Well, it was a bit of difficult week. But hey, with a mission and some Czech in the mix, how could I ever expect it to be easy? I thought a lot this week about the counsel Elder Holland gives missionaries: Salvation is not a cheap experience. You will have to go a little ways into the garden, and be a partaker of Christ's sufferings, if you want to be involved in this work. Salvation is not cheap, and so it will not be easy. I may give my whole soul and anything else I can squeeze out, and still, people may not choose to follow their Savior. There's nothing more sad, but what can we do except go on in so great a cause? There are those who are being prepared - I know that is true. We're going to find them!
You're probably wondering how the language is coming. Sister White and I have been very blessed. We have a few very progressing investigators, and no, we cannot understand even the majority of what they say, but you know what, somehow it works! We are teaching one woman, in particular, who has all sorts of deep questions and concerns, and she's also Ukrainian, so she's speaking Czech as a second language. She's a bit difficult to follow, to say the least haha, but after one of our lessons with her this week, I turned to Sister White and said, "You know, Sister White, Heavenly Father wants us to be here. He PUT us here. He says we're going to do this work and we're going to do it together. That means that whatever we don't get, or whatever we don't fix or answer, He will make it up and he'll make everything turn out alright." He knows we're trying our best, and that's all He needs to see, and then He will make up the rest. I know He's working miracles that we can't even see.
This week was a pretty sad week, but that's what's bound to happen when you open up the binder full of less active records. Our district has decided to go through those who are members of the Church in this area, but for some reason or another, aren't active anymore. Let me tell you some things I've learned this week, that I hope I will never forget. THE LITTLE THINGS ARE SO IMPORTANT. Praying often, reading daily, going to church every week, attending the temple, doing your visiting and home teaching. Why do we talk about these things relentlessly in church? Why do we drill it into every investigator? Why did we say "Pray, Read, Go to church" about 2,000 times to Petr the week before his baptism and then again the week after? It's because our salvation hangs on the little things! When we choose not to read our scriptures that day, when we decide the girl we visit teach is probably doing okay without us, that is when we take a step towards falling off the edge. That is when we take a step in the direction Satan would have us go. I got on my knees every night this week and plead with Heavenly Father that He would bring these people back, that He would soften hearts and relight faith. However, those choices that were made so long ago, that seemed so small, led to years of innactivity for many, and hard, hard hearts that have completely turned away from God. A challenge for all those that read this: Never, never give in! Never, never give up that opportunity to read the word of God, to pray to God, to partake of the sacrament every week, to go to the temple as often as you can! Also, watch over those around you! We have to watch each other - there are people falling left and right and getting lost in the cracks. We all have to do our part, that we may ALL endure to the end. Oh, goodness. Rantings of a frustrated missionary :)
Well, while it's difficult and it's frustrating, I'm learning and I'm growing, and there's still joy to be found in so many places. For example, you can go ahead and laugh at this one - I've become the branch pianist! A bit of counsel, Michael, try to learn at least 8 hymns before you get on your mission, haha. That way you can at least switch off weeks when you suddenly become the musical one in our district, haha. It's not too pretty, but hey, it's the song of the heart that counts, right?
I hope you're all doing well! I love you so much.
PS I don't have Michelle Rubio's current address. Address, please!