Anyways, this week was great. I have really come to love the people and work this week more than I ever have in the past, ever. I love love love the people I teach and the members of the ward and I don't want to go home. I want to stay here and teach people and help them learn about Christ and feel the spirit. I honestly have the greatest job in the world. The beginning of this week was actually a little rough and quite slow. I felt bad bringing a new sister into an area that didn't have a whole lot going on the first few days. We taught hardly any lessons, got doors slammed in our faces, had a huge heat wave here without AC and to be honest I actually was doing great! But I could see that my new companion was struggling a little bit. That would be kind of hard to be thrown into. She would say things like, I just don't get it, why don't they want to listen to us or how come no one cares. I need to learn to not just be like whatever they'll get a second chance, God is merciful so other missionaries will find them. Eventually that's what I need to get to but I realize it's okay to feel that Godly sorrow initially that they turned down this great thing and do all that I can to invite them to partake of this gospel. The last couple days here though things turned around completely. I've been reading in Jacob 5 out of the Book of Mormon- the allegory of the Olive Tree- and I can really relate to it in a lot of ways in the area I serve. "And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: How comest thou hither to plant this tree, or this branch of the tree? For behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard. And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit." I felt that same way all of last transfer. Why am I in La Canada? What am I supposed to do here if no one will listen to me? What in the world am I doing wrong. Why am I in what seems "the poorest spot in all the land (mission) of thy vineyard"? Sister Fleming and I never once found anyone new to teach the 1st 2nd or 3rd discussion. We met some nice people, taught other lessons, but never any of the discussions. And at times it did get discouraging not to see real growth in our area. But this last Saturday and Sunday we've taught both the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation to 3 different people and 3 new investigators. This was the Lord saying "Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit." We now have 9 investigators. And 4 potential/ almost investigators. Sister Fleming and I had almost none last transfer and we're only at the end of the first week of this transfer. The work really is hastening and miracles happen each day.
The people that we teach are miracles in my life and inspire me. They are truly why I'm here. I pray for them all the time, I love them, I love teaching them and being with them. This week we taught Idita and Livija the restoration. They are from Lithuania and some of my favorite people in the entire world. They're sisters and they are about in their 60s and they are a hoot! If they had their own show I'd watch it every day they are so funny. When we met Idita for the first time she was like well I have my own church no thanks I'm not interested but we invited them to do family history work at the church and they came! Then Sister Fleming and I made a few visits to them and got to know them better. Then when Sister Lallis came I said it's time to teach them. It's now or never. So we did and taught the restoration to them. It went from not wanting anything to do with our faith to them saying they would read and pray about The Book of Mormon. Miracles happen everyday if we ask for them, earnestly pray for them and desire them, and then work so hard that they will come to pass. They're a blessing and miracle in my life. I love them so much.
Then there's Patty Anderson. She is a miracle in my life. She is such a tender woman. The Minnesota lady I've written about. She also was very much, I'm into my own church but I love the Bible and to pray and I'll talk about God with you. So Sister Fleming and I did. But then when Sister Lallis came it was go time. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and the spirit was so strong. It was one of the best lessons I've ever been in. We brought a member of the ward, Sister Frandsen who is just wonderful and amazing and lo and behold, they knew each other and she didn't even realize it before! The spirit was there and she really opened up to us about her concerns, her relationship with Christ, her hopes her fears, her struggles, where she wants to be and everything. Sister Frandsen was wonderful to have with us she shared many great scriptures and things from her heart that helped her. She also agreed to read over what we taught and pray about it. This is the same woman who a couple weeks ago made us take back The Book of Mormon we "forgot" at her house and didn't really want anything to do with our doctrine. It was an incredible lesson.
Christ is very merciful to put us in leadership positions when we are not qualified. I'm so not qualified to be a trainer. I've been out 12 weeks, am a year younger than the minimum age used to be, younger than my new companion and only in the area for 6 weeks. I don't know anything. Haha! But I had felt since the first week I was with Sister Fleming that I would be training since she would be going home and I got to be trained by a sister that was leaving at the end of the transfer. So I took it seriously at least. The first day though it scared me to death to think that I would lead the area and be the one who has to take charge and start lessons, and tell people they need to repent, and teach them doctrine when they said they didn't want to hear it, and figure out what we should do each day, until the new sister got the hang of things. And now none of that scares me. I know that I'm still not qualified and I have much to learn and many weakness and things I need to repent of from last week that I could have done much better but I KNOW that I'm not alone and that the Lord is leading the work. I just need to listen better, act more, and do what I came here to do.
I'm so grateful for Sister Fleming and the example she set to me of humility and kindness and patience. Everything we went through last transfer set the stage for this one and she was so selfless to put in all her heart when she wouldn't even get to see the results or the people grow. She did a lot more than she'll know or see.
I'm grateful for my new companion and she has taught me so much about kindness and gentleness. I have much to learn from her. She is also very pure and sweet which I could also work on.
I love the people here and I love my job. I have the best job in the whole world and I don't want to leave this area or the people. I don't want to go home. The Lord is so merciful to allow me all these experiences and to have blessed me with miracles each day. I know I need to do so much better and step it up.
I love you all and I'm so grateful for all your examples.
Remember that it may seem that God asks hard things of you. But if you're thinking that then maybe it's because you're trying to do it on your own and taking it all upon yourself. Because in that sense, you can't do it, not alone. But when you come to Christ and do what He has asked because He love you and work with Him in His name it doesn't seem so hard anymore. He'll help you, but you have to humble yourself and ask and repent and accept His love in your life. Don't try to got at life alone. You won't get anywhere. "When I am weak then I am strong."
Have a great week, I love you all.
Love, Sister Fjeldsted
Love, Sister Fjeldsted