Monday, September 1, 2014

Time Is Weird on a Mission

Ok it's REALLY weird for me that our first transfer is halfway over! Time is so weird on a mission... on one hand it feels like it is FLYING by. But on the other it feels like every single day is years long. It's crazy how much can happen in a day!

So this week. 

Last Monday we got TWO NEW INVESTIGATORS. Which brings the grand total of non-members that we are teaching to: two. :) We have been teaching this returning family for several weeks now. They are so sweet. :) But last week they volunteered that their two children haven't been baptized yet. We had no idea! So that's a pretty cool thing. 

I had a cool experience this week - I wasn't feeling great for several of the days. Nothing huge, just some typical yucky feelings. It didn't help that it has been raining like crazy here! Mostly I just wanted to curl up in bed with a hot mug of herbal tea and read my life away. But alas, I cannot. I discovered though that when I make that sacrifice to forget myself and to get lost in the work, that I didn't feel bad! Every time we approached a door to talk to someone, or taught a lesson, I felt totally fine. But when we got back in the car the yucky feeling returned. So crazy! We are truly blessed when we focus on others instead of ourselves, and when we choose to push through. 

(That said, if I was truly sick I know that it is important to take care of yourself first. This was just a "not feeling great" feeling. Not a "I'm sick" one.) 

We had a "mission tour" this week which meant that a general authority came to speak to us! It was Elder and Sister Arnold - he is in the first quorum of the seventy! Look for his picture in your conference edition of the Ensign. :) I got to see two of the elders from my MTC district and one of the sisters! That was so wonderful. It's crazy to see how much they've grown in just a few weeks. Our MTC district was really SO close. And the meeting FELT just like being at the MTC again. :) We were in meetings from 8am until 3pm, and we learned SO MUCH. I had to remember what I learned in the MTC - that we were being taught a model to follow, but that we didn't have to be perfect at everything that was taught right this minute. It's hard sometimes because you just want to be awesome, and you realize that you're not yet as awesome as you could be, but you have to remind yourself that you're still pretty great and doing your best and if you keep at it, one day you could really be absolutely incredible. :) I hope that you can hear my confidence in that. I really DO think it's possible to improve daily and it's such a wonderful gift to be able to do that with God's help. I'm just sometimes impatient that I can't be perfect NOW. :) 

We talked about so much with Elder Arnold, and learned SO MUCH. But probably one of my favorites was in 2 Nephi 9. I think it's verse 20 or 30. Can't remember. :) But it talks about how God knows us, and He knows all things, and He has experienced all things. Since he's experienced it all, it means that He knows exactly what we are experiencing, and He knows exactly what we feel and what we struggle with. We're actually never alone, and that is so comforting. :) 

So yesterday. Yesterday was cuh-RAZY. Sunday's always are here in Utah. We cover 11 wards and a Branch, and we made it to 1/3 of those yesterday. I sat in fast and testimony meeting for nearly 5 hours! That's 4 sacrament meetings at an hour and 10 minutes each. That's taking the sacrament FOUR times. My covenants are SO renewed. :) And the best part is, I get to do it again! Every week! Except for next week... because it's stake conference. :) 

So four hours of sacrament meetings, one hour of Sunday school. We had an hour of correlation where we met with 2 different ward mission leaders and discussed the concerns for their ward. We were supposed to meet with 3, but the last one was out of town for the holiday weekend. We spent an hour at a mission prep class too - it was huge! Maybe 30 or so kids preparing for missions, and a dozen or so parents and stake leaders. We were there to follow up on a commitment that the sisters left them when they visited a month ago. The commitment was to make a list of people that they can help (which should be pretty much everyone in your life) and then to pray about who to help and how to help. Well... none of them kept it. NO ONE had made a list. My companion was completely at a loss for what to say. I felt like it needed to be addressed... so, quite boldly, I said. "There is a section of Preach My Gospel that discusses extending commitments with the people you teach. You will be extending commitments CONSTANTLY as a missionary. How can you expect others to keep commitments if you don't keep yours?" Oh dang. It just came out! I couldn't stop it! I think it was the Spirit telling me to say that. Those boys were properly, righteously chastened. And then one of the parents suggested that we make them all raise their hands and re-commit... so we did. :) It was great. At the end the boy that offered a closing prayer mentioned being grateful for the atonement and repentance and prayed for help on being able to be better missionaries. Pretty cool experience. :)

I love the people here! I just can't share it enough! We visit this woman on Sunday nights, and every week we see her improve! We see a little more light come back into her life... it's so wonderful to visit her and to visit all of the people we teach. It's so great to see them improve. I love serving in Bountiful. :) If you ever drive past, just look for the mountain with the giant B and the temple - those are my two mountains! And all of the people we serve. I don't always love being a missionary, but it is ALWAYS worth it!

Love you all dearly,

Sister Tipton 

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