Since the weather is getting colder and colder, aka, it snowed for the first time this morning! Sis. Smith and I needed to get warmer, thicker, LONGER, skirts. oh gosh- I strive hard not to look like a Polygamist, or...a Pioneer, whichever will help you better imagine.
With that...we went shopping at the thrift store! So if people like DI in Provo, they are going to be absolutely obsessed with the thrift store here in Minnesota! It was like a super store thrift store! Anyways, with faith and goal in mind that we will find and conquer our shopping list, we went in and lo and behold, we harvested good fruits. I bought some brown/tan leather boots, a black long pleated skirt, and a green thick, long skirt with POCKETS. Pockets make me very very happy these days because we need to carry tons of stuff when we go out contacting (mormon.org cards, pamphlets, phone, keys, and plus they keep your hands warm!)
Anyway, sorry I am so scattered brain every time I write. I guess I should focus my thoughts on the spiritual events that occurred this week.
, , and I had the chances to go on exchanges. I traveled away from my area and went to an area in St.Paul. I got to be companions with the first ever Karen sister here in Minnesota! Sis. Riley is wonderfully sweet and has a twin , non-identical, although they look identical serving a mission in California right now as well!
While in the North St. Paul area, I got to knock on doors, and teach families, and teach Karen people! It was insane. All these Karen families were refuges from Thailand or Burma, and most of them have only been living in the states for less than 5 years. They truly are really humble people with a strong faith in Christ. However, they just can't come to understand why they need to be baptized again. Many times, I felt like we were simply only planting seeds, and leaving behind a good impression of Mormons, and being good representatives of Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, despite all the numbers and goals we try to achieve, I think that is after all what matters the most. While I was with Sister Riley, I learned a really important thought. As missionaries, we often pray and ask the Lord to put people in our paths, prepared to receive the Restored message of Christ. However, we never ask for the strength to RECOGNIZE these people. I love this thought and it adds a whole other perspective to how I can pray and communicate with God.
Although exchanges were a good experience, I was overjoyed to be back in Dinkytown where I get the warmth and comfort of the Institute quite often throughout the day. I honestly am way spoiled to get to serve in Dinkytown my first transfer. With that, I often know that it is important to me to be even more humble because of it.
I have been studying a lot recently on how I can become a more effective and consecrated missionary through being guided by the Spirit. I have found what's holding me back as of now, and that is the fact that I often rely too much on my on abilities and gifts, such as my gift of tongues. However, I am not serving a mission to do my own will, but to do the Will of the Lord. He will place people in my path, and he will prepare my mind through the Spirit to teach effectively. I need to think less about myself, more about the investigators, and LISTEN MORE.
Being quiet and having silent moments on a mission is awfully important I've found. Often my prayers at night consist of me asking about an investigator followed by me asking "according to thy will, what should I do for them..". and then simply stopping and waiting for impressions. It truly is a powerful way to pray when you learn to submit your all to the Lord and solely rely on Him to show you the way. You become so much more enlightened and spiritually uplifted.
Helaman and Enos teaches us a lot about what the Lord's voice sounds like. Study Enos' experience of praying to the Lord for repentance and come to learn the Lord's voice for yourself! President Ehlert, a counselor of our Mission presidency taught us a valuable lesson this past about how we can come to learn the Lord's voice. He shares with us that the Lord's voice sounds like what He has recorded in the scriptures, it sounds like the Prophets teachings, and it sounds like the words that come to our minds with influenced by the Spirit. I love that!
Sorry these photos are so blurry but I'll get better ones!
Well love you all!