Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Success Comes From Within

Dearest family and friends,

This week has probably been one of the toughest weeks of my mission, but I learned more this week than I ever have before. It was INCREDIBLE. I cannot wait to share it with you. :)

So, the week began with an amazing lesson with a man named Juan. We found him knocking on exchanges. We met him 3 weeks ago, but hadn't been able to meet with him. BUT, he had been reading the Book of Mormon. So, that was awesome. We taught him the Restoration when we finally got to meet him. We had to teach him outside his door because he was home alone. Usually I approach those lessons with a "bummer" attitude because I feel like it's hard to teach just standing there. But BOY was I proven wrong. THis lesson was INCREDIBLE. The spirit was so strong, and he was truly touched. I wish I could have the words to describe how amazing it was. So, this lesson pumped us up for the week. We made a goal to be EXACTLY obedient, and work harder than we ever have before. So, here we are - best lesson ever - now we're pumped.

This leads us to District Meeting the next day. It was actually interviews as well, so the AP's came and did some training with our district. When they got to the front and said, "we want to talk about how to work with members" I thought....man, this is like the 5th time we've been trained on this...it MUST be important. So, I listened intently. With our newfound determination to work hard, this meeting really helped give us the motivation to work with members. We prayerfully selected members for each investigator, and began calling EVERYONE to schedule appointments. We were challenged to have at least 1 team up everyday, and NEVER teach an investigator without a member. Yikes. That's intimidating. But we wanted to do it. We had 1 to 2 teamups scheduled EVERYDAY until Sunday. We were PUMPED.

So now here we are - ready to work hard - and we find out that Ana and her kids really are moving to Texas....and they're leaving tomorrow. We went to go say bye to them, and they had already left. So we didn't even get to say goodbye. It was absolutely heartbreaking. But we were on our way WITH a member to go to an appointment, so there was no time for discouragement. The lesson was good. Maria, the lady we taught who's on date, really connected with the member we brought, and it was awesome.

Next day, we had two member presents scheduled....and both of them cancelled. Boo. Oh well, we were still able to teach Abraham and Milagros. It was the BEST lesson. Ever. We watched The Restoration and had a Book of Mormon testimony meeting. Abraham and Milagros are very Bible Bible Bible no Book of Mormon....so we really hoped this lesson would soften their hearts. At the end, they said they'd read it. We asked Abraham to say the prayer and ask God if the book of Mormon was true....and he actually did. We ask him EVERY time, and he never has. So that was amazing. After his prayer, the spirit just flooded into the room. I wish you could've seen his face. I know without a doubt that he received his answer. We asked him how he felt....and he just stared at us...with no words...then he said "thank you for coming" and we left. It was the most POWERFUL lesson I've ever been in!!

Then...things started going downhill. EVERY single appointment we had for the week cancelled. We knocked a billion doors, visited a billion people, and no one answered. All our member presents fell through and it was a bummer. To top it all off....we had to give Walter over to the Elders. It was the hardest decision we've ever had to make. My heart was broken. I've never felt so sad in my entire mission. You literally give EVERYTHING to this work and to the people...and when they don't want your message, it just breaks you. I can't describe it. It was such a bummer week. Also, Abraham texted us and said he won't read the Book of Mormon. So even after that amazing lesson....he won't progress. It's truly heartbreaking. We were SO distraught. We were SO obedient and did everything we were supposed to and worked harder than before....and everything fell through. We lost Ana and her family. We dropped Walter. All our appointments fell through...it was just sad.

THEN. Here's where this week becomes the greatest week of my entire mission. I learned something very important. We can only do our best. We can only do our part. Did we have success? No. BUT. The elders had their investigator family come to church, and they're getting baptized this Saturday. That was a miracle. The elders had something amazing happen! Were there other miracles happening throughout the mission? Of COURSE!!! We may not have been direct recipients of success and miracles and blessing this week....but when you start focusing on what DID happen....that's when the true miracles occur. I have SO many blessings. SO many. Too many to count. From all our efforts of coordinating member presents, we strengthened our relationship with the branch. People are trusting us more and asking us for our help. I also grew this week. Our investigators may not have progressed....but I did. We learned in district meeting how to be a progressing missionary. What defines a progressing investigator?? Keeping commitments, and growing in the Gospel. So what defines a progressing missionary? Being obedient, and growing in the Gospel. I did just that this week. I can only do my best and what I'm supposed to be doing. I may not have been a direct recipient of "success" this week....but other people were, and I can look at their experiences and be grateful. An amazing family is getting baptized into Chamblee this week. How amazing is that?? I know that more miracles and blessings are in store....maybe not now, or in a couple weeks, but they are. I've recognized the Lord's hand in my life more fully this week. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am so grateful for this week. It was seriously the best week of my mission. I love serving my Heavenly Father and His children. This work is incredible. I can't wait to work even HARDER this week. I can't wait to see how I grow, and notice more blessings around me.

I hope you all have an amazing week!! :) Thank you for your prayers and support. :)

Hermana Bringhurst

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