Yep, the Golden One is happening this week. The Golden Birthday. Well I dont feel so Golden about being Golden. 24 on the 24th. I AM GOING TO BE 24! That seriously makes me sick. Some of these missionaries graduated in 2011! OH MY GOSH! Disgusting. Seriously disgusting. But you know what? Life goes on. So I am getting some grey hairs. So I maybe have some wrinklkes starting to emerge around my eyes. The Gospel is true, and thats all that matters. (But seriously can someone please get me some seriously good eye cream? And maybe a cane?)
And the lessons keep being learned. That's what this is all about, right? I am so grateful that the Lord is in charge, that He knows what is going on. I had a really good moment during the sacrament yesterday. This is what I wrote down:"I am sitting here at the Westwood building in the lobby waiting for the sacrament thinking about how grateful I am to be a missionary and more especially how grateful I am for the SAvior and for his sacrifice for me. I am also thinking about trusting in God and how I can do that more. I think that trusting in God is not stressing out about things when they don't go my way, but relying on Him and the plan He has. He is the one in charge. It's not about will power, strength, skill or talent. It's about trust. Letting it go and giving it to God." Kind of a little personal revelation. Something I really need to learn. I realized that I need to learn to trust the Lord more. Not just to rely on Him and to try and do what he wants me to do, but to trust him. And I believe that trusting the Lord means letting him take away worry, stress, or any negative thoughts because if we trust him, we know that those things really do us no good. When we trust the Lord, we rely on the promises He has given us and we do all that we can to be worthy of those promises and then we keep going. And then keep going some more. There's my little Lesson Learned from LA today.We had a pretty amazing miracle at the Visitors Center. A few weeks ago we met a guy at the Visitors Center.. We will call him M. We talked with him for a long time and he was really sad and angry, you could see it in his eyes. He was there with a member, and we talked for a long time. M was really closed off at first and wouldn't look at us or smile. Eventually, he opened up and told us about some things going on his life that have caused him to really question the reality of God. His stories really brought tears to my eyes. We read from the Book of Mormon together, talked for a long time, and invited him to not give up, and to read the Book of Mormon, and he agreed to allow us to follow up with him. By the time he left the center, he had a smile on his face. We followed up with him, and a few days ago, he told us that he is getting baptized, that he has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday and that he is HAPPY! And coming from this kid, that is a lot. Such a neat experience. The Lord really is so aware of every one of his children.
Another miracle happened. A former member of the UCLA ward who I just love brought in her 2 friends to the Visitors Center. She has been away at BYU and came back for a visit and felt prompted to bring them in on their way back to the apartment, mostly just wanting to say hello to me. Well, we took them all 3 into Savior of the World and found out that one of them was really struggling to believe in anything right now, but loved the way her member friend had faith. And let me tell you, this member is incredible. She has been such a wonderful influence on everyone, including me. She was in the UCLA ward last year and she was just a gem. I love her! Eventually, her friend was crying and saying that she wanted to have faith. We talked about belief, read from the Book of Mormon, and testified. She agreed to meet with us, and so did the other friend. The spirit was so strong and I know that everything worked out perfectly for that to happen. We weren't even supposed to be working that night, but had switched a few weeks ago. How amazing!
We had a good lesson with Bro Simpson last night... he really is starting to be more and more open, I feel. He now says things like "When I get baptized" not "If I get baptized", but he still is very sensitive about it and does not want pressure, so we are honoring that.
Most of our other new investigators that we have found have not continued to want to meet. But that is OK because the Lord knows what is going on and what things need to happen.
We had an amazing couple of trainings this week from Bro. Lusvardi who is over all of the Visitors Centers and Sister Cottam who also works with all the sites. It really was incredibly amazing. With Sis Cottam, we talked about having balance through the Savior Jesus Christ, something that I think takes a lifetime to learn but is sooo important. I gained a lot of perspective, mostly about the seriousness of our work at the Visitors Center. It really is a place of miracles and I am so grateful to be a Visitors Center missionary. Some people think that VC sisters are weak, that we can't do "real" missionary work. If you think this way, lets chat... Because you are wrong. These sisters here are strong and understand the Gospel and the importance of sharing it with our friends. I have a lot to learn from all of the missionaries at the Visitors Center. I am really grateful I have been able to serve here, and to be a trainer here for the last 3 transfers.
My Mom is apparently on the countdown. That kind of makes me sick to my stomache....
But speaking of countdowns, there are 34 days til Christmas! I remind everyone everyday. It's a special day! Especially as a missionary. I will have had 2 Christmases, 2 Birthdays, 2 New Years, 2 thanksgivings as a missionary. I love it. I don't love that I turn 24 in 3 days, but whatevs. It is what it is.Be with it as you may. I'm still a Child of God. Even if I have wrinkles and grey hairs.
I love being a missionary. Thats all. I love these people, I love the Visitors Center, and while I do love all of you veryvery much, I think I will stay here for a little while longer.
xoxoxoxo hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving! Mom-I am very grateful for YOU!