This week Elder Renlund from the seventy came and visit us at a conference we had in Farragut! It was splendid. He really wanted us to understand the power of our mission calls. That we belong here as missionaries and not anywhere else. Heavenly Father personally picked eastern Tennessee for me and I am so grateful that I know that for myself. I know because he has personally picked people to come into my life that have changed me forever--my companions, members, investigators, recent converts, mission president, mission leaders, etc.
This week has been pretty rough to be honest. Our baptismal date that we set with Anna and Jessica had to be dropped because their mom doesn't want them to be baptized. She doesn't understand, we hope to be able to clear everything up this week and reset the date. We're praying hard for that to happen. We had a wonderful lesson with them and we watched the restoration DVD and talked about the Book of Mormon. Anna has such a strong testimony and is just one of the sweetest people ever. She is such a good example to Jessica and is just making the pathway bright for both of them. Her testimony will help her mom understand, I just know it. Although this week just seemed full of disappointments and failed efforts, it just makes me want to continue to strive to be a better teacher so these people can truly understand the impact that the gospel can make on them. It makes me want to be more bold so they truly understand what we are offering. Alma 36:21 really can perfectly explain my week better than I can:
"Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."
This is how I feel about my mission. Some days are so hard and we get on like 9 buses and nobody wants to talk to us and nobody answers the door and we're just wandering around the ghetto feeling like fools. But some days are wonderful and I feel the spirit extra strong and I just know that the eternal scheme is far greater and far grander than any of those bad days. In this scripture Alma is testifying of how his sins made him understand sorrow and his repentance helped him understand joy. My sins and the sins of the people that we are trying to teach help me understand sorrow; but, the spirit, when it testifies of truth helps me understand joy.
I love y'all! Have an amazing week! Merry Christmas!
Sister Andrea Merrell