why hello. :)
this'll be just a short one, but just to recap: week 2 in santee went really well! we had a lot more lessons than expected, and we added 3 new investigators. :) our teaching pool is now up to 6 (all of varying degrees of commitment, but there's potential). we're feeling pretty good about it! but there's still a lot of work to do.
our branch members are simply amazing. they're so loving and willing to help us out with whatever we need. i already feel so loved and accepted there, like i've already got a handful of new best friends. i'm extremely grateful for that. i still have a lot of trust to gain, but i think we're off to a good start. :)
one of my favorite investigators is one that the elders added just a couple weeks ago. his name is russell. he has a pretty rough background... he has a ton of health problems. he has a really skinny, deformed body, and i think that because of this, the only place he felt like he could really fit in is with the druggie/drinker crowd. it's super sad. but he's a really humble, sweet kid, and he's willing to read the book of mormon and pray and ask if it's true. he prayed outloud with us for the first time in his entire life this week. can i just tell you how humbling being a missionary is?? you see so many people from all walks of life who have no idea that there's a god out there who loves them and can stop their suffering.
we also had a really great experience that turned into a really awful experience... one of the worst experiences i've had on my mission, in fact. we met with two children (YSA age) of a less-active mother. the kids aren't members, but they've had missionaries come around their whole lives, so they know a lot about the church. during the lesson the spirit was super strong and the daughter even cried... i thought it went really well and that they were excited to finally learn the full truth so that they could be with their families forever. well... we went back for the return appointment and neither of them were home... instead, their mom answered the door and talked to us for a full 30 minutes about why she didn't want us coming back to her house. i won't go into details, but suffice it to say that i felt AWFUL. and so confused. i was sure that i felt the spirit in that lesson.... and that they were excited about finally getting into the gospel for themselves. i dunno. anyway... it was pretty rough. just one of those things that we have to turn over to the lord... it's in his hands now, so i just have to have faith that he'll fix the situation. (it's just a sickening feeling to think that i might have done something so wrong that they've turned away from the gospel forever.)
i'm learning a lot about faith again... a lot of mornings i wake up and i'm pretty scared to face the day. it's different now that i'm the senior companion. but immediately i pray for help to turn my fear to faith, and i start feeling better... and the day always turns out alright. :) i don't know why it's so easy for us humans to forget that he's in charge and that he'll take care of everything so long as we do our best. :)
for those of you who may be reading this that are struggling lately... i just want you to know that i love you. and that we are promised that "one day we shall rest from our afflictions." look forward to that day, and as our savior says, "look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." (D&C 6:36) believe that he has power to overcome anything and everything. he is the almighty, the all-knowing, the true redeemer and peace-giver. please open your heart to him.
i love the gospel. and i love the lord. and i'm in good hands... the mormon battalion's, the santee branch's, and my savior's. :)
try not to freeze to death before i get home!