Friday, July 5, 2013

Letter #39: It's a Fine Life

This week was one of the most amazing weeks of missionary work I've had! Heavenly Father sent us HUGE miracles, and even though we were whitewashing our area, we had a TON of success! I think as missionaries, we put a lot of limitations and conditions on ourselves that limit our success. For example, when missionaries think about whitewashing, we usually think, "Oh, well that means we have to bless a ton of people and probably won't really have many lessons the first few weeks since we'll still be trying to learn the area and get to know the members." I definitely am guilty of holding that belief...but whitewashing really is no different from just doing missionary work! I realized this week that we don't have to choose to buy into the belief that whitewashing=no success at first. If we just go out with faith, relying on the Lord and asking Him where to go, He will help us see immediate success! I am so grateful for this realization, as it has made me cognizant of some of the other "missionary beliefs" that I have placed on myself and on the work that may be holding me back from success. I am also grateful for His help this week! I absolutely love our new area and I especially love teaching families. We taught the Restoration to this huge Haitian family this week (there were 7 kids there) and it was the BEST! I loved it!
This week I was also definitely called to repentance. We had a comp study with the assistants about making sure that our lessons are centered on doctrine. They brought up the concern that many missionaries have gotten away from teaching doctrine and fallen into lessons where they just promise blessings. Sister Stegelmeier & I started analyzing our own lessons and realized that we have not been as doctrinally-focused as we should have been, either! We've been pondering about it a LOT since Saturday and realized that we truly need to just be teaching pure and simple doctrine. As we teach doctrine, the Spirit is able to testify of the truth of our words and pierce our investigators' hearts. If we instead take the easy route of just promising lots of blessings, the Spirit cannot testify as easily because that solid foundation of eternal truth is missing. We have been making a big effort to make sure that when we teach, we are teaching DOCTRINE. Last night we went and had a lesson with a recent convert and it was one of the most powerful lessons of our missions. We taught nothing but pure and simple doctrine and the Spirit was incredibly strong. We truly learned about the power and authority of our calling last night as the Spirit prompted us to be exceedingly bold in calling him to repentance. We discovered that as we teach doctrine, the Spirit is better able to fill our mouths with words and then back up those words. Our teaching was so powerful last night! I want every lesson to be like that! Last night we truly witnessed the "spiritual power" that we have been promised as representatives of Christ.

Oh my, I am just so happy about life. I love my new area. I'm really not even sad about leaving Nova anymore! Change is always so good, and this change ROCKS. The Fort Lauderdale ward is so amazing! They are so excited to have sisters in the ward, too! Everyone keeps offering to feed us. I haven't had meal appointments with members in so long that I forgot what it was like...haha. But it's all good. 

I can't believe Austin is in a totally different mission now! Oh my, I would be HEARTBROKEN to leave Ft. Laud and go to Tampa or Orlando or something like that. But it sounds like this is going to be a really good change for him. I'm excited to hear about how things go!

Well, to finish off our SUPER AMAZING WEEK OF MISSIONARY WORK, we had Pyako's baptism! (He's the one from Micronesia) Oh my, I just love him. He's super quiet but he's actually really funny! And he's started to open up to us and we're getting to see his true personality come out. He's so awesome. Then, after the baptism, we got to watch the Worldwide Leadership Broadcast that was all about missionary work. AAHHH IT WAS INCREDIBLE! If you didn't watch it you NEED to get on that ASAP. Life-changing for sure. So full of pure and simple doctrine. The Spirit was SO powerful. Those men are truly apostles and prophets of the Lord. I just love missionary work SO much! 

sister dougal

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