I’m so exhausted.
I guess when the Lord says to “wear ourselves out in the work,” He really means it. On Wednesday we had a couple of youth conference buses from Virginia, then Friday alone we had six of them come through in just a couple hours. I almost lost my voice, but thankfully the Lord even cares about that if you have enough faith.
The Joseph Smith Farm was on Wednesday, which means I got to take half the youth through Joseph’s stomping grounds. They split into young men and young women–and I got to take the young women. It was a powerful hour filled with testimony and the Spirit. When we got to the threshing barn, I wanted them to think of symbolism of the Atonement while I explained the threshing process. I’m not sure if you know the process, but it has a lot to do with beating, grinding, and more beating. Google it, if you don’t know what it is. Anyway, when I finished this simple explanation, it didn’t take a genius to figure out that the Spirit had slithered His way through each of the girls and they had learned a lot more about the Savior then they thought they were coming here for. After about ten seconds of silence, a quote I had read earlier in personal study popped into my head, which of course I shared. “No woman is a more vibrant instrument in the hands of the Lord than a woman of God who is thrilled to be who she is.” -Sheri DewImmediately I noticed one of the leaders in the back just about lose it. Tears were heavily flowing from her face, and I could feel the Lord literally putting words in my mouth. We spent a couple more minutes bearing testimony before we moved onto the Cooper Shop to do the same thing. Those are the moments when I really know that I can not do this on my own.
Going back to the “regular, every day” schedule of a missionary in the NYRM, we’ve had a few minutes (yes, I said minutes) in Irondequoit this week. On Tuesday, we decided go through the ward list to pick out a less-active that we could invite back to church. She didn’t answer, so we had a few more minutes to hand out some more invitations to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. (It’s our excuse for conversation starting when people see the name tag and run.) Across the street were two women walking their dogs. We made a b-line for them and treated the situation as if they had just been invited to opening night of Wicked. We invited them, and they were a little hesitant about attending. However, like we always do before we leave someone, we ask if we can help do their dishes or weed their garden. Carole turns to Sister Steel, puts her hand on her shoulder and yells, “You can weed?! GOD IS REAL!” Now, I’m sure that was a second-nature reaction to her fun personality that we had just now seen, but the second part of that I really wanted to emphasize with her. We both jumped on it, “YES! God is real! He listens to your prayers, and He has sent us to you to help you with whatever you need!” I really felt like Joseph Smith in the new Restoration movie, when a woman walks up to him and tells him she doesn’t like his religion, but she appreciates his service. All Joseph says is, “Well, I’d say that is our religion, ma’am.” It was a wonderful teaching opportunity, expecially when she said she had been praying for something to come help her weed her garden. Just because we have a few minutes, doesn’t mean we can’t do any work. We scraped some time, and found an hour to go on Friday. She ended up feeding us after, and we ended up teaching her the Restoration and half of the Plan of Salvation. Not too interested yet, but the key word there is: yet. 🙂
Exercise update: thanks to mom, P90X arrived this week! I’ve gone for a whole month without it, since Sister Johnson stayed in Brockport! However, Sister Steel and I have been waking up at 5:50 a.m. to run to one of the inner-city high school tracks. It’s nice to have a full hour each morning (well, about five days a week) to compensate how much we get fed. I don’t think it’s still enough, but I’ll worry about that later!
All I want to do is take a nap, but I’ll get that when I have time…like in October. It’s such a happy tired, but it’s making the time go by way too fast. I do want to mention that I’ve been studying the modern version of the “Wheat and the Tares” parable, and I’ve made a list of “Satan mimicks” that we have in our world today. Some include: fasting/anorexia, tithing/gambling, and to “get rid” of your pain, sacrament/alcohol. I’d encourage you to think of more, because it has increased my vision of how wicked Satan has made out the world to be, and on the same token, how real God is. (Thanks to Carole!) He wants to see us succeed, and He is “thrilled” to what you’ve turned out to be. Now, keep going!