This week we received Sara's Return flight information! I had to read it several times before it sunk in! I can't believe she is actually coming home and we will see her in 60 something days! This was a great week for her and we love her lots!
So I just wanted to tell you about this amazing amazing week! I feel like the start of my mission was just full of trials and hard times, but luckily... I have been able to learn the things the lord wanted me to learn and now He is just letting me see miracles every day. It is so fun and there is a sense of joy that is really hard to describe. First I can say that a huge part of all these blessings is due to my wonderful companion. Her name is Sister L G and she is from Texas. Actually she was born in Utah but spent her high school years in Texas and then went to BYU for school. her family has recently moved there so I'm sure you could get in touch with them if you wanted. She is super super awesome and super super obedient, and super super diligent. She is probably my last companion and I am so grateful because she is everything I could ask for and more in a companion. She really is helping me reach my full potential. It is really fun to learn and grow with her. She doesn't really have a Chinese connection other than that she felt inspired to take a Chinese class before her mission and when she got her call she was not surprised at all. Her Chinese is really good too. Unlike many Americans she has a really great accent which I appreciate a lot. I don't know why, but the accent thing really gets to me sometimes so I love talking to her in Chinese and English and teaching with her. We actually had a chance to exchange once before and on the exchange the members just said we made them feel really comfortable together.
I think you might be right, mom, that the time might slow down a lot. I am loving everything, but it was so comfortable being with Sister G that sometimes I forget she only moved here 2 weeks ago. It seems like we have been companions for a really long time, but really it has only been 2 and 1/2 weeks. You will for sure get to meet her someday! She is only on her 7th transfer so she gets home in august... probably around the same time as Matt. Can't believe you have my Flight info already! They have been asking me forever, but I kept forgetting so I just assumed I will be flying back to SLC airport... ha ha will I be able to go to the conference?! That would be the coolest thing ever!
Anyways so let me tell you about the miracles this week... the first thing is we met 7 new investigators! We have this new invite of stating our missionary purpose (especially about baptism) when we touch our name badge. The cool thing is that we found 4 of them in one day because of that invite. It was so cool to see how willing people were to be baptized when they heard of the great gift of repentance. A lot of people have a desire to come closer to God, but are not sure how to do it. It is so cool to see their desire and how when we just explain that it is our purpose to help them do that... they are thrilled and willing to set up. The other miracles also came from helping our investigators get to know our members better. It is great to give them a support system that allows them to have more than just us to support them. It makes the transition of a new member so much easier when they have already have a ward family to support them. I am so grateful for the members willingness to friendship and to fulfill their callings.
We saw many more miracles, but I think the biggest miracle of all was how I realized how much the spirit influences the work. I loved what Elder Gummow said about his mission. I have seen that so much this week. I didn't realize that all of those hard experiences had shaped me into a missionary who loves preach my gospel and who knows how to rely on the lord to do this work. I didn't realize that without the spirit to teach we truly are useless. I had many people tell me this week that they felt the spirit with me and they felt it when I spoke. I didn't even realize that this was an amazing change that has been happening. The spirit is so influential in my life that when it is not there quite as strong I feel useless as a missionary... I realized that having the spirit as your companion to teach is the biggest comfort in the world. When the spirit is there you do not need to worry what you look like or what to say... people reject you, but you don't lose hope. The spirit just simply prompts you to keep going... the prepared person is just around the corner.
The spirit is one of my best friends and is surely my best companion. I have seen that as I teach it teaches me and it teaches my investigators, RC's and LA's... it teaches my companions... I hope that I can become even better friends with the spirit before the end of my mission, but I feel like that is what my mission has taught me more than anything... who is the spirit? and how does he talk to me? I still don't have a perfect understanding, but we have a really good relationship and if I only learned that on my mission I would be happy :). luckily the lord has taught me a lot more than that, but having that spirit with me has made me so so so happy.
One cool lesson I learned this week was when a recently returning LA asked about agency. She didn't really get how it was agency if we know that when we do good there is a good result and if we do bad there is a bad result. why would anyone choose the bad? how is that agency? I felt prompted to explain to her about a little child and how they all have homework. It is up to them to decide if they want to do it or not. Agency is the ability to choose what we want in the end... it is not easy to get the good that we want. It is hard and that is what makes agency so special. just like a strait "A" student... every student wants strait A's, but only a few are really willing to put in the effort to obtain those. Some of us have to put in more effort than others for those A's, but I thought of myself. How often did I just think the A was too hard and was willing to settle for a B? How often did I let myself slide by instead of really putting all my energy into it. I think this is very much like how the celestial kingdom will be. The three kingdoms are very much like those A B or C students. What sets the A students a part from the B or C? It is the real honest energetic effort to continue to learn and progress... being willing not to settle for OK or average... and most especially allowing the savior to make up for those weaknesses that we have. So Daniel and Bry, not only are your grades here important, but remember that the way you go about these things now can influence the eternal... literally, (the intelligence we obtain in this life will carry with us to the next). Use all the energy you can to obtain that intelligence now. Every little bit will count. You can do it and you will eternally be grateful you did!
I love you all so much and hope you know my prayers are with you. I love you all so much! jia you jia you!!!
Sister Sara Gummow