Ok, cool story time. I don't remember telling you this, but about a month and a half ago, I got a letter from a future IPM sister who had found my blog asking me for advice about the mission. I wrote her back and thought it would be super cool to meet her.
That Sister is now my companion!
Meet Sister Mork: fun-loving, energetic, bold, loving, hilarious, strong, gorgeous, angelic, pretty much the best missionary around! It's been so much fun getting to know her and serve with her just these past few days, and I'm excited for the months we have ahead! She's been an incredible example to me of small things I've either forgotten or gotten out of the habit of, and even way bigger things. She's so amazing! Aaaahhh!!!
She also likes to run! Woo! And we almost had a dance party to church music for exercise this morning, but then we both felt too self-conscious, so we did sit-ups and push-ups and stuff instead. #awkwardmissionaryprobs
She's also a miracle magnet! I think it's interesting to note that with every transfer or change I've been a part of, the area always starts changing, too. The Lord really does prepare the hearts and minds of the people for the missionaries that are called there, and vice versa. We've started seeing Ariel again more regularly and she came to church again! That was huge! We were able to get in contact with Kelsey and Ana, two people Sister Gale and I had tried over and over to reconnect with and just weren't able to. We were able to start teaching this Joe and Lisa, a wonderful couple that we had met briefly a few times, but we were finally able to get in their home and teach them a lesson, and they want to continue! We've talked to so many people and there is so much more potential here than there was just a few weeks ago! The Lord really does know His servants and the people who live in the area they work. He's preparing their hearts and the hearts of those who know them to have the courage to be the means of them meeting the missionaries and coming unto Christ.
But also..... David A. Bednar. I've never felt so starstruck in my life. He taught us a lot about learning by the Spirit, not just writing down what we hear word-for-word. The Spirit is the best teacher, and the only teacher of spiritual truths, so he asked us to be aware of His promptings, not just the words coming out of his mouth. He spoke about how, as learners, we are to be agents to act, not objects to be acted upon. Learning is an active process, not just passively waiting for someone to pour knowledge in your head. The rest of his discussion was then not him speaking at us for hours, but a dialogue, with both him and us asking questions and answering back and forth. It was truly amazing, and I learned so many things from his example in how to be a better teacher by asking better questions and truly discerning what needs to be asked. Never ask a question you already know the answer to!
I was able to use some of those principles in a talk I gave yesterday in sacrament meeting. (That was a fun discussion picking up Sister Mork: "Hey! Great to meet you! By the way, we're both giving 20-minute talks on sunday.") I focused a bit of it on how we need to be anxiously engaged in a good cause regarding missionary work. It's so easy to say, "I don't know them very well..." or, "They probably wouldn't listen..." or even, "I just don't get out much to talk to people." But we are agents to act, not objects to be acted upon. We can do anything if we make it a priority! The time for "just be a good example," although crucial, is passed. Passive missionary work is not enough anymore. We must be actively, anxiously engaged in a good cause, and this is the best cause there is! As you deepen your own conversion, you'll naturally start turning outward to help people feel as happy and peaceful and directed as you do.
I love all of you! All of you be agents this week. You are the masters of your own destiny quite simply by choosing to act, not let things act upon you alone.
1. Transfer site!!
2. Look at our love.
3. Also, some elders buried me in chairs.