Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Choice to be Happy and Successful

The weeks are passing but yet so much happens. I love missionary work for this reason and love to be able to reflect back on the experiences that my companion and I have had. Last Saturday rolled around and Sister Fromgren and I nervously anticipated the moves email to let us know If I or her would be moving. The email finally came and....I'm staying! Both Sister Fromgren and I were happy to be able to continue to serve with each other. We have grown to be such great friends and companions and it's like that for maybe most companionships after going through missionary work together. I'm happy to be able to continue to serve here in Clapham and with the ward. I know that the Lord has great plans for this area and I can't wait to witness the miracles that the Lord has in store for this mission. Last Monday, the Downend sisters, Sister Hamann and Sister Morales, came and stayed with us prior to the next day when we would be going to the Hyde Park Chapel to see Dallin H. Oaks. Sister Hamann was my second companion and continued to stay in Redruth (my first area) when I left and so it was fun to be updated on how everything was. The four of us sisters had a good time talking and catching up to see how everything was. The next morning, we woke up early, got ready, and took a bus to the Hyde Park Chapel. We were some of the first missionaries to get to the chapel so as we got seated, Sister Fromgren and I along with some of the missionaries we were with got to sit three rows from the front and felt very blessed to have been able to see Dallin H. Oaks closer. Prior to his meeting, there were missionaries from the London Mission there and it was a fun reunion to see all the missionaries from my MTC group. It had been about a year since I've seen them and it was fun to see the change that they have experienced and to see how they were doing. Being at the Hyde Park Chapel brought me back memories of last year when it was only day 2 of myself being in the mission field and I remember how daunting and scary it was to be around a group of missionaries that I didn't know. This time it was completely different. I saw many missionaries I had either served around with or had known over this past year and it was fun to see them again. As the meeting started, we not only got to hear from Dallin H. Oaks but also from his wife, Sister Oaks, our mission president and his wife: President and Sister Gubler, the London Mission president and his wife, and also President and Sister Keiron. The whole time, I felt the spirit strongly and many of my questions, on how I could be an even better missionary, were answered. A highlight too was when all the missionaries including me got to shake Dallin H. Oaks' hand, and also the hand of those that were with him. Some key things that he mentioned to us that stood out to me was: Opposition is necessary. It stretches us and helps us to grow. I loved when we were to think about David and Goliath. We were likened unto David and how we all have Goliaths of the world that we are fighting. Something too that was said was that this mission in which we serve may be difficult and discouraging at times when it seems like no one will talk to us and that our chances to baptize will be slim. Elder oaks proceeded to say that Baptism is the result of faith unto repentance. Teaching repentance is what we are asked to do and baptism will be a result of that. The Lord asks that we are His messengers and that we serve Him with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. Will we allow the agency and actions of others to rob us of our choice to believe, choice to be happy, and the choice to feel successful and of worth? The Lord will never ask us to do something we can't accomplish. If others reject, we must move forward as missionaries and continue to present this message to others so they can exercise their agency in choosing the Gospel. As we do this, we are fulfilling God's plan. :) After the meeting, Sister Fromgren and I traveled back to our area and taught recent converts and an investigator. The following day, Sister Fromgren and I traveled early in the morning with the Zone Leaders to Mission Leadership Conference (MLC). This time, we also had the district leaders there with us from each zone and we discussed how we could move the mission forward based upon what we learned from Dallin H. Oaks. We received some great revelation and as a council, came up with different ways on how to further the work along. That meeting actually ended up starting from 9am and ended at 7:30pm which normally doesn't happen. Usually it ends around 3-4pm but it was well worth it to sit in the council and to discuss the missionary work. We were able to come up with how we can implement the mission training plan and how we can accomplish goals that we have as a mission. The rest of the week, Sister Fromgren and I were blessed to be able to teach Joseph and some other new investigators this week. Begona, an investigator, who is from Peru is doing very well and loves coming out to church. She is working to strengthen her testimony about Joseph Smith and we know that the Lord will speak to her and give her that answer that she is looking for. Some miracles that we were able to see is: Mathew and Ruben. Mathew was a self-referral. He had walked into the Hyde Park Chapel and was curious to know how the 12 apostles in our church worked and how they were called. He referred himself and we went to go and reach out to him. His home was a bit farther away from where we lived but we tried several times to stop by and we had no luck. This past Sunday, we stopped by and his girlfriend answered the door. She explained to us that if we took a bus to the town, we could find him in his shop. Counting this to be a great miracle, we hopped on the bus and found the shop that Mathew worked in. We walked in and a guy, middle-aged, approached us. I'm sure he assumed that we were customers but then saw that we had Book of Mormons in our hands and smiled. We asked him if he was Mathew and he shook his head yes. As we got talking to him, we asked him if we could come back and teach him and his response surprised us. "How about in an hour's time, you can come back and share this message?" We said we could and then left to do some finding in that hour's time. We were blessed to be able to call a member to come with us for this teach and this member was able to go! All in all, we got to teach Mathew that very same day that we met him and it was a great lesson. He is very intellectual in the scriptures and asked some good questions and when we explained it to him, he shook his head in understanding and said, "that makes sense." His girlfriend, who is from Russia, had been listening to this message the entire time that we had been there and at the very end, she asked us, "Will we see our loved ones again?" Sister Fromgren and I were a bit surprised by the question because Mathew's girlfriend hadn't said so much during the time we were teaching. She continued to say how one of her siblings, at a younger age, had passed away, and that she wanted to find the answer because all the other churches didn't seem to help her with her question. Ruben, another investigator, who we just recently taught for the first time, was a miracle as well! We had received a text from a member of a different ward and letting us know that she had a friend who would be interested. We gave Ruben (the referral) a call and the very next day, we got to teach him! My heart is filled with gratitude for the opportunity I have to be able to teach these precious children of God. This Gospel is so simple, so great, and I treasure each moment that I have here on my mission. Though some days don't bring exactly what we were looking for, they are there to help us grow. I hope all of you have a great week. Find those who are ready to receive the gospel and share with them the sweet message of our Saviour and Redeemer. I know that this can bring much hope and light in their life.
Sister Burtis 

No comments:

Post a Comment