Hello. This week wasn't too exciting, but I"ll see if I can portray the highlights as if they were. One thing I am appreciating is that even though some days seem unbearably long, there is always at least one person that I meet that makes the day feel successful.
We taught a family this week that is moving out of our area, which is sad, because we think they are close to being baptised. The mother's father was on the Navajo Placement Program, so she is familiar with the church. We taught her the first lesson, and it was thrilling to watch her eyes light up when we talked about modern day prophets. She was thrilled and wanted to know all about Thomas S. Monson. I wish we would have had time to show her the Special Witnesses of Christ DVD. At the end of the lesson, she said that what we taught felt familiar to the last time she met with the missionaries, and she was starting to remember the things they had taught her before. Hopefully, she will realize that this is the Holy Ghost.
We also met a less active family this week right as they were feeding their cows. They have horses and goats and cows and even a peacock. Sister Crossley and I were so excited. Hopefully, we'll get to go back and work on their farm. When we reported our experience in Ward Council, everyone just laughed at our enthusiasm for feeding cows. We really are city folk, I guess.
My District Leader found out that he is three days older than me, and that we both graduated in '06. I think that wigged him out. He goes home next transfer, and he told me that he is just so used to having the sister missionaries be so much older than him.
We also visited a lady in the ward who has four cats. I don't know what it is about New Mexico, but everyone has tons of animals! She is an older woman who is just barely getting back into activity. She's very lonely. The first time I went to her house, there was cat hair everywhere!!! My allergies went crazy. When we went back, I prayed that my allergies would not bother me long enough to visit with her. It was a mini miracle. My nose didn't run and my eyes didn't itch very badly at all! I practically didn't notice. I think its hilarious that missionaries know the inactive people in wards, but don't know who the active members are very well.
Life before the mission seems so incredibly far away. I keep thinking back to what I was doing this time last year, and it is weird. Sometimes I wish I knew what everyone was up to...what my friends are doing, how civilian life is, or even what is happening in the news, but I can also see the benefits of leaving behind the "fishing net" to follow Him. When I have questions or worries, and can't talk to the people I feel most comfortable with, I learn to rely on my Heavenly Father more.
It is humbling to see people in such poor circumstances feeding the missionaries dinner every night. I guess the mission is about learning to serve, and learning how to allow others to serve you. Even the Savior accepted service, and let the woman wash his feet. But honestly, I don't like accepting so much help. Our dryer broke recently, and one of the members gave up a Saturday to fix it. So many people are willing to help! I have to remember what a privilege it is to be a missionary. We memorize the quote "no unhallowed can stop this work from progressing, persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calamity may defame, but the work of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent, until it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, sounded in every ear. Till the work of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say, 'the work is done'."--(I probably messed that up, but it's close enough) and it's true. Heavenly Father could send angels to do this work. He could teach others himself. But he allows us to be involved in the teaching of his children. He allows, us, imperfect missionaries, to learn how to serve others, to learn how to teach as the Master taught, and to be involved a little bit, in God's plan for his children...to watch them work toward eternal life. I think that is everything worth noting. Undoubtedly, I forgot to mention something. But that's how life goes.
Question: My companion's birthday is coming up. I have no idea what I could even do...we're together 24/7 so surprising her with a cake, or ice cream is impossible. Maybe I just have to do it anyway. I wonder how people normally celebrate birthdays on their mission.