This past week was a little interesting but in many ways much like the week before it. We had our first meeting with a member present this transfer!
On Thursday I went on another split with Sister Fravola. Thursday morning as we were exercising the Assistants to the President gave us a call (this is about 6:40am). We were told that a few of the older sisters in the mission needed to come to a meeting at the President's house to discuss goals for next year. That meant my companion needed to be there. We called the other sisters and by chance I went on a split with Sister Bullough, my former companion. She had already planned to go on a split with Sister Fralova so I went along to their meeting. It was good to be with both Sister Bullough and see how she has changed in the past few weeks and to get to know Sister Fralova better. Plus, we had a great lesson with a member.
Saturday and Sunday was General Conference all day and I absolutely loved it. I had many insights into who I need to become and what I need to do in order to be that person. I also received many interesting revelations that I did not expect which are going to require a lot of faith and diligence on my part. As I have been thinking about all that I want to accomplish and need to accomplish in this life I am realizing how short this life really is and how much I cannot afford to procrastinate.
Elder Hales' talk was amazing about trials. I liked his comment, "Too often we pray to have patience and we want it right now." and then he ended by saying, "Let us be kind to one another and even kinder to ourselves." Other gems were Elder Uchtdorf's talk and I could talk for hours about conference.
Again, we have only been able to meet with one investigator. Thankfully, she is making some progress but it comes slowly. At least she is reading the Book of Mormon which makes my heart leap.
Sadly, none of our investigators came to General Conference although we told them about it days in advance and called them the night before. I was very disappointed because I saw other missionary's investigators come and receive answers to their prayers and I was so sad that none of our investigators got to experience that. It's hard to watch people you care about make choices that lead them farther and farther from the road of happiness. And then we tell them what they need to do to find those answers they say they have been looking for and they won't act on it. It is frustrating. But I'm at peace with what I am doing. I can always be better but I know that the Lord is satisfied with my work. I am pouring a lot of myself into our investigators and I always think of how I can help them. It's just hard to see so much potential in these people and to see them make choices that are causing them to regress rather than to progress. Watching people use their agency to make choices that will lead to unhappiness is so sad and I think that has been what has been frustrating me the past few weeks. It's not that we don't have investigators it's that we do and they are not using their agency in a way that will bring them closer to the Savior, Jesus Christ. But I remember how much the Gospel means to me and I try to show them how much the Church of Jesus Christ needs to me. Like President Packard said, until they gain their own testimonies they have to rely on mine.
Most of our meeting have been with less or inactive members of the Church. I am happy to meet with the old women because most of the time they are lonely. And if we can be their light and link to the Gospel I am happy to do it. But there is always a little sad side because I ask myself, "Where are their home and visiting teachers?" I am happy to meet with them and I always feel uplifted but, sad as it is, I will not always be here and I worry about them.
We have also been trying to work with some of the younger inactive members and they are among the most frustrating because they are taking the Gospel for granted. The two excuses I have heard the most is, "Perovo is boring and there isn't any youth" and "I'm too busy and I don't have time for the Church." Sister Carlson and I had a day where we wanted to scream. I'll admit as I pondered what must be going through their minds and all the future consequences of this choice I felt pain in my soul. Overwhelmed with sadness, I got on my knees and prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for the Gospel and the opportunity to repent and asked for humility. Then I wrote about it in my journal so I could always remember this lesson.
This was an interesting email, I'll admit, filled mostly with what has been running through my mind the past few days. All of my frustration and impatience seems to come out when I write home. I get it out and then focus back on the work. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and experience even a small part of what He must sometimes feel about me. Sister Carlson and I are working hard and having a good time doing it. I will try to be better to include those fun times more so that you all do not worry about me. Like on Monday, we had three meeting and all the ladies wanted to feed us. we ate so much and had to pray to be able to eat more.