Dear Family, June 23, 2014
I'm so glad to hear things are going well! I understand your whole feeling about summer. It will be gone before we know it. Someone told us yesterday that the local Meijer just got their shipment of "Back to School" supplies. Can't we enjoy our summers just a little bit?? Oh well. That's life, I guess.
Training is SO MUCH FUN! I love being a trainer! I lucked out and got the best missionary EVER. My trainee's name is Sister Brockbank! She is a hard worker and is so anxious to learn and grow and become the best missionary she can be! I will probably be learning more from her than she will from me. All I have on her is experience haha. Sister Brockbank will be awesome in this area and we are going to work, work, work!
I have never been a parent but I can only imagine how this is preparing me to be a parent. Sister Brockbank is so patient with me while I make mistakes. The most embarrassing thing happened 18 hours after I got her: the alarm didn't go off. I thought I set our alarm for6:25am and as I laid in bed that morning, I began to think that it had been light in our room for way too long. I dismissed it the first time and went back to bed. The thought came back again, "It is WAY to light in our room to be 6:30." Guess what the clock said? 7:19. My inward reaction: Panic. Sheer Panic. My outward reaction: "Um. Sister Brockbank. We need to get up. It's 7:19." Elder Faust had warned us that we were going to make mistakes, I just didn't think mine would come so soon. But that's part of the learning process, I guess. She hasn't lost the phone on the Beltline yet so we're good. This is teaching me a new side of humility and meekness. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have as a trainer to walk close to God and learn by the Spirit. There will be mistakes but that's why there's an Atonement. Repent and try again. Just better this time :)
Yesterday we had a lesson with an evangelical atheist. That was.... interesting. I learned some really good lessons from it: 1) We do not convince people, the Spirit does. And 2) Only people who have desire and real intent will receive that witness from the Spirit. I was doing everything I could to listen to the Spirit, read from the scriptures and bear testimony but we can only bring the Spirit unto the hearts of people- they have to let the Spirit into their hearts (2 Nephi 33:1). I also gained a further witness that people who live without God are never truly happy. I felt bad for this guy by the end of his talk. He was so unhappy. Why do people choose to be unhappy? Why do we choose not to allow the Atonement to "heal our wounded souls" (Jacob 2:8)? Satan really does want people to be unhappy and miserable like him and he's succeeding. Quit it, Satan.
So basically our whole lesson was this guy telling us that we can't know that things are true. It was awful and he said awful things to us. While he was trying to prove a point, I thought "I think there's a story in Jacob 7 about an anti-Christ." I flipped over and listened to this guy a for a little bit. When I glanced down at my page, this was the first thing I read: "And he had hope to shake me from the faith,notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and theyhad ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I couldnot be shaken." BOOM. That my friends is the Spirit. I know the things I know to be true, no matter what this guy or any other person will say to me. The gift of discernment is amazing and once I got that answer, I stopped worrying about trying to convince him and let the discussion die. I told my companion and our member after the lesson, "Lessons are like dating: you're only obligated to the first one." I have no desire to see him again. But I wish him well and I hope he can find happiness someday. I am grateful that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I know He is real and I know this is His church. I know that the Holy Ghost is real and it will tell us truth.
I love you all so much! I am grateful that you continue to do the things of God. We are so blessed to have the Gospel! Keep up your awesome work!
Lots of Love and Pineapples!