This week had to have been one of the most discouraging weeks of my mission!!! Everything was setting up to be the greatest week ever and then Satan had to throw in his two cents and mess it all up! Within a 15 minute window of time on Sunday morning all of our investigators and recent converts texted us letting us know they weren't coming to church for one reason or another (mostly sickness). On top of that the grand-daughter of a lady we're teaching texted us basically saying she wanted bishop's phone number to tell him how terrible we are and that she wants new missionaries. That was totally surprising to us since we couldn't think of anything we had done to offend her. She hasn't talked to bishop yet and she won't talk to us about it so we can only speculate. A family member that is anti against mormon's is putting a lot of pressure on the grandma not to continue with the lessons. The grand-daughter told us a week and a half ago not to visit anymore which we have respected. We still are allowed to call and check up though and this Sunday we called the investigator and Elder Belnap invited her to come to church to hear him speak. Well that's kind of when things blew up so we're assuming it was the invitation to come to church. It's frustrating but we can't take it personal. President Packer says that if you doing your calling right then people will dislike you. I like that thought. I think too that if your life is super easy it's not because Satan ran out of ammunition. It means that you're not a threat to him. If your getting hit with a ton of trials it means you are a threat and he's packing on the heat!!
On to the highlights :) The family we're working with towards a baptism date are doing really well. They didn't come to church on Sunday because the little daughter got sick but we were able to visit them in the evening and teach the Word of Wisdom. For privacy sake I will call the single mother "Sally". Sally has been smoking for a long time and she also loves her black tea. She knew the lesson was coming though and when we told her that we were going to talk about the Word of Wisdom she said, "So does that mean that at the end of the lesson I'm going to have to stop smoking and drinking my black tea?" We laughed and told her "Yes, but don't stress out. We will help you understand why God has given us this commandment and how you will be given the strength to live it." After we taught her the context of the commandment and some of the principles of why we have it (mainly to protect our agency) she felt a lot better about it. She has been wanting to quit smoking for a long time so the desire is there, she just didn't believe in herself. At the end of the lesson she committed herself to quit smoking by pick up the Book of Mormon and read until the urge to smoke a cigarette goes away. We're going to be following up daily to support her and she's got us on speed dial :) The best way to overcome an addiction is to pray a lot and replace the bad behavior with a good one. Train yourself to pick up the scriptures and read when the temptation flares up or go jog or something like that.
We had our Mission Leadership Council this week which was awesome. In the mission we are focusing on becoming "Impact Teachers" this transfer. We spent a lot of time this week planning out trainings for the coming transfer for our zone and we're really excited to become better teachers.
I really had a fantastic week even with the terrible 15 minutes on Sunday morning :) It wasn't enough to ruin the whole week. Now it is a new week and absolutely anything is possible. We can accomplish miracles!
Love Elder Janis