It's been a crazy week! We did lots of service (paint removal and repainting the guard rails at one of the parks in Baton Rouge. Super fun and super sweaty!) Here's some highlights that I included in my letter to my mission president:
In Matthew 13:31-32, I found a parable that I had heard half of over and over and over, but some how, the end always gets lost and I've never heard it before. And it is seriously the coolest thing ever. I'm so glad I found it when I did because I was able to share it with Hermana Nielson and I think it helped her a little bit. The verses read:
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof."
I feel like this totally applies to me as a missionary and to all of us as children of God. We are given experiences, we study, we learn and grow, and even if we start with a lot of weaknesses and faults, as we nurture and take care of our spirits and bodies, we can help others find rest, just like the tree provided a safe haven for the birds. I just loved finding my purpose embedded in scripture in a different way, and maybe it's a stretch, but my new vision for myself is to grow and nurture my body and spirit so that I can better help others find peace and rest through my service and through the principles that I have to share.
Miracle this week was teaching "M" and her brother and her husband. They are super prepared, the Lord/her sister sent them to us via media referral, and we taught her the restoration on Saturday and her whole family came to church on Sunday! It is the first time I have ever had an investigator at church, let alone three investigators (M, her husband, and her brother). R and M's kids loved primary and after we teach the adults the rest of the restoration, we are going to teach the kids about the restoration using the cup tower method, which will be awesome. Our ward is getting really excited about this family, and want to do whatever it takes to help them out, which is super cool. I guess once we found some people on our own, just like in Preach My Gospel the ward is getting fired up and will hopefully be more supportive of missionary work going forward.
We are really trying to teach shorter lessons but it's not something that either of us have mastered yet. There is so much content in each lesson that it is hard to not over whelm people by teaching a ton in one lesson. At the same time, it's hard to not make it so people feel like we leave them hanging and not give them enough information for it to make sense. It's a balancing act, and we will figure it out :)
I am still studying the pamphlets. They are really helped me with teaching in Spanish because they are so simple and easy for me to understand and easy for me to use as a model for my own teaching. Plus, we are going to use the pictures in the pamphlets a lot with M because she is a very visual person. Thank heaven for pamphlets!!!
We work to include the Book of Mormon in every lesson that we teach. Sister S is a really good example of this. We went on exchanges this week and one of my favorite things that I learned from her was to study for the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes every day but as you read, look for things that will help those you teach that day. I know that's kind of a duh thing, but I think I lost track of it as I got caught up in all the Spanish stuff. Sister S is a great missionary and she has progressed a lot since I last went on exchanges with her.
We haven't been able to follow up with a ton of people with regards to whether they are reading the Book of Mormon, but we have plans to do so, and I am excited to invite M and her family to start reading when we see them on Wednesday.