When the morning is dark still at 6:15 when we wake up, it is IMPOSSIBLE! Seriously! And it will be this way until daylight savings. Which will be a glorious day because we get an extra hour of sleep. Oh the blessing of sleep. Hopefully that one extra hour will tide me over for a few more months until I can go down to my dark, cold basement with my warm, huge, comfy bed. And sleep. For days. Thinking about it makes me drool. I will say, though, I am pretty lucky because I do have a very comfortable bed here. And I've never moved apartments my whole mission besides moving from the MTC here. Count my many blessings. There's one.
Whew. Another week.
I have to be honest. This has been the hardest couple of weeks of my entire mission. Sometimes, I really do just feel completely incapable, and these last few weeks were really trying. I wish everyone could experience being a missionary in Beverly Hills. It is the most humbling experience of my entire life. Sometimes people just stare at us when we knock on their door and I think they are going to burn my forehead with their eyes. Or put a hole through my tag with their laser beams coming out of their pupils. I am trying to rely on the Atonement, and I feel like I am starting to glimpse at what that actually means, but when it comes down to it, it breaks my heart that person after person tells us that we are wrong, crazy, and brain washed. At the end of a day, I just want to cry because I just want to do missionary work. I want to do what the Lord wants me to do. And if that means just talking to people and giving them an opportunity to feel the spirit for a second, so be it. But it is still a hard thing when our real purpose is to prepare people for baptism. I need to have more faith. I realized something this last week and that was that my need for validation is a representation that I don't trust in the Lord enough. I don't trust that he is proud of me or happy with my work, so sometimes I feel like I NEED someone to tell me. But that is really silly. Because I do know that the Lord loves me and is glad I am serving a mission. I really am doing the very best I know how, and I know the Lord is aware of us over here in Bel Air. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm fine. It's just that I am a representative of Jesus Christ. That is a lofty task. I'm also very imperfect and a little OCD. Also a lofty task. I think my desire to share this wonderful Gospel has increased substantially since I have been here, and because of that increase, my sensitivity about those who reject it has increased also. So, while I have a much stronger testimony, I also cry a lot more because I want to share this with others so badly and just want to grab them by their very expensive face and say "LISTEN TO ME! THIS IS REAL! I PROMISE THERE IS MORE TO YOUR LIFE THAN WHAT YOU THINK!" The Book of Mormon has perfectly illustrated stories about the kinds of experiences I have had and the kinds of people I have been able to serve here. I am trying to be more like those missionaries. For a detailed description, read the Book of Mormon. You all ready should be anyway! It is really cool though because all of the missionaries in the Book of Mormon have different missionaries with completely different kinds of experiences, people, situations, trials, etc. And that is exactly how it is here... We all in our different areas experience completely different things, so really, trying to compare is completely silly. I am grateful for the experience I am having.Pushing forward...
We have met a lot of students lately, who say they want to learn more, and then stand us up. That is the worst feeling ever. Because you get SO excited, and you KNOW that this one is going to be ready... And then they choose to not go forward. We are trying to find the elect... I know they are out there. We just gotta be patient and find them. Man that patient thing has been a pattern for me... Maybe I should work on it... It's definitely gotten better. I think.
A glimpse of hope was that Bro Simpson came to church yesterday. What a wonderful blessing. We really hope he will begin to progress more. We weren't able to meet with them this week unfortunately. I was sitting there at church, waiting for Sacrament to start, and I see little Shirley Temple running over to me screaming "SISTERS!" And it seriously just melted my heart. And then Bro Simpson came around the corner which of course melted me a little more. The Lord really is so good. That was a much-needed tender mercy after a week of hope-thrashing experiences. But that is the remarkable thing, the Lord never ever ever lets us go uncared for... He sometimes lets us struggle, so that we can be stronger, and then to see the blessings that he has provided so that we can KNOW and RELY on His help. It is wonderful.
Dear Courtney: OMgosh! Dying a little. Maybe I'm SO excited, and will probably hold my breath until your next letter. Also, the recording made my week last week. I forgot to mention it, not sure how, but I seriously needed that so badly. And of course I listened to the whole thing. Mostly while sis Pinto bean tried to pick out some shoes at payless. Which took a while. It was hilarious on so many levels. This comment is for anyone: Never ever think that I don't like to hear about the "mundane" things! I love it! I love the little details. And it really doesn't distract me. If anything, it helps me remember that things are still somewhat normal even after all of this crazy-time as a missionary. Thank you for sending it, Court. And everyone else who recorded on it, thanks!!! Love you all.
Lauren: Loved hearing from you! I need your address :) xoxo
Moffat said something in his testimony at church yesterday that I really loved, and that I think I needed to hear. He said "Repentance is sometimes just letting go." I really do need to learn to let go and let Christ take care of some things. I'm such a micro-manager. Which is good for some things, and horrible for others. I am definitely working on that one... I think I have changed a lot in the craziness factor. That's the hope anyway.
Allrighty well that's enough of my rambling. I am grateful for this work. I know it is the Lord's work and I really do want to do all I can. I love my Savior Jesus Christ with everything that I am.