Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Getting stronger Physically & Spiritually

November 13, 2013

Dearest Family of mine!
     What can I say, it is insane here! When they say that missionaries are busy....they are seriously BUSY! 
     I'm slowly getting in bike shape. I can feel the muscles building stronger and it really helps. I just have to remind myself to look up while I ride and not stare at the pavement. I've found that it makes me enjoy the ride more when I look up at all the colorful autumn trees and the mountains. Sis Albrechtsen has been riding a bike her whole life so she is super speedy! She would get lost in thought and just be booking it on her bike and I would be waaay behind her before she realized it! haha She has since started to make me ride in front. She taught me the grid system of the streets this last week and I'm beginning to recognize my surrounding and understand how the street layouts work. Now if only I could memorize all the names of the people I meet! Oh goodness, but really it's coming easier and easier every day. I named my bike Helga...seriously my bike is the devil! haha it makes me laugh, but seriously it is! Its favorite thing to do is switch gears on me without my knowledge, the flat tire in the back loves to go flat, and it makes funny noises...haha but its got character! Maybe I should switch the name to Lucifer or something. Haha!
    On thanksgiving we still go out proselyting, and our host family has called dibs on feeding us Thanksgiving lunch, and I think another family has Thanksgiving dinner...I swear the people here feed us like we're starving...and we definitely are NOT!
      The work has been pretty slow here this week. Yesterday I was really bummed because Meriem, a girl we had on date to be baptized in December, dropped us completely. She just randomly texted us and told us she wasn't ready to commit and wanted to stop having lessons....It was hard...especially since I care so much about the people here. I love everyone so much that we meet and teach, and especially Meriem because she was progressing so when she texted and said that I was really sad. All we can do is keep praying for her and our other investigators. Our investigator from Ghana is getting baptized on Nov 30th though! Let’s hope he sticks with it!
    I had an experience this week that really stuck with me. It affected both me and Sis A. in different ways. We went to the home of the H. family, where the father was less active. We didn't know this at first actually, and thought he was just a nonmember. We asked if we could share a message with him and his daughter and son were there too. We asked him about what his views on religion were....he just went off! He wasn't yelling or anything, but he just started ranting about how religions were exclusionary, and how they took away individuality, and stuff like "What kind of Heavenly Father would send his children to hell just because they didn't know better!" and he didn't like the plan of salvation and how there were three different kingdoms and how that separates families, and he just went on and on and on. We tried to answer his questions and he kind of accused us of being brain washed, and asked how we could be ourselves if so much of the way we acted and were brought up relied on our religion and God. It was the strangest feeling...I felt just so sad...and it wasn't because I was getting a lecture, or even that his Logic made sense, or that his kids were sitting there and blindly agreeing with him. I had every reason to be frustrated and angry at what he was saying... But instead I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. I just felt this peace come over me, but also this intense sadness. It was as if Heavenly father were standing next to me with his arm around my shoulders...and I just kept hearing in my head "This is my son. This is my son and I love him." As a missionary I seem to see people the same way Heavenly father does. It's this new thing that I discovered once I came out here, but it's true. I just felt so heart broken, because sitting in front of me was my brother and he was just so so lost. He'd even served his own mission when he was younger and he'd converted people, and now he was just lost. I couldn't feel angry at what he was saying, I was just so sad. I just felt so sad that he knew the truth and he was denying it. I can't even explain to you how shattered I felt for him, and I can't even begin to comprehend the kind of love heavenly father has for him and the kind of sorrow He feels for his wayward son.
     I love my companion! She is seriously so sweet! I'm really used to being the one to help out and serve my companion a lot, and it's been an insanely humbling experience to be trained by her, because she is so nice and patient with me and all my questions and she finds so many ways to serve me! I'm so grateful! I kind of feel like a baby missionary because I have no clue what I'm doing and she guides me a lot. She's a lot more experienced than I am, and she's 21 so I feel like she's way more superior and wiser than I am. I just hope we can become closer and become better friends the longer we're together. She's very determined and she's such a go-getter! She went to BYU Hawaii and even went and did a service mission in Kenya! She's kind of quiet and we don't talk a whole lot, but there are absolutely no bad feelings at all between us. She' super smart and helps me out a lot. 
    I miss my MTC district a lot! I didn't realize how much I would miss them but I do a ton! We had a zone meeting this last week and I got to see Sis. Child. I didn't realize how much I had really missed her until we saw each other and we ran super-fast and gave each other a big hug! haha I love her, she and I are soooo similar and we could talk for hours! We have a zone conference this next week so I hope that I can see some more of my friends from my district there!
     This week at zone meeting was amazing! We talked a lot about our divine roll as missionaries. They stressed a lot how important it is to be a missionary right now and it was kind of intimidating, but also inspiring! It made me want to rise up to the role I've been given, but it's also super intense and scary. Lately they've been drumming it into our heads how insanely important missionary work is right now. Not just for us, but for members too! The stakes here are concentrating hard core on missionary-focused youth activities and lessons and firesides. The adults are too. It has become so important for the members to help out in this regard. Our mission president talked to Elder Perry recently and the two things he told him were very profound. He said, "We are no longer on defence. We are on offense. We can't hold the front lines of this war anymore, we need to be pushing the front lines." and then he said, "It's time to get your running shoes one; this is the final sprint."  I can't express to you all enough how important missionary work is right now. You need to help out! Read Jacob 1:19, and if that doesn't scare you into acting, I don't know what will...I never thought I'd ever want to be in the military, because I never wanted to fight in a war...but I'm starting to realize that I am in fact on "the front lines" right now and I have a huge responsibility to live up to my heritage and my calling.  Missionary work right now it essential. Seriously, everyone in my family, you need to know that this is not a time to keep your mouths shut. We can't keep this knowledge to ourselves; how could we? I for one do not want to face the crowds of people when I reach the other side and say "Sorry, I didn't share the gospel with you. Sorry I didn't share this important information that could have been your salvation... I'm sorry I didn't because I was scared..." Scared? Nervous? Shy? Really? That is NOT a good enough excuse! People NEED this gospel. So I'm inviting/challenging/begging you to go out and help. Serioiusly, every member a missionary. Dad especially, you're a bishop, please stress to the members how important this work is, especially NOW! And mom and dad, even if you can't find anyone to teach, let the missionaries know you are willing to help in any way you can. Let them teach people in our home, where they can see our family as an example. Talk to people. Open your mouth. Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ." 

      I love you all so much and miss you so much that words can't describe. But I also love my Savior and Heavenly father so much that words can't describe, and I love my spiritual sibling so much that words can't describe. I have you guys for eternity, but I have these 18 months to influence them, so I'm here and I can't leave or give up. Please help out!
     I love love love you all! I'll see you sooner than you think :)
Love Always,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

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