This past week has been a week that I have used and appreciated the Atonement like I've never done before.
This week was a hard week. We weren't getting as many lessons and lessons that we had planned with investigators, less-actives, and members were falling through and we were knocking on a lot of doors that remained unanswered. It was discouraging to have to keep walking away without sharing something. We did leave mormon.org cards with our names and numbers! This really brought me down. I felt like I wasn't as aware of the Spirit as I could have been and I worried too much about the little things and what I felt like I wasn't doing correctly or at all. I was focused on me and that ruined me this week!
We had exchanges this week with Sister Brownell. We didn't get to spend a lot of time working with her because of the temple (which was absolutely amazing! I feel so blessed to have a temple so close that I have an opportunity to go once a transfer), but I learned a lot from her! As we talked, something that I wanted to work on was taking the lead. Taking the lead is so hard for me because my personality tells me to sit back and just listen! But I wanted to overcome that and grow. So that's what I did! I changed my attitude, overcame my fear, and took the lead all with the help of Jesus Christ. Without him I wouldn't have been able to do what I did this week. After Zone Conference, my zeal and fire for my mission was kindled again and my desire to have Jesus Christ in my life grew immensely! I know I have a lot to work on and it's easy for me to beat myself up for all of my short-comings, but I know it doesn't do me any good and I know it's something that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do not want me to do. I know they're proud of me and the only thing they expect me to do is not be perfect but keep progressing. I don't know why I got to this low point but I'm glad I did. I needed to learn this lesson and recognize that I need my Savior more than ever. I wouldn't have been able to learn this without my companion! She is amazing and is a wonderful example of what a true disciple of Jesus Christ looks and acts like. She sees what I can become and tries her hardest everyday to help me progress towards that goal. She is really amazing and I'm so grateful to have her in my life. I've learned so much from her in the past 4-1/2 weeks than I've learned ever! She pushes me to get out of my comfort zone and gives me wonderful words of encouragement that help me strive to do my very best. I love her!
Since we don't have a lot of investigators we are teaching the members and less-actives. We are really starting to focus on them and helping them strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ. We've asked our ward mission leaders to help us set up appointments with members and less-actives. We're trying to have dinners with less-actives, but they usually fall through. But at least we showed them that we want to meet them! We were successful when we were invited!
Jesus is doing great! He shared his testimony on Sunday and we had a wonderful lesson on the Plan of Salvation at the Knight's home Saturday night. We heard more of how he came to the church and how he came to know it is true. He is such an amazing young man and he's so humble too! He's still on track for his baptism date on November 2, 2013. I feel really blessed to be teaching him right now.
Sister Beckford hasn't been progressing. She's cancelled our appointments and hasn't asked the specific question "is the Book of Mormon true?" yet. I was beginning to think we should drop her soon but on Sunday we were talking to a member who takes two of her boys to church and she said that Sister Beckford and her daughter Tia were going to go to the General Relief Society Broadcast on Saturday but got the wrong address. She also said she was dressed and ready to go to church but then an emergency came up and she couldn't go. This is huge! This is the closest we've ever gotten her to coming to church! I'm sad that I doubted her. We still need to follow up on reading and praying, but she's making a huge effort to come to church! Her two boys who come are going to be an amazing example for her and they're going to also be a source of strength for her as well.
I've had a good week. I've learned a lot and I've been humbled. I feel like the story of the Provo temple that was told at Zone Conference -- I feel like I've been burned and had my interior completely removed, but now the Savior can start working on me to build me into a beautiful, sacred temple.
Zone Conference was absolutely amazing! It changed my life! The theme for the conference was the Atonement. I played the hymns and one of the songs I chose, "Master the Tempest is Raging," pretty much summed up the conference. We are living in a world where the waves of life are crashing all around and we all are scared for the turmoils that are happening. But as we turn to the Savior and ask for help he will give it! Matthew 14: 22-33 is where the story happens; I encourage you to read it. We have life all around us and we see so many people, but as we take the time to recognize the Savior in our lives we can have the calm and peace we all desire! I felt like Peter when he started to walk on the water and let fear get the best of him. He began to sink but the Savior was right there to grab hold of him and helped him out of the water and they walked back to shore together. I hadn't been walking by faith. Rather, I was letting my fear of man get in the way of my ability to share the gospel with everyone. This Zone Conference on the Atonement helped me rekindle my fire for the gospel and my love for Jesus Christ has never been stronger. Everyday I make an effort to study him. I want to get to know him and who he is so I can try my hardest everyday to become like him. I've been studying "Jesus Christ" in the Topical Guide. Right now I just finished Jesus Christ, Appearances, Antemortal. It's amazing. I cannot even begin to write what I've learned in studying him. So do it for yourself so you can learn who he is and begin to strengthen your relationship with him and God.
I love President and Sister Jenkins so much! I look up to them in everything! So after each meeting, we have what we call 10% which is dedicating 10% of the meeting to things that we can use after our mission. We had talked about education and how important it is to get as much as possible after our missions. It was great information that President Jenkins shared. Then cute Sister Jenkins got up and her ten percent was making sure your garbage disposal is on the correct side. We all got a good laugh out of that one. She is just the cutest thing ever!
I loved the General Relief Society Broadcast! I got to go and watch it at the Citrus Heights Stake Center and I was blown away. All I can say is I have a new found and deep appreciation for keeping my covenants and promises I've made with the Lord. After going to the temple on Tuesday, I have this new drive to live and remember my covenants as much as I can until I can go again and remember something more and get renewed strength to keep going.
So... Some super fun stuff now! So you know Elder Cook? Like, the Apostle Elder Cook?? Well, his daughter lives in Northpoint ward. So Cool!! Whenever I give her a hug I feel like I'm hugging her dad. She is just the greatest woman! She's the Young Women's President and is so cute and fun. We had a lesson at her house Saturday night with Jesus. She also has a Steinway & Sons piano. I about died when she said I could play it on P-days. We won't be able to go and play today, but we will definitely next Monday. I'm so excited!!!!!
Another random fact! I'm been keeping count and in the past almost 11 weeks I've gotten a total of 70 mosquito bites! Yay! These bugs are vicious here! They still bite me even when I spray myself with repellent. Gotta love bugs! I also saw my first scorpion yesterday. They are absolutely disgusting and I never want to see one again!
Love, Sister Dunn