September 30, 2013 by sisterrachelknecht
Dearest family and friends,
New transfer, new companion, Hermana Kepler, and Fall is here. I love change. Let it be known that I miss Sister Ayre like crazy though, and all the fun times and learning experiences we had together. I know the Lord kept us together that long for a reason, and I’m still figuring it out, but I’m grateful for it.
Transfers was crazy, such a surreal moment. One of our zone leaders going home, the other becoming AP. Half our zone getting transferred. Completely different district except for me and another Elder. Um, and I’ve been in Lebanon the longest! Whatttt?! It’s been a little weird. For the first couple of days, I felt like I was in a dream. But like I said, earlier, I love it!
For a few days, I was feeling so distraught about my calling as Sister Training Leader. I got a letter in the mail that talked about being an example, complete dedication. It was a wake up call. But, I’m understanding that the Lord is qualifying me. I’m learning some really important lessons about planning and goal setting from my new companion (she’s seriously so great at that stuff), and my new district feels like a clean slate to improve in the areas that I need to.
This week we were able to pick up a few new investigators, which was really cool. Our teaching pool has gotten a little dry because we’ve had to drop some people recently, but our new investigators seem really promising. I’m excited to teach them! And of course, Maria is still going as strong as ever. We set a baptismal date with her for October 26th! She’s so solid. It’ll happen, it will it will it will. We also got a text message from a less active that we met at one of the outlet stores here, who isn’t on the ward list and who we haven’t been able to meet with. She asked us if we would please let her know if there was anything going on at church. What a blessing, because the following day was the Relief Society Broadcast, which we invited her too. I’m so excited for her, she’s so sweet.
I’ve really prayed to find meaning and peace with the work I’ve done here thus far. I know that it wasn’t perfect, and that I made mistakes, I was distracted and discouraged at times too. But I read the talk “The Savior Wants to Forgive” by Elder Cardon, I think and I just knew that everything would be okay. That I wouldn’t look back on these last 6 months and think, “wow, I really messed that one up”. Because I haven’t. The lack of baptisms has been discouraging, but I love a part of Preach My Gospel, as well as a principle of forgiveness that goes something like this: when you feel the Spirit working through you, you can know that you have been a successful missionary, and when you feel the Spirit, it will cleanse you and let you know that you are forgiven. The Spirit is so key, and I’m so grateful for how abundantly I’ve been blessed to be able to feel it here. I felt it as I watched the Relief Society Broadcast, the missionaries singing, and the opening prayer that was offered. I will never be able to deny the power I feel whenever anything referring to the age change is said; the Lord is so merciful to continue to remind me that I am doing the right thing by being here, and that I am meant to be here.
I love being a missionary, and I feel so blessed to be here. I can’t believe General Conference is this week, a year since the announcement, a year since my life was turned upside down! But I love the experience I’ve had so far, and know that the Lord’s hand has been in it all along. I want to humble myself more so that I can recognize it better. I love you all so much, and am so grateful for all your support, patience, and love.
Hermana Rachel Knecht