October 6, 2015
Dear Family and Friends,
Mission is great.
Joel is doing so, so well. He is just so much happier. I have never actually seen a difference in my recent convert’s happiness level, but with Joel, it is so obvious. He is just happy. We always catch him reading the scriptures or the Liahona (Ensign magazine) when we didn’t plan to see him. It is so, so sweet. I love it and I love him. He has become a new person--a ton happier and I am so grateful to witness this happiness.
We have a golden investigator named John. He is so sweet. He was referred to us by a member. He has been to church and agreed to be baptized October 25th. He seems pretty committed. We have only taught him once but he has been to church twice and he wants to be baptized. I see so much goodness in him.
Ask and it shall be given you.
The power of faith is so important. When it comes to things like my goals, I tend to rely on my own strength. I know I could be a lot more effective if I understood that God is here to help me.
Prayer takes SO much faith. I find myself not praying for something unless I believe the Lord will assist me. I feel that’s my weakness and I feel the Lord is here to assist me to overcome the natural man. As a missionary, the Lord has tried to teach me this principle over and over again, but the truth is I feel my faith has been weak. My strengths are in diligence and hard work.
I’ve been reflecting on my experiences--small examples where the Lord has taught me--like when I lost my retainer and was too stubborn to pray about it or when the Lord taught me to rely on him in Blantyre as we prayed to find a father to teach. The Lord is teaching me now as I ponder my experiences.
I have had MANY days of repentance because the natural man is real. Have I ever prayed to resist temptation? Rarely. I can’t say never, but I can say rarely. And If I have prayed to resist temptation, did I actually believe it would help or did I believe I was on my own to resist it. I definitely believed I was on my own to resist it.
I truly have seen the Lord’s hand in my work as missionary as I have seen the Lord literally bless us with families or people to teach. I have had a prayer of faith for missionary work and I know the Lord has assisted me as I have taught. I feel the Lord’s purpose of allowing my prayers to be answered the way they have has been to teach me the importance of relying on Him and I have sometimes missed the point.
My whole mission I have felt I was on my own to overcome the natural man, but I am not. I will incorporate overcoming the natural man through prayer, and really have faith in my prayers.
All I know is the Lord teaches us a lot through our experiences if we take the time to ponder them. I keep reflecting on my experiences and I feel I rarely learn the lesson, until way later once I reflect on it. I feel the Lord requires us to listen all day long. Listening is part of pondering. As we strive to understand, the Lord is able to speak to us and teach us. Yes the scriptures instruct but pondering I feel is really listening and discerning our Fathers intentions for our lives. And why he has us face not just trials but even blessings.
We’re doing as missionaries a “No-Tracting-November” … There is a big push to work with members! I am excited to do this. I feel it will really help the missionary work go forward J.
I really loved what the APs said at Zone Conference. They talked about the importance of leading and helping others to have an eternal perspective. They used the example of a mountain and how when we becomes Godlike we see from a higher perspective, we live on a higher plane and we desire to help people to also be on a higher plane. It was very powerful and it related to what Sister Quaye and I were talking about the night before--how when you understand the Gospel, you are able to gain more perspective and understand/perceive the world differently and see things more calmly. I loved the APs perspective on helping others get to the higher plane as well.
Well I truly love being a missionary. I will do my best to be the best tool for the Lord.
Love you all.
"Last Zone Conference - It was the worst day ever.
No one should be allowed to talk about me coming home."
Sister Falco, Sister Natsala, Elder Barrett, Elder Ford
Note: Carly refers to her companion as Sister Natsala even though we met her family in Uganda and they are the Butali's...the African way