As you guys know, this monday was a holiday so the libraries were closed. Then yesterday we had a huge training, and then a few lessons afterwards with the people we're teaching, so by the time we got free, it was almost 9. We decided to just wait to write today. Still no news on the visa, but it's okay, I'm enjoying my English Speaking, hot showerring, water drinking, and non-worm-getting last few weeks/days of my mission. I'll definitely let you know when I get word, but as for now, I'm still chillin' at U of M. It's been so far a really good week, but to start with my really good week, last week was probably one of those very difficult, trying weeks of my mission. As a companionship we decided to try and develop Christ-Like Attributes every week. Last week, we were working on faith, and we had every trial of faith there is. It was HARD. I'm pretty sure that 75% if not more of the people we were teaching this last week cancelled on us. We did a lot of contacting on campus. Hours upon hours upon hours upon hours upon hours with no success. We had a few investigators decide that they don't want to meet with us any more. We were so discouraged. It's so hard to have that excitement when everything was falling apart. By Saturday night, I was wonderring if my faith was developed at all, because I felt like if anything, it wasn't any stronger.
Then I took a step back. The work is actually going really well. Anirudh the previous week was baptized, received the priesthood, went to the temple and is going to get his patriarchal blessing tonight. Although I've only known him for 3 weeks, I have seen a change in his life. He has so much hope, and it's brought me so much closer to God by hearing his conversion story. Not just Anirudh, there was Peggy as well. Peggy got baptized this last Saturday. I felt the spirit so strongly. I remember meeting Peggy for the first time. We were there when she was first introduced to the Church. She sent us a text that night telling us she went to bed reading the Book of Mormon and never felt so happy. I've been with her through every step. Watching her find new scriptures, come to church, quit smoking nad drinking coffee, and coming close to the Savior, and I was able to see her get baptized. I love her so much! I'm pretty sure I felt similar to the way that Alma and the sons of Mosiah felt when they reflected on the work that they had done, and saw how good it really was. And they had those days that they were spit on, put in prisons, mocked, rejected, every form of awful, etc. And God told them to bare with patience their afflictions. That sounds awful, but yet they had so much joy and they had no regrets for the things that they had seen and done. I feel like I got that answer last week. Bear with patience your afflictions. I would feel every day sad that no one I talked to wanted to hear this message, and every morning at 6:30, God told me to get up and go back, and he still tells me that. But I can actually feel my burdens being made light. They're not taken away, but it's becoming easier to wake up in the morning and talking to people. It's becoming easier to open my mouth, and talk with as many people as I can about the awesomeness of the gospel.
As I've been praying for that strength, it's getting easier and less discouraging to do those things that were really hard for me at the beginning of the transfer. And the best part of it is that I can feel myself being used as a vessel more effectively. The love I feel for people who I barely know has strengthened immensely and I know it's not all from me. I know that the Savior is working through me, which is an amazing feeling. And people still reject us, but I can't control what they do. I can't take away their agency. My job is to invite others to come closer to Christ. It's not my job to force anyone to do anything they don't want to do. I can't control the things going on around me, but I can control myself, my attitude, and my actions.
This Sunday, we had our Stake President come and speak to us at church. President Duvrees is awesome. His daughter, is serving in the Tallahassee Mission, so keep an eye out for her. I think she's in Dothan right now. Anyways, he is awesome, and it was exactly what I needed to top off my week. He talked to the ward about missionary work, and how it does get discouraging, but God does love us. He's there for us when we need him, and that he knows our needs, and sometimes we have to go through the trial of faith to get that best result. It was that charge that I desperately needed at the end of the week. Then on Monday, I took a lengthy nap. That was also desperately needed. And yesterday, we were trained on a new effective way of teaching the missionary lessons. It refocused me, helped me remember what I am doing and how I can improve. The new way of teaching is really cool. We just use the pictures in the pamphlets to help the investigators teach themselves (without them realizing it), and we can discern what their needs are and where they are struggling. We'll see how it goes. We're trying it out today on the people we are teaching.
It's getting really. Really. Cold. Driving on ice is a new experience. It snowed the other day. It was crazy seeing snow fall from the sky. I haven't seen that in years. It was awesome.
Well, that pretty much covers what's been going on this past week. Love you guys,