Monday, January 23, 2012

Sister Melly emails about Humility, Exchanges and Day Care

Dearest Family,

I always think of the primary song that goes "dearest children, God is near you, watching o'er you day by day. . . whenever I begin writing my emails, except I replace children with "dearest family". . .

I LOVE YOU! I love you so much.

Well, look at that, another week gone by. This one has been fairly busy. Last p-day, Sister Askren went to the doctor and found out that her sinus infection has gotten worse and had now spread into her eye. They gave her heavier antibiotics and said she should be all better in 2 weeks (now 1 week). She looks and is feeling much better, but she gets tired very easily. I spent most of last p-day being carted around by different missionaries so that I could get all of my p-day things done without my companion. I did laundry with Sister Arnold, emailed with Sister Graham sitting next to me, and took Sister Bergeson and Sister Monson grocery shopping with me. It was an interesting experience, especially for the missionaries that were with me, because it was not any of their p-days. (They had had p-day on Monday.) Then, I spent the rest of the night in the Trail Center writing letters and things and trying to take a nice p-day nap, although that didn't work out too well because everyone kept coming and talking to me. (I think that they were in cahoots.)

Wednesday morning, we had district meeting. Sister Runyon and Sister Askren dropped me off at the Martha Street building (in view of the other sisters, of course) and then headed back for the apartment to sleep for the rest of the day. I felt like a kid being dropped off at day-care. I feel like I compare being with a companion like being in day care a lot, but that is what it feels like sometimes.

District meeting was about humility. As we talked, I was reminded of an experience that I had towards the beginning of my mission (which I guess you could still call now the beginning of my mission, but I feel a whole lot more grown up than then, so I am going to pretend that that is not true). I was having a tough time and Sister Kusnerik and I went to opposite sides of the apartment to pray and then come back together and talk about what changes we needed to make. As I kneeled down to pray, I could not begin. I knew that I was not ready to ask for help because I was not willing to do what would be asked in order for me to receive that help. I knew that I was being stubborn and that I needed to make some changes, but I did not want to admit that to the Lord and certainly not to my companion. I sat there for 15 or 20 minutes, just fighting with myself. I feel like I know what Enos was talking about when he says that he wrestled before God. It took me a long time and it was some serious hard work, but I had to humble myself before I was ready to move ahead. That is when the true power of the Atonement is felt, when we go from feeling completely justified in our sins and then turn completely away from the person we were before and truly become a new being in Christ. It was a very powerful experience. I also realized that humility is not losing faith in yourself. It is understanding that through Christ, you can do all things. The key phrase there is "through Christ".

Wednesday and Thursday I spent in Ralston with Sister Ford. Her companion, Sister Unice is sick, so we left her with Sister Runyon, Askren, and all the other sickies and headed out. There is something about missionary work that if something is going to happen, it happens in the last five minutes of the day. When we were in Ralston, we had five minutes before we were going to go home, so we tried one last potential (someone who the missionaries had met before and was willing to learn, but they had not actually taught her a lesson). Sister Ford said afterwards that she was sure that no one would be home. But, surprise! She was home and we were able to teach one last lesson. The only problem was that by the time we were done teaching, it had gotten too late for us to be able to drive back to North Omaha before curfew, so we ended up staying the night at their apartment in Ralston. I borrowed some PJs and everything turned out fine. Then, on Friday, when I was able to spend the day in Oakview with Sister Arnold, the same thing happened again. The last door that we tried, a woman who had told us to try back after Christmas, and who we had tried several times before, answered her door and we were able to teach one more lesson for the day.

The amazing thing that I have noticed recently is that even though we have so little time in our area recently, we are still able to produce the same % of the weekly standard that Sister Kusnerik and I were producing at times during my first couple of transfers. Granted, we had just opened the area then, but I still feel OK about it.

Sunday, we had probably the best Sacrament Meeting I have ever been in. I learned a very vital difference between our church and other churches. Like it says in the scriptures, the greatest leaders are the ones who are the servants of the people. Everything in the church is set up to support the members of the ward. The bishop, missionaries, auxiliaries, programs, etc. are there to support the people, not the people there to support the leaders and programs of the church. The people exist first and the leaders and programs step in when there is a need, whereas in other congregations you may see a church set up and a pastor hired who then invites people to attend. Of course, we do do some degree of inviting, but it is only for the benefit of the people being invited.
Things are starting to look up. Sister Askren and spent 3 hours in Oakview earlier today. She is pretty worn out, but it is a good start. I just pray that we are still companions next transfer so that we can do some serious work together (transfers are next week!). Who knows what could happen! Pretty scary.

Alrighty, the good thing about not a lot going on right now is that instead of running out of time to finish up my emails, I am more likely to run out of things to say! Ha ha

Love you so much!
Sister Melly

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