Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 11 & 12: Many Sparrows


puddle jumping!

Here's the thing about precipitation in the South.  When it rains, it pours.  Buckets and rivers and more than your feeble jacket and non-waterproof boots can handle.  So it's been with the blessings.  Great tribulation --> great blessings, indeed.  So much that I'm overwhelmed a little bit with how many people we have to keep tabs on, lest a single soul be lost.  But I have hope.  It all started with exchanges.

Look how long my hair has grown!

Prior to the visit of the Sister Training Leaders, with whom we went on exchanges with, Sister Brimley and I had a rough weekend.  If there's one thing worse than tracting in the sticky heat, it's tracting in the rain, covered in bug bites, during the time-o-month (TMI? not sorry), after multiple doors have slammed unkindly in your face.  I didn't really believe in seasonal affective disorder before, but on that gloomy day, there was not a thing I could think of to smile about and I blame it wholly on the awful gray color of the sky.  And then it was Monday, exchanges.  We put off P-day because interviews were the next day, and it was the most amazingly productive not-P-day I've ever had.
My new temporary companion, Sister Zemp, and I got 7 lessons and 3 new investigators in a day.  That's like, how many we aim to get in a week.  And that was just the start.  The next night, we got into a house with an older couple we met on the driveway who like would not have invited us in had it not started pouring cats and dogs the minute we introduced ourselves.  And this couple, old Baptists, had questions about the Bible - the third heaven - that opened right into the Plan of Salvation.  They may be tough ones to crack, but I'm up for the challenge.
Exchanges with Sis Zemp

Later that night, Sister Zemp and I got in, and both felt (her more than me) that we came in too early.  That our work wasn't done.  So, hearts on edge with some strange sense of urgency, and hearts tingling with the Spirit, we set back out, praying for guidance.  We ended up on street we visit frequently, and tried the neighbors of one of our investigators.  Whether Mike (the one who easily made a return appointment with us) is going to lead anywhere great is yet in question, but the greatest thing I got out of that night was putting every bit of my trust in the Holy Ghost's ability to lead us where God wants us.

yoga poses at a house we were tracting 

I admit, being literally guided to those elect had been something I'd yet to get a testimony of, though I really wanted to.  It just took convincing myself to stop doubting myself.  "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith" as Elder Uchtdorf said.  So I did.  I cast aside my timidness and fear of being wrong, and just went for it.  That's how we found Mike.  Later that week, tracting a neighborhood rich enough to make any missionary tremble, that's how we found Susan, who's openness to us and eagerness to read the Book of Mormon was a result of listening to Mormon host Glen Beck on the radio (who'da thunk, huh?).  And yesterday, I believe it to be by that same faith and power that we found Stacy, a woman who answered the door on a street we'd just been passing through to get to our destination; she not only told us that we could return, but she told us this wasn't her house and gave us her address on street over.  No one does that.  No one offers their address without our asking.  We were led to her.
"Be thou humble, in thy weakness, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee."
yes, we left a contact card at 5 Guys
This is a silly thing maybe, but last Saturday we were going to visit a less active who's toddler was in dire need of clothes.  Because it was Saturday and I was low on funds, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father for a garage sale with little girls clothes so I could help.  Then I took a detour on the way to the house, and boom.  Garage sale.  With tiny girl clothes.  Holla.  And after the huge sigh of relief, I was like "Okay God, I know you got this.  I know you got the little stuff and I know I should be trusting you a lot more than I am and just ACTING on all these thoughts I get instead of questioning everything because as long as it's a good thought, something beneficial will come of it and you got this."  So that's my latest lesson in a nutshell.

A missionary activity with the Activity Girls!
And still, there's that worry of "Do I think of every one of these fifty investigators as ones that are gonna get baptized and then get disappointed when only one or two do, or do I lower my expectations and run the risk of being 'o ye of little faith'?"  It's a struggle.  But I know now I can only let myself think of the task at hand, the people I'm going to go see this week, the lessons I can teach today, and stay on my toes so that I don't get comfortable or cocky and forget about anyone.  I definitely am happy about all the work to do, to be sure.  I can honestly say my heart is full and my joy is sweet, such as I've never before known.  And I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for every soul I come across.  I may not be able to hold every hand, but He can.
"Yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.  Behold I hav graven thee upon the palms of my hands."
the bayou
And if his eye is indeed on the sparrow, and not a single one falls without Him knowing, then,
trailer park
"Fear not, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
Sister Valdez

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