Tuesday was Zone Conference and it was awesome as always. It was desperately needed. There is something special about being together with all these incredible elders and sisters. I feel so close to them all. We have a sister in the zone who's dad recently passed away, and Tuesday was the funeral, which she was not able to attend. We released balloons afterwards for her, and out of nowhere it seems, I started to sing "Families Can Be Together Forever." Everyone joined in and it was a special moment. I love the missionaries in this mission.
Wednesday did not start well. I was just not in a missionary mindset for whatever reason. I didn't want to open my mouth. We went out with a recently returned missionary to a lesson and it was awful. It turned into essentially small talk for an hour and it was a disaster. On the way home he said something that got to me. He was talking to Elder Erekson and said, "If Elder Wheat isn't going to take over then you have to." That hit me. I am sure it wasn't intended in the way I received it, but I felt like he was calling me out. I don't think I said a word the whole way home. When we got there, I went straight to my room and prayed and prayed and prayed. I have been in a weird funk for awhile and I just couldn't take it anymore. I cried to the Lord for help, and I just had a feeling that I needed to just read the Book of Mormon, and so I did. I don't remember what I read, but I know that it calmed me down. I read all the way to our next appointment, and things started to turn around. We had an awesome lesson with a recent convert and I started to feel something again. I am now grateful for these funks, for it allows us to dive even deeper into the scriptures, pray more fervently, and rely on the spirit more fully.
We got a call from a the Sisters over in Holland, MI, and they referred us to a girl that wanted to take the lessons. We met with her later that Wednesday. Her name is Elizabeth. She is in her 30s and she has a Boyfriend in Virginia who was baptized about 4 years ago, and he seemed different, and she wanted to find out why. We taught her the first lesson and it was text book in just about every way. She was so solid. She loved it all and agreed to be baptized!! I am praying that all will go well there. I began to feel better and better.
Thursday was trade offs with Elder Lewis, and I fell in love with missionary work again. All we did was knock on doors, but man oh man did it feel great. I finally was able to speak and have meaningful things come out. It was the best I have felt in forever. Elder Lewis is one of the finest men I know. It will break my heart when he goes home in a few weeks. He has definitely become a mentor to me. He is a convert to the church and is about as good of a missionary as you can be.
The next two days flew by and we were able to see a couple of great people and found some great success, but there was one story in particular that I wanted to tell. Last week we had Irene from the Congo ask for a blessing because she was so excited to find out that we have the same authority as the ancient Apostles. In that blessing, it was promised that she would learn English quickly. Up until this point, we needed an interpreter translate everything we said. This week we came with a knew one, only to find out that they don't speak the same Swahili. Go figure. At that moment, she told us that she could understand everything that we say. She could now read English extremely well. She said she still couldn't speak, but then walked in a friend who was able to act as our translator... PERFECT! The lesson wound up going great. She came to church and understood every word. Last week she needed everything translated and this week she didn't. I testify that the priesthood power of Christ has been restored.
We also got a call saying that there was a new Freshman at nearby Calvin College who moved up here from Ohio. He was taking the discussions there and wants to continue them here! He came to Church and is so awesome! We are having people just fall out of the sky it seems. Miracles.
This week has resulted from the sum of small and simple experiences that have made a huge impact, but the more I ponder it, I realize that is how the Lord builds each of us. Line upon line, brick by brick, prompting by prompting. I no longer believe that changes need to be drastic, nor does perfection come in a single day or decision. It is a day by day marathon. I am not perfect. I am very much aware of all the things I need to work on, but I am so grateful that I am changing. I know that the Atonement of Christ was much more than a huge favor the Savior did for us. He did not perform it so that we can be content or coast through life. The purpose of the atonement was not to make life easy. The Saviors intention was to make us better, day by day, and line by line. Those changes never have been and never will be easy, but because of what Christ did, they are possible. In order to come unto Christ, each of must walk through our own Gethsemane's and Calvary's, for that is where he walked. But let us be of good cheer, for we are becoming more like and walking with the Savior with every step. The race is not run in a day, nor won in a moment. It is successfully traveled through day to day improvements. Let us all look to the one who traveled it perfectly and rely upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. He lives and he lives to love each one of us.
|Two of my favorite Elders.|
|Selfie with the Zone Leader. Missionary work is just fun!|