Sunday, July 13, 2014

Start Strong, Finish Stronger

CRAZY! This week has been crazy! First off I pretty much haven't been with my companion alll week. We had exchanges with the other sisters Wednesday and Thursday and then this past weekend we had the mini mission with our stake. For those of you who dont know what mini mission is it is where all the priests and laurels in our area (age 16-18) have the opportunity to come work with us missionaries. They get little badges and come live with us. It was really cool and built my faith as well. We worked with a young 16 year old girl from the Samoan ward. She was just the sweetest. We had one experience where we went to try and visit an inactive member (someone who hast been to church in ages) and they weren't home. As we walked back to the car we heard someone making a lot of noise in their backyard. Our little mini missionary said "Should we ask if they need some help?" Sister Vos and I just looked at each other and shrugged and turned around and went to offer our service. It was an old man pottering about in his back garden. He didnt want our help, nor was he to keen on learning but we did have a good conversation with him about the nature of God. And all of this occurred because of a young teenagers faith. I wish I had had an opportunity like this when I was 16 but that isn't really possible in good ol' Utah haha..
We have seen so many miracles. We went to visit an investigator and he told us we are just wasting our time visiting with his family, that he isnt interested and will never come to church. We told him that is fine, it is his choice and we respect that. But somehow we still ended up getting to teach him that day. We began talking about the power of prayer and how a belief in God gives us direction and comfort. We answered his concerns of why God lets bad things happen. Namely by saying God isn't the one making the bad things happen, it is the agency of man. God permits us to use our agency for our own learning and growth, and at the end of the day we are all accountable for our actions, thoughts, and deeds.  By the end of our time with this man he said he was going to try praying again and opening his heart to it and that we were free to pop in anytime. It was such a cool experience of how when we are just ourselves, are courages to share our beliefs (without being overbearing), and genuine that people do want to hear you. Not always but if they have been prepared they will listen. Just like always missions are up and down. Some of our investigators are progressing and others are just not but all I can do is continue to pray and exercise faith in God. 
We had a relief society activity on Saturday and had the opportunity to watch "The Saratov Approach" (don't worry we got permission from our president). It is the movie about the two missionaries who got kidnapped in Russia during 98'  man it was soooo good! All four of us sisters were freaking out we were so excited to see a movie! There was popcorn and other treats. We brought our blankets and just rugged up. It was so fun. But most of all that film helped to increase my faith. I pondered "How can I deepen my faith in the Lord and in His plan for me and those I teach?" The great thing about this gospel is there is always room for improvement. You should all watch that movie it is really really good, I highly recommend it.
One other thing I am so grateful for about coming on my mission is that I have an idea of what I want to do career wise when I get home. It has developed over time and now I know what I want to do. I still need to pray over it so I wont say what yet but we will see. I got really emotional when I thought about how long it may have taken me to get to where I am now if I hadnt decided to follow the prompting to serve the Lord. At the fireside to end mini mission the stake president talked about the mini missionaries taking off the name badge. As he said that I had the image of me getting home. I was sitting in my room in some jeans and one of my comfortable shirts. I was sitting on the edge of my bed looking at my open suitcase with all my things spilling out of it. I had my mission journals in my lap. Although I had the feeling of peace, knowing that I did all that the Lord expected of me I also had  the feeling of sadness because I was so sad to see my 18 months of service over. And a bit lonely because I wasnt sure what to do anymore, like that "what next" type of feeling. No more schedule, no more teaching appointments, no more constant companionship, no more of the past 18 months. And it made me feel sad. I am not ready to go home yet and it is a good thing I still have 5 months to give this my all. I know that these wont be the best 18 months of my life because I know that we are in a state of progression. If these were the "best 18 months" that means I had stopped progressing. I know that a lot of happiness lies ahead of me but at the same time I will be forever grateful for my service as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. Im grateful for my "mini vision" of who I will be and I that the only sadness I felt on the edge of my bed was the sadness that it was over. No regrets.
Well I think that is sappy enough haha. Well I love you all folks and cant wait to hear all about YOUR miracles! I'd love to hear all about them. Even in your miracle is simple that Germany won the world cup. I know that is a miracle in my little flat (I live with a German haha).
Love you heaps

Sister Boiteux

A member (Aunty Becci) took us out to lunch and this is our massive dessert that we shared, it was delicious!


Movie night WOOT WOOT!

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