Wednesday, July 4, 2018

"And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." (July 4, 2018)

Happy 4th of July!! This has been a crazy week. 

Sorry this is gonna a long one. 

Basically my whole missionary world got turned upside down this week. I arrived on Thursday in my new area, Richfield, with my new companion, Hermana Powell! She is great. She is from St. George Utah, and she also plays the violin! She is doing an incredible job and basically came pretrained so I am feeling really blessed. We are already getting along so well, and having a blast having absolutely no idea what is going on together as we rely on the spirit. I was a little overwhelmed with training in a new area, but it felt manageable. Then the church updated the app we use to keep all our records on, and all the organization from the previous hermanas went out the window, and we can't tell who they were teaching anymore. Then the church released a new version of Preach my Gospel that changed a lot of stuff. THEN I got to the trainers meeting on Thursday morning, and we all realized that in the new preach my gospel, they changed the program that we use to train new missionaries during their first 12 weeks. The very last thing I thought I knew I was doing got thrown out the window. So basically my motto of "I have no idea what I'm doing, but that's ok" really got put to the test. I am learning so much. I think the Lord knew he still had a lot to teach me in my last six weeks, and wanted to give me every single moment he could so I could learn to rely on him to the very end. Because if I were comfortable in my area or with training, I would definitely try to do it on my own, but we are turning to the Lord for everything. 

I forgot how absolutely amazing and absolutely exhausting training  is, haha. I am so tired, because we have been going 100 miles an hour this last week. In church on Sunday I was translating sacrament meeting, and I actually fell asleep while I was talking into the microphone, so it's good to know I can still understand and speak Spanish when I'm in the first REM cycle. But it's been so worth the exhaustion! It's been really cool to see how the Lord has been preparing this time though, and we have seen so many little miracles. 6 weeks ago, when Hermana Davis went home, for those few days before the next transfer I was in a trio with the previous hermanas in Richfield. So I had already met a lot of their investigators, and had a little bit of a general idea of their area. And I am so grateful that even though it was just a little information the Lord had helped me be a little more prepared to come here. 

We have an awesome person we're teaching here, Pedro! The hermanas before us had challenged him to baptism and he had accepted, but they weren't sure how legit it was. So we went to our first lesson with him and his wife who is a member on Saturday, and he sat down with us and said "So sisters, did you know I'm getting baptized this month?" And we were like "Oh wow, that's awesome! We would love to help you prepare for baptism" and he goes "Yes! Tell me all the things I need to do to get ready for my baptism, let's set a day and make a plan" So we set a date and made a plan, and he is so excited to be baptized on July 22, and they already have a goal to go to the temple together after he gets baptized. He came to church on Sunday and shared an experience in Sunday school about how the Holy Ghost has guided him in his life, then the other Hermanos and Elders told us that in priesthood he told everyone that we should all try to go to the temple more because there is one so close to us, and told everyone that he is getting baptized on July 22nd and invited them all, and told them how he used to take the lessons from the missionaries in Mexico years ago, but he didn't feel like it was his time, but now he knows it's his time! Wow, he is a miracle, and we are so excited to get to work with him, and his desire to be baptized and make changes in his life to come closer to Christ. 

Also we have met SO many awesome people this week who are so excited about the gospel!! We got a referral from the English elders for a family, and we called them, and they set up an appointment with us for Monday night, and it was INCREDIBLE!! They are so ready, we got to teach him and his wife. They have three teenage kids, so we talked a lot about how families are important, and how living prophets help guide our families. And taught them the restoration and the Book of Mormon and they want to come to church, and want their kids to be involved in the activities, and want us to come back this week. The Spirit was so strong as we were testifying of the Book of Mormon and promised them they would come to know it was true as we read it. Hna Powell and I were jumping up and down after the lesson and she said "Wow! I feel like I'm back in the MTC teaching the fake investigators again!" 
Another husband and wife we knocked into yesterday who invited us in and agreed to read in the Book of Mormon and were intrigued about living prophets, and are excited for us to come back to teach them about what we believe about what happens after this life. 
We have also miraculously got in touch with a lot of less-actives just with the help of the spirit. One family we're going to go over there once a week now to have a lesson and tutor their daughter in math, 

Hermana Powell is teaching me a lot about how to be brave, even though we don't always know what we're going to say, but just doing what we can to share the gospel and trusting that God will have our backs. She has no fear in walking up to everyone she sees to start talking in Spanish, and it's so cool to see that even though it's not perfect, they can see that her heart is in it, and they can understand. I am learning so much about how the Spirit works watching someone learn a language from this end of my time. God really will make it ok, just open your mouth and speak!

We were at the store the night we got here buying milk and eggs because we had no food in our fridge right before we went home for the night. And I saw this girl, about our age, and she looked SOOO familiar, but for the life of my I could not remember who it was. But I really felt like I needed to go talk to her, and trusted that God would help me figure it out. So we said hi, and she recognized me, and I remember she is the daughter of a less-active family we stopped by the last time I was here in the trio in Richfield who we have been trying to get in contact with. 

And there are so many other miracles I would love to tell you all about, but have to wait for another day. Basically my motto this week has been "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." 1 Nephi 4:6. I, and Hermana Powell, will testify to you that we have absolutely no idea what we're doing, but we are trusting in the Spirit to lead us and learning how to have great faith. 

I love being a missionary!! I don't know if you could tell from how excited I sound and how much I blabber on about the little miracles we see, but this is truly the best work! Every day is such a joy and full of so many miracles, I cannot believe how blessed I have been to be a part of it, that even though I'm imperfect, I get to go outside and spend all day, every day, talking to the people from the culture I have grown to love about how amazing the gospel and how it will change their lives. Because it will! It has changed mine, I have seen many lives changes, and I just want it so badly for those I meet and everyone I see to know and feel it in their hearts too. It breaks my heart to think that it will ever come to an end, so I avoid thinking about it completely. But thanks to all those who have stuck with me this long, we are looking forward to these last weeks, because I know the best is yet to come. 

Have a great week!!

Hermana Meredith 

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