Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Leg to Stand On

Oi família minha!
This week, I am really grateful for inspired leaders.  I will be honest, for a couple days last week I was in a funk- not knowing what more I could do, how I could do things better, or how to get help.  Then my new DL Elder Barros (Elders are SO much better than Sisters) called to pass on ´´a few´´ goals he and our new ZL, Elder Rolando, had set for our district.  Aparently our whole district´s struggling a bit right now, and Elder Barros is DL, sick, and training an American greenie- bless his little heart.  These ´´few goals´´ were actually 11, but they weren´t number goals like we´re used to getting.  Some of them were-
1.  Do one intentional act of service for your comp everyday
2.  Close the week on Friday and make new goals accordingly to reach your weekly goals by Sunday (I don´t know why I haven´t been doing this my whole mission)
3.  Fill out the mission rule sheet every day and bring it to zone meeting (you check a box if you followed that daily rule.  There´s like 35 of them..)
4.  Share 15 minute messages at the members houses and ask for references.
And more..
Seriously, these new goals changed my entire week.  For one thing, I realized how much I´d been slacking off- not breaking rules or being disobedient, but making exceptions and excuses.  100% obedience isn´t just keeping the rules when it´s easy or makes sense.  Yes, maybe you can only teach a certain investigator during companion study, but the daily morning program was inspired, and who am I to say that I know better than the First Presidency?  That´s a huge problem I´ve had my whole life- thinking I know better than Heavenly Father.  My intentions are always good- making an exception here or there to do something I think is better, but with all this talk of faith we do here in Brazil, I´m learning that on my part, I´m lacking so much!
This week, I tried really hard to go to bed on time, make all of the required  contacts out of a desire to talk to people, not just to put numbers on paper, and all the other MANY little rules we have.  It´s almost impossible to keep every single rule, but I received so many blessings this week as I tried my best to follow them.  One of the blessings was simply happiness.  I was so happy and full of love for the people we were teaching, even when they didn´t keep their commitments.  This, in turned, helped them to progress, and was an answer to my prayers.
Also, I am proud to say I went out of my way to serve my comp this week, which helped a lot.  I´ve been getting really frustrated with some things she´s doing or not doing, but serving her helped me remember all of the good things about her too and gave me the courage (and a leg to stand on) to finally talk to her about some of these problems.
All in all, the theme of my week was, taken from some US make-up brand, back to basics.  Focus on studying the scriptures and PMG, serve first and in all things, 100% obedience, and prayer.
Probably my favorite moment of the week was when our FHE fell through (ironic).  I could have been really frustrated- after running around in the hot sun, we found out our investigator wasn´t home and after calling the night before to confirm the FHE, the Patriarch´s wife hadn´t done anything we´d asked because we hadn´t confirmed with her at lunch- but, when hot, sweaty, and tired, we arrived at the Patriarch´s house to tell them that yet again, another one of our plan´s fell through, the Irmã looked so surprised when in that same time, I asked if there was any way in which we could serve her.  She and her husband carry a lot of the weight of the branch on their shoulders and it´s easy to get a little depressed.   So, I was really happy that I could, in that moment, (and because of the goals I was trying to meet that week) show her that even in the hard, frustrating moments, we can be happy in doing what Christ would do- serving, serving, serving.  Finally had a ´´Character of Christ´´ moment de verdade!
On a side note, we also a good number week.  Hmmm, wonder why...
I love you all!  The gospel, in all its simplicity, is so true!
Have an awesome week.
Sister Barkdull

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