With Easter coming up, we have been focusing a lot on the Atonement with our investigators, study time, and dinner messages. Our mission President put together a packet called the 40 day feast, and each day we get to read a talk or devotional, or scriptures about the Atonement. Reading these and focusing on it for the last month has changed my life so much. Not that any of us could ever fully comprehend what the Savior did for us, but just even understanding it that much more makes such a difference. The Atonement is real and I am so so so grateful for it. It is incredible to me that no matter what we have done in our lives, that Savior is always waiting with open arms to forgive us. And not only that, but it gives us the strength to overcome and enables us to become better each day. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the many ways in which it blesses me everyday:)
Being a missionary has so many ups and downs all the time. When it's good, it's amazing, and when it's bad, it sucks! But that is all a part of being a missionary and learning and becoming the person the Lord wants you to be. What would a mission be without hard times and a bike ride in the snow every once in awhile?:) That actually happened! It was so nice and in the 70s all week long and then yesterday morning it started to snow! #idahoprobs. Haha. Things have kind of started to slow down here. Our investigators aren't progressing as they should and it is heartbreaking. But this is where the Lord makes up for when we fall short. We are going to go back to basics and talk about the importance of little things in staying on the right course and in helping have that desire. I hope that we can rely on the Spirit and know what we can do better to help these people. It is amazing because I have never felt such strong love for anyone in such a short amount of time. When you see these people as children of God, everything is different, and all you want for them is to be happy and the Gospel can do that. I am grateful for this learning experience that I have to learn to rely on my Father in Heaven during times of trial and the ways in which it helps me to become better.
We didn't have a baptism this weekend. And that is okay and really a blessing in disguise! Jake just needs a little more time to learn and to really become converted and to understand the covenants he will be making. Baptism is a HUGE step especially for those that have to change every aspect of their lives and sometimes it just takes more time. He is doing okay and trying to stay strong through the process. Definitely hard, but I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for him and for each of us and I have trust that it will work out the way it is meant to. :)
We had a zone conference this week and it was so great! We learned about more effective planning and about how that can help our investigators. We also learned about finding people and that they need to trust you within the first few minutes. We had some role plays and really awesome council. We learned that in order to have one baptism a month, you need to have 10 new investigators each month, 6 at sacrament meeting each week, and 3 with a baptismal date. So that is Sister Ramsey and I's new goal! Our President is awesome and really inspired. It was fun to see other missionaries. We had BOMB lunch. But with Mormons I wouldn't expect any less. They gave us all little care packages. I am just so thankful for our mission presidency and office couples that look out for us and give us mom hugs when we need them. I love this work. It is truly hastening at this time and it is so amazing to be a part of it. Being a missionary is harder, but so much greater than I ever expected it to be! I love these people and there is no place I would rather be.
Well, we are off to take a hike in the canyon with our Zone! Should be really fun. I really encourage all of you as this Easter week approaches to think and study about the Atonement and what it means to you. There truly was no greater sacrifice, nor greater gift and I am so grateful. Y'all are the best. I love and miss all of you more than you know and I pray for you each and every day! Thank you for all the love and support. I feel it and I appreciate it! Keep on keeping on. Heavenly Father is watching out for you and he loves you. Never forget it:)
Love, Sister Bigs