Dear Family and Friends,
I have made it through my first transfer, and I am staying with Sister S in the A Ward! 12 more transfers to go then I'll be heading home to ITALY!!!! For those that have not heard, my dad got an assignment to Poggio Renatico (Ferrera),Italy (wherever the heck that is). I have mixed feelings about that because they will be so far away and letters will come slower, but Italy is a cool place and the ice cream is awesome. I just don't know how I feel about it yet.
I am so happy to get to stay in the A Ward because our members are super amazing. We told one of our members that we really liked strawberries and sure enough 45 minutes later we hear a knock on the door and she comes in with 7 pounds of strawberries!!!!
This week has been tiring! My companion and I borrowed bikes and rode over 25 miles this week. We have been having a lot of fun, so we are planning to buy our own bikes this week. The only bad thing about being in the High Desert are all the hills. It's ridiculous. We take snacks with us though and take breaks in between appointments so it's not too bad :)
Yesterday we were extremely sore! We don't know if it was from riding bikes so much on Friday and Saturday, or if it was from our service project on Saturday. We dug holes for a sprinkler system to be put in, at the L's house. It was pretty crazy because they have 3 dogs that kept wanting to play with us, but really they just got in the way. I have realized that I am much weaker than I thought.
We had 20 lessons this week and 11 of them were with Less Actives. We did have 2 Less Actives come to church this week though!!!! They haven't been in forever, but they came yesterday so that was amazing! It's so nice to see that what we are doing is actually making a difference in people's lives. Being a missionary has its ups and downs but the ups are sooo awesome that the downs are worth enduring through.
I would like to share one story that we shared with several people this week from the February 2014 Ensign called Our Light in Darkness by Susan Wyman
"Our family had just experienced a devastating house fire, and all eight of us were living in a temporary three-bedroom mobile home in our front yard. Our family faced challenges and discord.
My husband was not active in the Church at the time. Our two teenage sons were making choices that would lead only to sorrow. Simultaneously, I was serving as Young Women president in our ward, and several of the young women were struggling with serious temptations. Some of their parents also faced struggles and therefore were not assisting their daughters at this critical time.
I knew these young women needed me to help them through their spiritual land mines. I knew my six sons needed me. I knew my good husband depended on my strength. Yet there seemed to be nothing but darkness around me, and I felt empty, weak, and incapable of leading these loved ones to safety.
Late one night as I rocked our infant son in the stillness of our temporary home, my thoughts turned to those who needed me to be strong. I felt the pervasive darkness that surrounded them. In my anguish I prayed with all my heart that Heavenly Father would show me the way to help them despite my inadequacies. He answered immediately and showed me the way.
I seemed to see myself in our ward’s large cultural hall, which had no windows. It was late at night, and there was not even a glimmer of light. Then I lit a tiny birthday candle. It seemed so insignificant, yet the power of that miniscule light was enough to displace the blackness.
That was my answer! The quantity of darkness surrounding us in the world simply does not matter. Light is eternal and is vastly more powerful than darkness (see 2 Corinthians 4:6; Mosiah 16:9; D&C 14:9). If we remain worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit, our souls can reflect sufficient light to displace any amount of darkness, and others will be drawn to that light within us.
This was all I needed to know. This simple insight has carried me through the past 25 years with the knowledge that with the Lord’s help and guidance, we can do—and be—all that He needs us to do and be in this world of darkness."
This story means so much to me. We have to remember that light ALWAYS overcomes darkness. Sometimes we see other people that are like a light and it lifts us up, but other times we need to be a light to lift other people up. We must always be "an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12). We need to look to Christ and find His light because that lifts us up. Then we need to be a light to everyone else so we can lift them up. That's what missionary work is all about. Have a great week and I will too!