January 31, 2013 by sisterrachelknecht
I am so so grateful for all of your emails, letters, and Dear Elders. They give me so much strength and remind me of why I’m here when I feel a little discouraged or tired.
I’ve officially been here for three Wednesdays (but not a full three weeks? I’m not sure, it’s like the Twilight Zone here as far as time goes), and I’ve been learning so much. Sitting in a classroom all day can get a little tiresome, but my teachers are so wonderful. Our first investigator is now one of our teachers (which was a little surprising when he walked through the door) and his name is Hermano Lund. Both him and Hermano Zuzunaga bring the Spirit every time they teach and I leave every lesson feeling so edified and with more motivation to work even harder.
Being around so many missionaries can get a little difficult; it’s easy to compare yourself and feel inadequate because you feel like you aren’t as outgoing, learning the language as quickly, as spiritual, etc. But, both Hermano Lund and Hermano Zuzunaga shared things that help me push those thoughts out of my head. One of our goals that we set for our district (with Hermano Lund’s help), was to have a sacred mission. Only I and the Lord will know how sacred this mission is, and how sacred of an experience I’m having and will continue to have. Only the Lord will know my true desires, my fears or doubts, and the faith I have in Him.
Hermano Zuzunaga shared the story in Matthew of Christ calming the seas. We will all face trials and storms in our lives, but this doesn’t mean we just jump out of the boat! Christ is in the boat with us, He experienced the same things we feel, and He knows exactly how to calm and comfort us. He’s always there for us, we just need to come unto Him. Never give up!
I am so excited to go to Tennessee! I know that there are God’s children there who the Lord has prepared to hear about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. And I know that the Lord is preparing me to be an instrument in His hands, to share the gospel with them.
I love this work. I love wearing this nametag that shows I’m a representative of Jesus Christ, I seriously never want to take it off. This week I’ve been striving to live as a representative of Christ in everything I do. I know that the Lord loves me so much and will bless me as I learn to serve and love His children. This mission will never be easy! It hasn’t been easy! But, I know that you love me, and that the Lord loves me. I know He is pleased with the work that I’m doing for Him because I love Him. Every difficult moment here is “swallowed up in the joy of Christ”. I love Alma chapter 31. “And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was the according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith” (Alma 31:38).
Somebody in some devotional/fireside here (…I can’t remember at all. Maybe Jeffrey R. Holland said it and someone was quoting it?) said that this is real life. The mission is real life. And I feel like that’s so true. Every answer can be found in the scriptures, every need and desire can be expressed to Heavenly Father, all the joy in the world can be felt serving the Lord. I’m so grateful to be serving a mission, and I hope that once I get home, I can continue to live this way.
And, I’m also becoming the four square champion. Okay not really, but I really don’t like to run on the inside track (it’s a million degrees up there) so I’ve been playing four square almost every gym time. Four square queen!
Although I can’t wait to go to Tennessee, I truly am so happy here. It’s an opportunity everyday to love better, to learn better, teach better. And I know that this is the way that the Lord prepares His missionaries, so I know that this is where I’m meant to be right now.
Okay, I’m done, I’m done! Love you all so so so much.
Love you love you love you and pray for you and think about you all. “See the hand of heaven in everything, and your heart will be happy” -Sister Clayton, wife of Elder Clayton (spoke here on Tuesday).
Love you always and am working hard (and trying everyday to be better) not only for the Lord, but for all of you!