We spent the first half of the week doing day trainings on Stress Management, and it went really fantastically well. I was surprised at how dramatically the missionaries responded to it-- it really was an answer to everybody's prayers. My birthday was muy feliz. :) (very happy)
|Hermanas Torales, De Leon, Birthday Girl, and Castro|
My birthday dinner after the "Adapting to Missionary Life" capacitacion (training) in Campeche. What missionary gets to go to the beach on their birthday, do stress management exercises, hang out with President and the Assistants all day, and then go out to dinner? The cheesecake was free-- they even sang to me. The red guayabera (little jacket) I’m wearing was a gift from Hermano Jesus (convert from Garcia Gineres) who FOUND me in Terranova to give it to me.
I definitely needed somebody to tell me I was stressed. I didn’t realize I was until I went to the “Adaping to Missionary Life” manual and started using some of the suggestions. I also didn’t realize how much stress can affect your ability to feel the spirit until I started de-stressing myself and felt completely different. The Spirit is the best.
I’m trying to get rid of the mindset that everything depends on me because I think that is the biggest source of my stress. It’s true that we need to be agents that act and not be acted upon, but it’s also pride when I think that I have to do everything because the situation depends on me. It sure feels a lot better to think that it all depends on Heavenly Father. The eternal perspective takes away a lot of stress. :) I have the responsibility to do all that I can for him in every situation I’m in, but I don’t need to think that a fault in my personal performance is going to impede how things turn out in Heavenly Father’s plan.
An awesome quote by LeGrande Richards: “It’s the Lord’s Church, so I let Him worry about it.” Everybody should use that manual. It should be called “Adapting to Life.”
With the sisters I’m visiting, we focus a lot on teaching toward a very specific objective, which is the missionary purpose-- building faith to the point of repentance and baptism. It’s very easy to waste a LOT of time in teaching. There are lots of lovely things to say about the gospel and you can have lessons full of lovely things and make people feel good, but there are very SPECIFIC things you need to teach people to convert them. What you need to say is different for every person.
And so in every lesson and with every individual, it takes a bit of analysis:
What does this person not understand that is impeding them to be able to come unto Christ?'
- It could be something fundamental, like not knowing God exists.
- It could be that they don’t understand that Christ could help them with the specific burden they are carrying.
- It could be that they don’t understand why baptism is necessary or why it is that our baptism is different.
- It could be that they don’t know they are sinning, or that it’s possible to be clean from sin.
- They might not understand that faith is a decision, or that they can trust the promises God makes if they keep the commandments.
There are a bazillion different reasons people don’t come unto Christ, and it usually boils down to something they don't understand. Good thing we are teachers! We just have to make sure we are teaching to that specific thing that is impeding them.
I am so happy because I feel real love for the sisters I am working with. I always am nervous going into the intercambio (missionary exchange), but it always turns out that we become really good friends.
I love you all.