Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 37

The weather is pretty crazy here: rain a lot (and I mean A LOT) or hot. Oh, and very hot. Haha! So this is the last week with President Peterson and Sister Peterson, which is sad. And I'm really nervous for our new President, but I am excited to meet him. He sounds like a wonderful man and I'm sure he's nervous, too. I'm glad to have met President Peterson. He's great.

This week we've still been working on the investigators we have.... And once again, no investigators at church. It's really frustrating because the other sister's just had a baptism -- which was great. Heavenly Father is testing my diligence and faithfulness. I'm not perfect, but I want to be obedient and diligent to Him. All these little set backs are just helping me to grow closer to Him. It's interesting, but I think my first area is actually going to be my favorite. It was the hardest time of my life and the lowest time, but I felt so close to Heavenly Father in that time. I've noticed that because this area is easier because of the better conditions, I don't feel that close to Him, and that makes me a little stressed out. But I know that I just have to keep praying and keep going everyday. No matter what happens to me. It's been an interesting lesson on what we need to do to stay close to our Heavenly Father. I know that in order to help the area, We need to start with the members. I want to show them my love.

Something I'm learning: People can be so confused because of satan. Sometimes I forget how I'm living in the world but not of it, and how I'm not in America... (I feel so at home that I'm not sure why I forget that cause clearly it's a big difference)... but working with our investigators I'm noticing everyday how they are so confused about life. About God. And I realize how I've been so confused about God my whole life! Heavenly Father knows it all. I used to be like some of the people I am meeting, who thought they could just pray in their hearts, and accept Christ in their heart, but that's NOT TRUE. We have to SHOW our faith. We have to read the Book of Mormon. We have to READ the Book of Mormon! Haha I'm just learning so much. It's like I'm watching a movie of myself through each investigator we teach. It's so weird how their concerns are my concerns. 

This week's experience actually doesn't have to do with any of our investigators, but a great one that has impacted me. On Sunday we taught and visited a member family this week to help them in preparing a friend to hear the gospel. It was raining pretty hard and I really wasn't wanting to go out because it was pouring buckets from above. And just our luck, they live the furthest away of any of our members and investigators. I was tempted to reschedule on them. Anyways, we pursued our muddy, flooded way through the escinitas/ dirt roads to the member's house. This past week and lately I've been evaluating myself and myself as a missionary -- and coming up short. Earlier that day in sacrament meeting I had given a talk from Pres. Uctdorf's in the priesthood session about sleeping through the restoration, and even before that in relief society I was reading the talk "Be strong and of a Good Courage" by Pres. Monson. I didn't think too much of it, but of course it was great. Fast forward to the lesson and I just felt very strongly to teach about this talk in relation to sharing the gospel. I don't know what their concern was, but the spirit just started to touch me as I talked about this talk. I started to cry and felt the love of God in my heart. It was something that I desperately needed this week. I felt so picked up and the spirit was strong. I'll never forget that experience this week. I felt courage as I felt the love of God that comes from within. President Uchtdorf shared in his talk about the restoration something that helped me: "Being disciples of Christ isn't just a once a week or once a day thing. It's a once and for all effort."  What I learned is that I have courage. Courage comes from within because we have a divinity of a Heavenly Being who gives us courage by remembering who we are and where we came from. And God can has given me courage in all my trials. Being his servant takes courage in this world of sin. At times I get lonely when it's just me as the only American and our differences are so obvious. But I know when I turn to Heavenly Father on my knees, He will help me if I obey him... He will give me courage from within.

I already know that I am going to miss the mission when I am home. It's going too fast. It's almost July, then August is my one year mark. Then October is conference, then Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then, I'm home. And it's over... What a sad thing. I'm glad to be here. I hope this week is great and just know I love you all so much. Thank you for all your support. I'm going to study that hymn. It's my favorites, too.  :)  You should study the hymn, "Sweet Hour of Prayer"  That hymn has had special significance in my mission so far. Simple, yet powerful! :)  Talk to you next week!! :) Love you always and forever!

Sister Seastrand 

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