Monday, July 20, 2015

Tears, Trials, Trust, & Testimony


Every morning I wake up, like, I wonder what I'm going to see/eat/hear/and do today? And sure enough it's always an adventure!

This was a very unusual week! We went on STL exchanges, worked with the senior missionaries, had Zone Conference, and even got flu shots!

Today we were blessed to help with a CSP (community service project)! We went to a less-active family's house and helped them dig a giant hole for a septic tank. "Digging a hole" really meant cheseling away and shale and mud and rocks haha. So from 6-10 AM we did that. Then they made us breakfast and it was the single greatest meal I think I've ever eaten:

1. rice
2. tiny fish straight from the boat into a frying pan
3. mangoes
4. a dash of soy sauce mixed with hot peppers
5. and for dessert....a pile of coconuts with a machete! We got to hack off the top, drink the juice, then hack it in half and eat the meat! so fresh!

Okay, now for the "spiritual food" of the email. I was having a particularly rough time one day. "How can I teach people and get to know people without speaking the language?!" is the main concern. But on our tryke ride to one lesson, I said my own personal prayer (we had already prayed as a companionship of course) that I would be able to speak by the Spirit during this next lesson. That I would be able to have a meaningful contribution. Later during the lesson, I had no idea what was being said- none at all! But the lull in the conversation came and my companion turned to me, and her eyes were saying "your turn!" haha. So I started to continue what we had planned but instead I stopped. She was looking really downcast. Her son was there and her mother-in-law. I realized I didn't know anything about her. So instead of our plan, I asked her a bunch of questions like, "How is your family?" and "What role has religion played in your life? How has it affected your family?" She answered the questions vaguely at first like she had been the whole lesson. But as I kept asking more questions, she talked more and more and soon she was looking into my eyes and crying as she detailed the answers. I was a little bit shocked at how much she was suddenly participating. I didn't know what she was saying, but when she finished we jumped the lesson to the Atonement of Christ. Later I asked my companion what she had said? And she said that her extended family is far away and that she has been dealing with missing her relatives and she has made many mistakes in her life and she doesn't know what to do about the feelings of guilt she's been dealing with. It was EXACTLY the part of the lesson we had switched course to. Even though I didn't really understand her, it didn't matter. The Spirit teaches both her and us, the missionaries. The gospel of Jesus Christ applies to everyone, in every language.

Fun experience: I got to play with a group of kids. It went from throwing a ball to one kid to playing full on soccer with about 20 of them! So much fun to hear them yelling "Sister! Sister! Sister!" haha

"Success is rarely simple. Generally it is preceded by tears, trials, trust, and testimony...servants of God take comfort from the Master's assurance: "I am with you always". This magnificent promise sustains you. It comforts you during those moments of discouragement, which come to all" - President Thomas S. Monson

-Sister Bertoldo

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