Hello!So the first week with Elder Ence went very well. We had some ups and some downs but we get a long great so the only difficulties are in the missionary work itself! These past few weeks have been very tough here, we haven't been finding new investigators, the ones we have haven't been progressing, and I was starting to get a little down. I just didn't know what else to do and I felt like I have been doing even better than i ever have on my mission in being completely obedient and working harder.. and then the work just stopped. And I was frustrated.. i questioned a lot why this would happen to me, yes a very selfish thought but its what was going through my mind. And so with training a new missionary, i decided that this would be a great chance to really turn everything around. I am doing much better this time training than last time. More experience, and i know what I did bad last time so i know what i need to do better. And so I am teaching much better this time and hopefully helping more! But we went out with a lot of energy and we were having a really good week. But then on Friday, we went out and we worked all day long in the heat (friday was hot) and no one wanted to talk to us. We had like 6 new families marked to teach, and all of them turned their phones off or lied and just denied us... all. day. long. And so it was like 6:00 p.m. and we had been working and walking all day long, and I was just praying... really hard just saying heavenly father, we are working our hardest, we are trying and we know that we can't do this on our own so please help us have a miracle, and within five minutes we ran into a man who invited us in to their house. We sat down and talked a little bit, and saw his wife wasn't their, so we told him we would come back at like 8:00 p.m. when his wife got home. so we came back and sat down with him, his wife, and their daughter. And as we were sitting their, the thought came to my mind that we should teach the plan of salvation first instead of the restoration but i tried to shake off the thought thinking that it was a crazy idea, but in the end i couldn't let the thought go and we decided to teach the plan of salvation. And it ended up being one of the most spiritual lessons I have had in quite a while. We really were so blessed. It was a tender mercy that the Lord gave us. So we were really happy and we had got everyone saying they were gonna come to church this week, and then Sunday came, and no one came... Ok there were a few people, but complete families? no. and ya really the majority didn't come. And i saw the husband of our family who is preparing for this month but his wife wasn't there. SO i called the wife and she just sent a message saying, i am not coming today and so i sent a message saying, oh but you also need to come and she sent back saying that she doesn't want to come to church again.... it was one of the hardest messages to read.. She has been visiting with the family a lot and the family had her convinced that the church is bad and all that... so that was super disheartening... And i just didn't know what to think. I still don't know what is going to happen to them... we haven't had a chance to talk to her yet, we are going to try today. But i was frustrated again. Frustrated with the work... And then last night we had a little activity at the church about missionary work and we watched a video called missionary work and the atonement. And it talks about the life of christ and the atonement and how it wasn't easy and so it won't be easy for us either... it was really powerful and I realized how selfish i had been to think that it would or should be easy for me! and so i made the new goal to really understand and study even more the atonement and really gain a testimony of it. So this morning i was reading in the book of mormon and i read a few verses that really hit me hard...
2 Nephi chapter 2
7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
9 Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
10 And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;
29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.
and also 1 Nephi chapter 19
9 And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.
As I read these, i realized that there must be opposition in all things, but we must follow the savior's example and support all that happens because we truly love the people... SO that is my new goal. To really begin changing even more, and take my spirituality up another level. I hope you all too can study the atonement more and know that God truly has a plan for us and know that the atonement applies to all parts of our life!
A fun event for the week is that elder ence and I on saturday went and did some service for a member. They needed a hole dug for their garbage so we went and dug a hole! They weren't there when we dug it and so when they came back they couldn't believe how big it was! They were like what?! We can't even dig it that deep and big, we won't need another one for forever! (the people here think that we are super fragile and don't know how to work so they couldn't believe it when they saw how much we had done and that it was bigger than they can do it! haha. it ended up being over my head so elder ence had to finish it and so there are some pics showing the progression of the hole.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
This is massala. Its like the fruit that rafeeki uses on lion king where he breaks it open on a rock and then uses it to write on the wall... who knew it was actually so tasty!!!