First of all, I wanted to share a scripture that Amanda (who is getting baptized this weekend!) found during a very hard day and shared with us:
She is getting kicked out of her house, and we're helping her move out the day before her baptism. But Amanda sees this as just another sign that she needed the gospel in her life right now, not that it's too hard or she'll be too busy. She is an example to me of what it means to truly have faith. Needless to say I love her very much, and I've only known her for a month now!
A whole month and more out here in Missouri, can you believe it? I'll admit, I've struggled. Justwe got yelled at and harassed by a woman who threatened to call the cops on us unless we left the whole apartment complex. I almost wish she would have so we could have shown them our proselyting licenses!! But we couldn't feel the Spirit around that, so we left. Another lady told us to leave her neighborhood . . . we didn't, and just a few doors later met a woman named Jessica who is very open to learning more and reading the Book of Mormon. As the Gambler once said, "Know when to walk away; know when to run."
What I learned most this week? I have the capability to be an answer to someone else's prayers. So can you. When we pray or just plead to the sky for help, it almost always comes in the form of our family member, our friend, our neighbor. Which is why it's important for us to be that neighbor, ready to help and let the Spirit guide us as to where we need to be and what we need to do. As the Book of Mormon prophet Alma once said, "This is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God." That's where I've personally found the most joy.
Sister Bustillos and I were able to be instruments when we picked a street and started knocking on doors on a very, very cold night this week. Missouri's weather is bipolar. No one was home or opening the door, much less rejecting us, and we felt pretty discouraged--it was a loooong street. But we kept going, and finally a woman opened the door and as Sister Bustillos introduced us as missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the woman finished her sentence for her! She led us inside, gave us water and a slice of cake, and proceeded to tell us that she grew up LDS but lost her faith until very, very recently.
She used to go out with sister missionaries, and would always catch up with them to give them lunch money when she saw a pair throughout her life, but this was the first time missionaries had found her. She's had a hard life of tragedy and loss. She told us she knew Heavenly Father had waited to send us to her until she was at a point in her life where she could listen.
But if we hadn't listened, none of that could have happened for her. It makes me look back on my life and wonder about the times I felt like I should do something but 'chickened out' or brushed it off. Could that have been a missed opportunity to be an instrument in the Lord's hands, to be an answer to someone else's prayer?
I'm working hard to be from here on out.
Other things that happened: The Wolf family we're teaching are progressing and understanding the purpose of the Book of Mormon! Sister Bustillos and I got monster headaches after weekly planning for so many hours straight. I took a picture near Arnold's roadside splendor (AKA trash). We got a lot of miles taken away for this month, so we're borrowing bikes from our ward! I'm going to get so fit! But we also got Girl Scout cookies from three different people, so maybe one will cancel the other out ;)
Regarding the random pictures: Spring; Someone really didn't want us to ring their doorbell...haha and Missouri doesn't like to give us sidewalks :(