Monday, January 13, 2014

Sometimes you take two steps forward, one step back

Hello everyone!! 
This morning we drove to the beach so that we could just look at it for a while (from an appropriate distance) and it still blows my mind that we live 5 miles away from the ocean! The weather is so nice today and there were a lot of surfers out.

This week we had an awesome lesson with our investigators on the Word of wisdom. The parents smoke and drink coffee but they have been telling us that they want to quit. So we brought the most perfect member for the situation: Sister Anderson. She has been a members for 18 years but before that she was an alcoholic and did drugs and other crazy stuff. Well she completely turned her life around and now she is an amazing member. She knew exactly what the Blakes are going through and was able to relate to their situation and connect addiction recovery to the gospel. She even cleared up some of their other concerns like reading the BofM everyday and church being kind of over whelming at first. The spirit was so strong and the lesson went way better than if Sister Le and I had been teaching on our own. By the end of the lesson the Blakes were excited to keep reading the Book of Mormon and to set goals to start living the word of wisdom.

This week we had our district meeting and the vision for our zone this transfer is "not one step back." We want to keep doing all of the good things that we have learned about missionary work and just keep getting better. The mission has really been focusing on finding lately. Our mission president wants us to find new investigators every week. I'm not going to lie this is kind of a tall order especially in the area I'm in right now. We are lucky if we get one new investigator each week but our zone wants us to get 2. But something that I have realized lately is that I'm not just doing missionary work I'm doing the Lord's work. He wants us to succeed and He wants us to find new investigators every week. I just need to be willing to ask, act on promptings, and seek His will to know where to go and what to do. It's kind of funny that it took me this long to realize that I need to be involving the Lord a lot more and relying on Him for help. If I do it on my own I'm going to keep going to the same places and find no one or just plan our day to fill our time. But with His help we can see opportunities all around us and we will be filling our time with the things He wants us to do. It definitely takes a lot more faith, effort, and sincere prayers to do this though. We have been working on asking for specific things in our prayers so that we can get specific answers from Heavenly Father. It works people!!! On Wednesday we were praying all day that we would find a new investigator. We knocked and went by some potentials and asked for referrals but we weren't getting anything. (we actually got to teach, testify and pray with one man we met when we were knocking- that is a big deal because usually everyone just says no thanks and closes the door- sadly though he wouldn't commit to taking lessons) Anyways it was evening and we decided to try to visit a former investigator. We caught her just as she was leaving the house and after talking to her for a while she committed to a return appointment! So hopefully she will become a new investigator. Our prayers weren't answered in the way that we had exactly thought but the Lord was watching over us and as we keep working hard He will help us to have success.

Then the later part of the week was kind of rough. I have been kind of sick the past couple of days and being sick and having to be motivated and do missionary work is really hard. I have had to learn patience a lot lately. I was just tired of our area because I have been here for a while. Tired of people rejecting us. Tired of my companion (I really do love her but having a foreign comp is hard sometimes because they don't really understand things a lot- like I told her I needed a pep talk and she didn't know what that was, also this is the first time I have been with the same comp for 2 transfers) And I was just tired of feeling like I'm never doing enough. The other night I was just praying to Heavenly Father to please help me to know what to do. I felt like I'm trying my hardest to the best of my abilities with what little I know. I was pleading for Him to give me the patience to be able to deal with everything. Then these words came into my mind "Sister Washburn you are a good missionary. It's okay. You can do this." That probably sounds really simple and dumb but it was really what I needed. I just needed to know that I am doing a good job and I don't need to feel inadequate or focus on my weaknesses but I need to focus on what I am doing well and keep trying. Also I love the Book of Mormon so much you have no idea. I love getting to read the scriptures every morning because it helps me to charge up for the day on spiritual goodness. The other morning I was reading and studying about patience (no surprise there) and I read the scripture in Alma that says "Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold the Lord comforted us and said: Go amongst thy bretheren and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give you success." I was just like Yes!! Thank you Heavenly Father. Sometimes we have rough patches on our missions but we just need to keep trying and push through the hard times and the Lord will bless us. Also I was reminded of something Sister Anderson said during the lesson. She told the Blakes that while they are trying to meet their goals they might take 2 steps forward and 1 step back, 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, 1 step forward and no steps back. I feel like this is the same for me. There are times when I feel like I'm achieving a lot and days were I feel like I keep falling short. Just like we won't be mad at the Blakes if they didn't perfectly achieve their goal every single day, all we want them to do is try their hardest. Heavenly Father feels the same way about us. He just wants us to try the best we can. He knows we won't have the perfect contact every time or remember to ask for referrals from everyone.As we do our best He will Make up for the rest.

So this week is going to be a lot better and there are going to be miracles!!! I know that Heavenly Father is watching over us. I know that He can lead us to those He has prepared. I know that He wants us to find those people who will listen to our message. I know that as we pray to him and ask in faith, believing that we will receive, He will bless us with the things we seek for. I am so grateful to be in this ward and in this area with Sister Le because honestly I have learned more in Fountain Valley and really in the last few months than I have my whole mission. Being in hard situations and going through trials has the benefit of letting us learn way more than we would other wise (which is the point of being here on earth) and helping us to come closer to Christ. Having more knowledge and experience and having a stronger relationship which Christ is worth the hard times I think. But anyways, life is good, missions are worth it, the church is true, and God will never leave us alone and his love for us is infinite and unconditional.
Love you all!!!
-Sister Washburn

Hoek's House

1 comment:

  1. Dear Samantha, I have been catching up on your blog while I am out here in Kansas visiting Lauren's little family--she had her second boy last week... Anyway, your mission and mission experiences remind me so much of what Meagan went through on her mission in Florida. She had a comp from the Marshall Islands who reminds me of Sister Le. The fact that you go out there every day and spend your time serving the Lord makes you a good missionary. You are also very humble in what you do. I know the Lord is proud to have a wonderful daughter and servant like you.