Hello again! Another Monday, rolling around faster than ever! It really is a weird thing.
Well, it looks like it is finally time for Sis. Gailey and I to move into the 21st century: our AC was fixed AND we’re getting a car on Tuesday! Life is good, God is good. It’s funny because being full-bike really has been such a blessing and has taught me so many things (gospel principles, physical capability, etc.), but just this last week we’ve realized the hindrance it has been as well. While we meet more people on the street, travel takes significantly longer and makes it extremely difficult to get to some parts of our area. And if it rains, which it always does, we end up getting our investigators’ couches all soggy! But now, we can have the best of both worlds! We plan on still biking basically daily to continue finding and staying active, but driving to make our time even more efficient! What a precious resource time is. More valuable than any.
For Cerene’s birthday last week we made her delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies! We stuck them in a tupper and taped a candle to the top and wrote her a nice note to tell her we love her. We, lately, have been getting a little….thrifty, and are finding cheaper solutions to our problems. Examples: scotch-taping Sis. Gailey’s helmet visor in place; melting candle wax to a sticky note to make it stick better to a Tupperware, drinking out of plastic flower vases because no cups were available, etc. It’s amazing how creative you get when you only go shopping once a week and money is tight!
This week we had fabulous dinner with a family in our ward. Earlier, when eating with the bishop, he told us that this family had, too, invited his family for dinner and had expressed that they love eating dog. When they ate with them, they tried to ask all sorts of secretive questions to find out if that was the main dish. When we later ate with them, the mom announced every dish rather elaborately with many details except for the final one: “And this is…Chinese beef!” We still aren’t sure what it really was, but, man, was it delicious!
We had a couple of miraculous finds this week: Linda and Simon! Simon is an awesome Haitian man who has the sweetest little family. He is a former investigator and seems to just have gotten lost in the mix last time. Now, he is preparing for baptism on June 6th and is so excited to begin studying and learning again! Linda was found through knocking doors and just happens to be searching for the right church. She has so readily accepted the doctrines of the Restoration of the Gospel and is reading right along in the Book of Mormon. Hooray for people with sincere desires!
We often get a lot of interesting comments from bystanders while biking past them. This week, while passing a pick-up truck filled with a bunch of crazy men, they called to us, “You can come to church over here if you’d like!” and motioned for us to hop in. People are just hilarious.
I went on a baking spree this week and ended up making German pancake, flan, and cookies! It was a happy time. Thanks for setting me up with a recipe book before I left, mom! The cookies are famous and are much more well-known among the missionaries here than I realized and are enjoyed by many of our investigators, too. 🙂
As I’ve studied and discussed with my companion and others this week, I have received many great insights on humility. I truly believe this principle is the key to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we are humble, we are willing to accept God’s will for our lives and strive to sacrifice our wants for His higher purposes. When we are humble, we can be made better instruments in His hands because we recognize from where the power truly comes. I read in Mosiah 2:23-24, which says “And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?”. We will never, ever be able to get ahead, for, whenever we try to do so by doing that which He asks of us, the reward or blessing comes immediately. Every single time. And how much greater it is when we choose to humble, choose to become clay in His hands, rather than compelled to be so. Sis. Gailey and I have been striving to make the Lord’s will for this area our priority. As we have more fully sought to understand what He needs for these people here, we have felt greater fulfillment and satisfaction with our work and in all other aspects of our lives. I know that this is His work – to bring to pass the salvation of men – and what a blessing it is to be a part of that.
While studying a talk entitled “The Fourth Missionary” this week, by Lawrence W. Corbridge, I found a quote that helped me better understand the purpose of this work: “The purpose and central blessing of life is change. It is to be changed to become more like Jesus Christ. It is to incorporate into your character, the qualities of His character. It is to move from one degree of intelligence and capacity to the next, and from there to the next, until you see God face to face and know Him as He knows you”. Progression is what this life and our entire existence are really all about, and this is what we’re trying to help others to do: to help them progress eternally.
Just as yesterday’s meal is not enough to sustain today’s needs, we must daily feast upon the words of the scriptures to keep our spirit healthy and strong. I guess it isn’t a perfect analogy because, really, you could survive without eating for a day, but how uncomfortable is that! Likewise, we can stay happy, hopeful, and focused as we make the study of the gospel a daily habit, without being as easily distracted by Satan’s efforts to drag us down on days when we miss it. It’s a better analogy than I realized! Life is better the closer we are to God!
I love you! What a blessing it is to learn that agency is the power to choose the right, not the wrong. Show Him your love by choosing to follow Him this week! Sister Burdett