Sorry for my last letter that was a little negative.
THANK YOU to everyone who wrote to me about obedience! Aw... I feel like I have a support group. :) That helps a lot.
Here are my thoughts from this week on obedience. I feel like my problem is not “Will I be obedient or not?” but “If I’m going to be obedient, what should I do?” There’s a missionary schedule that to be ‘obedient’ you have to follow to the second. And it’s a really good idea because if you even mess with the timing a little bit, something essential gets cut and there just isn’t time to make it up and you feel the burn. BUT what about the higher law of “Love thy God with all they heart and love thy neighbor?” If I am presented with an opportunity to show charity to someone that would require breaking the schedule, should I do it? In my heart I think ‘probably’, but then when I feel the sting of the consequences of breaking the schedule I think “maybe I wasn’t supposed to do that. I should have been more exactly obedient.” BUT maybe I’m supposed to suffer the penalty of breaking a rule as part of my sacrifice for another person’s well-being.
Things like this are running through my mind all day. It was driving me kind of crazy and I was getting kind of fed up with trying to work everything out in my mind. So I finally just said to Heavenly Father “You KNOW I’m trying to be obedient, I’m trying to to do what you want. I’m willing to sacrifice to do that if you will just make it CLEAR to me what it is that you want.” I felt like that was a pretty fair trade.
And then I thought, “Wait a sec. That’s my baptismal covenant. Ohhhh....” So. I was thinking that Heavenly Father gave the Law of Moses to the Israelites to tell them EXACTLY what was the right thing to do in every instance. No exceptions. Exceptions meant death. But, when Christ came something marvelous happened called the New and Everlasting COVENANT. Now there is no longer a pre-dictated course of action for every choice. Instead, Heavenly Father says “You promise to follow me and do my will, and I’ll give you a guide called the Holy Ghost to help you know what that my will is in every instance.” That puts a lot more pressure on us, doesn’t it?
Really, we will only be able to know what the will of the Lord is to the degree that we desire to do it. And Heavenly Father knew we were going to mess up and have a really hard time interpreting the Holy Ghost and it was going to take a lot of mess-ups for us to learn how. It was also going to take a lot of work for us to get to the point where we wanted what Heavenly Father wanted. So he gave us a way to erase our mess-ups called the Atonement. Which also happens to be able to change our hearts to want what Heavenly Father wants, or at least to give us the strength to do it.
My other problem was that after my last cambio (transfer), I was feeling like my spiritual compass was really out of whack, that I couldn’t tell what the Spirit was telling me to do. I think part of that was a natural consequence for not working (even though I couldn’t help it because of sickness) and also Satan messing things up. If he can make us think we can’t understand the Spirit, we won’t be able to. I need to have faith that Heavenly Father loves me enough to give me the direction I need. President also gave me a blessing to be able to have more clear discernment of spiritual promptings. I walked out of his office a very happy missionary, like I had been dragging around this thing behind me and somebody just cut it.
PUES, I didn’t explain very well what my calling is-- instead of having my own area, I travel from area to area every one or two days to work with the Hermanas there and look at what they can do to improve and set goals with them. And I check up with them a lot. And if they have problems, they call me. I get my own phone. :) You would be surprised how many problems there are.
We made a small change because the new companion of Hermana De Leon went home this morning, so I suggested to Presidente that I be her companion this transfer and just do exchanges with the Hermanas like before (one of them goes with Hna De Leon while I go with the other in their area.) So Hna De Leon también (also) got made a Training Leader (President said “Yes, that sounds good”) and I get to see Hermana De Leon every day and Hermana De Leon gets to work in her area still and I get to hang out in Mulsay every once in a while. Hermana De Leon gets a break from problem companions because she changes her companion every day! It’s a pretty good play-out.
I was really scared the Hermanas weren’t going to trust me or that I wasn’t going to be able to make good comments or that they wouldn’t listen, but it is SO great because when we sit down to talk I just feel the Spirit pumping through me and miracles happen and we communicate and we set real-deal S.M.A.R.T. goals with a purpose. When I talk to them about it later, they are actually doing it and CHANGES are happening. To be very honest, our mission is kind of sick, but the four of us Leader Capacitadoras are having all of these really great ideas of what big changes need to be made, and I think we’re really going to do something. I feel like a missionary again! I haven’t felt this good in like a month and a half.