Monday, January 8, 2018

Church and Rescue

Well. I am officially back in Texas! 📣 

This week has FLOWN by, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I also don't even know where to start!

I LOVE Houston!  It feels like being home, except I also have a little piece of Provo with me still since it's been so cold this week.  It's finally starting to warm up, thank goodness. 

As for actual missionary life, it's hard, but so SO rewarding. The people here really have been prepared by the Lord to hear our message. And I love my trainer!  She's only been out here for four months so she's pretty recently gotten out of being trained herself but she's amazing and such a hard worker!  I was feeling REALLY nervous about my Spanish, but in one appointment the person we were talking to said a word Hermana Bent had never heard before and I told her what it meant.  Afterwards, in the car Hermana Bent asked me how much I could understand of what was going on and I said ALL of it, but I felt bad that I couldn't respond or input anything very well, if at all. She told me that understanding is the first part and if I could understand that much already then it won't take long for me to be fluent. So that was a nice confidence booster 😂 but for now I'm still letting her do all the talking, at least in our Spanish lessons.  We teach lots of English investigators as well, so that's really nice, too. We've met some awesome people this week and it just testifies to me that none of this happens by coincidence. 

Saturdays are called "Church and Rescue" days, which I LOVE.  It basically means we invite the whole world to come to church the next day, and we definitely did that. Hermana Bent was having a rough day on Saturday and every single one of our plans fell through for one reason or another so that night we just started knocking doors and we came across Lupe. She said she's religious but has never felt complete at any of the churches she's gone to, and hasn't been sure of where to go next. She invited us in and we talked for an hour and a half with her, answering all of her questions and testifying that there is a living prophet on the earth today.  I've never felt the Spirit so strong in a lesson and as we were getting ready to leave Lupe told us that she knew God had sent us to her. She said that she doesn't usually let missionaries in and that she's seen the elders around and would never have let them in her house, but something about us spoke to her. She said that God told her to "sit down and listen for a second." 

I've spent a lot of time studying my patriarchal blessing this week, looking at what blessings it promises me in relation to my mission. One thing that stood out to me the other day was that it says 'sister missionaries have something different about them than elders.' As I read, the Spirit testified to me that if I work hard as a missionary, I will be able to get into houses that elders sometimes can't get into. Lupe was one of two houses like that this week.

This week has been so hard. I never thought I'd be so homesick or miss the MTC this much, but I know that God wants me to be out here, and that there's nowhere better that I could be. I'm right where I need to be, right with the people I need to be with, and at the time the Lord needs me to be here. I have so much love for the people we've come across. It's amazing that it only takes one meeting to feel so much love for strangers, but every time I talk to someone, I can see them bearing their testimony on Fast Sunday or leading the music in Relief Society, or getting to go to the temple with their family.  I'm so blessed to be given these little sneak peeks of God's plan for people, and so blessed to be the vessel that helps them achieve that.
Can't wait to see what next week's adventures are!

-Hermana Thunell

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