Monday, May 28, 2012

Hello family: 1st week in Minnesota


This past week was so crazy. It's flying by so fast! Okay, just to clarify, of course I know the investigators at the MTC are not real (except for the one we got that actually was...) I'm smarter than you think.  I miss the MTC so much! It was pretty much my favorite thing in the world. 

Anyway, I have a trainer named Sister Randall and she is awesome! She is exactly the type of person I need at the beginning of my mission because I tend to stress a lot and she handles stress really well and is very supportive. So we are whitewashing the Medicine Lake Area. We both just arrived and don't know anything and the sisters before us whitewashed in 6 weeks prior as well. It's been a crazy few days... But, we met the ward yesterday and they are so great! The bishop is getting released next week but they have such a great missionary minded ward.  They have these things called Family Mission Plans that are so wonderful because most investigators come from referrals anyway.  So they enact these plans and strive to invite people to come to different activities in the ward or to a baptism or just simply pray for missionary experiences. Its really neat.  Our whole mission does it I believe.  The members are awesome. There are quite a few Liberians who are so great and give good referrals.  We haven't really taught a "real" lesson yet just because we just got here and don't really have many investigators. We've mainly focused on less active members and new members the past four days which has been good. I love them already.  But, we are going to exercise a lot of faith this week and pray really hard to find people as we work with the members and are diligent and obedient to our mission president and the guidelines.  I know He is very aware of us and knows what we need and as we are diligent, willing, and humble, He will show us the way.  Every person I see I want to share a message with but I get so NERVOUS to speak its the weirdest thing. I can totally have a normal conversation with people but when I start to bring up the gospel I freeze ha I'm working on it though.  Sister Randal has been very patient and loving and has helped me overcome my fears.  Deuteronomy 31 "Be strong and of a good courage." Tracting is pretty much the hardest thing for me to do! All the people we talk to believe in Jesus and already have their religion.  They read the bible and don't need anything else.  They have families and are already happy.  They don't want to learn more blah blah blah blah blah. It's so annoying. But, sister randall is really good about saying if we are diligent then the fruits of our labors will come and maybe not right away.  We've been practicing our door approaches to better get a convo going when we talk and I think one of the best ways is to testify briefly of the restored truths and invite them to learn more. But you also have to make it apart of them which is hard cuz some don't even give you 5 seconds to say anything.  Some are very nice and will chat with you and ask questions but thats all they want... It's a work in progress. I just need to get over my fears I guess of talking to people.

The bishop has mainly asked us to visit a lot of the less active members and build trusting relationships with the new members and members so that when they have referrals they can trust us to talk with them and such.  It's been hard because I guess I expected to get here and be teaching a whole bunch of lessons to people already and just dive right in but essentially Sister Randall and I are both starting clean.  It'll come I know it will I just have to learn patience and trust in the Lord.  I feel like I've been here for a while but it's only been 4 days! Weird.  So yesterday at church I went with a few questions and totally received revelation concerning answers.  Church is amazing that way.  We go to be uplifted and feel the spirit and to renew our covenants and become clean again, but it's amazing how much the Lord is aware and gives us answers to our questions when we get there.  I feel so humbled.  I am having a hard time deciphering between my humility and confidence, but I think it mainly is having confidence in Jesus Christ and His Atonement that brings that humility. As I study more about Him and His sacrifice it brings me such comfort and overwhelming love... I am still trying to make that apart of my conversion because in order to teach and testify and truly convert people, you have to be converted yourself.  It's a work in progress. Love is so strong in missionary work.  I love this gospel and my Savior and the people here.  Sometimes it is hard to love them when they reject you and slam the door in your face but I just have to remember they are children of God just like you and He loves them just as much.  And then I think of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross... all those people that rejected Him yet He still forgave them and loved them.  Oh man its simply amazing and sometimes hard to comprehend.  

I think my greatest weakness is my confidence in my teaching ability.  but, as I read a talk it just said to study and ponder and understand the principles taught so that I can become confident in what I am teaching.. Man I feel like I should be this perfect missionary already but I have to remind myself I've only been here 4 days and mistakes are necessary I guess in order to learn.  I just want the members to trust me even though I am straight from the MTC! haha But I need to trust in the Lord more and be more humble.  that's my goal this week humility.  so any advice? ha jk 

Anyway, It is absolutely beautiful here! The area kinda reminds me of Alpine except more green! :) there are a lot of lakes and mosquitoes but thanks to that bug spray I should be okay :) And yes, we are staying with the Wilsons who are the best people ever! They are like our parents. They have given us so much! And I know their daughter Liz a little bit through Brittany and her friend Katie. It was a fun and interesting connection.  there have actually been a few connections like that with people I have met here.  It's been really cool.  I love it here.  I am ready to work and obey and be the missionary God wants me to be.  I can't remember what other questions you asked exactly... sorry I'm not very good at answering them... But that story of had's made me laugh! haha I love her! Tell her Minnesota says she can bring Opie with her :) 

The people here are great. It's very diverse, but so exciting and I feel this love for every single person I see.  God knows what is best for us and I know as we continue to work hard, He will bless us.  So anyway, Jess and Britt that is so exciting you get to speak! They will both do such a wonderful job I just know it and Jess is going to love the MTC! :) Emily!!!! YAY! Tell her she better tell me ASAP when she finds out when she is leaving for the MTC! I can't wait for her to get out and work. It's the best feeling in the world.  Everyday is amazing and the people are so great.  We've met some interesting people actually ha some are not so hot on the LDS church but most people love chattin with you.  Anyway, I hope all is well at home! Keep up the good work and I will continue praying for each one of you :) I LOVE YOU and will talk to you next week! :) I've almost been out a month!?! WHHHAAAAT?? Crazy. 

See you soon! 

Sister Owens 

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