Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crazy! Crazy!

Well the work here is getting "Crazy, Crazy".  We are doing splits 3 times a week.  For any companionship, this is a lot.  It is even more so because my two companions are still in training.  In my interview with the mission president, he told me I could take up to 45 minutes more in study time because of the situation, the need to plan and practice lessons.  This means that some days we will not leave the apartment until 2:00.  I am very grateful that the mission president trusts me.  It helps a lot.  Also, I am learning to set my companions up for success.  I am trying different ways to get them to lead and talk while struggling with the language.  When people talk to us, they usually talk to me.  That is because I understand them.  So, I try to pass on the opportunities by saying,”Sabe que mi companera tiene una experience con esa".  My companions are learning.  It has been fun.

So, our ward doesn’t have anyone to play the organ or piano.  On Sunday, I volunteered.  It is terrifying to open up the hymn book to the number and think, “Dang... I always avoided playing this hymn because it was hard.”  Then, I started playing the intro for everyone to sing along.   Yeah, it was a good chance to serve.  After that, I spent the rest of the Sunday meetings in Primary.  They needed a pianist also.  I got to sight read primary hymns.  They are HARD.   I respect primary pianists now.  But here it goes Mom, the moment you have been waiting for: thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn to play the piano!  

There are two lesson experiences I want to share from this week. The first is with the Perez family.  We showed up and the dad unloaded on us about everything that had happened that day.  As I played translator a little bit for my companion, the wife really opened up.  Everything she said was pure doctrine. She is so ready for the Gospel.  She is so thirsty for more.  She asked us to take her to church.  She was so willing to have us come back.  The Spirit testifying that what we were teaching was so strong.  Wow, experiences like that remind you why we study and plan each morning.  We are preparing for moments like that.

The second lesson was with Ana and her family.  We were on splits prior to the lesson.  Our splits had crashed and burned.  The plans fell through and we lost the address.  Hermana Hansen and I did a drop- in-visit.  It was hard to feel the Sprint and inspiration.  Finally, Hermana Hansen and I show up 20 minutes late at Ana’s home.  Hermana Dayton and the member where not there!  We text them, tell them we are going in and we start teaching our lesson.  The lesson was to finish the Plan of Salvation and then teach the importance of the Book of Mormon.  It was HORRIBLE.  The lesson didn’t feel right.  I almost wanted to leave.  Then, Hermana Dayton and the member show up.  The lesson still struggled.  It was a mess.  I wanted to give up.  But…Hermana Dayton asked, “Do you have any questions?"  Then, the window to teach with the Spirit opened.  Ana said, “Wait!  Are you telling me that if we mess up and don’t get baptized in this life we have a chance after?"  In answer to her question, we talked about temples and baptisms for the dead.  We said we did not know everything but we did know that God is just and merciful.  I explained the Spirit World.  The Spirit was SO strong.  That was the message Anna needed to hear.  Our conversation led perfectly into the Book of Mormon.  She had questions.  We answered them and testified that she can know for herself.   It is so crucial that she knows for herself.  My testimony of the Book of Mormon has been strengthened by testifying of it.  What an amazing experience.  I am so grateful all of us stuck through the rough 20 minutes at the beginning.  It was pivotal.  Hopefully it will change her relationship with God.  

Those were my two teaching stories for the week. The two times when being a missionary felt good.  Missions are hard.  I am very grateful for the moments when I realize I wake up every day to serve others.  Their eternal salvation is in my hands.   It’s manageable because I know who else is on my team.  There are times when taking a day for myself sounds sooo good.  But I am sure I will miss these times when I am home.  On the bright side...I’ve signed up to be a mother in this life.  So, I get to work to bring salvation to the souls of Heavenly Father's children for the rest of my life! It’s going to be a good one!

Hermana Pickett

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