sorry this is way long. you have my permission to skip or read selectively. :)subj line: that quote is pretty typical. reminds me how inadequate we are to do the Lord's work. but our mission pres reminded us recently that the Lord can work with inadequacies. (it's a lack of desire that makes us not powerful tools) but He'll work with our weaknesses. after all, the scrips say that the gosp will be preached by the weak and simple. sometimes i wish i didn't have so many reminders of that though. :)
general conference (where the prophet, apostles, and other Church leaders address the whole world) was amazing as always, last week. and luckily, we had investigators at almost every session. we saw kelly lopez in the AM on Sun. her fam is constantly going through a lot of drama and she doesn't really have the emotional stability to handle it (esp w/o the gosp) but right now she has such a desire to be baptized and so what's but is letting her other stressors get in the way. so she was talking to us about how her kids are having all these problems and now that they're teenagers they're not always problems she can solve for them and she hates watching them be sad or suffer and she hates letting them down. so as she was going on and on about all these things plauging her children we just kinda cut her off and were able to bear strong testimony that the ONLY thing that would help her children is to give them the gospel of Jesus Christ. we told her that no, she can't solve their problems and that yes, she will let them down, but her absolute greatest responsibility is to show them the tools to handle their trials on their own. we bore testimony of the power of revelation the prophets and apostles have. this was 10 min before conference started and she wasn't planning on going but she somehow managed to pick up one of her kids, go home and change out of her bathrobe, and get over to the church within like 20 min so that she could be there. :) she was able to get answers and more importantly, realize there were still a lot of things she needs to understand that we've been trying to teach her (yet always seem to get diverted by all the drama) so she's making a renewed resolve to have focused lessons and invlove her fmaily. very direct answer to our prayers!!!!!
DESTINY AND SUNSHINE
they're doing well, but their mom really doesn't want them to be baptized. it's a tough situation cause there's not much we can so. it's so crucial for her to allow them this blessing because it'll equip them to make better decisions and to be closer to God for the rest of their lives. so we're just praying she'll change her mind. i'm so grateful to have prophets and apostles to counsel us in ways that keep our families safe cause satan is really sneaky in how he makes families too busy for each other or too busy for the gospel.
so a family we're working with had a newly arrived guest. the mom's (who we're teaching) sister came to live with them. she's only 17 and she's recovering from some drug addictions. one day we were there and the mom was on the phone finding out about her sister's overdose and two days later we went and tada! the little sis had moved in! it was awesome because as we were talking to her, she admitted that she really needs answers. she wants to believe in God but has some questions. we talked to her about getting answers to her prayers adn about feeling the Spirit. she didn't seem to really know what we were talking about but then the next time we went by, she told us she's been praying every day adn that as she was thinking about what we said, she could remember times when she felt the Spirit..that quiet, peaceful assurance of God's love and His reality. i love her! plus, her name's sheena so i love her more.
our mission pres and his wife challenged us to a "40-day fast." our mission has some goals (like doubling convert baptisms, per the prophet) that we've been working on but have been just out of our reach. they read us a story about a missionary who did this and was able to get out of his rut and see miracles happen. we fasted as a mission for one day to know what things the Lord would have us improve on or avoid as missionaries so that we might be more effective. then for 40 days we fast from those things COMPLETELY. the catch is that during the 40 days, those things prove to be extra hard. we're in the middle of that process and i've definately noticed that more opportunities to get distracted or off-focus are trying to throw themselves in my way. but the cool thing is, that after the 40 days, we will come out stronger and more effective, less susceptible to things that we were weak in before, and closer to the Spirit. so i thought it was a pretty cool/inspired idea for us and something i hope to integrate in other times in my life where i might feel somewhat of a "spiritual plateau"
LAST WEEK IN LILBURN
wierd, weird. but i'm trying not to think about it. just trying to work our guts out. it's been SUCH a blessing to get to come here--and on a mission in general. adventures every single day. like one morning when we ended up a giant tray of 16 large popcorn balls and 7 huge grapefruit in our trunk at 10:30 in the morning. you just never know. but i love it! love it! love it!
happy wedding, ruthie! we're still working on the celebratory baptism in GA but it's not looking great, but we'll keep praying/working for it.
i'll leave you with a scripture: alma 30:44. it's a good one. obviously.
love you all!
p.s. disclaimer: i realize i spelled pollin wrong (i keep telling sis j i should shred my engl degree, it's worthless now :) ). but the pollin's getting worse. it's like sucking in constant dust. it's facinating!