This week has been crazy and I might actually run out of time to write this email because all the sudden a ton of people have come in so I might get kicked off!
When we met our ward mission leader for correlation yesterday, he was so proud of all the work we were able to do this week. It made me feel good cause I worked my butt off! I want to see this area change; I want to see it grow. I don't know what it is about Paris but it feels the most like home than any area I have served in and I feel like it has become the saving grace for my mission. I love the people here and I can see so much potential.
Our biggest challenge right now is getting everyone to church. Paris is a very poor community and because it is a branch we have limited resources and we cover a pretty big area. A lot of our investigators don't have cars. We are also dealing with a lot of family problems. A lot of our investigators have family who are very against the church and we aren't here to destroy families. Finding the balance of giving them the gospel and sometimes having to step back to let the Lord take care of a few things first in order to prepare them for the opportunity to have the gospel later is hard.
With our ward mission leader and ward missionaries we have come up with some awesome ideas to help bring people back and into the church. I love my group that I get to work with. They care so much for their branch and want to bring people back. Sister D is awesome, she has a very similar story to my life and she came to our meeting with the idea of starting an institute here to help save the people who are younger and single. We both could testify of how institute helped save our lives. We also came up with some fun Christmas ideas with our investigators and the ward to help them meet more people. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
We had exchanges this week and Sister Barrett came here to be with me and I am pretty sure the Lord is trying to teach me humility more than ever this transfer. Sister Barrett served here only a few months ago and having an old missionary come back to their area especially when you have only been here three weeks is very threatening. And yes it was super hard. I felt very, very unwanted and she kind of came in and walked all over my plans and adjusted it to suit her but... I learned that it is not about me. I am not here to get recognition or love or "fame" so to speak. I am here to serve others. That's why I came on a mission. If I had wanted love and attention and recognition I should have stayed home. I realized that humility and the ability to back down is not a sign of weakness but a sign of immense strength. The ability to lay down our selfish desires and to control the natural man takes a crazy amount of self-control and diligence and patience. So I am thankful that the Lord has made opportunities to help me learn humility. It's not easy and I would much rather not go through it haha but how else am I supposed to become who He would have me be?
What I learned:
Service is the quickest and best way to heal yourself. I have realized as I have given more and more of myself everyday, the more and more I feel an inner happiness. It doesn't matter what position I hold or what area I am in or if people know who I am but the more I love and serve others, the more truly happy I feel.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Don't forget it and I will talk to you guys next week. Have fun but not too much fun without me!!!
Love - Sister Lundskog
|Helping Kelly, a recent convert, decorate her tree|