Heyy thanks for all of your emails, I was so excited to get them since we haven't had mail deliviered in like 3 weeks! Also meaning I haven't been able to send anything out sooo, I´ll basically have a buttload when the time comes (next Thursday)!
And even after a nap on Sunday, we´re all still good and exhausted, and still have citas and an old apartment to clean, not to mention that tomorrow Hna Kofe and I are supposed to do intercambios with the other two girls we are over (that have been pushed back way too many times to cancel again), then interviews with the mission president on Thursday, which moves district meeting to Fridayyy ... holy bjoly. Literally this week is a big fat mess. But we're dealing and I'm proud of us for it -- holding the other girls together through all of it and just trying to make progress a bit at a time (like getting groceries we desperately needed and copies of the keys made today!) Little victoriessss!!!!!!!!!
But here are my thoughts for the day...
(please excuse the venting;
I feel like this speech has been preparing itself all week - haha!)
So, you know how in conference and every broadcast ever, and basically anything else that comes out these days from the church, they are always talking about how members and missionaries need to work together?
I´m here to testify that it's true,
and that when members don't step up and help, missionary work is like
swimming in cement.
We´ve really been struggling with working with the members in this area and gaining their trust, but it has been soooo hard. This ward has a lot of desires, but just can't seem to make the time or put in the effort to make it happen. This ward just needs so much help. It is TINY on Sundays, but has enough members to make TWO STAKES.
And last night we went to ward counsel and I seriously almost ripped my hair out, it was so frustrating listening to them talk about the menos activos, saying terrible things about how it's their own problem if they were offended, and that they want to focus on the people who 'had potential to come back'. (this coming from mouths of people who've done the offending)
I finally couldn't keep quiet, I was so frustrated. My WHOLE mission has been working with menos activos. Literally the whole thing, and it looks like things are going to keep up that way. And I LOVE them sooo much, and it made me so frustrated because ALL of them have the potential to come back! I´ve seen so many miracles working with them, and who are we to judge who is and is not ready to come back without giving it the time and effort that THEY deserve.
I finally told the members of ward council that, honestly, it didn't matter why they stopped coming to church; what matters is that WE are doing what we can to help them come back. They have all made covenants with their Heavenly Father, and if we can't do our part to take care of the sheep that we´ve been given, how can we expect to be trusted with new baptisms?
I´m not sure if i stepped on anyone's toes, but I tried to say it as respectfully as I could. It just stunk.
Afterwards we went and met with one of our menos activos who we absolutely love. He´s 22 & one of the most genuine and funny, but incredibly shy person we've met. He is so weighed down with the mistakes he's made in the past, and it's hard to see because of his huge potential. He wants to come back, but it is just so scary for him, and honestly, I´m scared for him too. I´m worried about what some ward members will do and say, and I hate that -- I hate thinking like that, like if I was in his shoes I don't know that I could do it.
We just have to remember that judging others in a negative way and gossiping is soooo harmful. It doesn't have a place in this church. Seriously watching him cry last night as we talked about his potential, and how we were willing to do everything in our power to help him just broke my heart. Seriously it hurts, and I want the joy he felt after his baptism to come back to him. He told us not to take his issues on us, but we told him that we are a TEAM. He doesn't have to do it all alone, and we know it won't be easy but we also know that as far as it is possible, we will be with him every step of the way, so long as he keeps up with his side of the deal as well.
So thats my rant -- I love this area sooo much, I really, REALLY do. It has so much potential, and I just don't feel ready to move yet. Something's gotta give. And I super don't want you to think badly of this ward, because honestly it's a hole that we all can so easily fall into. Just remember that missionaries move on, and if we, as ward members, don't do our part, new converts and those with testimonies not as strong as ours will fall away.
So love your dang missionaries!!
(And when they move, give them some dang help, so that they don't have to take it out of the Lord's time, kayy? haha You ARE their families, you're all they've got for this year-and-a-half, and they need you.)
Love them and they´ll love you, and the work will explode!
...in the end that's what it's all about right?