*I love activities with all the sisters. We have fun.
This last week we had a Multizona. Multizonas are kind of a big deal because its basically a giant meeting and the mission president and the assistants come and you learn all sorts of stuff that you need to do, and it gets you all pumped and ready to go WORK! But anyways, of course we couldn't find a taxi and of course there ended up being some sort of elementary school parade that caused a road block and of course we showed up 20 minutes late; running in soaking wet because it was pouring rain...That was kind-of embarrassing. It's rare that you get to see the mission president and the one time he sees me, I'm running in to an important meeting soaking wet and panting...oh well.
But anyways, the meeting got started and he showed us a talk by Elder Ucthdorf about being brave and how Christ's apostles were fearful in the beginning. They were hesitant, timid, they mostly just followed and witnessed, but after Christ's resurrection they became changed men. They were brave.
This message hit me right in the heart. I'm a people pleaser by nature. I like people to like me. I talk to everyone, but do I invite everyone to come unto Christ? I'm chatty and friendly, but do I really share my testimony and purpose with everyone I talk to?
I began really thinking about it. Christ has blessed me with the gift of gab, now what am I doing with that gift? I left the Multizona with a renewed desire and FIRE to work, to talk, to invite EVERYONE.
We hopped into a taxi and right there in front of all those present I struck up a gospel-centered conversation, and the whole half hour ride home we talked about families, Christ, God's love, and religion. It was fantastic! I bore my testimony. I told them who I was, why I was on a mission, and what this church and God's love has done for me.
No one accepted the invite to receive the lessons or go to church, but I made sure every single one of them had a pass along card with the church time and our number on it. Then we proceeded on with our day and I TALKED WITH EVERYONE I SAW. Literally though. And I was BOLD and I was BRAVE.
I am a disciple and a witness of CHRIST. The son of God. Who am I to be afraid of people? I will be brave. I will tell all. They may say no, they may say I'm crazy, but that won't and that CAN'T stop me. I am a cork. Push me down in a big bucket of water and I'll come popping back up. Why?
Because I know who I am, where I came from, and where I want to go. And I'm here to share it. I'm here to say it. I'm here to shout it from the rooftops. Why? Because its true.
And just like it says in the Bible, the truth will set you free. And that's why I'm here. To set people free. Free from addictions, sadness, and confusion. I'm here to tell them how with and through Christ they can change forever.
And its the coolest thing on the planet. I will not be shy, embarrassed, or told to be quiet. Because I am a disciple of Christ and with Him by my side, I cannot fail.
A lady that I helped teach two changes ago got baptized on Saturday. I love her. I got permission to go to her baptism [out of Ruby's area] and what an experience it was! I showed up and all the people in the ward [congregation] remembered me and came running to hug and kiss cheeks and all that good stuff.
I felt the love. There were a lot of tears. Happy ones. Brisia has been receiving the missionaries for TWO YEARS, but because of problems with her husband-not-so-husband, she hasn't been able to be baptized.
But on Saturday she did it. She left it all behind in the water. And it was beautiful. As I sat there in the back of the room and looked at everyone around me, I realized once again that the mission is not about where you serve it's how you serve. It's all about the people. Those good good people who are just trying their best to get by; just like the rest of us. I soaked all those hugs right in. And it was glorious.
*This is Brisia. She has been through a whole lot of HARD in here life. She was baptized on Saturday. She cried. I cried. I love her.
GOD SENDS SUNSETS
This last week there was a rough day. That happens sometimes on the mission. Hard days. All the appointments fell through and all the back up plans as well. All the people who were contacted were rude and turned us down. All the members [of the local congregation] were busy or gone.
We contacted a cute looking old lady selling honey. She smiled just as sweetly as the honey she was holding and then launched into a lecture about how terribly confused and incorrect we were. She talked down to us and made me feel small. Then she ended saying, "You really should study the scriptures more so that you don't walk around all day every day wasting your time."
I wanted so badly to tell that little woman that I wake up at 6:30 every single day and study for 3 hours so that I can teach with authority and with love and with the spirit. I wanted so badly to tell her that it was NOT wasting my time. Normally I'm pretty good at letting the harsh words and the mean looks slide off me, but this one stuck. She hurt my feelings.
Then my companion started to have a melt down about the language and cried and cried. I didn't know what to do. We went to our next appointment. They weren't home. Went to a member who lives nearby. Not home. I then saw somebody standing on the curb and decided to go contact them and to contact them with such love and with such testimony that they would have to say yes and accept us. She turned us down. HARD.
It was then that I just didn't want to do it anymore. I didn't know what to do about my crying companion. I didn't know who else to visit. I didn't know who else to contact. And right there in the middle of the street I began to cry. The first time in my whole mission when I've had a melt down in the streets.
So there we sat. On the curb. And we cried. We both just cried. Because sometimes being a missionary is really really hard. Sometimes people tell you that you are wasting your time and sometimes you are tempted to believe them.
And there we were. Two white girls sitting on a curb crying. And then something beautiful happened. We sat there and witnessed probably the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen in my entire life. The sky turned purple and pink and yellow and orange and the clouds were indescribable, and in that sad little moment I felt it. I knew that God was there and that He was aware of me.
And then, even though all my efforts had failed, He was proud of me. The little white girl sitting on a curb in Southern Mexico. And even though I had failed to find someone to teach. He still loved me.
We watched the sun go down, and when it disappeared behind the mountains we stood up, brushed the dirt off our skirts, wiped the tears off our faces and we kept going. Teaching. Contacting. And being missionaries.
Sometimes in life we've just got to sit down on the curb and cry. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we fall. But God is there. And He loves you. Success or failure. He's our Father. He loves me. He loves you. And He loves the mean lady who sells honey.
Being a missionary is hard. But God sends us sunsets. And He makes it all right in the end. Always.