Monday, September 15, 2014

what your life could be like if you knew who you are and obeyed the commandments

This week flew by. It's always weird when at the end of the week you look back at things that happened earlier in the week and it seems like that was forever ago. On Monday we had our last zone activity before transfers. We all went to the insitute building in our zone where they have pool, pin pong, air hockey and other games. Then our zone leaders made us all waffles. And then before we left we all sat in a big circle and told one of our favorite stories of something that happened to us that transfer. I told about finding and teaching Rex. Some people told funny stories about their companions. There were some pretty good ones and I don't think I have laughed so hard in a long time. Then later that day we were out tracting and we ran into one of our less actives who is getting re-activated. His name is brother Collings and he is a para palegic so he rides around in a wheel chair. We have been teaching him the lessons and it is crazy to see how much he is changed and how his faith is growing. He told us that he talked to the bishop about getting the priesthood. We were so excited! It is going to be great to help him prepare for that.
Then on Tuesday we went out with one of the relief society counselors and visited some less active women in the ward. Later that day we taught Anthony the 10 commandments. There are hand signs that go with each one to help you remember them and so he liked that a lot. One of his brothers was in the kitchen while we were teaching and he joined in too at one point so that was awesome! (the brothers usually aren't too interested)
Then on Wednesday we got to teach some more kids who live in this trailer park that a lady in our ward lives in. The kids don't come from very good homes and they love missionaries. Two girls ended up showing up to the lesson and we taught them about Jesus and how to pray. We told them that they could pray anytime when they need help, to feel comforted, to say what they are grateful for, or just to talk to heavenly father. One of the girls said "I think that it will help if I pray when the evil spirits try to come into our house." That was so sad to hear. I know that a lot of people in that trailer park are involved in drugs and stuff so who knows what kind of environment they are growing up in. Everytime I see kids getting raised in broken homes or being surrounded by bad influences at such a young age it is just so sad! I just wish I could gather all of these children and take them to primary and help them to see how much God loves them and what their lives could be like, how they can make good choices and see their true potential. Anyways somestimes when Sister George and I would go tract in this trailer park and we would see the kids we would sing "A Child's Prayer" to them. They LOVE that song so the girls were begging us to teach it to them. We taught them the words and then we were all singing together. The spirit was so strong in that moment singing with those 2 little girls. I hope that these moments are things they remember especially later in their life. Their parents aren't interested in learning from us so their is only so much we can do to teach them and stuff but simply knowin ghow to pray an dunderstanding that God really loves them is a good start.
Then on thurday we had our district meeting just like every week. The training was on humility. It was about how humility is recognizing your dependence on the Lord. It deosn't mean putting yourself down or minimizing your talents but just realizing that you can accomplish great things with the Lord's help. After we went to lunch with 2 other sisters in our zone. One of them is a sister that came out with me. It was fun to catch up with her because I haven't served around anyone I was with in the MTC since I was in training. We went to the Pizza Studio which is this really awesome restaurant that is kinda like subway cause you pick what kind of crust that you want and then they have tons of sauce and other toppings that you can put on and then they cook it for you. Basically it would be so great if they could build one of these in Provo.
Then Thursday night to Friday I went on exchanges. I got to go to another area which was so nice to just have a short break from my area for a change. We taught Aly and AJ's uncle again. He comes to church every week and I think that there are a lot of things he likes about our church. He was just raised in a Lutheran church for so long he has a hard times switching from what he has been taught all of his life to what we believe. He is genuinely intereted though and always have some aspect of the church he has been studying that he asks questions about. This week it was about authority and why his baptism as a child was "invalid." We explained about preisthood authority and used the bible to explain how even Jesus walked miles and miles to be baptized by John becuase He knew that he had the preisthood authority. Then the next day we biked over to a former investigator they had named Jeff. Jeff has definately had a rough life, has been in and out of jail and dealt and did drugs for a long time but he is really trying to change his life. He read the whole Book of Mormon while he was in jail and he told us this story about the book of Enos. He said that he had been running away from his parole officer and he knew that he just needed to turn himself in so that he could do his month of jail time and then move on. But he just couldn't turn himself in. He was at a park hiding and he started just praying to god to help him to do what he needed to do. Suddenly he felt peacful and was able to turn himself in. Later on when he was reading in the Book of Enos he saw that it was the exact same situation he was in. He had also cried mightily to God and had been given the strength he needed to change. Later that day we taught another investigator they had named Chin Yu. She is a foreign exchange student from Taiwan who wanted to learn more about the church after some one invited her to church on Sunday, Our lesson with her was so interesting. She doesn't speak english super well so a lady from the ward that speak Chinese came with us. We basically started from the most basic of the basic because she doesn't know anything about Christianity. We asked her what she thought God was and she said "the sky?" So we taught her about how God is our Father and we can pray to him. Then we taught about Jesus. It was crazy to me because I had never taught anyone before who literally had no idea who Jesus Christ was and had never heard his name before. Most people in the U.S. have a least heard of him. We explained how he was the Son of God and he was perfect. That he did lots of good things here on earth and that he died for our mistakes. When we tried to explain the Atonement she was just so surprised. "Why would this powerful perfect man die for the mistakes for everyone on earth?" It was hard for her to grasp that someone would do that for her and everyone else. So the sister will next time teach more about Christ's life and how his teachings apply to us personally. It was a really interesting lesson and made me think more about how blessed I am to recieve the hope and strength that comes from knowing who Chrst is and how He can help me in my life.
The weekend was so hot it was ridiculous. September is the hottest month here and it was high in the 100s the past few days. The heat has really been getting to me just cause it tires you out so easily. On Saturday we did a blitz where we all went and worked in one of the areas of some of the Elders in our district. The area Sister Culala and I were going to was right next to the church so we just started walking there. About an hour in tracting, we were sweating a ton and I had forgotten my water bottle so we decided to back to our car and just drive around. I can't wait until it cools off!! I am definately so so so ready for fall and colder weather.
Overall it was a pretty good week. We had a training a few weeks ago about the power of prayer and having "our hearts drawn out continually in prayer unto him." This week I have been trying to be more sincere in my prayers and to really say the things that the spirit wants me to as I pray. I also try to talk to Heavenly Father throughout the day. Sometimes I will just say a short prayer in my head or ask him for help in moments when I just feel really tired or need His strength. It definately helps a lot and helps me to feel more connected to Him. Thanks for all of your prayers and support. I feel like the hardest thing at this point on my mission is I now how to do things and what I should do but I am kinding running out of energy to do everything. But I keep trying to work as hard as I can every day and I know the Lord will bless us as we put forth a greater effort.
Have a good week!

-Sister Washburn
We went over to this lady in our ward's house to practice teach the plan of salvation with her. Well, you know you have visited the stake relief society president when you come home with a basket of goodies. Sister Culala was like "It's like Thanksgiving early!" haha I told her "If you think this is cool just wait until actual Thanksgiving." 

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