Yesterday we were FINALLY able to get a less active that we've been working with to church with us. When we got off the bus, the church was about 25 yards or so away from us, and it took us 30 minutes to get her into the church. I could see on her face that she wanted to give up so many times, but she kept going. Such amazing faith :) Goodness I am so grateful for a young body.... I never want to get old. Ask yourself for a moment... if it took you 30 minutes to walk into the church alone, would you still go to church every Sunday? Such a hassle but so worth it. She went home with a big smile on her face :)
Yesterday we had a district fast and specifically asked for the circumstances that we have no control over to be changed (if it be His will) especially in regard to getting members to church. After our fast yesterday we met with an investigator who told us that she would never come to church... within the first 5 minutes of our lesson with her, without us even bringing it up, she told us that she was coming to church with us next week, and she said it with a huge smile! V. is her name. Yesterday during our closing prayer with her Sister Haroldsen said something to the effect of, "Please bless V. with a greater desire to read the Book of Mormon." And V. just interrupts her during the prayer and says, "I already told you I don't have time! I will do it in the winter!" I was trying so hard not to laugh... that's not the first time she's interrupted a prayer but it's still so funny everytime.
Some interesting things from this week... One man I sat next to on the bus this week told me that there is only a Russian God, I just flat out told him no, that is completely not true. But I said it nicely of course :) another time I got on the bus and my companion was a little ways away from me... well a man on my left noticed that I had a book of mormon on my lap and asked me about it, then another man joined him and started asking me why I was here in Russia when they have their own religion. Then the next thing I know I have 5 Russians yelling at me on that bus and I had no idea what they were saying to me. I was pretty desperate for my companion in that moment but she was stuck somewhere else on the bus. Sometimes frustrating things happen :)
I feel like I don't say enough about my companion. Her name is Sister Haroldsen and she has a heart of gold. She is so caring for other people and is an AMAZING listener (one of my weaknesses, I tune people out without even realizing it!). Her favorite part about companionship inventory is talking about each other strengths, and she writes a list of them every single week:) she is really good at seeing the good in everyone. Every night before we go to sleep she always tells me that she loves me and then tells me her favorite things about me that day. I will definitely be doing that if I ever train anyone!
I got to work with Sister Erekson this week (a Sister Training Leader here) and I have never had a happier day on my mission. Our goals: give out 5 Books of Mormon (3 after lunch, 2 after dinner) we also had a goal to talk to everyone, find a young woman on the street, and have a lesson on the street. After lunch our goal was to give out 3 Books of Mormon, then 4:30 came around and we still had 2 books to give out. We prayed right there for God to help us reach our goal and also expressed our gratitude for the success we'd already seen in the day. 15 minutes later we were down to one book, we prayed again with gratitude, but asked our Heavenly Father to give us one more person to give a book to. We were practically running from person to person to reach our goal, and with only a few minutes to spare we found that person. I had awe written all over my face after that because I know for a fact that we could not have given out 2 books in 30 minutes without his help. We also fulfilled all of the other goals we made that night.
I want to write a little bit about determination and desperation, and why it is important in our lives, because usually we think about desperation as a bad thing :). But on a mission you have to be desperate. You have to even SHOW these people that you are desperate. We are desperate for these people to come unto Christ and be clean and to know his plan of happiness. Why be desperate? When we are desperate we have focus. When we are desperate, distractions leave, pride flees and humility replaces it. Our prayers change, TO WHOM we are praying changes... when we decide to be a true disciple of Christ we don't care about anyone else but what God thinks of us, (which actually helps us to think of everyone). Be desperate :).
Tell somebody that God loves them this week. He does. But some people just forget it :) You'll be shocked with the answer you get with some people, because some of them don't know it. And what an opportunity that is to share with others the knowledge you have of a loving father in heaven.
Sister Brooklyn Wilson