I honestly don’t know where to begin. Life is so great! Bring a missionary is great! London is great! God is great! The gospel is great! Everything is great!
Ok so why everything is so great-well this week was great! Well first of all, let’s start with last Monday. I got my weekly burger with the sisters and later that night, Sister Apiyo and I got stuck on a bus with the Elders for three hours. We were trying to get home and Carnival (look it up, it’s crazy) was going on. It shut down tube stations and bus stops so we tried to avoid it. Well, our bus decided to go on a diversion, straight through Carnival. We couldn’t get off the bus because it was pretty unsafe, so we just sat there stuck for three hours. It was quite the experience, including a broken bus, a bus driver who didn’t know how to drive the bus, a screaming lady in a wheel chair, and beeftactic. It was full of laughs and over-tiredness, while getting home at 10:40 wasn’t as great of a time.
But back to the other greatness of the week! So every single day we saw Mina. She’d walk into the chapel on time each day for a lesson and her faith continued to grow. We taught her about fasting on Wednesday, and Thursday she came to the lesson saying, “I’m trying fasting right now and it’s going great!” She’s been such an amazing example to me.
One lesson her 11-year-old Muslim cousin joined us and we were discussing the Ten Commandments. I was explaining coveting as wanting something someone else has, so we shouldn’t covet! Then later after the lesson we went outside to talk, and we were watching the cars pass by. I then said, “This morning I saw this really nice black Jeep and man, I wanted it so bad.” And the 11-year-old boy goes, “Wait don’t you remember the lesson we just had?! Don’t covet!” It was absolutely hilarious.
But then the best part- Mina got baptised! It was incredible. She was so happy! She’s just glowing. And then the Zone Leaders friends Simon, Theresa, and Odett were baptised on Sunday. I was so blessed to attend these baptisms and see all the happiness around.
As far as other great friends we are teaching, Jan is struggling as he is still looking for a job. However, his faith is stronger than ever! We studied 2 Nephi 2 (my favourite chapter in the Book of Mormon) this week, which talks about the need for opposition. It was a very powerful lesson, filled with so many tears.
Mike the Magician (aka Magic Mike) is awesome. We are burger BFFs and he showed us some magic this week. He brightens my week in so many ways. During a lesson this week, he finished by saying a prayer and it was so incredibly powerful. After the prayer, he was just silent for awhile and then said, “There is a breakthrough coming.” He’s getting there! I love his dedication and desire to truly find out if the things we are teaching him are true.
We also got to see Newbury Michael and that was always a wonderful time. We watched the entire Restoration video about Joseph Smith. Once again, so many tears. I’ve seen the video several times, but I was still speechless after watching it. I cannot explain to each of you in words how true this gospel is. It brings so much happiness to my life, and I am incredibly blessed to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you ever want to know how awesome it is, just let me know. I’ll help ya out!
Now why on earth would a trainer be in training? So the first 12 weeks as a new missionary you are being trained. Well, I’ve now been in London for 12 weeks and today is my last day of “training.” And starting tomorrow, I will be a trainer! This means my next companion will be a brand new missionary from either South Korea or China and I am going to show her how missionary work is done! Can I just tell you all how unprepared I feel for this?
For those who don’t know, normally when a missionary comes out on their mission, they get a trainer for 6 weeks and then another follow-up trainer for another 6 weeks. After those 12 weeks, though they are out of “training,” they will still have a more experienced companion. Within my first 6 weeks, my companion went home so I took over my area, meaning I had to teach my follow-up trainer what was going on in our area. And now my follow-up trainer is going home and I will be the “senior companion” and training. Can you say, CRAZY?!
But what I’ve learned already is that the Lord really doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson once told him, “The Lord will qualify those whom He calls.”
How true this statement is! This will be a whole new experience. I think the most overwhelming feeling I currently have is just of feeling inadequate. I think so far on my mission I’ve just felt like I am not good enough for whatever task lies ahead.
However, this week I’ve been pondering on how we can’t always be so hard on ourselves and that we just need to keep trying. And then I got the call from Elder Kalabanko that I am training. I think it’s incredible how the Lord prepared me through my studies this week that I can’t be so hard on myself and that I can do this with His help.
We just need to start where we are. We may feel inadequate or not good enough. We may think we lack certain skills or aren’t “enough” of anything in fact. But we need to recognise those weaknesses and know that the Lord will strengthen us.
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve really studied this idea of the Lord strengthening us this week. And so to make this email a bit better, I just opened an email from my mom and she seems to be feeling what I’ve been feeling as well. She said, “The Lord builds our confidence in our abilities. For our weaknesses really do become strengths as we allow Him to take over and help us become as He wants us to be. We must let go and He will direct our paths for good.”
Mother-daughter telepathy is a real thing.
But President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave wonderful counsel on this as well. He said, “We don’t need to be “more” of anything to start to become the person God intended us to become. God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord.”
So my friends, I am sorry this has been a bit scattered, but I just want you all to know that you are good enough. We just need to look at ourselves through our Heavenly Father’s eyes. He sees us as who we are and we can become. As we acknowledge our weaknesses, He will strengthen them. Life is truly so great and we can always improve! Just keep trying and growing. You’ve got this!
Love you all!