Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 21 - The Challenges of Discipleship

Whell.. hello there:]
So here i am writing ya and i wish more than anything i could give this awesome story of how i baptized the nation and became best friends with my companion in the past week. hahaha but well that didn't quite happen. This past week was... trying. and that's ok! Before i dive into how i'm slowly suffocating with this glorious new comp of mine, i want to talk about last tuesday night. So in our ward we have this venezualan family and one of their brothers isn't a member and they've been trying to get him interested in the church for years. Well they invited us over to come give a lesson on the book of mormon and yada yada yada. Well we get there after dinner and they are all in the kitchen cooking and laughing.. and i had no idea what anyone was saying but hey, i loved the vibe they were putting out! So then we ate dinner for the second time and got everybody in the living room for the lesson. The cool thing was though only a couple members of the family understand english, so as we would teach we would have to pause and the brother (nonmember) would translate. It ended up working perfectly because everything we shared he would then have to translate for the rest of the family to understand, making it so that he really had to pay attention and take in the things we were saying. I'm not sure if i have ever felt the spirit work so strongly through me, my teaching skills i feel like have gone through the roof since i first got out here. I love love loved it, and i loved being able to almost feel like a part of their family!
So, like i said earlier, this past week was trying. haha my new comp is... full of excitement. sometimes i feel like she's a little puppy that just constantly is stuck to my side. When we were doing service on wednesday at the ranch i would purposely walk in circles just to see if she would follow me... and she did. haha by saturday i was literally about to lose it. As we were biking out to see the day girls Possin's back wheel broke and we ended up being stranded. As she asked what we should do about a bike and la la la i asked well do you know your bank back home so we can get ya some money. She said she had no idea what bank she used and i just lost it. It wasn't the nicest thing ever but i asked her how old are you? I lost my cool and when we got home that night i literally just sat outside with our dog for an hour. When we were at church we had this little lesson on being one, the teacher drew a triangle between you, your spouse, and the lord, and talked about how if you're both directing your actions towards God you should be united. I couldn't help but almost laugh because ummm as we are both missionaries our directions are completely going in different ways. so your little triangle thing is bull crap.. but it did open my heart up a little bit, when we got home i was going to take out the garbage and possin said let me take it. I typically would have said no it's fine i got it but for some reason i just let her do it. Later that night she said today for the first time you let me serve you. And i had to do like a triple take. I said what do you mean? and she said all the time your constantly serving me and doing everything, but you never let me serve you. i feel like i don't do anything. oooohh man. i think i understand what's been going on, me being typical macall i just like doing everything, i got this, i can handle it, i never want to feel like i'm a burden to someone especially my companion. BUT i guess sometimes you need to ask them for help, you need to show them that you rely on them. So.... my bad:]
I also had another realization. So me being out here on a mission sometimes i feel is a battle, haha at times i feel like i could just pack up my little bags and ride off into the sunset. easy. And with all the drama going on in our zone/district i have felt even more like my life is a joke. I was asked to speak at zone meeting and i talked all about ya know just quit dragging your feet and get to work. It was awesome the spirit was really strong and i felt like the message was received pretty well. afterwards i would be talking to one elder or sister and before ya know it there would be a crowd of people around us, then i would move to somebody else and low and behold another crowd of missionaries would start forming. As we were leaving the meeting a thought popped into my head that's from my patriarchal blessing it says something like i bless you with the capacity to gather around you righteous and uplifting individuals and that you will be able to magnify their righteousness and they magnify yours. at times i have felt a little overwhelmed when people have swarmed around to see what's going on but i want to strive to find ways to use this to my/Heavenly Father's advantage. I'm trying to be a better example to all the missionaries in our zone and try to just get them back on track, not by being mean and calling them out on all the junk they do, but just helping them out in whatever way possible. Later that night as i was walking into the Grovers house they had some talk playing and the line "To whom much is given much is required" basically slapped me upside the head. I just feel very humbled about this past week. I don't think i ever realized just how very blessed i was in almost every aspect of my life. and i'm not in any way meaning this in a cocky i'm super cool kinda way. Sincerely i know that heavenly father blessed me with thee best parents that encouraged me to do my best, but they also let me fall on my face from time to time. They didn't shelter me, but they always protected me. i'm not sure if they infused this into my brain or i just came out thinking this but i'm so grateful for the confidence that i have in myself, that while other girls may really struggle with who they are and all that garbage, i've never had that negativity in me. I'm grateful for the fact that he puts people in my life that have faced that challenge, so that i can better understand how most girls generally think. I'm grateful that at some point or another i somehow got the skill of talking to people or more importantly listening to people. I'm so so glad i understood how to do that before i came out on my mission because 87% of the time people just want someone who will listen to them. I know the Heavenly Father has given me SO much, and now is the time for me to open my heart and give it all back.
When we promise to follow the Savior, to walk in His footsteps, and be His disciples we are promising to go wherever that divine path leads us. And the path to salvation has always led one way or another through Gethsemane. If there is anyone who thinks their experiences are not easy, welcome to the Church. Welcome to the Gospel. Welcome to the life of apostles and prophets. Welcome to the life of the Savior, who knows quite a bit about cups from which one does not want to drink. I know that everything that comes into our lives comes for a reason. I know that as we accept those different challenges and try to rise above them we will be once again blessed. Thank you guys for everything. I love you all so much and am grateful for the parts you have played in my life:] Have a great week, be sure to break a world record or something:]
Love, Sister Bowden

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