Joyce and I are both holding true to our commitments! She hasn't smoked in a week and a half! And I haven't eaten any treats. And trust me... There have been days where I have wanted to. We always follow up on each other and she really appreciates Sister Sant and I for going through a small part of these life changes with her. I love Joyce though! She's always like, "well, anytime I'm tempted I just remember why I am doing it! The Lord doesn't want me to smoke. So I'm not going to smoke." She has so much faith and is so excited for her baptism on Jan. 26th. I can't wait!
Lots of our other investigators are falling by the wayside right now. We have had trouble getting some of them to progress. So we have been "finding" a LOT. I love tracting right now. It is so funny to talk to so many different types of people. This week every door we have knocked on has mistaken us for RLDS (a break off from the LDS church). It's really awkward to have to explain the difference. I did take an RLDS couple through the Visitors' Center this week. It was super interesting to hear about the differences between our beliefs... because they are very similar but also very different. It's also hilarious... and by hilarious, I mean not funny at all... to have people tell me that I don't know the bible, or else I would believe in the Book of Mormon. What?? I just smile and politely try to explain, often I don't get a word in. What I would really like to say is, "Sir... I beg your pardon, but I do know and love the Bible!... seeing how I studied and lived it for four months in Jerusalem." Luckily I'm able to refrain the sass.
I've been feeling mildly seasonally depressed this week. Which is so silly because it's not even half as cold as Utah.... and it doesn't snow quite as much... and we have been blessed in many ways this past week. BUT I've been able to pump right back up during my study time and I've been learning a lot! Mostly I've learned about how much potential we all have to take control of our circumstances. I can't believe I have been out almost 5 months! I feel like I've learned a lot but I have a long long way to go. I think about "becoming" all the time. Becoming who the Lord wants me to be. A lot of who we become depends entirely on our attitudes, our diligence, our faith-- very little of it depends on our circumstances. I love love love this quote by M. Russell Ballard:
"Be a CREATOR of circumstances, not a creature of circumstances."
I love the example of Nephi in the Book of Mormon. He was a CREATOR. He was placed in somewhat awful circumstances but persevered and created positive situations in each of these circumstances. He had the lousiest of brothers... Laman and Lemuel, who lacked faith and diligence, and tried to kill him, but he still loved them and worked with them to accomplish the things that the Lord commanded him. He FOUND food for his family, regardless of his circumstances. He BUILT a ship, regardless of how much help he had to do so. He LED that ship and his family to the promised land. All day-everyday, I Find people, Build them by teaching them about the gospel and Lead them to make promises with the Lord. My circumstances are much, much better than Nephi's, and yet I often find excuses. So that's my resolution for the New Year, to be a creator of circumstances. I know that the Lord will help us become who we need to be as we reach out to him in faith. He has helped me so much in the past 5 months, and I know that He will continue to do so. I'm so grateful for the scriptures and for all that we can learn from them! Mostly I'm grateful for this time to be stretched and to grow. #timetoshine2013 (that's Sister Sant's hashtag... I'm stealing it for today).
|At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri|