Monday, June 12, 2017

A Disciple of Christ, A Child of God

Week # 65

You know you've only been in an area for 3 weeks when you spend most of your exchange lost. I stayed in the area for exchanges with my Sister Trainer Leader and I realized that I do not know this area very well quite yet. Todo está bien though. I'll figure it out.

I think I'm going to keep it kind of short this week. Well, I'll try. 

Hermana Tanuvasa and I are doing awesome. She is already learning that it's totally fine if I start crying. Yesterday in church we had some powerful talks and I teared up a little bit. Our investigator leaned over and started frantically poking Hermana Tanu and said "She's crying!" Hermana Tanu smiled awkwardly and continued listening to the talks. She understands me. I'm touched. 

Finding new investigators. Missionaries are constantly looking for more people to teach even if we have lots that we are already teaching. We try to meet people and if they are interested, we ask for their contact info and set up a time to visit them. "OYMs" (when you approach and talk to someone new, "open your mouth") are often awkward at first. Sometimes we have to be clever. We walked up to a man this week and as we were talking he let us know that he liked to go fishing. Hermana Tanu pipes up "Hey we're fishers too! Fishers of men!. . . " We weren't able to get any contact info from this man . . . Some weeks are better than others.  :)

We did meet another cool family this week! The parents have met with Hermana Tanu before so we went back to visit them. When we were getting ready to leave, one of their sons walked out and started asking us questions. He wanted to know what made us want to serve missions. We talked for a while and he told us that he had actually been listening from his room while we were talking to his parents. He wants to learn more! We set up a return appointment with all three of them and a pizza and we are so excited to start teaching them.

Interviews! Every transfer we get to meet with our mission president and have a short interview. Well, they are supposed to be short. :) Interviews are never what I think that they are going to be. One thing that I can count on every time is that there is always an already half empty tissue box that President slowly pushes across the table about 5 minutes in. I love consistency. :) We talked aobut expectations and disappointments. I think the world, members and non-members alike, have expectations for missionaries. There is a way we are supposed to be. A way we are supposed to speak. A way our day is supposed to go. We have all of these expectations from ourselves, our companions, members. But it rarely goes the way we think. We will not measure up to unrealistic expectations so what do we become? A disappointment. At least in some eyes. What President and I talked about was how we need to make sure that we aren't the ones with the wrong expectations. And then after we personally have made that shift, that we stand up to those around us. "Stop being a doormat", in the words of President Tateoka. I've been a doormat earlier in my mission by believing that I wasn't measuring up. I've even let some people close to me "wipe" their feet on me. Some days I still have to remind myself to make that change. To stop thinking I'm a disappointment and to stop being a doormat.

Now am I saying lower your expectations? No, of course not. We should always be raising our expectations and pushing ourselves. God has very high expectations for all of His children. I think what sometimes needs to happen is that we need to make a little change in our expectations. A little shift in what we see as a missionary, a disciple of Christ, a child of God. A little shift in how we think we, and others, should be. God's expectations may be high, but they are perfect and very realistic. We can all measure up if we ask for His help. 

A quote I heard this week that has been running through my mind a lot is "God doesn't want us to try harder, He wants us to turn to Him sooner". That's what I'm learning, and re-learning. We get this thought that if we just try harder, wait longer, push through it, THEN we will "make it". Then we will be enough. If we just realize that the sooner we let go of our pride (because that is what it is) the sooner we will truly receive the blessings of humility.

Updates on our investigators. We are going to take a little more time teaching so they won't be being baptized next week, but we had some good lessons this week. Something really special is that as we have been reading in the Book of Mormon together every day, multiple times we have been able to use the same scriptures that we read earlier that day in our lessons. 

I think I'll end it here. I really do hope that everyone is doing well and is happy. If we aren't happy we are doing life wrong. That's doctrine. "Be of good cheer". It's a commandment. Hermana Tanu and I are trying to keep that commandment. It's working out. She never fails to make me laugh and has a special way of doing missionary work. "Sé dónde vive, no puede ocultar de nosotras"
Go put that in your google translate. It's a quote from my companion. I'm learning lots from her.

Les quiero, 

Hermana Lauren Dickson

Photos/videos: Exchanges with Sisters Hart and Tedrow! Why am I so short? Also I went to the dentist and they have a furry friend who comes to work every day apparently. Don't worry I made sure they washed their hands before they put their hands in my mouth. Also! The video is Jesus and Barbara! They are so cute. We taught them some English. Sorry for my hyena laugh. Also, my study desk with my DIY Oregon wall still in progress. 

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