Monday, June 16, 2014

17,000 miracles

"Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." Thus we fast. We sacrifice something in order to prove that we want something else, and are willing to do whatever it takes to receive those (righteous) desires. It's a really powerful experience. So you can imagine the experience it is when an entire congregation of people participates in a fast for the same purpose, and kneels to pray for that thing afterward. We got to participate in 8 of those. And I don't think anyone else could see or appreciate the effects as much as we have this last week.

The week started off kind of weird. Because we had been participating in many ward activities and doing lots of service, we hadn't actually had any real lessons. We had gotten to know lots of people and had lots of fun, but as far as success or numbers, when we made a tally Thursday night we had had only 3 lessons. Here, that's nothing for the week. In order to reach our goal of lessons this week, we had to have 6 Friday, and several more Saturday and Sunday. That's unheard of in this area. So we would need a miracle. In the Christlike Attributes Assessment of PMG (Preach My Gospel), a question it asks to rate yourself on is " I have enough faith in Christ to accomplish anything He wants me to do—even miracles if necessary." I've never really understood this before, or known how to rate myself - what does faith actually have to do with miracles like this? If it's not Christ Himself here doing something, why would I need faith in Him to make these things happen? But as I went through the day, I realized that even doing everything we could - our efforts weren't enough. There are certain things we just can't control.  But we kept trying and working our hardest, knowing that if we did everything we could, we would teach 6 lessons - because it was a righteous desire and a strong goal.Sure enough at the last minute, we somehow got in an extra 2 lessons that just appeared out of nowhere. It was a miracle, and the 2nd busiest/most exhausting day of my mission. But so rewarding. That's what faith unto miracles is all about.

We got to go to the temple this week!! Salt Lake City - officially made it.It was beautiful and of course, very spiritual. I feel like I've been distracted by so many things lately, but I was able to realize (once again) that consecration isn't just about giving things up - but about using all that you have to be the most effective tool you can be in God's hands. The things that have been distracting me can be strengths as well, if I use them correctly. That was comforting.

We had a zone conference - once again, a very humbling experience. As I've been out on my mission over the last 14 months or so, something terrible has happened that I didn't fully realize until this week. I have become proud. Really proud. Because of the experiences that I've had and the things that I've learned and the people that I've met - I've developed this mentality of "No one gets me" and "No one can teach me anything." (I can't believe I'm admitting this, but i guess it's part of my repentance, ha ha). Anyway I sat there and let my thoughts fester, and the time came around for random talks to be selected for us to speak in front of the other missionaries. Guess who was selected. SO all of a sudden all eyes and condescending looks were focused on the one who had been giving them out just before that - and I realized they all felt the same about me. So I learned a great lesson and I'm repenting of that attitude.

We got to teach a group of young women this week for mutual. well, we didn't really teach so much as relay our experiences and explains why we decided to serve, what we've seen as a result, etc. Being there and talking about me before my mission, at the beginning of my mission, and now - I realized how much i really have changed.  Sometimes I forget that I've lived in another country and learned a foreign language and gained a great understanding of the gospel and met tons of people and learned how to be independent - and I feel like I'm going to wake up and be Diana again - the naive 19 year old who hasn't experienced any of this. I encouraged all of them to serve. It doesn't matter what else you want to do with your life or who you think you are or want to become - you can't lose anything through this. The mission will change you and help you with ANYTHING that could possibly be in your future. There is no substitute for these experiences.

I love you all. Choose the right and live the truth! It's what brings happiness.
Sister Willerth

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