Tuesday, July 19, 2011
"Your Potential, Your Privilege"
We recently found out that one of our the recent converts, here works in a dentist office, so I got my teeth cleaned today. You'll be happy to know the dentist said my teeth were very pretty! It only took about 10 minutes to clean them because they were already so good :) AND, it was only 100NT!! Can you believe it?! That's just over $3 for a teeth cleaning. We had a great time going out to lunch with our recent convert afterwards, too. We're so blessed to be serving here!
We've gotten dumped on a few times here since it's typhoon season, but it hasn't been too bad--we've actually been spared more times than we've been dumped on! It seems like Heavenly Father has been really mindful of us and saves most of the big downpours for late at night or when we're in the chapel teaching.
This past week has been the most incredible week of my whole mission so far! I've never seen more miracles in my life, and I don't know if there's been a time where I've been more receptive to the whisperings of the Spirit. Not only have our investigators been progressing more rapidly, but Sister Brownell and I have been learning more true principles ourselves. It's true, the learning curve shoots straight up when it's done by the Spirit!
I'm not going to have near enough time to tell you all the miracles that have happened, but I'll try and fit in the big ones, and I'm just so grateful that I've been recording my journal entries so I can actually capture most of the details. I also thought that maybe sharing the principles I've been learning would be more beneficial than sharing the actual miracles since each story has so many more parts to it than I can share.
Throughout my mission up to this point I've been wondering what the difference is between those who just go through their mission taking what comes and working with it and those who actually make miracles happen. I've been feeling like I've been more like the first and that there was a lot of untapped power I was missing in my missionary service. I wanted SO bad to be able to be a more powerful missionary, so I started pondering and praying a lot. So many things happened in the mean time to help me start finding answers, but one key was reading President Uchtdorf's talk, "Your Potential, Your Privilege" from the April 2011 Priesthood Session. I substituted "missionary" for all the times it said "Priesthood" and it was crazy how much it applied (liken the scriptures unto yourself!). I felt I was living far below my privileges.
It's amazing just what a little more prayer, a little more faith, and a little more obedience can do. It's transformed this week and has transformed my entire mission.
Two weeks ago I got the privilege of attending a Specialized Training Meeting where we were taught to focus on the Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel. It was an answer to all the prayers I've been offering and really gave me the opportunity to learn how to be the missionary I've always wanted to become. I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has been slowly teaching me and giving me the tools to actually "grow into a true representative of the Savior," one of the blessings promised me before I left. We were given several invitations throughout the meeting and as Sister Brownell and I have really taken those principles to heart and have applied them in our work, our work has changed completely. I never knew how much difference just a little more obedience to the commitments extended would make. It gets me so much more excited to follow every invitation we're given!One thing that Sister Brownell has been teaching me is how to receive revelation through prayer. After companionship prayers, Sister Brownell would often say, "I thought of 2 things while you were praying..." and then share with me her thoughts. We started to recognize that those were precious bits of revelation, and I started to pay more attention to my own thoughts during prayers. It's been amazing the things that come, and I've learned that prayer really is a 2-way form of communication. We just have to earnestly listen and pay attention.
On Wednesday night as Sister Brownell and I were discussing our impressions from our companionship prayer she asked me if I would like to join her in a fast for a specific investigator and to ponder about them as we went to Zone Conference the next day. I felt really strongly that we did need to fast and I was happy to join her. It was incredible how much of a difference fasting made. Just the topic of Zone Conference itself was an answer to our prayers: Faith to Move Mountains. I testify I've seen mountains being removed this week, and we're going to keep working in faith till there's a clear cut path that leads to Christ for each of our investigators.
Sister Brownell and I have been reviewing our lesson plans and praying together to have the Spirit's guidance before every lesson, and we've been teaching with so much more purpose and unity (a direct promise from the specialized training). The lessons have been more meaningful to the investigators and the Spirit has been more present than ever before. One of our investigators, who wouldn't pray when she first met with the Elders, said the closing prayer after one of the most Spirit-led lessons. I could see the lights turning on in her eyes.
We also learned to turn the "do it" switch to the "now" position (President Uchdorf's talk). As we've acted on the promptings we've received, regardless of how small they were (like to go buy mangoes from our investigators), they turned out to be doors to even greater miracles.
Ahhhh! I can't even begin to express all the things I've learned and all the feelings I've been having this week, but I've run out of time. I KNOW Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and will guide us specifically in each of our lives if we spend a little more effort listening and acting. By small things are great things brought to pass. That I know.
I love you all SOOOO much! Keep having a wonderful summer, and I hope Trek is the most wonderful part of it all :) I'll be so excited to hear all about your experiences.
All my love,