This week in Zone Conference we were committed to do a new type of planning program. We are now planning out every hour of every day ten days in advance. President Anderson basically gave us permission to get creative with our time. Instead of tracting, we could do things like give soapbox lessons like they used to do 100 years ago, plan creative projects etc. He wants us to be crazy and creative. I am really excited about this. Usually, I get frustrated with planning because I just figure I will work as hard as I can and then things will just fall into place. But recently, I have come to the realization that there are just too many things to do on the mission, too many expectations, and that planning allows us to prioritize our efforts in a more focused direction. The problem here in Bloomfield isn’t a matter of NOT having things to do, but rather making sure the most important things get done first. I have been feeling very overwhelmed the past few transfers, and hopefully planning everything out ahead of time will help me make sure I’m not forgetting anything or anyone. I feel like there is so much to do, and I can’t do it all. We’ve let the ball drop a few times this week… thank goodness it was on less important things dealing with members and logistics and not on our progressing investigators.
Sister Lotulelei and I were talking about the challenges of being in a trio, and I think we finally pinned down what was frustrating us both. The problem is, we are working, but it is very difficult to keep our minds focused on the mission because there are three of us. It is so easy to get to talking, and end up on a tangent that has nothing to do with the work. The Spirit is the most important thing in this work, and it has been a struggle to have it with us. It is scary to feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants.
One thing that stuck out to me from Zone Conference was the quote, “Without the spirit, you will never succeed regardless of your talent or ability…with the spirit you can do miracles for the Lord in the mission field.”
I think I’ve hit the point in my mission where I KNOW I can’t do it by myself. I feel like we are always working…but we don’t utilize the Spirit to its fullest potential. I feel like I have to WORK to get the Spirit there.
Two of our baptismal dates backed out this week. One of them dropped us yesterday because she wants to go back to her traditional beliefs and her medicine man. She would like to learn how to be a medicine woman. This is really very painful for me. I feel like in the seven months I have been out, very little good has happened. I love this area so much! And I know I should be grateful to be in such a wonderful area with so much potential. So many missionaries would kill to have the investigators I do…but you see that’s the painful part. I see the AMAZING potential in these people, and I just can’t get them to progress. I just want to be a better missionary, but changing is difficult. I have all these goals of how to be better, but even the goals seem overwhelming.
We got a new investigator this week, that normally I would be elated about. He accepts the idea that God would prepare someone like Joseph Smith to lead his people in the latter days. We are teaching him in a member’s home, and he has come to church. He even said that he could accept the Book of Mormon as a companion to the Bible. This is EXCITING! He is basically golden. But I have thought this same thing about so many of our other new investigators, that I am beginning to expect rejection before it even happens. I do not want to be this way!!! I need to remember to be grateful, and focus on the good things that have happened here, like how many new investigators I’ve picked up since being here, and how one of the referrals I gave to the Spanish Elders got baptized, and how some of the other referrals are getting close. Intellectually, I know how to have a good attitude, and intellectually I know how I should respond to these pitfalls. After all, true conversion to the gospel isn’t an overnight phenomenon…testimony building takes time. But emotionally, it’s another story.
For the most part, the area is good. Our ward has really started to do well with the L.Tom Perry Mission Plan, and I have the most fun companions ever! The ward wrapped their arms around us yesterday when they found out we had been dropped by one of our investigators. I think we’re all just momentarily 'bummed' by Pam telling us she wants to go back to her medicine man ways last night. Even though this email is kind of a downer, we will make a healthy rebound. This work is too important not to!
In other news, we helped our investigator with her wedding on Saturday. She asked us to help, and we thought it would be easy. Yeah, Sister Boisselle and I have basically both sworn off big weddings. They can be a lot of work! But it was beautiful, and the food was great!
Anyway, I love you all dearly. Thanks for praying for our investigators. I know Heavenly Father answers prayers, and it will be interesting to see how they are answered. Maybe this week is a blessing in disguise!
I love you all so very much. Thanks for the letters. I don't have much else to say!