God bless America, y'all. Sure love the 4th of July! We had a nice, American BBQ with the Marshall family (the members we live with), complete with potato salad, hamburgers, and chocolate cake. Perfect. Love me some American food.
This week was pretty rough. Nothing improved - or at least, not that we can see right now. We've been working really hard with all of our investigators, but we can't seem to help them progress any further! We've been praying and fasting and studying to try and figure out what God wants us to do. We have faith that God will provide a way, He always does. He knows exactly what we need and exactly what we should do. I love that, I love knowing that. It gives me a lot of hope.
The two highlights of this week were Zone Conference and exchanges.
EXCHANGES - This time around I was with sweet Sister Manning. She was originally in the South Dakota mission before our mission adopted her! She is so amazing, I love her. She has this way of absolutely lighting up a room and making everyone feel loved. If you've got a story to tell, she'll listen and her focus won't sway from you one bit. It was a little weird at first... but it's awesome! We were able to visit 3 families. Love them all! One of the visits was with Elizabeth, one of my favorite humans. We were able to meet her roommate, Brooke too! All 4 of us sat on the living room floor, and chatted about life and how we all came to know the gospel. We asked both of them what drew them to the church, and both said that it was the focus on families. As Brooke opened up and told us her story, something that she said really stuck with me. "The gospel healed me in a way that I had been looking for. No other psychology class or therapy session worked. Only God." Beautiful, right? The most lasting and enduring peace and happiness comes only in and through our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. You can't find that happiness anywhere else. You can sure try and prove me wrong, but I know for a fact that God is the author of happiness. Through Him, we can live with our families for all of eternity. All that is wrong in the world will be made right. All of it. We have to trust in that.
ZONE CONFERENCE - We finally met our new president and his wife! President and Sister Gardner. They are both so amazing. They are both inspired and definitely needed in our mission right now. Plus the two of them are so cute... they are so in love. They talked about each other with so much adoration - it was just a lot of cuteness that I couldn't handle as a missionary lol. But I love them tons already! Sister Gardner and all of her goodness gave a really great training - and super applicable too. The thing that stuck out to me was this... "Find joy in the hard times. Always seek for His guidance and watch for Him answer your prayers." Love it. President Gardner finished the conference with a message that really touched my heart, and I know it was needed by so many others. He looked at all of us and said, "Elders, sisters. You can't go back. You can't go back to the life you used to live. You are changed! Do you understand? You are changed." He told us that we are here on a mission to be changed for the rest of our lives. This isn't just 18 months or 2 years of talking to people about the gospel... it's so much more. This gospel is so much more than I even realized. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is so much more than I can even comprehend! I can't waste one second. I can't be selfish in any way... and I think that might be one of the hardest things about a mission. When I'm too scared to knock a door or call an investigator or teach in Spanish or even if I'm too tired to wake up on time or study my scriptures for a full hour... I'm being selfish because this isn't my time. These next 18 months (or I guess 13 now) are the Lord's. So do I love the Lord enough to leave my old life behind?
My goal for this mission (or my whole life!) is to know Him.
So all in all, this week was not too exciting. We did teach 20 lessons though, which is the most we've ever done! But we don't see much progress, though we have hope. Exchanges are this week! Let's all pray that Hermana Grubbs and I get another transfer together... :)
I love you all so much!
Don't sell yourself short. Be great! YOU CAN DO ITTTTT!
Hermana Brie Gould