Monday, March 30, 2015

Lessons Learned as a Missionary :)

Hello my family and friends!! 

First of all I better get pictures of baby Gracelynn when she comes!! And tell somebody tell my Sadie happy birthday for me :) oh also before I forget, we had dinner with a family last week, it was a young couple with two little boys who were the ages of 4 and 2, and this is the cool thing the mom speaks to the little boys in English but the dad ONLY speaks to his boys in Portuguese because he served his mission in Brazil. He really never speaks to his kids in English. And the boys are fluent in both. I just thought that was so awesome! I thought Zack and Trav would think that was cool. But anyway, I'm sorry if this email isn't very long, this week was a bit rough haha. But still good!

So this week we had LOTS of appointments scheduled. We were going to be quite busy and I was SO excited! But come Tuesday they ALL cancelled on us... :( This week really was quite hard but we still had many tender mercies from the Lord. And the Lord taught me some pretty important lessons. It all started on Monday when we went to try and visit a potential investigator  we had found. Now if you remember in one of my last emails I talked about a miracle where Sister McCuen and I were doing some finding in one neighborhood, we were about to give up on our finding efforts and just go home and have dinner when we felt we should try one more house. Of course the last house we knocked on the lady (her name is Debra) lets us in and we taught her The Restoration. She said she was SO interested! Well anyway after trying to get a hold of her for quite a few weeks now and no luck, we again just thought we would try. We got to her house and knocked on the door, and it's funny because I swear people around here think at their doors are like sound proof or something but I can assure that they are not haha. 

Anyway, we knocked on the door and we distinctly heard a voice that was very clearly Debra's, to which we heard her yell, "it's those girls again! Tell them to go away! I don't want anything!" I was crushed. But her husband came to the door and asked how he could help us. I told him who we were and I asked if Debra was there, because I knew that she very well was. He said "No she is not." To which my slightly sassy side came out and before I could even think to stop myself I said, "Are you sure?" Haha. He said "Yes I am sure. And I will just tell you right now that we are not interested. We would appreciated it if you stopped coming by because we don't want what you have."  I wish I could say that I just accepted the rejection and moved on. But I was just so irritated, because here he had just lied to our faces. But it's a good thing that Sister McCuen is my companion and that she knows me so well because she looked at me and could tell I was about come back and say something sassy haha which would not have been good. I wanted to just yell goodbye to Debra through the door but Sister McCuen caught me in time, and told them to have a nice day and walked away.

I can honestly say that this was the first time on my mission that I had genuinely felt depressed. We were walking away and I just started to cry, because here was this very sweet woman who expressed to us how she felt like something was truly missing in her life and we were the ones who could offer her what she was missing! I had begun to feel that genuine Christ-like love for her and to watch her reject the gospel just devastated me. We hadn't finished the rest of the houses in the neighborhood and so Sister McCuen said "okay let's keep going." She turned around and saw me crying and I said "Can we please go do finding somewhere else?" 

I had felt so embarrassed and so depressed honestly at what had just happened. I mean I've been getting used to rejection out here, especially from people we just randomly meet but to watch someone who I had genuinely come to care for reject it...that devastated me. 

Sister McCuens response to my request was "Nope. We need to keep going and pressing forward and having the faith that All will be well." At that moment this verse came into my mind, 

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." (Alma 26:27) 

And so I took that and I knew what the Lord was telling me. We had to keep going, and so we did. We finished the houses on the block and although no one was interested we were still able to leave some cards with a few people. When we returned to the apartment I looked up that verse and read the entire chapter again. And I finally began to realize just how truly applicable the scriptures are to us. Especially in missionary work. This has honestly become one of my all time favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. The rest of the chapter read: 

"28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world--not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.

29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some." (Alma 26:28-30)

Now I know that my afflictions have been very small compared to what Ammon and his brethren went through. But how grateful I am for this opportunity to represent my Savior. To have this time to do what He would do and to say what He would say. I am grateful for this opportunity to try and be like Him. I don't know if my job right now is to plant more seeds or to begin to help gather those who are prepared and although I have not seen many of the fruits of my labor I know that my works are not going unnoticed by the Lord.

At our Golden Re-Training a few weeks ago one of the Assistants to the President spoke to us and said something I loved. He said "if you were to be companions with the Savior for a day, what kind of things do you think you would see Him doing in your area?" Well the answer was obvious I thought, you would see Him working miracles and serving and loving people. And the Elder said, "that is exactly what you would see Him doing....but ARE WE NOT TO DO THE SAME? We have been called to represent Jesus Christ. We have been called to this very area at this very time to do what the Savior Himself would wouldn't see Him let a single person pass Him by without talking to them would you?...So why should we?" I loved that. And it has stuck with me ever since. 

Now also as General Conference is coming up, which I am SO excited for because it's on Easter Sunday, I've been reflecting more and more on the Savior and His Atonement. Oh how I wish I could just understand it more fully. I could go on and on about the Atonement I really could but this quote from Elder Wirthlin puts my feelings and testimony into words perfectly. So for now his words are my words. He said, 

"On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled. 

It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

I think that of all the days since the beginning of the world's history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure. 

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence. 

Each of us will have our own Fridays-those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put back together again. We will all have our Fridays. 

But I testify in the name of the One who conquered death-Sunday will come! In the darkness of our sorrow...Sunday will come!

No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come...

The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours? 

We will all rise from the grave...

[And] on that day we will know the love of our Heavenly Father. On that day we will rejoice that the Messiah overcame all that we could live forever...

It is my solemn testimony that death is not the end of existence...Because of the risen Christ, "death is swallowed up in victory." ...

May we understand and live in thanksgiving for the priceless gifts that come to us as sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father [because of His son, Jesus Christ] and for the promise of that bright day when we shall all rise triumphant from the grave. 

That we may always know that no matter how dark our Friday, Sunday will come..."

{"Sunday Will Come" Joseph B. Wirthlin }

Everyone please oh please I plead with you to continue to find ways to come unto Christ. And please do whatever you can to help the missionaries, they can't do this without you guys. I testify that Jesus Christ lives, and that it is because of Him that all things are possible. And I love Him for all that He has done for us. I love you all!! Missionary work is hard but I promise it is far beyond worth it :) 

Enjoy Conference this week :)

~Sister Amy Callaway~

No comments:

Post a Comment