Monday, September 21, 2009

Keep Moving Forward!

Buenos Ding Dong Diddly Dias, Neighborinos!
So this week has been a good one! To clarify, I was kind of sick two weeks ago, flu-like symptoms--such as diarrhea and body chills--but no fever. It was super lame! Everyone here in Beeville is sick. We were at the college dorms one day and walked into a room that was dark, damp, musty and there were about 5 kids passed out on the beds--supposedly they all had the flu and one of them just got back from the hospital because of it. We got out of there as soon as we could, but bueno.
Oh and yesterday in church, a man named "Big Dave" sang an old gospel song in church. I was excited, but then he took out his CD player, pushed play, and this crazy country band started playing. I knew the song he was singing wasn't a "church" song, but I still thought that since it was about Jesus and such it would be good. Haha, it was good but I was a bit shocked. I've pretty sure that's the first time I've ever heard a steel guitar in church.
Anyways, I got your little package and with letters and LOVED it! I actually mailed off a package today that has a bunch of "P-day clothes" that I have yet to wear and will never wear. I wish someone would have told me that on p-day you never change out of your proselyting clothes at the store, library, etc. If I would have known, I wouldn't have brought so many t-shirts and other junk. Oh well. Live and learn. I had to mail that off before I got to write letters, so I'll probably send back some replies to the family's letters. So expect that soon!
Well, Sister Bustillos and I are doing great. We love each other so much. She very, very, very girlie and is having a hard time adjusting to "non-worldy" things such as shopping, spending 2 hours to get ready in the morning, working out at the gym, etc. Stuff which we all miss, but it's been a bit of a struggle for her. At the beginning, she was also really homesick--A LOT! It's so strange because I don't miss home at all--no offense fam, but I miss you, but I never think about you or home or anything because I know that you're still there, happy, enjoying life and that you'll STILL be there when I come back...haha wow how I've changed since my freshman year of college...). She's naturally very tender and emotional, so she cried a lot, which was hard for me to adjust to. But I've learned a lot more about compassion and service through it. But actually, it hasn't been a hard companionship at all! I've loved all my companions and I still get along with her SO great and love her and can't wait to hang out with her ALL the time after the mission. So yeah, Sister Bustillos is AWESOME because she has such a strong testimony and love for God, his commandments, and her covenants. I really do learn a lot from her every day. And we've been together almost 2 transfers!
Last weekend, I got my teeth cleaned at the Costal Bend College. There are tons of college girls in the ward who are in the dental hygiene program (apparently, even though it's in the middle of nowhere, the program is ranked 3rd or something in the country. Who'd thought?). But the girls are all super cool and the weirdest thing is that they almost ALL are from Alberta, Canada. SO weird. It's hilarious because they say "Eh?" all the time. I totally thought it was just a joke that people make, but while Denise was cleaning my teeth, she said it about 20 times. I love it. So yeah, I may come back from Texas not only saying Ya'll and using the word "fixing" for everything (I'm fixing to leave, I'm fixing to write a letter, I'm fixing...etc), but also I may say "Eh?" Haha, just kidding, I don't say any of those things, nor do I intend to...
Well, our investigators are progressing...slowly. One thing my mission president told me is that we need to learn to trust in the conversion process. Don't try to rush or force anything. Let the Spirit be the converter and help them come to know the divinity of the restored Gospel. We've been teaching a boy named Bobby who was awesome and came to church, but he's a bit slower. I think we had to teach the restoration about 4 times before we moved on. It really frustrated my companion because A LOT of the people we're been meeting or teaching "don't get it" because they're not the smartest bunch of coconuts. It kind of got me sad too for a sec because we teach and teach, yet they still don't get it. They don't understand the gravity of what we are saying. THAT JESUS CHRIST RESTORED HIS GOSPEL THROUGH A LIVING PROPHET AND NO OTHER CHURCH HAS THE AUTHORITY TO BAPTIZE FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS! But immediately after, I realized that we weren't called to the dorms at Harvard where the supposed "intellectuals" of the world are fostered. We were called to Beeville, TX. We serve the people here in the Costal Bend College Dorms or the people in the little shacks in Beeville. It doesn't matter. The message is universal and for all. The people at Harvard wouldn't understand it any more than the people here; in any mission, people just don't get it. Only the prepared are ready to receive it; only the prepared are willing to allow the Spirit to bring the truth of it not only "unto", but "into" their hearts where it begins to grow and develop into a testimony. We preach to every to convert many.
This week hasn't been my best. We haven't been contacting everyone we see, but instead, we just let people walk by. Even though we don't want to admit it, we still have slight fear about going up to strangers and interrupting their daily lives. I know that this is the most important message they will ever hear--and therefore, I shouldn't care that I'm interrupting--but apparently, I don't truly understand that, otherwise I would be talking to more people. As a result, I've decided to study chapter 9 this week and really focus on contacting to find, finding to teach, and teaching to baptize. At the very end of the section in chapter 9 entitled, "No Effort Wasted", it says that we should continue diligently to move forward. Which reminded me of a great Disney movie--Meet the Robinsons--where the dad is an inventor and whenever the family fails at little things or messes up they all shout "Keep Moving Forward!", which is their family motto. Mr. Robinson says that if he would have given up after his first invention failed, he never would have become the amazing, great inventor that he is today and he wouldn't have his amazing family. I think I've already mentioned that motto before, but oh well, I can't remember or not, but I love it so I'll repeat it. Haha. I've realizing that failure is just a step forward to eventual, inevitable success. It's not a step back, but if we learn and don't get discouraged, it helps us reach our goal--only if we have the Lord's help and faith in what we are doing. If we really believed in the promises of the Lord, we would run out of our apartment every single day; be happy every moment, even in our tribulations and trails--like the people of Alma in Mosiah 24; and talk to every single person that will listen. The Lord will guide us to success, if we repent, humble ourselves, and grow in faith. It's funny how our progression in the Gospel, really always goes back to a deeper study, understanding, and appreciation for the "basics."
I've been humbled, I've learned my lesson, wallowing in my self-pity has gotten me no where and it does nothing for my investigators, the children of God whom I haven't met yet, and for myself and my progression as a missionary and daughter of God. I am a daughter of God and have so much potential--only through Him.
P.S. Just so you know, my Spanish hasn't gotten that bad as the salutation of this letter may suggest. It's true that in Beeville you never--well, rarely--use your Spanish and it's SUPER hard to study every morning because you don't even use it...But oh well. But Haha...that's a Simpson's quote from Senor Flanders, Ned Flanders Mexican Uncle). Have a great week!

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