This week we got to teach Anthony again which was really fun. We made him a chart that he can put a sticker on for each day that he remembers to pray at night. We finished teaching him the restoration lesson and he understood it really well. I'm hoping that his family will come to church this week because they need to be more active before he will be able to get baptized. We also did a lot of finding. We haven't gotten any new investigators for a while so hopefully we will soon. We talked to a lot of people and Sister Culala contacted a few people in Tagalog. Gotta love having a foreign companion! One day this week we were walking to our car and we saw these 2 guys sitting on the curb. We went over to talk to them and as it turns out they were youth pastors. They run this program that helps teenagers with drug addictions to turn their lives around through learning about Jesus Christ. It just really hit me that the message we share is so important. What these guys were doing is good but the fullness of the gospel really can help people turn their life around and give them hope. A happiness and peace that comes from having the faith that God will help you through whatever happens. Sister Culala is doing really good. She is starting to get a lot more comfortable with teaching and talking to people. It definitely takes time to get used to missionary work and being in another country on top of it so she is doing a good job.
So God really knows me. It's crazy sometimes. He knows me because last transfer during a really hard day we were driving to our dinner appointment. I turned to Sister George and said "Honestly all I want to do right now is eat pizza." We walked into the house for dinner and they were making pizza. Coincidence? I think not. He knows me because he's given me experiences and companions and areas to help me grow. Sometimes it is only in looking back that I realize why things had to be the way they were. And I'm grateful He guided me through it and helped me become better because of it, even if I wouldn't have chosen it myself. He knows me because we will have a training that was just what I needed to hear or was about something that had been on my mind. He knows me because he's given me friends and leaders that I can talk to. This week has been hard. The weather was really hot, I still don't know my area or the ward that well, I have a brand new companion who I have to teach everything to and be a good example. And I'm tired and I have so much to do. For one of the first times on my mission I was thinking, "Man my departure date can't come any sooner." I just felt like I want to finish strong these last 4 months but I just don't have very much left to give. I was reading in John one morning and I found this scripture "Say not ye, There are four more months and then cometh the harvest; behold, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." So basically Heavenly Father was saying "Don't say "I just need to get through these last 4 months and then I'll be home." Look around you, there is work to do and souls to save!" I just felt like Heavenly Father was speaking right to me through this random scripture. I didn't come this far to just give a half-hearted effort at the end of my mission. This all happened earlier this week and since then things have gotten a lot better. I have seen a lot of His tender mercies and got a priesthood blessing that really helped. I just know with all of my heart that God knows each of us so personally. He sees our potential and He is eager to help and bless us. He helps us in large and small ways every day and every week. As we recognize His hand in our life we will be able to always feel that He is near. All he asks of us is to try. Even if our effort is small but it is all we can give some days, God is proud that at least we tried. In the blessing I got part of it said "God wants you to give your best effort, but He doesn't expect it." At first I was like "what?" He doesn't expect me to really try hard? But really its that he doesn't hold me to some high expectation. He doesn't look at what I did at the end of the week and say "well, Sister Washburn just didn't quite do it again this week." He just sees that I tried my best. I know that this is His work and that He will help me and my companion to accomplish the things that we need to in our area. I know that this situation is just what I need to be able to become more of who He sees me as. I know that God's love is constant and perfect and that as we trust in Him, he will guide us always.
love you all!
With Sister Culala at a recent dinner appointment