"for capable young people accustomed to accomplishment, a mission may be life's first great challenge."
I learned this week that a lot of things are going to happen in the Russian group, the Russian work, the Bothell ward, and the English work there. I will be training, and in a trio. We will be taking over the Zone Leader's area, and combining Russian work with English work.
I repeat..."for capable young people accustomed to accomplishment, a mission may be life's first great challenge."
I know that there will be some failures and disappointments over this next transfer because there always are. I know that there are going to be a lot of challenges and relying on God to become better. Maybe that's not something that I was accustomed to in my life prior to the mission, but I have been humbled to the point where I understand that we have to hold on tight to the gospel and to the Atonement of Jesus Christ if we expect to make it anywhere through trials and changes. There is nothing that we can do, ourselves.
Something I also learned about myself was that I might be a little bit of a perfectionist sometimes. I just want to be the best that I can be. I was thinking a lot about success and how when we do something right in missionary work and get a new investigator or help to strengthen our area, a lot of the time, we attribute that to ourselves. (Alma 26 relates to this) We look at how hard we worked and how we talked to everyone and we say "It's because of the things that we did that we are having this success." However, when we aren't having success we just say that it's because of people's agency. Or that's what we want to think. But, there is something deep down that tells us that we aren't having success because we aren't being obedient enough or we aren't good enough. But what the heck! It shouldn't be that way.
Disobedient missionaries baptize. Obedient missionaries baptize. Both don't baptize, as well. Both don't experience as much "success." I'm not trying to say that obedience isn't important, but God is not going to let someone's disobedience get in the way of HIS plan. If there is someone who is ready, and they need to get baptized, then they will. It's not dependent on the missionaries. Why would God limit himself and his eternal plan by the standards that the missionaries in a particular area set? He wouldn't. He already knows exactly what's going to happen, and it's all going to be ok.
There was a quote that I really liked when I read it.."Becoming Perfect in Christ" by Elder Gong: "We unsuccessfully try to control out circumstances and the people around us. We fret over weaknesses and mistakes. In fact, the harder we try, the further we may feel from the perfection we seek." Moral of the story? I'm still trying to figure that out. But I know that God doesn't want us to stress out about all of the little things in life. He wants us to have JOY!
This week, I did some manual labor. I used a hedge trimmer and rakes and my hands to pull out a bunch of blackberries and overgrown vines. Blackberries are quite the annoying plant, here in Washington. Honestly, I think we should just burn them all :) It's not worth the berries! It was a LOT of fun to be outside and in the hot sun! (YES it's getting hot here! I love it! The air is so crisp and wonderful and the skies are clearer every day, finally no rain!)
We have some sad goodbyes happening over the next couple of weeks. The Petersons and ([some other]members of our Russian group) will be moving away. It's sad to see the group shrink a little bit, but I know that everything is happening for a reason!
I'm sure I'll have some exciting news next week about all of these changes that are going on. It should be interesting, and I am so excited to meet the new sister coming from Ukraine!"