Monday, August 11, 2014

The texture of toothpaste

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was good! Lots of ups and lots of downs, so many spiritual experiences, and everything else in between! Missions are so hard, but they are so amazing and I have been so blessed! The work is really having a hard time right now. We have had to go through and drop a ton of our investigators because they just didn't care, and weren't sincere about learning. It is sad when you have to do that, and you don't want to "give up" on them, but sometimes they are just wasting our time. We are here as missionaries to find "those elect" and to teach "those that will receive you." The good news is that we met so many people that we haven't been able to catch home this week so it was amazing! That is also one of our goals for this transfer is to put names to faces so we felt really blessed to meet all those people. We didn't teach a single lesson and nobody came to church again, but we succeeded in different ways. I have learned that it really isn't all about the numbers and that isn't what measures success. I feel like I am a successful missionary when I am obedient, and when I am trying my best and doing all I can to bring others to Christ. Sometimes we don't always see the fruits of our efforts, but Heavenly Father promises us that it will come with diligence, patience, and faith. So we will keep trying! :)

So this week we got slammed by an anti-mormon guy. I think it was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced in my whole life. It was so hard to watch my most cherished and precious beliefs ripped to shreds right in front of me. But I learned so much from this experience. Remember my bike experience that I had? It was kinda that same sort of lesson. I had to stand up and defend my faith even when everyone else was against me. It was so hard and I just wanted to slap him, laugh, and cry all at the same time haha. But I prayed for strength to respond in a Christ-like way, and I simply bore my testimony of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon, and even though he tried to tear that down, I knew that he couldn't take my testimony away from me. And how blessed I am to have such a strong testimony that I am able to stand up for my beliefs and be confident. I know Heavenly Father was proud of me and that is all He asks us to do. There are so many scriptures that brought me comfort about "being persecuted for my name's sake" I know that I am so blessed when I stand up for my beliefs even if I am standing alone. Hey, at least I didn't get mashed potatoes spit at my face right? :)

Also this week was crazy weather wise! The whole town of Twin Falls flooded!! It rained really hard for 2 days and nights straight. Everyone's basements were flooding really bad and there were parts of town that were under 5 feet of water. There were tons of mudslides in the canyon and so many people were effected by it. On Wednesday all we did was help people with their flooded basements and it was crazy. Since Idaho is a desert, they are not prepared for that much water and so a lot of damage was done. We got to ride our bikes in the rain and through the feet of water and I have to say it was actually pretty fun! At least Sister Pohahau and I had a blast. We wore our service clothes all day since we were helping people and we were just soaked and covered from head to toe in mud all day long. It was a nice change from the heat! I am grateful that we got to help people! That is one of my favorite parts about being a missionary, is helping other people and serving them. It always does so much more for me than for the other person and I am so grateful!

Some AWESOME things that happened this week: We got to help out at EFY for a day! It was so awesome and made me miss those days so much! It was a missionary themed day, so they invited all the missionaries from Twin Falls to come and help out. We got to sing some missionary songs with them, and help them do role plays to practice sharing the Gospel with their friends. It was amazing, and to feel the Spirit and enthusiasm that the youth had was just incredible! And guess who I ran into while I was there? My EFY counselor Megan from EFY 2011!!! It was so awesome to see her!! I walked in and she yelled "CORINNE" and I turned around and she came and tackled me and said, "Sorry I don't know your last name! Haha" She was being a counselor for EFY in Twin Falls and I got to see her. It was my whole day. We talked and reminisced on the old days and had so much fun catching up. That was definitely my favorite year of EFY so it was wonderful. Such a small world! I loved getting to help out and it was a privilege.

We also got to help out at a wedding reception. Someone in our ward that we are really close to had a sister that was getting married. They came to our ward one day to visit and her fiance came up to Sister Pohahau and said "are you from Tonga?" And she said yes, and it turns out that he served in her village in Tonga and in her ward as a missionary a few years back! So he invited us to come help at their reception because they were having a big Tongan celebration where they roasted a pig and everything! So we got permission and we went to help. And it was AWESOME! I love seeing other cultures and all their traditions. I seriously want to go live in Tonga. The people are so amazing and we had such a great time being with the Tongan people. Also, I have never experienced a pig roasting and it was interesting! The Tongan people all made me (dared me) eat the pig's brain and the pig's tongue. #sick. Surprisingly the tongue was actually pretty good! But the brain not so much. Haha. It had the texture of toothpaste and tasted like bland tofu. But hey at least I could say I tried it! #youonlyliveonce It was almost like I was serving in Tonga! And I loved every minute of it! So amazing. 

So this week was pretty good! We are working on finding new investigators this week, so keep us in your prayers! This week I have really been gaining such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. I had read it all the way through before, but realized I had never got down on my knees and asked if it was true. So I decided to do that, and gain my own personal witness. I didn't have an amazing experience where it hit me like a ton of bricks, but subtlety over the week I have been receiving my answer in little ways and it has been so cool. I know that Heavenly Fathers answers prayers and is always listening. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I am so grateful to have another testament of Jesus Christ to build my faith. I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be serving my Heavenly Father and His children. It has been the best thing I have ever done and I am so happy. Thank you for all your love and support. Have a great week! I love you all! Always remember, Heavenly Father cares if you are having a bad hair day:) He is so aware of us! What a blessing! 
Love, Sister Bigelow

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