HI! So guess what!? I just finished MY FIRST WEEK IN THE MISSION FIELD. Hahaha and oh boy, it was a roller coaster.
There is a reason for the title of this email... almost everything that could go wrong this week went wrong. But BUTTTT there were also a great deal of miracles! Because God is amazing, and I know He wants us to feel His presence, even when we are struggling.
So pretty much... all of our appointments but a couple fell through, even a dinner appointment! None of our investigators were home, and the members we wanted to visit asked us to come back at a better time. So we spent a solid amount of time driving and trying to find new people to visit. We tracted in a park, in a couple neighborhoods, and even in a grocery store. We got yelled at for being white (hahah which was actually just so funny), and we got rejected quite a bit. Good ol' missionary life!
But through it all, my companion and I saw miracles. We hardly got lost this week, which sounds so small and insignificant, but it really was an answer to our prayers. Hermana Grubbs had prayed for at least one new investigator on Saturday, and we ran into a lady who happened to be a referral given to us from the Elders. She told us we could visit her this next week! We still don't know how interested she really is, but we are grateful that God answered that simple prayer of Hermana Grubbs!
On Saturday night, we were pretty much exhausted - physically and emotionally. We decided to try and find a less active family, though we weren't too sure where they lived. We were driving up and down a street, trying to decide if we should just go tracting, when a certain house stood out to me. So we go and knock, and sure enough? It was that family! She was so grateful to see us, and she asked us to come back this week. Definitely a miracle!
All in all, I haven't lost any faith in God, and I know for a fact that this companionship was inspired by God. We have gotten so close - learning how to laugh instead of cry and learning how to smile when we get rejected. It's been a blessing for sure, another one of God's tender mercies.
Yesterday while sitting in church, I looked around at the nearly empty chapel. My heart ached when I thought of how many people were there without their whole families. There are so many moms who come with only one child, so many families who have teenagers who choose not to come. But just as the pain entered my heart for these people, a sense of overwhelming love and appreciation filled me up for the people that WERE there, every single week. People who drive 20 to 30 miles or even more just to come to church. It's those people that inspire me every day to keep working.
This missionary work would be impossible without God - this work would be impossible without members. Be active in your area... go out with missionaries, give them a hug, give them referrals, bring friends to church, have missionaries over for dinner. Do all that you can to help this amazing work move forward. Because guess what? Your testimony, no matter how small it might feel sometimes, can and WILL change peoples lives. You just need to open your mouth! God promises all through the scriptures that He will always be with you. Look for those promises, pray for strength to share the gospel, and go out and do!
Sure, this week has been rough. But I know now with a surety that this work can't be done without God. I need the Holy Ghost, I need to repent daily, and I need the strength that comes from reading and studying the scriptures. Never before have I treasured the Book of Mormon this much! I am so excited every morning when I get to read for an hour during personal study because every single day, God answers my prayers and calms my worries through the stories and teachings in the Book of Mormon. It is incredible!
I love you all so much! I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. There's nowhere else in the world God needs me but right here in Omaha, Nebraska, teaching and serving and being with these people! Our loving Heavenly Father wants each and everyone of us to be happy. I can't even accurately describe how discouraging the majority of this week has been, but it's incredible to me to know that through it all, God was there. God was helping, preparing, and guiding me. I know it. It's something that I will never deny.
Hermana Brie Gould