This week was good! I dropped Sister Cox off at the airport Tuesday morning at 6:15, and I'm not going to lie - it was really hard!! If it wasn't for her and her awkward door approaches and funny stories then I probably wouldn't have made it through the winter.
I was able to hang out in Fairbanks until Wednesday when I picked up my new companion Sister Jimenez. She is so sweet! She is from Nicaragua and has been in Alaska as long as me. The language barrier is tough at times, but wow, is she an incredible missionary! That girl has no fear! She will talk to anyone and everyone, even if that means pulling the car over and hopping out to talk to someone on the side of the road. I asked her how she does it? One of my biggest struggles is talking to anyone I see; I always get so nervous. And she said in her thick accent, "Sister, this is not my country. I don't know the way these people think or act, and so they don't scare me. But, because you do understand the way they think, they are scary to you!" TRUTH!!! But, also, so not okay (haha) as I thought about that, I realized that it doesn't matter what they think. Everyone needs the chance to hear the restored Gospel! Ever since then, she has been helping me to be more brave. As a result, we have talked to more people this week than I ever have in a week, and WOW, has it made me so happy! There is so much joy that comes from opening your mouth and sharing what you know to be true! Sister Jimenez has already taught me so much, and I am so thankful for that!
We had a couple of cool little miracles and tender mercies this week that I want to share. First, the very first day Sister Jimenez was here we got a call from a private number, and so I answered it. This lady started speaking so fast in Spanish, and I literally had no clue what she was saying. I was sitting there like I don't know what to do, and then I realized Sister Jimenez speaks Spanish (hah). I gave the phone to her and she started talking to this lady and was totally able to help her out. We went over to her house, and I just sat there as they talked to each other in Spanish for an hour - it was kind of funny. I didn't know what to do! Anyway, long story short, we were able to help her with what she needed. If Sister Jimenez wasn't here, there would have been no way to know what she needed. I feel like it was kind of the Lord's way of showing me that I needed Sister Jimenez as my companion, and it brought a lot of peace to me knowing that the Lord knows best.
We also saw a lot of success with some less actives and part-member families that we have been trying to get in touch with for a long time. We finally contacted them and even received some return appointments. Stay tuned for how those go...I am so excited!
Tracting/OYM - So many miracles! The weather has been so nice lately - 30-40 degrees - which feels like paradise. So, we have been tracting in those awkward 15-20 minutes that we have open or just walking around the town of North Pole and talking to everyone we see. We have seen so many miracles! It has been so fun and so cool. We have had such great discussions with people and even taught some lessons right then and there.
Our mission's culture has some "Standards of Excellence" where Elder Ballard told our mission that if we talked with 10 people a day then we would have 1 new elect investigator a week. And, as a mission, we would have 36 mission baptisms a month. Our mission has never reached 36 a month, and so Sister Jimenez and I have made it a goal to talk to 10 people a day outside of a member visit and tracting (which doesn't seem that hard, but you would be surprised!). Ever since we set that goal, the Lord has placed many people in our paths and it has been so cool to see. The Lord is aware of us, the goals we have set, and if we sincerely seek to accomplish those goals and do His will, He will help us.
Missions are so crazy! Just when you feel like you're getting the hang of it, Heavenly Father throws something else your way that is even harder than the trial before; however, I know that it is because He loves us and wants us to be the best person we can be. It is through the trials that we learn the most and rely on Him. I know that this Church is true. I have been thinking a lot about 1 Nephi 3:7 this week, and I know that Heavenly Father does not give us anything that we cannot handle or accomplish. It doesn't mean it is going to be easy, but I know that we won't be alone. I am thankful for the trials that Heavenly Father has given me and the strength that I have received as I have gone through them. I am thankful for the knowledge I have of a living, loving Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ who knows me and love me. I have felt their love so much just this last week, and their love has brought me so much peace. And, speaking of peace, everyone should watch the new Easter Initiative #princeofpeace and share it! Here's the address:
Love you all! Hope you have a great Easter!