Before the exchange service project in Middlesboro with some elementary kids. SO COLD!
This week has been hard, but I'm realizing it has been kind of refreshing. Like putting rubbing alcohol on a cut. I am really experiencing the power of the Atonement and seeing God's hand here. It has brought out many of my weaknesses. Sister Behunin and I get along good personality-wise. However, I guess the differences come in our opinions about the work. So she apparently has been discouraged with the way we work. However, I never knew that she was struggling with these things!
We had one awesome experience - we were invited to a catholic mass service by an investigator, trying to do a church-swap. However we got there and he was a no-show! Anyway, after the service, all the members of the congregation turned to us missionaries and welcomed us, as we introduced ourselves. Afterward, a guy named Chris approached us, and asked if he could have a Book of Mormon. We gave him one, and he said he's a free mason and he's been interested in the LDS religion for a while. Sister Behunin got to teach him on exchanges and they set a baptismal date for January! So pray for Chris!! :)
Anyway, then the rest of the week went as usual, but I could tell that Sister Behunin was really struggling. I asked her over and over what it was and she kept saying that everything was fine. Friday night I went down to exchange in Oak Ridge. I was with Sister Parkinson, and two other sisters came up here to be with Sister Behunin. I love Sister Parkinson and we had a blast together. Anyway, come Saturday, I was pretty suprised when they called saying that she was having a break-down- about me. When I found out, I was so emotional, because I felt a bit like a failure. We prepared to talk together that night. It was hard to have this at the front of my mind - wondering what my companion was struggling with - as I went throughout my day in Oak Ridge. But as I went about praying and teaching people about the Book of Mormon and seeing their lives change, I also felt the love of Heavenly Father and my Savior sustaining me through the day. There was this moment when we prayed in the car before a lesson, and I don't think I've ever felt so trusting in my Father in Heaven or so much power and support from Him.
So we went up and had a talk. I told her how I felt- that I really love her and am willing to do whatever to work things out, then I asked her what her concerns are. She told me some things, but I felt like that wasn't all. Finally she broke down and said, "It's just been really hard to see all these baptismal dates drop."
I didn't realize how new of a missionary she is-her faith is so good! I didn't realize how much faith she had in each of these people. I didn't realize a lot of things, and I didn't know how deeply she felt about these things.
I have honestly never felt so exposed and really like I have so much to improve. I know we're companions for a reason. I pray that I can be of some kind of help to her in some way.
It's painful at times, but I know that we aren't supposed to hide our weaknesses. In Ether 12:27 he says that he GIVES unto us our weaknesses that we may be humble. He's GIVEN them to me, I shouldn't feel like I need to hide them. So this brings a new level of honesty and integrity to our relationship and to the work here.
The Savior is really there to help us learn and grow and progress. I know that is true. I challenge you all to acknowledge your weaknesses and put your faith in God to help you overcome them and see the change in your life.
There is no comfort in your growth zone and there is no growth in your comfort zone!