Hey y'all! I have had such a good week! I can't believe it's already almost June! It's unreal. Well, next week is transfers so I have to throw in a reminder that you won't hear from me until Wednesday of next week, so don't panic *cough* mom *cough* ;)
Monday: Monday! Prep Day! On Monday Sister Sanders and I took care of all of the needful things. Then we went to visit a potential investigator named Tiffany. Tiffany, long story short, was someone we found through a series of miracles and she seemed super interested but since we met her a MONTH ago, she has never kept an appointment or been home when we drop by. Again she wasn't home, but her roommate was. We had seen her roommate in passing before but never had any substantial conversations with her. When we came this time we woke her up from a nap (woops) and she set up a return appointment so hopefully she will work out and bring her roommate along with her! After that we went to FHE and talked to some investigators we had there.
Tuesday: On Tuesday we had exchanges. I went with Sister Blackwell again and she is so awesome. I love her. I also got to drive, for the first time in months. Driving is not like riding a bicycle, it isn't just as easy when you do it again after months. BUT we didn't die, and that's what counts, right? We had a few lessons that were awesome! We weren't in my area so I didn't know any of the people we had lessons with but there was one family we sat down with that was awesome. They had a son who has some disabilities but he loves Jesus, SO MUCH. It was seriously amazing. They said that he was so sad when they told him that he couldn't ride his bike around and talk about Jesus with the missionaries (the missionaries that teach him ride bikes pretty frequently). Anyway, he was precious and the parents were talking about how they were so concerned because they wanted to teach him religious things but they didn't know how to teach him so that it would stick, the spirit hit me so strongly, I just started crying and promised them that Christ new their son and loved him and that as long as they were doing their best to teach him what God would have him know, that the spirit would help him to understand. Christ knows everybody and so the spirit will always teach us in the best way for us, individually. The mom started crying and it was just a really tender moment.
Wednesday: On Wednesday we had District Meeting and we talked about how important it is that we teach people everything they need to know about the gospel so that they don't feel confused or frustrated about what they need to do. It was really good and I learned a lot of ways to improve my teaching! After that we had a lot of awesome lessons lined up for the day... until they all cancelled on us. All three of them. Suddenly we had a lot of time to fill so we did some tracting and less active finding. It was a good day, just a lot of finding.
Thursday: On Thursday we had a lesson with our recent convert, Alec, and he is so awesome! We laughed about things and had really good spiritual conversations. We are a little concerned about him, his life has gotten really crazy and he has fallen back into some old habits he thought he had kicked. After that we had a lesson fall through so we went to visit some potential investigators. Later that night we had a meeting with our ward mission leader about a Family Home Evening we are planning. We are planning on having a "Missionary Bootcamp" where we talk to our members about how to do missionary work because, it's summer.... in a YSA.... the missionaries need help. We can tract and we can go talk to people but other than that it's hard for us to do finding activities. HOPEFULLY this will help our members feel more involved and confident in their missionary work.
Friday: On Friday we had exchanges in Grandby, I freaking love Grandby. That's where my little friend Hyrum lives. We started out our day there by doing service at Hyrum's house! He is so funny. I walked in and he jumped off the couch and goes "I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE COMING TODAY!" and started fixing his hair and straightening his shirt. Sister Sanders was cracking up. I said "Yeah! I didn't know I was coming until today!" he goes "Oh man!" he immediatley put on his shoes and spent the rest of the time I was there outside with us. He is so funny. As I was leaving I said "Hyrum, are you still praying I get transfered to Grandby?" and he nodded his head and then casually goes "So.... when are you coming back? Do you know? Are you coming next week?" I laughed and told him I had no idea. He was a little bit bummed I couldn't commit to coming back. He's so funny. After that Sister Snyder and I were on exchanges for the day. I LOVE Sister Snyder. She is so cool! We had a really good day of lessons and trying to talk to people. That night Sister Sanders and I headed home and I looked out the window and saw these twinkling lights that were so pretty! I was trying to figure out what they were and then I realized, they were lightning bugs! I watched them the whole way home! Lightning bugs have a very special place in my heart now. They are absolutely beautiful.
Saturday: On Saturday we did some service in the morning for a less active member who is friends with our Recent convert, Alec. Her name is Jina! She is really cool. We had a really good couple hours of cleaning and organizing her store and then we went into weekly planning. LONGEST. DAY. EVER. For some reason weekly planning took so long this week. I hate weekly planning, I just wanna go missionary. We got it done though and then we did some training. This is actually my last week of being a greeny! I'm so excited to be a real life missionary! :)
Sunday: On Sunday we had 5 investigators at church which is SO AWESOME! Of course, it was the week that we sing songs out of the sealed portion of the hymn book. I'm talking hymns that I didn't even know after being a member for almost twenty years. However, two of them said they would be willing to meet with us after they figured out their work schedule for this week and one set a return appointment so we gained three investigators! It was awesome! After church we went to see Dylan, freaking Dylan. Sister Sanders and Sister Smith (the missionary here before me) tracted into Dylan in January and gave him a Book of Mormon. They kept coming back and checking up on him and his progress and then the third week I was here Sister Sanders and I went and checked up on him. He was so solid! He said he knew the Book of Mormon was the word of God and he would be willing to meet with us as soon as he figured out when he wasn't busy. We haven't seen or heard from him since. We go back occasionally to see if we can catch him home but we never do. He lives across the breezeway from a member so yesterday, when he wasn't home again, we knocked on her door, gave her our number and asked her to text us if she ever happens to see him at home. Hopefully we will get him someday!
Well, this week I have been thinking so much about joy and failure and joy in failure. I have started meeting with the mission counselor because I was just feeling really depressed and I didn't feel good about myself or my missionary work. It got so bad that for about a week I couldn't feel the spirit very much. It was a really hard time for me. I met with Dr Dan for the first time and told him I was struggling with feeling like a failure. He looked at me and said "You are!" and I was a little surprised. He looked at me and explained that everyone is a failure. No one can do everything perfectly, everyone fails. The most important part of failing is recognizing it, and trying to be better. You can still find joy while you're a failure. You can find joy in your failures. You just need to recognize that that's why you're here, that's your purpose, to learn to find joy in your failures. "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." Well, by falling, Adam failed. He failed to live up to one of the commandments God gave him. But because of his failure we are all able to find joy in life. I love this concept because failing isn't something that condemns us, it just helps us to try harder. I have loved learning this and trying to find joy in my failures because I fail every. single. day. Am I happy about it? Definitely not. But it happens and as I strive to find joy in my failures I notice how richly I am blessed. I love my Heavenly Father so much. I'm grateful for him and for the fact that he knew I would fail and made a way for me to succeed. It gives me hope. I hope y'all have a great week. I love you. God loves you. Keep on keepin on!
~Sister Madisen Lloyd