я вас люблю. I love you
We had a really cool thing happen this week that confirmed my knowledge that I am where I need to be right now in Russian South! I don't know if you remember, but in my 1st or 2nd transfer, Sister Orr and I stuck an articles of faith card on a Russian looking van, and the man called us. He was super excited to get a Book of Mormon and to meet us, and it was such a miracle. He and his fiancee were prepared to hear about the gospel. However, due to the fact that they lived in Puyallup (FAR AWAY) and he was a truck driver, constantly in another state, we had to drop him because he was never in town. But on Friday morning, we get a call from Ivan, and he was at the Provo City Center Temple! He was making a delivery there. He handed the phone to a temple worker, I think Brother Parker, and he told us how excited Ivan was to be there. Honestly, I couldn't 100% understand what Ivan said on the phone after that, but we are planning on calling and following-up sometime this week and see if we can get him to church with his fiancee or a temple walk. The reason that I say that this increases my testimony of where I need to be is because I am the only missionary left who knows who Ivan is. Anyone else would be confused until they looked in the area book for a while. And he actually remembered me! When I answered he said "Is this Jenne?" (they all call me by my last name only...). Also, this phone that we are using has just been sitting in the mission office for 2 transfers. And 2 weeks after I have this phone again, he calls. Any other time and no one would have answered. I don't know, it was just perfect timing!
Something that Sister Bell and I have been working on is trying "new" door approaches. Trying to mix it up, and get out of the regular thing that we always say at doors. I think it is a better way to practice and role-play inspired questions. I also feel pretty strongly about the H2BT points...to use them in the first contact...instead of waiting until the first lesson (they should be one in the same anyways, right?).
I saw something from way back in the MTC this morning and it talked about how when we are being a good missionary and thinking of ourselves, we are obedient; when we are thinking of others and being obedient, we are sacrificing; and when we are aligning our will with God, thinking of others, and being obedient, we are consecrating. That's something that I am working on. Praying to align my will with His. To actually feel His guidance every single day. And, I do! It's incredible. Scriptures and talks and hymns and all things spiritual are bringing me to tears sometimes. Like at least a few times a day. Which is really strange, but not in a bad way! The sacrament is more sweet. Church was very spiritual yesterday. I don't know..I just feel like I am progressing a lot in this area because I am having to stretch and rely on God more than every. There is a difference between being obedient, sacrificing, and being truly consecrated.
"I am a Child of God"--does this phrase ever seem to become every day or maybe even a numb repetition? Something that we don't even keep at the forefront of our minds? Why? Satan's biggest job is to attack our very identity. WHO WE ARE. We all have certain ways that we define ourselves or see ourselves. "When I cling to these identities [the ones we set for ourselves], I'm building my foundation of self-worth on sand. Sure, sometimes they are sand castles, but they never seem to last (and they never seem to be grand enough anyways),. It;'s an unsustainable and unreliable foundation, and frankly it's exhausting. Each of my self-schemas are barraged by threats daily. Each of them, except that I am a child of God." (An article that everyone should read: https://www.lds.org/blog/what-it-really-means-to-be-a-child-of-god)
My favorite part goes like this:
"the identity of a Child of God can never ever be threatened or taken away from me. In fact, it's the only identity I have found that can't."
This week included...a baptismal font that was too hot and steamed up a whole room, a man who was shaking so hard from the cold that he looked like he was having a seizure (it wasn't even that cold...), turning onto an exit ramp instead of an on ramp..into oncoming traffic, sore muscles, sketchy trailer parks with screeching birds, spilling compost all over the floor, being offered holy water vases and money for our singing by an old babushka, Bishop's hot dog stand, a lesson at NINE IN THE MORNING, rain every day all day except weekly planning...the one day we stay inside almost all day, exchanges, zone sports day, and no Russians at church (not even our members because of the time changes and surgery).
A little Russian for ya:
я знаю что иисус христос-мой спаситель.
Он любит всех людей.
Через его силу, мы можем творить чудеса!
I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior.
He loves all people.
Through His strength, we can work miracles!
Okay, honestly that^ took me forever to type, and I don't know if it's all 100% right (grammar/spelling...) So, that's probably the only Russian testimony you're ever going to get from me typed out in an email, so enjoy it this time(: