What a week it has been in the Washington Spokane mission. Seriously.
Melissa is getting baptized next Saturday so we've been meeting with her everyday. She is super excited and we are too. Her prayers are so faith filled and sincere. It's really sweet to be with her and teach her.
We've been phonebook tracting this week which means we go to all the addresses of people with Hispanic sounding names. We haven't had a whole lot of luck but on Wednesday we knocked on a door to a family who turned out to be English speakers. We always try to knock all around the area because we know that even if we didn't find someone the first door, God has a reason for us to be in that area. And so the next door we knocked on was Talen M. We had just received a district training about being brief and bold and teaching the Restoration on the doorstep. So he opened the door and we started to testify. Almost instantly the light of Christ deep inside him recognized us as servants of the Lord. He taught about how Christ established his church and it was lost for a time, but today it has been brought back in it's fullness and glory. We showed him the Book of Mormon and he said, "Where do I get started? Where can I go to church?" He was almost in tears. He said he'd been praying for an answer and he felt like this was God's answer for him. We invited him to be baptized and he said, "You know I don't know but I really feel like yes, I would. This is such a clear answer for me." I felt so full and happy. He's not in our English area and so we gave him as a referral to the Elders but it was an answer to my prayers. That we are instruments in God's hands. WE are doing our best and following the spirit and being exactly where we need to be.
We've given away 5 other referrals just like that this week. It's been both rewarding and super tough. It shows us that we are in the right places, inviting and being bold. But it's a little disheartening because even though we are working hard and finding the elect, we aren't finding anyone in our area to teach. I sometimes worry that maybe our leaders won't see we are working hard because we haven't been having as many lessons but we are working. SO HARD. Probably more diligent than ever before. But then I remember that God knows. He sees our efforts and He is pleased with us. My Zone Leader, Elder Whiting asked us about why we were here. What's your purpose? We're here to become like our Father in Heaven. We want to be perfect like him. Then he said that Sister Mullen explained to him that becoming perfect means to "turn outward". From the inside out. God is perfect and He does everything for us, His children. When we turn outward, we give everything to God and to others. He told us that because we were learning to be selfless and give our prepared, elect people away as referrals, we are really learning to turn outward and be more like Christ.
It gave me a new perspective and I've actually been really grateful to meet so many prepared people and to help the work move forward in any way possible.
I know that every missionary has tough times and I know these tough times are building me. I really have learned so much about Christ and the Atonement these last few months here in the Valley.
I love this Gospel. I have really grown in my testimony lately. I know that Christ is my Savior and God is my loving Heavenly Father. I regret so much not opening my mouth more and sharing this message with everyone. We all need it. I am learning how much I need it most of all.
I love you! Be a missionary this week. Support the missionaries in your ward. Invite them over and always try to have referrals for them. Pray for people you know, so you can know how to share your testimony.
The work is good. I love this beautiful place. I want to live in rolling hills and lush farmland like this someday. I just love it so.