Monday, January 12, 2015

It's Not about Happy endings, but endless Happiness


Dear Family,
     Hey. So this week was pretty random. There wasn't anything crazy or like super exciting that happened, like our heater breaking or general authorities visiting or stuff like that...but it was still a really really good week. You don't need crazy awesome or weird things happening like that to have an amazing mission. I think this week, I just really enjoyed the simple, small, spiritual moments that happen on a regular basis. I mean, I know there are some stellar awesome miracle moments in this work...but to be honest, most of the time they are the tiny imperceptible moments that can pass you by if you aren't looking close enough. I think this week I really tried to focus on keeping my eyes open for them. 
     This week, the work finally picked back up after the holidays. Not as many people canceled, and we were actually able to get ahold of people again! Thank Heavens! We did a lot of making cookies to help us get in doors, and also to help share how much we appreciated our ward mission leaders. Our ward mission leaders in the YSA stake are phenomenal! Most of them are fresh RMs who are so excited about the work and so focused. I've had great WMLs before, but this group of guys that we have are hard core and focused. They are so organized. We've received three new ward mission leaders within the past week, so we've had to train and update them pretty closely as they come in. Our High Councilman is really good, and trains them each meeting on what they can do better. I have to accredit a lot of our success in this area to the devotion and focus of our ward mission leaders. 
     So this week we taught this guy named A, who was a convert back when he was in high school, but fell away when all of his friends left to go on missions. He lived like a hippy for a while in Seattle for a summer, and looked a lot into Buddhism and nature...haha. He is a super chill guy and really nice. We've been going through the lessons with him, because he virtually knows nothing. This week when we met with him he had a friend with him named D who is Less active, and sat in on the lesson. We were teaching about the Plan of Salvation, and his friend D asked a really good question, that I've never thought about before. He said "Why did God create us as imperfect beings? If He is all powerful, and He is the one who made us, why didn't he just make us perfect to begin without, so He wouldn't have to go through all this trouble." That one stumped me for a second. But you'd be surprised what the spirit lets come out of your mouth when you have no idea what to say. I began explaining to him, that we were created perfectly, the way God wanted us to be. But he gave us our own minds, our own agency, so that we could grow and develop as our own beings. We developed personalities on our own. We probably were growing and making mistakes even before this life. We are eternal beings. We can't wrap our minds around it now, but we are probably imperfect now, because of the freedom of will that God has given all his creations. It was interesting to think about.
     This week, because of the new semester in all the surrounding colleges here, they had an institute opening social. Except it wasn't just any social, the stake presidency had been letting the students submit questions, and that night they went through a bunch of the doctrinal questions and answered them. They also took questions from the audience, and it was really interesting. We got into a lot of discussion about the difference between God being pleased with you vs. God being satisfied with you. We also talked about how God is the perfect parent. He loves us with no strings attached. He loves us perfectly and constantly. If you obey the commandments he doesn't love you more than someone who doesn't. He doesn't love you less because someone seems more successful than you. Sure he has goals he wants for you to achieve, but that doesn't change the way he feels about you at all. Love, with no strings attached
     So random fact....this week I was fed sword was strange. It tasted like concentrated ocean meat form. It was really weird. I don't know how to describe it...and I'm still trying to decide whether I liked it or not...
     Friday was a really good day. We had Zone Training Meeting and we had some really good discussions. Zone meetings can sometimes humble you a ton and make you feel like you need to do so much better in your area and sometimes Zone meetings make you feel like a rock star missionary! This zone meeting was pretty evenly balanced between the two... which is good if they can do that. Sis Reed always called it the "Puff, puff, break, puff" method. Pretty much Encourage, encourage, chastise, encourage. Haha. But it was really cool, because we read from the New Testament the parable of the lost sheep. I've read it a billion times, just like every missionary has, but we discussed it differently. We talked about the Wilderness. Christ says in the parable that the shepherd searches in the wilderness for his lost sheep. And it made me think. Wildernesses are hard...and not very fun. I've told you before that being a missionary is no cake walk. It's hard. You struggle a lot. But that's the way it's supposed to be. This land is my wilderness in which I search for God's sheep. It's difficult and trying, but boy am I so so grateful for it. Because this wilderness, though hard, has become a sacred place for me.  God isn't all about happy endings, but endless happiness. 
     Saturday we also had a bajillion people show up for our volleyball finding activity! It was great! I hope we get the same turn out next week!
     Well I hope you all have an amazing week! I know mine will be! We have lots planned! I miss you all and love you lots!!! Stay positive! :) 
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

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