Hello from Hollywood Hills,
What a week, what a week!! One thing that training has been doing for me is showing me my weaknesses. It is like there is a big neon sign pointing in my direction and then magnified for the whole world to see. I just pray that Hna. Hebdon learns from all of it, the good and the bad, and is a better missionary than I am…which is totally possible. She has so much potential, so much love to give, it will not be hard for her to be a successful missionary. She is teaching me so much about everything, especially about being humble. It is interesting how the Lord is so willing to humble His people. He will have a humble people. Kacey, pray for your trainer because it is not an easy job. everyone thinks your trainer knows everything, and don't be fooled, she knows more than you do, but she doesn't know everything and that is difficult to live with, especially since someone is relying on her for everything. training is difficult, but so worth it. the learning curve goes up dramatically when training is happening.
One thing that has been weighing down on my mind for the past little bit is how to get this ward to be a center of strength. President Monson, and also our Regional President has told Mission Presidents to put their missionaries in cneters of strength, or in wards where the members are using their missionaries. this ward is highly underusing their missionaries, unless you count piano playing as a vital role in missionary work, which i don't. They have some solid missionaries who know how to get baptism, who know how to get large numbers and accomplish large, seemingly insurmountable tasks, but here, for some reason, we have been working and running, with our whole hearts, into the same brick wall, members who just don't get it. We know that we need to work with our members. It has been shown to us time and time again that this is the direction we need to take, that the way to get this ward back into working order, without having a collapse like we are seeing now, we must work with our members. But it has been difficult because they have such false notions of what a missionary is. If nothing else, I have learned that obedience is essential, not only for you, but for those who come after you. Obedience is not just a cute slogan, but a way of life that leads to salvation and true happiness, for more than just you in the here and now. It has been so frustrating to work against those false notions, and even more difficult to love those who have come before. I am still learning that one, I suppose.
Bishop is such a loving man, so revelatory, but no one respects him. This ward is full of all manner of –ites with the auxiliary leaders taking charge of their groups and moving forward, without even the consideration of what the other auxiliaries are doing. As a small little misionera, this task is daunting, the task to unify, solidify, so that the next set of missionaries to come in will not have such a difficult uphill climb. I wish sometimes he would just get up to the pulpit and rebuke the members, call them to repentance, and then actually follow up with them. but, alas, not going to happen anytime soon. I love a good challenge, and I don’t mind priming the pump, but sometimes I would like to see the fruits of my exhaustible labors. The answer is simple, keep priming, keep praying, keep standing outside of the Bishop’s office until he lets us into PEC, keep AMT’ing, keep going, don’t stop, keep loving them and helping them realize their potential. I guess that is what personal revelation is for, find out what else I need to do, personally and as a companionship, to get this ward to start flourishing. It has the potential, I know it does because I felt it the first day I was in here. I love these people, because I have been serving with them for so long and we have grown together. I love this gospel because it is true. I love the Book of Mormon and my studies in it because now, as a fruit of serving a mission, I have my testimony engraved on my heart, it is a part of me. I know that God loves me and is helping me out over here, I just need to rely on that a little bit more, turn the revelation volume up a bit more and get back to priming the pump. If there is any advice or any suggestions you have, I would love to hear them.
‘Til next time,
with a heart full of love,
love love love