Well, not too many things happened this week to talk about. Elder Tidwell spent his last night with us and I was lucky enough to be with him for his last lesson taught as a missionary. :) SO SAD! But way cool at the same time. Mesa Pride. Other than that, we just kept plugging through, and we are still working with a few investigators, but we recently dropped a few as well, so we are working on repleneshing our teaching pool. We met a lot of neat people, and a few strong potentials for sure. We are excited to see how it turns out. :) We have been receiving a lot of referrals from the members of the english ward as well as we are trying to branch out and find the spanish speakers that they know as well. :) That is how we ran into a few of the hopefully future investigators. We will see. We're having a blast as we work hard in the work!
It is a whole new experience working side by side with a native. ha I don't have to teach my companions during language study anymore. He always knows the answer for any questions I have about the language. He talks a lot during lessons, too. He is a great worker, and all around, we're doing great! We sure are enjoying working hard and laughing our way through it as well. I sure love that about my companions I have had so far. We sure love laughing. :) I love it! Elder Garza and I have a lot in common, so we work hard and enjoy doing it at the same time.
I am now able to work out again, so I am SUPER excited, we have been running all week. :) I can already see the difference. I shall be skinny! ha Not that it really matters right now, but it doesn't hurt, right? ;) Feels good to be healthy. I am excited to fight back with this food! Love it, but it can be so bad for you at times... The ward is still doing great here. I don't really know what else to talk about. ha I feel like of all the weeks, this one was the most regular. Taught a lot of lessons, but no cool stories! Lame. Hopefully I will have plenty to tell you next week with all the following up we will be doing this week. :)
Since I don't have much to share this week, I wanted to share a part of an email that I received from a friend of mine that I thought was really powerful and I really appreciated it. I will leave the name out since she doesn't really know that I am doing this ha, but I hope you like it!
"So the countdown is beginning. I have two and a half weeks left of my freshman year of college. Reflecting on this last year, I am truly amazed. I have learned so much about my savior, so much about life, and so much about myself. BYU was always my dream college. Always. That was the goal I had since as long as I can remember. But just because this was my dream school, doesn’t mean that this whole last year has been a dream come true. I had thought that achieving the dream was the hardest part. I had no idea that living your dreams was even more challenging. I had no idea that figuring out why something was your dream to begin with was so soul searching. Even though things have been anything but easy for me here, I am so grateful for the opportunity I have finally found to be tested on all fronts. I have never been challenged this wholly in my entire life, and I know I would not have experienced this progression that I am experiencing here anywhere else. Even if it is a slow progression, it is development all the same.
This reminds me of the story of the Brother of Jared. He brought to the Lord concerns about how he and his people would see in the dark barges, how their path to their goals could be illuminated. So he took the time, thought out a simple plan, crafted the most perfect stones that he could, and took them to the Lord in faith. Light doesn’t just come from anything; but, if Jesus touches our finest work, light can be found in everything. I’m sure this preparation for the journey to the goal seemed like the hardest part in the Brother of Jared’s eyes. I’m sure he anticipated smooth sailing. Yet, in chapter six of Ether, we read that there were storms and winds that tossed them about and buried them in the sea. However, the most important detail is that these winds and storms were caused by God and they were pushing the people to the Promised Land at an accelerated pace.
In the last couple of months, there hasn’t been much light emanating from my works. It’s not because Jesus can’t bring light out of them, but more accurately, that maybe I was foolishly content with them remaining as really pretty rocks (which are useless and ultimately amount to much less than what the Savior could have made them into). While I know they could have been brighter, they shone just enough. We all have fears when we are facing the sea that we are to cross: maybe you get claustrophobic, sea sick, or fear getting lost. Maybe you are scared that you will get there and think, “why did I fight so hard to protect and achieve this dream?” Regardless of the fear, those stones that are touched because of our faith in Christ, provided just enough light to comfort and encourage us to enter the barges and journey on. My Book of Mormon teacher said in reference to chapter six that “those times when life is the hardest are the times when you are making the most progress.” I will be the first to admit that the difficulties I faced in the last year seemed to reap anything but progression, but I also think that this is found among all stages of life and all types of people. When you are the one sitting in the barge, you can only see to the extent of what the stone illuminates within that barge. You can’t see the barges traveling beside you. You can’t see your overall progression. And you can’t see the approaching Promised Land. At one time or another, we all will ask ourselves, “how the heck did I get in here?! Why am I in this barge?!” Using different words, I’ve asked myself this a lot. But would it be so much better if I could escape from it and hop into the raging water? Probably not. I’m guessing that it would take a lot longer to swim to the Promised Land. ;) I’m so grateful that God is the one directing the winds and storms that beat on us. To steal the words of my professor, “God can find you wherever you are in your capacity. Then, He will stretch you reasonably.” He won’t let us drown. He won’t let us fail. He never lets us go more than one step in the wrong direction without letting us know. But we need to initiate that faith. We need Him to touch those stones. We need to get into the barge. We need to journey on. Individually, we all should be excited to find the person that God is creating through these life experiences. And those people are being developed slowly but surely."
If you are reading this right now (you know who you are), I am really grateful that you shared this with me, and I'll be responding soon. ;)
I hope eveything is going well at home. I love you all so much, and I can't wait to hear back soon! LOS AMO MUCHO!
"When walking, as we step one foot forward, we lift the other foot up. In the same way, we should let go of yesterday and focus on today."