Transfer calls were last night and I am staying in Ripon with Sister Winn and we will both remain sister training leaders over all the english sisters in the mission. I am so happy- extremely happy!! Sister Winn is my first companion I will have longer than a transfer. We are just the best of friends so we love working together. We made some really challenging, but great goals for ourselves this transfer. We are ready to work hard and pray harder for them. We learned by mistake this past transfer on some things, like balancing our stewardship and our area at times, but we learned a ton together and are ready to start our ripon transfer 2.0! I took time on Sunday to kneel down and really pray for what Heavenly Father needs me to do, in order to make my goals this transfer and be the missionary he needs me to. There have not been many times when an answer to my question in a prayer has been immediately answered, but this time it was powerful and right away. I just felt this overwhelming desire to have an increase of Christ like love, for everyone- for my sisters in my stewardship, my area, my companion, and even for myself. I want to go above and beyond what is required. I want to as Jesus explains on his sermon on the mount, walk two miles with them when I was only asked to walk one. I am praying to see everyone and myself as Christ sees them. I know that as I do that, every aspect of my mission will be transformed. If I saw, treated, and talked to (and about) every single person as Christ would if He was here...I can't imagine the change that would happen. He knows each of us all perfectly and loves us perfectly as well- no judgement, no limitations, no exceptions. A quote from a favorite book of mine called wonder comes to my mind, "always be a little nicer than is necessary." That is how Christ lived, and I am re-dedicating myself to be more like that.
This week was a very crazy week ( I think I say that every week haha...?). We were pulled out of our area more than usual, dealing with some issues with our sisters and some other missionaries, as well as some extra meetings. We had mission leadership council and then zone training. We did a training in zone training for everyone, and I wasn't even nervous. I am getting very comfortable leading and talking in front of people. We set appointments with the people we are teaching for the times when we would be in our area, but it seems like more often than not they didn't answer for us at the time we set. So that was stressful, but we still made some progress even if it was small. We went to activity days with Destiny again, our investigator Jenn's daughter which was super good. We did have one really really amazing lesson though this week that sticks out in my mind. We are teaching this inactive sister Lindsey (and kind of her kids and boyfriend). She has not been active pretty much all her life, and is just now wanting to learn and be closer to Christ. She is just so so sincere. She is feels the spirit so strongly. Just after two weeks of meeting with us, things are really looking up for us. We taught her the plan of salvation this week and as we talked about Jesus Christ and His atonement she was just brought to tears. She told us "if this really is true. and Christ really did do that for me, there is just so much hope in my world. and so much peace." The spirit was so very strong. She then prayed and asked if it was true and the spirit bore witness to her heart. It was so amazing. We are praying her boyfriend will listen more, and make those changes along with her. She is just so sweet and she is the definition of having real intent. We meet with here again tonight, and I can not wait. This coming sunday she is having her son blessed in church, and her whole family is coming for it. Hopefully she will attend our relief society activity thursday as well. I am really looking forward to tonight!
This week has been really really rainy. Good for California...bad for missionaries on bikes. We caught a bit of a cold and sore throat, but nothing bad. A ward member gave us like a billion oranges off her orange tree so I am sure we will bounce back fully in no time. The ward is starting to really warm up to us I think. I think we are getting a ward mission leader soon too which I know will do leaps and bounds for our relationship with the ward. Tonight we have dinner with the stake councilman over missionary work to talk about it all. Our one ward missionary though, sister jeppson, is just the sweetest thing. She takes care of us so well. She is one of those people who make you feel so special, and smart and loved every moment you are with her. She is always willing to come teach and be with us when we need her. She was baptized and went on a mission a year later to France. She is just a powerhouse! We love her!
That is just one thing that I really love about my mission, is that I am getting to know and love so many people with so many different backgrounds, and it always seems like as a missionary I connect so quickly and so deeply to people I do not even know very well. We meet people for the first, or second time and they just open up to us and feel comfortable telling us these sad sad stories from their life. Like deep stuff. They can feel Christ's love for them through us. They seem to trust us in a very short time. It is such a gift from the spirit. That is why when they do not want to learn more about our message of Christ it hurts, because we love them and want them to feel peace and love in their life. Thinking about this lead me to my scripture of the week. It is found in Jacob chapter 2 verse 8. It says, "...they have come to hear the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul." I am so blessed to be helping people find healing for their soul. Everyone needs healing, and it comes through the message of Christ and His restored gospel that we share. And true with most the people I have met, that healing does not happen in the time frame that I would have hoped for them it would, but I am still able to show them Christ like love as much as I can. For some of these people they have never even felt that before. I know that healing and true peace comes from God and His plan for us. It is the most amazing experience that as I help others, I am helping myself as well. I am definitely not perfect. My soul really could use some healing too. As I work to bring others the pleasing word of God, I am bringing it to me at the same time. I love my mission, the good and the hard parts. I am really figuring out who I want to be, and who God needs me to be.
I love you! I am praying for you all!
all my love,