"The title is my favorite line from a song we have been listening to on repeat in the car. I know that it is true. Missionary work is not a constant thing. There are thousands of different emotions that run through my mind every single day! We are happy one second because we have gotten someone to commit to coming to church and then the next moment we are discouraged because that person never showed up. However, there are always more happy moments than sad moments somehow. I always finish a day or a week feeling so fulfilled and happy about everything :) Even when we only have one person in an entire day that is willing to talk to us without arguing, or even when I cannot understand a word that an old babushka is saying, I still finish the day happy. I know that is because of the Atonement and the hope that I feel from knowing that I have a loving Father in heaven and that he sent His son for me! And for everyone! It's hard sometimes to explain the Atonement to people and why they need a Savior. However, in learning how to do this, it has just strengthened my faith and made me realize the need we truly do have for Jesus Christ. I just want everyone to know that!
A few funny things that happened this week:
1) There is a man from Ukraine that we had been visiting and every time we went, his father-in-law would sit there and argue with us and tell us that we were breaking the 2nd commandment because we had a picture of Jesus (which was ironic because he had a painting of Jesus hanging up on his wall...) but anyways we went over at the beginning of the week and had a good conversation because the father-in-law wasn't there and it was awesome. However, we were leaving and we found that he had just gotten back and thought that we didn't see him and he was totally making a beeline right for us! So we started running and I had to back Sister Orr really quickly out of the parking space and jump in the car all without making it toooooo obvious that we were running away! It was so funny and we were both laughing so hard. In all the haste, I accidentally called Elder Peterson, one of the senior missionaries and he was laughing with us. (the Petersons are an awesome couple who served a mission a few years ago in Russia and are here helping with the Russian work in Washington now).
There is a miracle that is directly related to this story though! So the father-in-law was really argumentative and didn't agree with anything we had said. However, we went back again and his demeanor had completely changed! Now he wants to learn! He wants to be baptized! It is sooo amazing to see how his heart was softened. It doesn't even seem like he is the same man as before. We are so excited about continuing to teach them!
2) My mom sent me glasses and I was wearing them for the frist time and we went to go meet people and one kept saying the Russian words for "Oh it's a new sister." We tried to explain that it was still me, but he didn't seem to understand and so now he thinks that I am a new sister. pretty funny experience.
3) We shared the gospel with a random guy from Walmart who texted us. We had a short conversation trying to figure out who he was and then found out that he was looking for someone else, but we replied saying that we were missionaries and told him that we could tell him about God if he wanted us to and he didn't reply. No surprise there. Oh well, we planted the seed.
4) We saw an investigator holding a sign on the side of the road that said "Jesus is the answer." Let's just say that he's pretty comfortable in his own church...
5) Another man that we were meeting with tried to hug Sister Orr and then got really offended when we said that it wasn't allowed. We tried to explain that it's a rule for safety reasons. He didn't understand and every time we tried to teach something he would just bring it back to how offended he was. For example, I said something about following commandments from God and he was like "You don't follow the commandment that we must love one another" so basically he was calling us bad people. It was so weird and ridiculous. We laughed about it afterwards haha
Wow, a lot of funny things happened this week I guess! A lot of spiritual things also happened. I learned that when you change your heart, your actions really do change in return. I think that's why the teaching of Jesus Christ are so incredible! He teaches us to have a true change of heart and truly forsake the things that are bad in this world. I know that it takes time to change a habit, but wow I promise that if you try our hardest, you can do it! I have seen it a million times already. Instead of changing your behavior and hoping that eventually your heart will change, try changing your heart first.
It's so cold here! It's humid and wet and it rains a lot and I have been wearing tights and a jacket every day! A little bit worried for the winter, haha. We were sketchily in west Seattle the other night and it was dark and wet and no one was answering their doors and wow I really wanted to just go sit by a warm toasty fire or something! It's still summer in Alabama haha. Things are different here for sure, but I'm grateful to not be in Siberia like some people I know ;)
A quote I loved from my studies this week of Jesus the Christ, written by James E Talmage:
Treasures of Earth and of Heavenb
The transitory character of worldly wealth was next contrasted with the enduring riches of eternity. Many there were and many there are whose principal effort in life has been that of amassing treasures of earth, the mere possession of which entails responsibility, care, and disturbing anxiety. Some kinds of wealth are endangered by the ravages of moths, such as silks and velvets, satins and furs; some are destroyed by corrosion and rust—silver and copper and steel; while these and others are not infrequently made the booty of thieves. Infinitely more precious are the treasures of a life well spent, the wealth of good deeds, the account of which is kept in heaven, where the riches of righteous achievement are safe from moth, rust, and robbers. Then followed the trenchant lesson: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
We had some awesome experiences this week and continue to have awesome experiences. I am so grateful to be here! Everyone please send me your address because I want to write letters to people! I love writing letters, it's kind of like a therapy for me. I don't have a ton of time to write lengthy ones, but I love sending notes to everyone :) Love all of you SO much! Remember that if you love your problems, you will love life as well.