Alright, so this week it decided to snow a solid six inches!! CRAZY! We woke up to everything just covered in snow, which I guess it means winter is finally here. It was scary driving and even walking. I biffed it so hard a good solid three times.
Thank goodness for SKhoop skirts (basically snow pants that are skirts instead--the greatest things ever invented) for making the falls a little softer.
We were also able to do some service for a less active in the Elders Ward. We show up, and guess who is his next door neighbor...Sarah Palin. I thought everybody was kidding when they said, "Go convert Sarah Palin in Wasilla," but they were not! So, that was cool that we may or may not have trespassed to get a look at her home. I can promise you that she CANNOT see Russia from her backyard.
Besides that, our week was so awesome. We were able to visit every single person on our ward roster, which sounds easy, but I promise you it was not considering most people do not have house numbers and have not been active in over 20 years. It is like a guessing game. We were able to finish that task and bring back a lot of information to the bishop, which has really helped us figure out who to focus on.
We were also able to invite the Ronne children to be baptized--such an amazing experience. I seriously walked in to their home so nervous. We went about the lesson, and then it was my turn to speak about baptism and invite Kaylyn to be baptized. I was honestly freaking out inside, but as I invited her, the question came out totally confident and calm. For the first time on my mission I knew that the spirit was talking through me. It was truly such a cool experience. She said, "Yes," and is praying about a date that she feels will be best for her! The spirit was just so strong; she is just so ready and excited. Her other two siblings said that they want to be baptized, and they know the Book of Mormon is true, but they want to learn a little more. I am so excited to continue teaching them! They are just such an awesome family!
We have been doing a lot of "finding" this week, which I have come to find out is a serious test of faith. We have been doing a lot of tracting and will go an hour or so where not a single person opens the door, or they see us and tell us to go away. They don't even give us a chance, and so it definitely can get discouraging. At times, we feel like it is a total waste, but this is what we feel we should do, and so FAITH is the key.
I have learned that faith is essential in everything we do, not just on missions but in life. There is this quote I heard this week that says, "The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss." I have read this quote over and over again. Every time someone shuts the door in our faces or yells at us, we realize that as long as we have faith in our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the promptings we receive, we know that He will compensate for our losses. He will, on His own time, help us to realize why we were faced with certain trials and hardships, and why we needed to go through that challenge. As we put our trust and faith in Him, I know that He will help us in everything we are going through and be there for us along the way.
I'm going to be honest...A mission is HARD. It really truly is. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It is emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausting, but somehow I am able to get up and make it through the day. I know that it is because we are not alone in this. We are not alone in life. We have a loving Heavenly Father who is with us every step of the way. We have the knowledge of this Gospel, which I know to be true. We have the Book of Mormon, which gives us guidance and helps us to learn and grow. We have the power of prayer--the ability to talk with our Heavenly Father and share with him what we are going through. And, we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and hears those prayers and helps us in every possible way. A mission is hard, but is also SO WORTH IT! Every single second is worth it because our Heavenly Father loves us.
I know how grateful I am for that knowledge and am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share that with others. I have never experienced so much joy when watching someone finally accept and realize that they are a son or daughter of a living, loving Father in Heaven, and how much that knowledge changes their life. I have been able to have that experience. Those moments that were so hard, I would have over and over again to experience with someone whose life has been changed because of the Gospel.
Share the Gospel every chance you get. Pray as often as you can, and read your scriptures daily. Never forget that your Heavenly Father loves you, and as you put your faith and trust in Him, He will bless you. I love you all! Miss you! Thank you for all you do!
Love, Sister Lake