Thursday, August 11, 2016

Street Smarts (July 25, 2016)

This week was in complete honesty one of the worst weeks I have ever had on my mission so far. And I couldn't be more grateful.

We have hit a drought in our area. We have one investigator who we have on date but that about sums up our teaching pool. We have a total of 2 potentials, half of which have cancelled on us already and have been hitting wall after wall after wall. By the end of the week I was feeling a little bit drained and began to feel stuck. And then I was asked to prepare the lesson for Relief Society on Saturday night at 10pm. The lesson was centered around the talk given by Dallin H. Oaks this past General Conference called "Opposition in All Things." I was more than happy to help Eva out and studied for it the next morning, in Spanish because that was the only copy I ended up having. As I began to study, I realized how incredibly fitting this subject went along with our week.

As I read the talk, the scripture Moses 1:39 came to my mind.
"For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." The more I read of the talk, the more that i realized that in order for God to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life, we must have opposition. 2 Nephi 2:11  says that,
"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so... righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility."
12 "Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God."

Elder Oaks explains:
"The purpose of mortal life for the children of God is to provide the experiences needed “to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.” We progress by making choices, by which we are tested to show that we will keep God’s commandments. To be tested, we must have the agency to choose between alternatives. To provide alternatives on which to exercise our agency, we must have opposition."

Okay so I knew all of this. I know, I teach the Plan of Salvation, I've studied it, I understand that we must have opposition. We have to. So how on earth do we apply it to us now, in our lives where we hit droughts, when we run into walls, when we want to just sit down and give up?

There's a letter called the Ricciardi letter that my companion gave to me. In the letter, there is a missionary who hits a drought. He is in London where no one is kind, no one cares, he hits wall after wall after wall. He goes to the room he calls the "Prayer Room" and pleads, cries, begs, demands to understand why it is so hard, why there is no success, why on earth they couldn't find ANYONE. And he received a very distinct response. Heavenly Father knows exactly where those people live that are prepared to accept the gospel. He purposely was sending that missionary to areas that were even harder, areas that were even less receptive than all the others. Why? Because what would we learn if we were sent to find all of those "golden investigators"? Nothing.

Over and over we are told that the greatest convert you will ever have on your mission is you. It doesn't matter if you have a single baptism, because you will have brought a single soul to Christ - yours. "It must needs be, that there is opposition in all things. IF NOT SO righteousness could not be brought to pass..."

And so, this week I have learned "Street Smarts." I now know exactly what does not work as we are tracting. This next week will be much of the same. It will be a whole lot of tracting. But we know now not what to do. And this next week is going to be the best week that we will ever have.

Ether 12:6 - " is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

Les quiero!
Hermana baird

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Comp unity goals!!

So the Elders asked us if we wanted to service on Friday (during our planning time) and we said "sure why not". They said, and i quote, "It's just a little yard work, nothing sisters like yourselves can't handle!" We ended up cutting down trees and going to battle against a grapevine that was killing the pine tree that we swam in. Because we're real hermanas.

Hermana Hansen and I swimming in a pine tree

Hermana Hansen and I with the hack saw that we used to go to war.

Hna Tecuatl selfying while in the background I'm trying not to die as I balance on two pieces of wood held up by the branches of the trees hanging onto a grapevine. It was awesome.

Pine grapes. Or something.

My train made from the trees that we cut down.

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

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