i cant believe its already june and im going to be 20 this month. weird and wonderful. so this week was interesting. we had an emergency transfer and sister torres was sent to maffra and i receivedsister oliveira as my new companion. and sister van wagenen arrived in my area after 10 months in the georgia macon mission. turns out shes the sister of your friend lissy, such a small world. she is wonderful and is so fearless and happy. she is doing so great and its so wonderful to have a friend in my house who i can relate to about so much!
so this week was really hard. really really hard. in my 3 weeks with sister
torres we had tons of little and big miracles and we loved serving together, became great friends and just had a marvelous time, finding and teaching prepared people. but then this week, everything fell through. neuza who who a date to be baptised in 2 weeks is really scared to leave her house because her husband got really mad at her when she came to church with us. our progressing investigators have various obstacles that make them not so progressing. and the rest of our investigators basically have all fallen through or dont want to talk to us anymore. one day we went to talk to a young melena that we started teaching. right as we walked up to her house someone shut the front door, seeing that we were coming. and then we asked her neighbors, other investigators of ours if anyone was home. they responded no, knowing rightly that they were. liar liar pants on fire. so we said thanks and started walking away and we heard the most devilish cackle behind us from the neighbor guy we had just talked to. i felt like satan was laughing at us. so since we had very few scheduled appointments this week, we did a lot of door knocking, trying to find ex investigators, contacts, less actives, anyone…knocking on all the doors on their streets. no one. we knocked at one house and a man came out and just said `ì dont believe in what you beleive`´. then i tried to talk to him and ask him what he believed in and he said “nothing“ and just went back into his house. i walked away just feeling a sting of tears in my eyes, just so sad for him. the whole week continued this way. one night we were at irma soeli`s house and tried to put her granddaughter on date but she said she said she didnt want to be baptised. at then end of the lesson, i just looked at irma soeli and her husband sebastiao who take care of everyone and have so many struggles and they were just rubbing they eyes from pure exhaustion. in my head i just said very firmly to God, `something has got to give God. they are exhausted. I am exhausted. we are trying to save this family. we are trying to save this people. no one wants to talk to us. nobody wants to be baptised. all of our investigators are falling. i dont know where to go. i dont know what to do. please father, help me.“ i talked to and cried to God in the shower. the following morning i studied president eyrings talk, where is the pavilion (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/where-is-the-pavilion?lang=eng
) and doctrine and covenants 121. i also thought long and hard about this talk by elder holland (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2001/03/missionary-work-and-the-atonement?lang=eng
) when he says:
Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.
The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
. i was also struggling with my companionship with sister oliveira because she is very very very very quiet. but with all of this spiritual guidance through the scriptures and the words of the living prophets, i know now…
that i am coming to know jesus christ, coming to know his sacrifice, his pain, and his love for his people. and i know that this is a marvelous opportunity to, instead of being distraught and discouraged and sad, to rely upon Christ, and love and nourish the children he has entrusted in my care, especially my companion.
i love you all and i love the Lord. i know that we need to do what he did, love serve and sacrifice to receive his love, guidance, blessings and eternal life.
i am grateful for my provações (hardships) because they are changing my heart and bringing me closer to the Savior. I pray that each one of us can turn to Him and become like Him through these opportunities. i love you. keep calm and carry on. and pray 🙂
ps mama dont worry too much about me 🙂