Something that I loved from reading this week was in John 15:2-
"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit."
I remember hearing a talk once that talks about how God prunes missionaries to the max. He takes away pretty much all of the comforts and regular things that we are used to, even the people that we love aren't very accessible. Like a tree being pruned of its branches. God prunes us in everyday life. He doesn't make it easy. He doesn't stunt our growth. He prunes away our pride to make way for humility and recognition of blessings and therefore happiness because pride is what gets in the way of our happiness.
This week Sister Bell and I had a day were three really sad things happened within a space of like 15 minutes. We were both like "what the heck is happening." But, Sister Bell said someting like "...after the bad times cometh the blessings." And, I think that we both attached onto that and just expected that there was something really good in store sometime that day. And then commenced a long stream of meeting the coolest people ever! Most of them were English speaking, but we did meet a Russian who is super awesome! A lady named Ludmilla who is here from Uzbekistan and growing up didn't have a lot of other Christian people around her besides her family. She was taught not to go to church in school. She has never had a chance to read the Bible..but she prays. And prayer is her sense of comfort. We were able to give her a Book of Mormon and give her access to the word of God! It was awesome. She asked why we don't drink black or green tea, because she had tried to give us some and we told her that it's a commandment from God and she replied "okay, then I won't drink it either." and then she asked about coffee and we said the same thing. And she replied in the same way. That was an awesome blessing that came from a day that started out not so awesome. So never fear! Because God has great things in store for us if we just keep persevering.
We met a man who didn't speak much English (or russian) and tried to ask if we could sing to him. He thought we asked him to sing..so he started yodeling or native-american singing or ohh-la-la-ing. Not sure what to call it, but it was hilarious. We then sang I am a child of god and had a really hard time keeping a straight face.
A quote that I love:
"Real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us on the altar and letting it be consumed." -neal a maxwell
This transfer, Sister Bell and I are trying hard to focus on the promise that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven! We are each giving up 10 things that "prick" at our spirit for 40 days with the intent to gain more spiritual power and teaching ability by the end of the transfer. I am excited, even though some of the things that I've given up have already been really hard, I know it's going to be great!
Love you all! Have a fantastic week.
-Cectpa Jenne, ur fave sis mish"