October 24, 2010

Amazing Week!! October 23, 2010

Although there are no letters this week from my dear family I decided to write you anyways. I'm sure you thought my p-day was on Tuesday so I don't get one this week, but I do. In fact I get one today, Tuesday and Saturday. That's just because Tuesday will be spent moving into the new place, if I'm still here. I don't know where I will go or if I go until tonight. I really want to stay. I had an overpowering feeling of how much I have learned here. I want to stay here to help these people.  I have come to understand how to teach people here more than anywhere else. I trust that the Lord will put me where people need me the most and where it is better for me to be. Oh by the way, my half way mark is on Wednesday. Crazy huh? I have been out for nine months. Wow times flies when you're having fun.
I hope that you got my package that I sent home. Dad I hope the shirt fits. I know you have gotten skinny but I didn't know how skinny. And Mom I got your letter. You know what is so crazy? The Book of Mormon that you gave her that I filled out, I have been trying to look for forever. I have only filled out one like that and I did it when I was a beehive. I was going to give it to Hannah burns but got too scared and didn't end up giving one to her until graduation night, but that one was not written in. It can be so nerve racking to share what you love with someone because they might reject what you treasure so much. I feel that a lot on my mission. But I have also met a lot of people who if nothing more thank me for sharing something that I'm so passionate and believe in so much. The seeds need to be planted somehow, even when it seems weird. Mom I'm so proud of you! If I was home and not have had the experiences that I have had I don't know if I could have done it. But I get my courage from my parents who taught me never to be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon that I wrote so many years ago God hid from me so that at that moment when you needed strength the most it was there. We are never alone in this great work that we are a part of. God is ever mindful of what we need at the moment, even when we don't know what we need. I love you so much. Thank you for sharing that with me. It makes me really see how much going on a mission has blessed the family. I can truly say to anyone that is afraid to leave there family behind for a mission, that many blessings are in store for their family, more blessings than if they were to stay home. Oh man I love my mission! I have never felt more so now during this transfer.

This week has been amazing! We have been teaching this guy name Alex who is a very spiritual guy. We met him while tracting and had a very good first lesson with him but we still didn't know where he was at. He believes a lot of different things but is very in tune with the spirit most of the time. He came to church and really felt the spirit, which he said surprised him because he has never been to a church that feels like that. He doesn't believe in organized religion. But he feels he is one with the creator that gives him strength to do all things through love. He has studied in Bolivia and India and he has studied with the monks and the Dalai Lama. He is very smart but still a baby as to the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ because he believes there is no sin and that everyone is perfect the way God made them. So there is no need for a savior. We would have dropped him by now but there is something different about Alex that I just can't explain. Every once in awhile you will meet people who you just know need the gospel and you can see it in them. It forces you to try harder and be more patient and hold on longer. That is Alex, the one that seem like they will be eternal investigators but join sometime in their life. His case is different because he loves so much that nothing can go wrong because anything wrong (or a sin) is really an opportunity to change and become so much more so really nothing is ever bad. It really challenged us in teaching him.

We also had an appointment with this Christian fraternity that we thought was just a house. They seemed very interested so we went back. When we went back they were more interested in teaching us than in being taught. I finally gave up and took this opportunity to listen to what they had to say. It ended up being a scripture war in who is right and who is wrong. I hated it!!!! There was no spirit there. It was like they took my spirit and put it through a meat grinder. Among others things they believe that still don't make sense to me they said that we are not all children of God. That hurt me the worst. But I told them that I would pray and asked them to pray about it as well. I knelt down in my closet with tear filled eyes pleading to my Heavenly Father for understanding. I have been so conflicted as to what is truth and why it is. I hate one someone says "prove it". I can't show them how I feel but only can tell them and show them what we believe but that isn't enough. At the end of my Prayer I didn't get a distinct answer but I felt comforted that I could find out and understand as I continued to pray.
Through both of these people and many others that we have taught I wanted to understand what they believe. It is important to know where they are at so that we can better teach them. I finally took a white board and went crazy. I put down everything they know and I put down what atheist believe and what that might feel like and I drew out everything to try and understand. My companion was just sitting behind me, she had no idea what was going on but It had to come out on paper. Mom you know I'm visual, so after all of that, I realized how sad and empty I felt with all of that on the white board.
For a moment I felt how It would truly feel to be in there shoes. In my heart I had so many questions that just didn't seem answered. Then I filled in the gaps with what I know and added the plan of salvation. I cannot tell you how much that impacted me. I realized at that moment that we have it all. We really do. I may not understand everything about it. But we have the missing pieces. The spirit bore testimony to me at that moment of the truthfulness of the Gospel and taught me how I can teach from where they are and build to where I am.
 I felt so wonderful! I no longer felt sad, lonely and just empty. Sister Cutler said that she felt the emptiness too as we sat there looking at the board with all the missing pieces. I'm happy to have the Gospel in my life! It truly fills me! Prayers are answered. Not always right away, but they are answered. I love my heavenly father so much and I know that I am a child of God. No one can ever tell me other wise and I'm here so that people may know that and we have changed ever more because of it.

We are still teaching Alex and dropped the Baptist boys. We figured out that Alex just needs more explanation. But he believes most of it. There are two young men that we are teaching Bernardo and Armando. They are amazing and if not for the experience that I had during this past week, I would have not known the difference that there lesson could make for them. I don't have time to write it all but I'm sending what sister cutler wrote about it:

We got a referral from some Elder's who had received the referral, but when they realized that he was single and younger they turned him over to us cuz we're over the Single's ward here.  So we started teaching him, it's cool cuz he called in for a Book of Mormon cuz his friend that he's known for a long time went on a mission, so he got a little curious.  We called him and set up a time to go and he ended up having his friend there.  Our first lesson with them went alright, I thought.  But when we went back yesterday they both said that the last meeting went really well.  So they got something out of it that I didn't realize so that was good.  So when we were there yesterday they kept asking us so many question that were truly inspired one of the questions they asked us was what our favorite part of our mission was and so we both told them stories about how we saw the Book of Mormon change people's lives.  By the end of our stories one of the guys said wow I would read that book.  It was amazing!  Then every question after that was inspired that just led to the nest topic, we never needed to lead the lesson they did it all on their own.  There was only one time that I had to step in and interrupt and it was cuz we hadn't prayed yet.  But after that it just flowed so well.  We even brought a member with us and they found out that the friend of his went on his mission was in fact someone they both knew, it was crazy.  The thing is that we knew we needed to bring a member with us but we had an hour to find one so we started looking through the availability list of the ward members and I came across a few that I thought we could call but as soon as I got to Tatiana, I told Sis Pedersen to call her, totally forgetting that she didn't have a car.  But it all worked out the way it was supposed to.  By the end Bernardo, he's the one with a friend on a mission, asked if he could say the prayer.  It was so sweet and sincere; he even asked that Heavenly Father forgive him of his sins. 

It is so humbling to hear someone pray for their first time. 
It was the most amazing experience. These guys need the Gospel and are so ready to receive it. I love this work!!!!
I love you all so much and I'll tell you Tuesday where I'm going or if I'm staying. Love you all!
Your sister Missionary


Jacque said...

Hahaha. That maroon Ashland Medford Plumbing shirt that Chanelle is wearing in the water is Spencer's. That girl has more of our clothes. That gave me a good laugh. What a great post. Chanelle we love you. Let us know when you need something else from the Schmidt waredrobe!


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