Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 13: I Know For Myself

This week has been one of the craziest, most interesting, miraculous, and testimony-building weeks of my life thus far. Yes my life, because let's be honest, I haven't been a missionary for that long :)

To start off, mom requested to write down some things that Sister LeSueur has taught me. That is something I am reflecting on this week, so I am happy to share a few of the thoughts that have come. Sister LeSueur has literally set the course for the rest of my mission. Over everything else, she has taught me how to love literally every single person we meet. She has helped me learn how to plan, how to find out people's concerns, what to teach when, how to be an effective sister training leader, how to be confident in your abilities as a missionary, to journal every day, looking cute and staying comfortable in sister missionary clothes, how to serve your companions, and a million other things. I could not have asked for a better trainer, and I hope that I will always apply those things that she has taught me for the rest of my mission and my life.

A recap of the week:

Monday We had a lesson at Temple Square (best missionary tool ever) and our ward mission leader met us there. We had an amazing lesson with this less-active family about the Priesthood and God's plan for the family. And then someone smashed into our ward mission leader's car and we had to follow him home to make sure his car didn't explode. Let me tell you, prayer works.

Tuesday - The final day of 2013!! Sister LeSueur had a leadership training that morning and later had some sister training leader visits to make to her sisters in Salt Lake. That evening, we spent about 4 hours at this family's home watching movies and playing games. We watched.... wait for it... Wreck-it Ralph!! Such a fantastic movie. And it wasn't awkward to watch because there's no weird romance in it. Perfect for missionaries. Side note: animated Disney movies were approved to watch for our mission that day :) After that movie, I watched a bit of Ephraim's Rescue, then went and read the Book of Mormon for a while.

I had a goal to finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, and I was able to accomplish it! I have such a great love for Mormon and Moroni - for all that they went through and did to make sure that we could have the Book of Mormon today. It is amazing the hope and faith that they were able to still have, despite everything they saw and experienced, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I love that book, and I look forward to reading it again this year. I know that through the Atonement, anyone and everyone can be healed if we will only turn to Him.

Also: if you ever read through 4 Nephi to the end of the Book of Mormon in one day, you'll need a little break so you don't get too depressed. 

Wednesday was a day of encouraging, hugging, and listening to some sisters who needed a little love. And we had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators, Lindsey, about the Plan of Salvation! She is so willing to learn, and we are hoping that as she prays about everything with real intent, she will come to know that it is true.

Thursday Something possessed me to start doing 5-10 minutes of Spanish study every day. It's been awesome to learn some gospel-related Spanish! We went to the Family History Center to work on hastening the work administrative items - we have a meeting with all of the Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders tomorrow night to talk about the stake's vision for this year and how we can get the members even more involved in the work! We also visited some stake high council members - it made me think of Uncle Greg and what an awesome job he must be doing down in Sandy :)

Friday - Zone meeting on testimony and keeping our schedules full. We seriously have zero down time, and now we can be sure of that. More Sister Training Leader visits with Sis. LeSueur. And an amazing lesson with Trudy - a woman who hasn't been to church in 40 years and now wants to get back into it! Seriously, miracles happen every single day here and it's all because the members are involved.

Saturday - Exchanges with Sis. Stanford, during which we painted a house and ripped up carpet. I am a pro at doing both now and so stinking sore. Totally worth it. Then more sister training leader visits in Salt Lake... and me taking Sis. LeSueur's place for a bit since she was unreachable during exchanges. We had some adventures helping out some sisters. But I had an awesome dinner with this guy these sisters are hoping to start teaching. I learned all about inversions and influenza vaccines. Me and Sis. Horseherder came home and had a great lesson with Valerie about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sis. LeSueur stayed in Salt Lake for the night with Sis. Hague.

Sunday I love Fast Sunday! We visited three different sacrament meetings, and Sis. Horseherder went to a Relief Society meeting with Trudy. I love hearing all of these amazing members share their testimonies. This stake has truly caught the vision of hastening the work! 

Then come all the miracles. Yesterday I had been fasting that this week we would see miracles. Nothing terribly specific, I just really want this area to take off before Sis. LeSueur leaves so she can see the fruits of her 9 months in the area. So we went to an appointment with this 9-year-old girl who wants to be baptized, and her family wants to come back to Church! We were able to commit her to February 8th as a day for her to be baptized!!! MIRACLE.
Later that night we had an appointment with Tia. A few weeks ago we received a phone call from her saying she had some issues to work through and she'd call us back, then a week or so later she said she wanted nothing to do with the Church. We could tell something was up, so we gave her some space. During that time, we asked the ward and many members of the stake to pray for Tia. So last week when she called us and told us she wanted us to come over again, we knew it was no accident. MIRACLE. The prayers of faithful members make miracles happen!! 
Turns out her brother had been abusive and didn't want her to have anything to do with the Church. Tia and Julia (the member she lives with) kicked him out, and the Spirit is now in their home, and Tia is ready for the lessons again. We had an amazing talk with her. Tia's faith is absolutely incredible. For example:
me: "Would you like a Priesthood blessing, Tia?"
Tia: "Absolutely!"
me: "Do you know what a Priesthood blessing is?"
Tia: "Never heard of it."
The Bishopric came over and gave Tia an amazing blessing. Heavenly Father works through worthy Priesthood holders to give us the strength, comfort, and healing we need exactly. 
We still have a lot to teach her, but her faith in the gospel is so strong. We were able to commit her to be baptized on March 15th!! MIRACLE!! 

This is not just missionary work - this is the work of salvation, and we all need to be on the Lord's team in building His kingdom!

All right, I've got to head out now. We had an amazing morning at the temple, and now we're off to the craziness of P-day. I love the temple and the peace and perspective it brings into my life.

I know that fasting and prayer and acting in faith brings about miracles. I know that when members work with the missionaries miracles happen. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know the Priesthood is the power of God given to worthy men to exercise in our behalf. I love this gospel, and I love you all! Remember to smile!

Sister Holbrook
The fantastic companionship at Temple Square! Only one week left together... we're going to make miracles happen this week.

Watching Wreck-it Ralph on New Year's Eve with my wonderful companion, Sister Horseherder :)

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