfulness of this gospel.
I had an experience in Nauvoo where I read "The Living Christ" and commenced to write down my goals for my Mission on the back of that inspired document. One of my goals was to have my testimony burn so bright in my eyes that my investigators will not be able to deny the truth of what I am speaking. I am trying to do my best so that I will be able to help those investigators gain a testimony of what I know through me, because I know I cannot convert anyone past my own level of conversion. This is my main motivation in my studies and Lesson Planning so these families can come closer to Christ. I also have learned that it does not matter what anyone else does, because I can only control myself and what I present to the investigator. With anything else, I will just have to trust that the Spirit will let the right message enter into their hearts.
At Zone Conference I was inspired to set another goal for myself, which is "Self-Mastery". This goal was also prompted by reading through a conference talk a friend sent to me. It was given by Elder Bednar's and titled, "We Believe in Being Chaste". She thought it was an excellent review and might help any of my investigators that are struggling with the Law of Chastity. It might have been intended for my investigators, but I found it actually really helped me. I do not struggle with certain "natural man" tendencies that other have like keeping the Law of Chastity, but I certainly have not mastered the natural man's tendency to be stubborn, unteachable and proud. That talk helped me realized that those flaws are something that are not of what I am in Heavenly Father's eternal plan. I also have found various aspects in my life where I apply the necessary tactics of having a vision and working hard, but they seem to be exclusionary and are seldom found together.
I am creating a goal to master myself to a point where I will be able to decide how I feel, how I act, and to control myself so well that I will be able to easily push aside temptations and hindrances in my eternal progression. I am aware that this is a lofty goal, and that it might be a life-long pursuit, but I have decided to start that journey today. I know how important it is to be true to myself- not my earthly tendencies, but my eternal light. I know that as I do this it will not only bless my own life, but I will be a better tool in Heavenly Father's hands to help his children.
This week was Stake Conference for the Rigby Stake, and Elder Williams was the Presiding General Authority. The Saturday Session of General Conference was really enjoyable and was focused on "Hastening the Work of Salvation". It was really amusing because my companion and I both had impressions that we would be called up to bear our testimonies, but we were not! Oh well, at least we were prepared if had happened.
We also were able to bring one of our investigators with a baptismal date to theMorning Session of Stake Conference. She is a young girl in a family, and I think sitting next to/trying to entertain small children in Church is helping me train to be a Mom someday! I have found goldfish and dried mangos are very effective, and no one is above bribery :)
We also have been working on making Missionary Reports more intuitive and effective. Before we would have to go over to each Ward Mission Leader's house each week, hand him the report and talk with him for an hour. Now, we are going to use DropBox! From now on we can just send out a text letting them know we updated the form, and they can look and make comments if they have questions or concerns. We are working on getting permission to use Google Drive, which would be even easier to use then DropBox, so we will see.
I hope you all are doing really well, and know that I love ya!