Monday, December 23, 2013
So, my first area is in Adelaide and it's in Marion. My companion's name is Sister Atu and because she is my first companion, she's also my trainer, also my mission mum (secondary maybe to President's wife who is also my mum. I have so much family here...) She is from Tonga and I love her so much! She's so funny in so many ways. Like two days ago I think I made chicken schnitzel (which is pretty easy, right?) but she l-o-v-e-d it, she's so excited at the prospect of me being able to cook (and my cooking talents are by no means large or extensive). She said with her and her last companion, they eat KFC, they LOVE KFC, and then they also eat noodles all the time - which I think is really funny.
In Marion, Sister Atu opened the area 7 months ago and we have a lot of investigators and we also spend some time finding but most of our time is spent driving to and fro appointments and in our appointment, Sister Atu is teaching me something that like I heard about in theory but that I didn't get much of a chance to practice in the MTC. She is leading by example and showing me what it means to love the people. It means even when you go over and all they do is offload all of their problems onto like you're some kind of therapist and they strongarm the conversation and don't allow you to talk, you love them. It means that you don't even get to teach (and I really love to teach, even before I went on my mission with my part-time jobs). It means even when their dog barks every few minutes and climbs all over you, leaving long hair, you love them. It means when their house reeks of cigarette smoke and they tell you that they pray every other night and don't really feel like they feel anything, you love them. That last one especially broke my heart. I have a really strong testimony of prayer and how it can be used to communicate with God and to grow your relationship with him. I do so much praying out here on my mission and I never doubt that the Lord hears my prayers and I gain a lot of comfort from it. My sister companion is teaching me a lot about charity.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
So, blog! This is my first entry. I write this from the Missionary Training Centre in NZ. I am batch Number 22 (or 23 - somewhere around there...) and in my batch something quite unique has happened as there are more sisters than elders! How exciting!
When I thought about the MTC, I thought time would fly, I thought it would be a blip in the whole timespan of my mission but it isn't, it really isn't. I am learning so much. My teachers are so amazing and each of them bring something new to learn! I am also laughing so much which I really didn't expect! But we know how to be serious. I'm really enjoying the opportunity I have to study and to practise teaching.
I think what I want to share about my experiences thus far is this new idea I have realised that missionary work is not about yourself at all. I think my desires for serving a mission were along the lines of "I want to go on a journey of spiritual self-development and growth! I want to devote my time to God!" and although the first sentence is true, the funny thing is that you only achieve that self-development and growth by completely forgetting about yourself. I mean completely. I mean you first of all put your companion before yourself in anything you do, and always try to be mindful of them. I mean also that when you study, you don't just study what you want to learn or what interests you or try to fill in the gaps you feel are in your gospel knowledge. You study for your investigators. And what they need to know.
Something else I have learnt is about my calling. I have been literally set apart. I must put aside all things of the world. That is what I promised I would do. And with this calling, comes the qualification. Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies. Furthermore, I wear the name of Jesus Christ above my heart. I am literally a representative of Jesus Christ and it is my duty, honour, privilege to preach his gospel, to invite others to come unto Christ and to help them receive the restored gospel by faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. This is my purpose. I have been commissioned to do this. I even have a ministerial certificate!
This is also my first blog entry. I really hope by the end of my mission that I can reflect back on it and know that I fully immersed myself in my experiences, that I let go of home and loved ones and my lifestyle and the very idea of "me, me, me". I hope I can say that I did that, and therefore, I hope I can say that I fulfilled my purpose.
Will update you when I can.