March 26, 2013 by sisterrachelknecht
Time goes by so quickly here. It’s crazy! First of all, we’re all going to buy houses here in Tennessee and live here forever. It’s so beautiful. Even though it’s been way cold. Okay, not way cold, but cold enough that it’s been lightly snowing for the past two days.
For the majority of last week, we didn’t have the car. We’ve been sharing it with the sisters in Donelson, and so we’ve had to really rely on the members, or our own feet. There aren’t really any sidewalks or crosswalks here, so getting around town has been an adventure.
This week, Hermana McCalvy and I threw our hands up and said, “Heavenly Father, we don’t know what we’re doing. We have limited transportation, all of our appointments have fallen through, and nobody wants to even look at us! (seriously, it seemed like people were avoiding us more than usual) But, we will do our best, and we will work our hardest to do your will, not ours”.
It’s been difficult and discouraging this past week, but it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences ever. This past Sunday during personal study, I asked Heavenly Father to help me understand why I’m here, and how I’m going to be able to do this for the next 16 months or so. Everything felt like it was just burdening me down all at once: how much I miss you all, how hard it is to be bold and share the gospel, how I’m tired of people not smiling or saying hi back, how I feel like I must be doing something wrong because we’re not teaching a lot of people right now, how hard it is to be unselfish and forget about my wants in order to do the Lord’s work. With all of these emotions flooding me, I just felt like, am I doing anything right?
As I was reading through a letter from my MTC teacher Hermano Zuzunaga, who wrote me about some of these same feelings, it just hit me. The Lord loves me so much. He wants me to be here. He needs me to be here! As Hermano Zuzunaga mentioned in his letter, the Stripling Warriors cared more about the lives and liberty of their fathers, than their own lives. They had no experience, but they did not doubt of fear, because of their faith in the Lord, which they were taught by their mothers.
Seriously, it’s hitting me again as I write this. I am not naturally good at being a missionary. But it doesn’t matter! The Lord will strengthen me. He knows that I truly have the desire to do His work, to share His gospel. He will make up for all that I lack, as long as I am doing my best. And my best won’t be perfect, which I need to remember. Because that’s where the Atonement comes in.
I’ve never been more excited for Easter. I was watching those Bible videos on lds.org on Saturday and more than ever, I feel my Savior’s love. He lives and it’s so amazing. His resurrection is the most glorious message of this gospel. I know that this is His true church and gospel, that this is His path.
I truly know that He is guiding this work too. Yesterday, Hermana McCalvy and I had no idea what to do; ALL of our appointments and back up plans for the night fell through. But, we decided to just pray, and go out and have faith. We both got the feeling to visit a less active family. So we went! We walked to their apartment complex, talked to one of their daughters in the doorway for about ten minutes, and that was it. We had no idea what to do next, but got the feeling we shouldn’t stay and knock in that area because it was getting dark. It started to snow, and we had no idea where to go next. So, we went to the Jack in the Box next to the apartment complex and looked over our plans. We went through so many people in the branch, asking for rides, and nobody could give us a ride. We sat there for awhile (of course I got an Oreo cookie shake and tacos, nothing like 800 calories worth of cream and fake meat to make you feel better) and just laughed about it. We gave some pass along cards out to a family and the woman who took our order, and eventually got a ride from Hermana San Juan (she’s the best. She gives us rides all the time, and we were trying to ask her only as a last resort because she helps us all the time. But of course, we could rely on her).
After trying to figure out if we were doing anything wrong, we came to this conclusion; we are doing our best, maybe it’s not other companionship’s bests, but it’s our best. We are trying to follow the promptings of the Spirit. We followed them. What more can we do? The Lord knows we want to work.
I thought of my personal study earlier that morning. Nephi and his family were driven, in their ship, to the Promised Land by the wind. The wind! Something they didn’t have any control over! Yes, they needed to be faithful in order for the Liahona to show them where to go. But the wind, the Liahona, the will of the Lord showed them where to go. I firmly believe that the Lord is guiding us, even though we don’t know where. He’s truly been using as us instruments to do His work, because we have no idea why we felt prompted to visit that family, or why we felt prompted to leave, or why we went to Jack in the Box for goodness sake! But, we are striving to be obedient, and I know the Lord will work miracles through us if we will trust Him.
Obviously, I learned a lot this week. A lot about tender mercies too. We met Antonio, the postman who was interested in hearing more, Guadalupe, who works in Irma’s salon and who wants us to visit her, and Rob and Kimberly who gave us a ride one night while we were on the wrongggg side of town (yes, we shouldn’t be accepting rides from strangers, but it was a tender mercy, okay? He served a mission in Provo!).
I love you all. I know the Lord lives and loves us too. Being a missionary is the best, rejection and all.
Love love love,
Hermana Rachel Knecht