So, yeah. I could just say this week was hard. Missionary work is hard. And just leave it like that...
But then I know there are people out there like my mom who would just worry like crazy that something's wrong, so I can't just do that ha-ha. I'm going to preface by telling you all that despite the difficulty of missionary work, there is still so much joy and peace and great things happening! So, no, I'm not depressed. No, the world is not ending (yet). Yes, all is well. Just some weeks are harder than others.
This week we did get to go on EXCHANGES with the Kent Island sisters again! I got to go with Sister Blosch, again! And I got to go to Kent Island, again! I like it there a lot :) It's super pretty. And Sister Blosch is just amazing. Just saying. So that was the highlight of the week. I've also been on exchanges with the Spa Creek Hermanas for the last few days now! It's been an interesting week... But Hermana Garcia is the best! I love her!
On Wednesday, we had a pretty low day. Our amazing investigator Lynda texted us and told us she wasn't interested in meeting anymore... she said she loved us and that it wasn't us, just her, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. It's like getting broken up with over text. Just saying, that's how it felt. And it was really hard because both Sister Larsen and I just love her so much and we know that this would make her happy and she'd find her answers. But it's not her time. I think the charity that I ask for every day, and the God gives me every day, is such a blessing, but it's such a hard thing to have as well. I just love these people so much, and these Sisters I get to serve SO MUCH that it hurts when I see them fall. A sister that I was serving with (not my companion, don't worry) went home early this week. It's been rough and she's had a very difficult mission, but she held out as long as she could. The same thing is happening with another sister this week and I just love them both so much. So, yes, it's hard. It's hard seeing them fall and hurt. But, I also know that going home is the right thing for both of them. I know it, even though I don't want it. Love hurts sometimes. A lot of the time. But I'd rather be full of love than without it.
So, that's what makes missionary work hard. The hardest things are rarely your own failures (though those are there as well), or your own misfortunes, but the pain of those around you. And there's a lot of that, but the best thing about missionary work is the ability we have to lift them up. No, pain doesn't always just "go away." Most of the time it takes a lot of work. But we have the Gospel. And we have knowledge of the Atonement, even though our knowledge is very limited. I KNOW without a doubt that Christ suffered everything; He sunk below it all, to lift us up. And it's that knowledge that not only gets me through, but helps me enjoy the journey. You can find joy in your difficulties and your trials. I see it all the time.
So, I'm sorry if this seems like a really depressing email. That's not what it's supposed to be. Life is hard sometimes. It's true. If you haven't had it rough yet, just wait. But that's when you grow :) And that's when you learn and you get to experience the best joys! "Adam fell that men might be, and men [and women] are that they might have JOY." (2 Nephi 2:25). You have to go through the hard times to enjoy the good. That's life. And all works out in the end, and if it's not worked out, it's not the end.
I'd like to leave you all with a quote from "Missionary Work and the Atonement" that has really helped me these last few weeks. It's from Elder Holland and he said, "Missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience... [we] have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane... to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, [we] will have to pay a token of that same price... Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn't an easier way... The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly that it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the living Son of the living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him- The Way, the Truth, and the Life."
This work is worth it. What you do every single day is worth it. Keep smiling. Keep pushing. Recognize that you are loved and that you are enough. God sees your efforts. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to be perfect at trying. I know this is true with all my heart. There is no doubt in my mind. It's true. It's true. It's true. And I hope and pray we can all know that for ourselves. I love you all. Keep pushing. Keeping going. Enjoy the journey.
Quote of the Week: "Forget yourself and go to work." - President Hinckley
Scripture of the Week: Alma 36:27
Oh, and I hit 10 months yesterday... wasn't it just a week ago I was at 9? Wow. And there was snow here the other day. Gross. Oh, and I got to see brand new kittens this week. That was the cutest thing ever. Just saying.