Happy New Year everyone! I can't believe it is already 2013. I have been a missionary over 7 weeks now. Time sure does fly and I am sure glad I still have plenty of weeks left because I learn so much every week. I will be a spiritual giant by the time I am finished! This week has been a more difficult one. We have been rejected at almost every door this week. We have met many smartalek people. One lady yelled back through the intercom when we rang her buzzer, "I am Jewish and happy with it!". We laughed and rang the next buzzer and we were then buzzed in the second floor so we went inside and knocked on their apartment door. The man looks at us, and yells "I am not at ALL interested!" and slammed the door. We went back outside and heard the lady making fun of her comment about her remark to us through the intercom with one of her friends inside. It was a difficult week :D, but its funny to look back on all the funny comments people make.
I am very grateful for the hard weeks that I have. I learn so much from them. That is one thing I have been learning out here. Having trials and rough times, like my companion said this morning, are opportunities! I usually dread having difficult days and challenging times (ok well I still do), but I am teaching myself and learning to really take these times and learn from them. This life is the time to grow and develop Christlike attributes to eventually live with God again! Why should we mope and get discouraged during personal challenges. Like Nephi says (2 Nephi 4) no longer allow yourself to get discouraged, but instead learn from these times. I am learning to rely more on Heavenly Father and be more submissive to Him. I am learning more than I ever have in my life as I look at trials as opportunities. Anyway, that is a summarized chunk of what I learned this last week!
Our New Years was basically an extended Preparation Day. We weren't allowed to be on the streets past 6pm (which is the time a regular P-Day ends) so we ate lots of food and candy and played some board games and cards in our District Leader's apartment. We also watched the Restoration video of Joseph Smith, which I love. It was a pretty fun day.
So a cool story. One of our investigators had some questions about how she can really "know" President Monson is truly the prophet on the earth today. Never before has the spirit worked through me to answer her question. New thoughts and ideas and scriptures came to my mind that really helped her. It was truly an awesome experience for me! I think I learned as much as she did from what I shared with her.
This month we are really going to be focusing on getting the members excited about missionary work here. When I was back home the missionaries and ward missionary leader always would say how much the members really are needed and help a lot in the missionary efforts! I have seen that is definitely true. When we are able to have a member present at lessons or even teach an investigator at their home, the spirit is more present, it is less stressful, and the investigator can relate better to a "normal" person who lives in their area. So if you are reading this letter, think about what you can do more to help the missionaries in your area. They need you! Tracting isn't the best way to do missionary work out here so we are hoping to get the members of our branch pumped for missionary work and have them hopefully invite us to teach their friends.
Anyway, it has been a great, challenging week. I am looking forward to this week because people are finally getting back to their normal schedule and being are coming back from vacation.
Happy New Year! 2013
By the way, transfers are January 15th. I will let you know if I am being transferred. I will most likely stay here since I am still training, but you never know.