"Go forward in life with A TWINKLE in your eyes and A SMILE on your face, but WITH GREAT PURPOSE in heart." -Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Back Flips, Summersaults and a little bit of CHEERleading‏

Sundays have come to be one of the most love-hated days of the week for me as a missionary. LOVE because our ward members are amazing, we get to take the sacrament, hear pep-talks to energize us for the week through the lessons taught in our classes…and the list goes on. HATE because it is also one of the most stressful days of the week (for me at least). All week long we work with our instigators and menos activos to prepare them for Sunday. We teach them; we help them; we commit them; we love them; we motivate them; we remind them, etc. all in hopes that, come Sunday, they will feel that desire to come to church to be able to find that “Love” part that I mentioned up above. When Sunday comes and our loves show up, Sunday is my favourite and I am excited to continue forward in the week to keep helping them to progress but when Sunday comes and our loves make up excuse or stand us up…it is a little (well actually a lot) discouraging- and that was what happened yesterday. While I took the approach of (p.s: don’t do this at home) wanting to give up, feeling alone and thinking this was too hard, and instead of strengthening my faith to come, indulging in chocolate (in my defence, sometimes it makes the crappiest situations less crappy), the Lord was so aware and taught me, AGAIN, a life lesson about trusting Him.
            In the afternoon we had the blessing of teaching an inactive hermana from our ward. As she expressed to us her trials, I opened up my scriptures to a lovely story in Mosiah 24. It talks about when the prophet Alma and his people were afflicted but through their faith and trust in God, they were able to bare their affliction “cheerfully” with ease and patience. Something that this story teaches us is that the Lord doesn’t answer our S.O.S prayers by taking away our problems, but He does help us out by blessing us with the strength to endure. And if we endure it well, “tomorrow” He will “deliver [us] out of our bondage” (Mosiah 24:12-16). *DING* a light bulb went off in my head: I realized that while I thought that I was sharing this story to help the hermana that the Lord was sharing it with me to help ME. It definitely gave me the perspective that I needed! Yeah, it sucks that our loves don’t come to church every week when they say they will or that I have a lot of responsibility on my plate as a trainer again or that sometimes I don’t feel the support that I need like I would like to, etc. BUT if I am humble enough to ask for strength, Heavenly Father will give me the strength that I need to Cheerfully keep on keepin’ on. And that the key, to do it CHEERFULLY. So that is my goal for this week, I’ll let you know how it goes…but I am learning People, I am learning!
“Therefore…let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still with the utmost assurance, to see salvation of God, and for His arm to be revealed” (D&C 123: 17).
            On a happy, my new compañera is wonderful! Hermana Tadeo, from El Salvador. We already have found some small world connections (while I was flipping through some of her pictures). Turns out that an elder that taught her family the gospel, only a year ago, is from my stake! CRAZY Right? She was baptized a year ago and now tells me that being here in the mission field is surreal for her. She is going to be turning 20 this Saturday, (just one day after my best Friend’s birthday- Hermana Coe) so we will definitely be celebrating this week. So far I have learned a lot about Hermana Tadeo: she has 4 sisters and one brother (all are members of the church), she likes coconut ice-cream, her favorite color is pink and she is obsessed with brushing her teeth (menos mal). She is a super easy going, happy and lovely person- that has given me so much strength this week! Heaven knows that I need that. She is also super excited to work hard, and so that is what we will do.
            And one more happy story- Joseline (my love from San Miguel) was baptised on Saturday! After almost a year since we knocked on her door, ten months to be exact. After the service, she told me, “Remember last time you saw me, how sad I was? And now look at me, I am so happy!” She was glowing, absolutely linda. It is amazing that something so simple, the gospel, brings out so much happiness to those who accept it in their lives. And like we learned from the experience of Alma and his people, the gospel doesn’t take away our problems, it just gives us perspective. And moments like Saturday, and a bunch of mini ones like it a long the way, remind me that all of this is so worth it. I just have to learn to be patient during the hard times so that I can keep enjoying the sweet times.
Love you tons and tons!
Xoxox, Hermana North
Picture 1: Hermana Tadeo, my new love

Picture 2:  Lots of Love for Joseline

Picture 3: She's perfect!

Picture 4: Mi chamaqita :) So love her

Picture 5: New puppies! Lalo y Lola

Picture 6: beans beans the magical fruit! jexis made us the most delishious treat! 

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