At the request of my mom I would like to share with you a few of the hard things about being a missionary. About how being a missionary does not change the fact that you have fatigue, differences with people, heartache, have to wake up in the morning, and everything else in between.
Tough thing #1
It was a miracle we found DW. He even said it wasn't a coincidence and that the second time we met him and left him with a prayer he found his keys that had been lost for 3-4 days. We went to see him last night excited to share the Plan of Salvation because he missed our last lesson. When you finally find someone who is willing to listen, who actually takes some time to read from The Book of Mormon, and says it could be true your heart soars! You think "We've found them! We found the one who's ready!" So when we told DW that we missed him at church and he tells us he did go to church--his old church--my heart drops. Like you've drop it from the empire state building. Splat! Within those few seconds of those words penetrating my brain I already begin to pray in my splattered heart that he will still give us a chance. That if there is anything we can say to bring the Spirit so that he can recognize the difference, please just let me know! Anything! That's nice and all that you felt that you should start going back to church but our message is more than that. It's about the way to obtain salvation and eternal happiness. Thoughts and feelings begin to flood me as quickly as I try to push them back out so I focus on DW and what he needs right at this very moment. When you have someone's salvation in you hands and have an absolute surety that is that thing they've been looking for it is devastating when you feel you've been the means of driving them away to someone or something else!
I struggled. I didn't know exactly what to tell him or what scripture to read. Lot's of things came to mind. I wanted to say, "I didn't say go back to your old church! There's so much more!!! Come back! Give us more time. Take the time. Don't think this is the end. You can't learn everything all at once so don't judge our message until you've heard us out. And for heaven's sake don't go back to your old church." That is what I felt but then I tried my best to pray to understand him. What is it that DW needs? How can I help him know that this will bless him? How can I let him know that I care about him and his family and more importantly how much Heavenly Father loves him?
We were able to have a shaky Plan of Salvation lesson. He let us talk. We couldn't answer every question. I wish I were better acquainted with the Bible, that I could quote it like him. It is hard. I couldn't find the scriptures I was looking for and I don't know how much he agreed with us. He did in the end say we could come back again, though it was unlikely he would join. When you meet someone you know is ready you just want to say, THIS IS IT! Don't look any further. Yes, study it out. Yes, pray about it. Yes, make a judgement on all we've shared. But don't let your own intellect and brain get in the way!
Yes, missionaries, including Sister McNeece, get frustrated.
Tough thing #2
You are not immune from death, trials, distraction, and home. Because of the many people I interact with I have learned no on is exempt from trials. Death is common. Life is hard. And you are never the exception. Being a missionary, I still have friends and family who have passed away. I feel physical pain and emotional pain. I experience guilt when I don't follow through with a prompting from the spirit.
I don't say these things for pity or to show how much I've been through but to show that we all go through tough things, that we can rely on others for help, and the thing that will get us through them is not a thing at all but a person, Our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Also, my new companion is Sister Anderson. Yes, from Utah. She is funny and very good explaining simply. We are very different and I'm sure are going to experience differences and hardship but there will also be much to be learned from one another.
P.S. Sister Rudy's parents are Bill and Jill; Sister Anderson, new companion from Alpine, her parents are Michelle and David.
P.P.S. Both of our camera cords have been left in our previous areas so I'll send some pics asap....