Friday, February 7, 2014

February 3, 2014

With Sister Mitchell at Mesa Temple

What a week! I don't even know where to begin! So many emotions and events have been flying around that I'm barely beginning to get my feet back on the ground. I really loved MLC on Thursday; it was exactly what I needed! I had been struggling to know what I needed to focus on because there's so much I can do but I really needed something that would help me grow and stretch. Going back to the basics and going back to a missionary is what I really needed to do. I was getting caught up in the little things of life and I was getting lost in what was most important: missionary work. I did some reevaluating and saw some areas of improvement in the basics that I can do. One of my weaknesses is talking with everyone. I always rationalize not talking to someone. I usually make an excuse for not going to talk to someone. I really want to work on that. This will be the perfect area for me to exercise my faith and never doubt the Lord. I started this on Thursday and my human mind thought that I would be perfect from that point on, but I now know that this is something that will come with time. But I'm doing it! I'm scared each time I approach someone but I pray every time for help from the Lord. I'm not perfect or even good at it yet, but I'm trying and I can see how the Lord is blessing me for my effort. I'm excited to see the growth I'll make as I continue to be diligent in doing the basics of missionary work. 

The next thing I want to talk about I'm actually kinda scared to share. This has been something very close to me that I have had a hard time accepting. This has to do with our area as well. So, this Sunday we had a meeting with our bishop and ward mission leader about how we can help hasten the work of the Lord. During this meeting, bishop let us know what his vision is and what he feels the ward needs to do. He feels that the ward needs to become more converted to the gospel. We talked about what our struggles were. One was getting members out with us. This is the first time this ward has ever had sisters so the sisters in the ward don't know what to do. They're excited to have us, but they're not converted to the work the way the brethren are. As our meeting went on, the central message that bishop was talking about was strengthening the ward so that people are more converted. I'm really good at strengthening wards and bringing less actives into activity again. Every area that I've been in hasn't had a lot of baptisms, but we've been able to bring 2 or 3 back into activity. I've felt this for a while but was confirmed by what bishop was saying. I don't feel that I'm good at helping others be baptized (sad, I know) but I have this knack for helping others come back. I feel that is why I'm in this area; to strengthen the members and to help those that have left to come back. I can see the events that have led to this. We haven't been able to find investigators; our investigators are dropping us; no one in interested and I feel we've tried everyone in the area; all the referrals that members are giving us are less actives. It was exciting during MLC to have such an awesome and challenging goal of 150 baptisms for the quarter, but I'm afraid that I won't be able to contribute. We're trying so hard to find people and baptize, but these less actives are right there and open for us (we saw 10 during a week!). I guess what I'm scared of is that I feel I can't contribute to the work like the rest of the missionaries. I've been scared to accept this because I feel that I will be looked down upon because the key indicators don't show this so it will look like I'm not trying. This is really close to me because I love helping others come back, but I'm afraid that my companions will resent me. I don't know. I just felt like I needed to share this. But I've heard good things about areas that I've left. They now have investigators and the members are stronger...
With Sister Mitchell and little colorful friend.

But I am happy! Actually, I haven't been this happy in a while. I can feel the Lord helping me and guiding to know what to do. I can feel the power of the Atonement changing me for the better. I feel the Spirit working through me.

Alrighty! Next, Sister Mitchell! She's growing up and maturing! YAY! She has caused herself a lot of unnecessary pain because of her... youth... She now she recognizes that instead of letting things bother her and judge people she needs to let go and love people for who they are. That was a huge thing for her. She's learning to be a missionary fast though. She's becoming more efficient in her teaching and she's starting to talk to people more willingly (she sets a really good example for me). She's learning more about the Atonement everyday and is using it. It's been wonderful to see the change that has happened in her over the past week. I'm excited to devote more time to 12 Week this week. Exchanges have made it hard to do it and it has been neglected :( I don't know what will happen next transfer, but I hope Sister Mitchell will be able to do 12 Week the way it is intended to be done. She misses home a lot still and I'm still unsure of how to help her. It creeps up on her and then she's homesick. We're staying busy, but it's the people she meets and the houses she's in that makes her homesick. Being in Mesa makes her homesick! She's working on being "obsessive" about her mission. We're going to work together to help her treasure the experiences she's having on her mission so that homesickness will eventually go away. We had a lot of things we were able to work through and we're more unified as a companionship. Training has been much harder this time. She's so independent..... and stubborn.... just like me. I've learned to be patient and I feel the power of having charity. I've learned a lot this transfer and I've grown a lot. I know that the Atonement brings strength when I'm weak. The lessons I've learned have been simple, but they're powerful. I'm a changed person who is more patient and loving.

I can't believe that transfers are next week. This transfer has just flown by! I mean, I've been out for 7 months today! Crazy stuff is going on... But as much as I love the snow, I'm really enjoying the 70 degree weather right now... :)

-Sister Dunn

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