Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week 6 with Bravo

Week 6 with Bravo-- I am SO SAD this transfer is over!
This week was the last week of Hermana Bravo's mission! It was hectic to say the least, but today was her last day! It is crazy to think about how fast that time will pass for me and in 6 short months I'll be in her place! So scary...

So I found out from President I will not be training this transfer, which honestly was a huge relief. I would love the opportunity to be training a new missionary, but it's all in the Lord's hands! I'll be getting a new companion today, and will let you know next week who that is! 

I'm not sure who really to update on- I guess you could probably tell by the lack of information that neither Maggie or Noe was baptized in the last couple weeks, but it's okay. We did the best we could to prepare them, then left it up to their agency to choose. I'm not going to lie, I spent lots of time being upset and crying- there was a lot of frustration, but my District Leader shared with us a part of Preach My Gospel about being successful missionaries. 
"Avoid comparing yourself to other missionaries and measuring the outward results of your efforts against theirs. Remember that people have agency to choose whether to accept your message. Your responsibility is to teach clearly and powerfully so they can make a correct choice. Some may not accept your message even when they have received a spiritual witness that it is true. You will be saddened because you love them and desire their salvation. You should not, however, become discouraged; discouragement will weaken your faith. If you lower your expectations, your effectiveness will decrease, your desire will weaken, and you will have greater difficulty following the Spirit."

I can know, even if there are no outward results, that we have done our best. We love Maggie SO SO MUCH and did everything we could to help, but ultimately, we will never force anyone to make a decision. We can't be discouraged though, because that will weaken our faith and effectiveness! We have to trust that there are prepared people-- and there definitely are!!!

Let me tell yall a little bit about some of my new FAVORITE PEOPLE ON EARTH! :)
Their names are Blanca, Salvador, Irene and Perla :) They came from Mexico around 2 weeks ago and moved in with a member family, the Maldonados. They are cousins :)
They have come to church the past 2 weeks in a row and are set for a date on the 15th!!! :) Irene literally SEWED HERSELF A CASE FOR HER BOOK OF MORMON!! She is 9!!! Ah they are just an AMAZING family and such a miracle. When they came here, they had 3 choices of family members to stay with, and they chose the Maldonados because they were the best influences. They have been through a lot in the past but have HUGE desires to change and move forward! I love them SO much and am SO SO grateful for the opportunity to help them make the changes they want to in their lives. Heavy black heart️ the Maldonados are incredible examples for them and I am so grateful for them and the fact that they really live what they believe.

I can't even put into words effectively how much I have learned this past transfer. Hermana Bravo is basically the epitome of who I want to be by the end of my mission. I am so sooooo glad that I got to serve with her as my companion. Because of her, I really saw what it means to counsel with the Lord in every decision, and let Him be the guide. I saw what it looks like to let Him direct the work and I felt what it feels like to accept whatever happens, trusting in His will. 
I learned that we are agents to act and have the responsibility to make things happen in the work, not just to watch things happen. I know better now what it means to boldly extend commitments and follow up frequently. I have more of a desire now than before to not let anything get in the way of being exactly obedient, and I have seen the blessings of obedience. I have noticed things in myself that I need to strengthen and develop in order to be that missionary! I've worked closely with this branch leadership, I've seen so much member missionary work, I've been really stretched here! 
Whitewashing into this area wasn't exactly easy, but it was the most rewarding experience! I have been extremely humbled, felt such a dependence on the Lord, and have such a desire to continue to change and become who He wants me to be. 
I want to be strong and confident and full of faith. I want to be a mirror of God's love for every single person I talk to. I want to be even more driven by a desire to help God's children receive salvation. I want to develop the habits now of counseling with the Lord in everything I do, receiving and following the promptings of the Spirit, and lifting others around me by every word and action. 

I am so sorry I haven't sent an email like this in a couple weeks. I will get better! 

I KNOW that God lives and loves us, I have seen His hand in this work. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He knows everything we are going through and will run to us in our needs. I know I have received answers to my prayers and comfort in my heart. I can't even tell you how many nights I have desperately called to Him and He has answered me. I KNOW HE IS THERE. I know that He loves me and wants to heal my heart when it is hurting. 
I have come to really understand that God has a plan for my growth, and sometimes that means I have to be cut down a little bit, but ultimately if I trust Him, He will shape me.
I know that lasting change is possible through Jesus Christ and His gospel. I am so grateful for this knowledge because it gives me strength. Christ is with me every step of the way. 

I love you all so much! Thank you for everything and for being the best support system I could ever ask for. I hope you have a great week :)
Hope everything is well! 
Love all the way from Texas, 
Hermana Rogers

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