We got to go to the temple this last week. It was glorious. I absolutely love that place. As I sat inside meditating, I decided to ask God a question. Have you ever done that? If you haven't then you should. I asked Him what He wants me to improve and how I can better serve Him and his children in Oaxaca. I opened up the scriptures and lo and behold ALMA 32 was starring me back in the face.
The typical chapter of FAITH. It talked a lot about being humble enough to ACT and EXERCISE your faith. God gave me a nice talking to through the pages of my favorite book and I left the temple feeling ready to GO and DO as He asked. Then we had surprise interviews with president. I felt calm and excited to chat with the guy. He sat me down in the gardens behind the temple and asked me, "So Hermana Matesen, how are things going in your treo?" I assumed that he must have me confused with someone else and explained to him that I wasn't in a treo, it was just me and Hermana Mitchell. "Thats what I was afraid you might say." He responded. I was confused. He then asked me, "Hermana Matesen, you and Hermana Mitchell can work your little hearts out, but if you are leaving behind your third and most important companion you will never have success."
Then it clicked. "Christ is your senior companion hermana, or at least He SHOULD be." Ouch. He was harsh. But he was right. He then asked an even better question, " Are you doing the Lord's work HIS way or YOUR way?" It made me really think. This last few months my companion and I have been working SUPER hard. Being obedient to the rules, talking to everyone, teaching dynamic and clear lessons, inviting and following up, serving and loving the people, but we just haven't taken a moment to stop, breathe, and ask God, "what do YOU want us to do? Where do YOU want us to go? What would YOU have a teach?"
I usually just pick something that I think would be interesting and meet their needs and go for it. Doing things my way. Not His. President's words echoed exactly what I had just read in the temple. God seems to always send me my answers LOUD and CLEAR. I think it's because He knows I'm an oblivious type of person who needs direct and clear communication. He knows me and loves me enough to correct me.
As president [mission president] talked to my companion I sat on another bench not too far off and thought. I felt bad. How could I have missed that? When did I start leaving Him behind? When did I become so confident in myself and my teaching abilities that I pushed him aside? A tear or two of frustration and stress fell down my face. "Heavenly Father, I'm just trying my best." I thought. He knows I'm doing good, but He also knows that I could do BETTER. He is always pushing me to do and be more. It's hard, but I am forever grateful.
After my companion finished talking to president she came over and gave me a hug. He had basically told her the same thing and we both looked each other in the eyes with renewed conviction and hope and said LETS DO THIS THING! We left the temple feeling pumped and ready to go. Back in treo. No more leaving Christ behind. Time to have faith. Not in Hermana Matesen, but faith in Christ.
So the wonderful thing about Mexico is people are always giving you food. Just about every other house you visit gives you a mango or a taco or another random food item and by the end of the day we're both carrying around 2 or 3 bags of random Oaxaqueñan goodness.
There is usually very little space in our stomachs to eat it so we use it as a creative way to contact by offering a snack to those who are close by. The other night as we smashed into the back of a mildly smelly taxi. I found myself practically sitting on top of a darling old lady. I had a HUGE bag of tostadas that a random Oaxacan gave us, and I broke her off a piece and offered it to her. She accepted the offering and we began to chat.
As we were chatting, I soaked in the moment. Tostadas in the back of a taxi. We chatted and snacked on our tostadas. I told her about how much I love living the gospel of Jesus Christ and how she should definitely listen to the missionaries. We had to jump out of the taxi before we could get her address, but we planted a good seed with those tasty tostadas.
A PHONE CALL
We got a random phone call the other day. It was one of my converts. She told me to guess who it was and I guessed right - first try! We both cried as we told each other how much we loved one another. We laughed about all the fun times we had had and she promised me she would stay strong.
As we hung up, my heart filled with love. A little thank you prayer sent up to Heavenly Father for letting me help Him bring Nubia and German back to his fold. So much love. Indescribable love. Just a little phone call turned my whole day around. I am making a difference. Even when I don't feel like it. God sends us little reminders everyday. This-is-why-you're-here moment.
*so we are teaching this guy who makes the masks for the big league luchadores. It's super official. I'm seriously considering having him design and make me a special one. #NACHOOOOO
*Best pic ever!