Where do I start? Well, I had the tender tender mercy of going back to Santa Rosa this week. There are no words to express how much I LOVE that place. As we were driving through my old area on the ônibus, my heart was just absolutely overflowing with happiness. Just driving by the old streets I used to work on brought memories back. Every street has a story.
Anyway, I guess the sisters gave the members a heads up that I was coming back and everyone wanted to see me, which made it hard to fulfill the purpose of the exchange (help Sister C. S. become a better gospel teacher), but the Lord is good and we were able to teach several investigators (including some ex-investigators that I taught while I was there. Remember F? Yeah, he has had some major changes in his life. I asked him when he was going to get baptized and he just looked at me and said "let's start preparing". Sister C. S. marked a time to go back. I am so excited to see what happens!) and she opened up to me about what was holding her back from working with all her heart might mind and strength.
We made some goals about improving those things and she is going to be able to reach the great potential that she has. But, yeah, so I got to see a bunch of people that a absolutely LOVE and as I prayed that night and poured my heart out in gratitude for being able to see and help them, I just felt an overwhelming peace come into my heart that the Lord is very pleased with my service as a missionary. It was one of those special sacred moments for me.
I also got to go out with Sis Culley. She is one of the most incredible human beings I know. She has a tumor in her hip, it's not cancerous, but it is growing and pushing on her nerves, so when she walks a lot it gets inflamed and she can't walk, so she only gets to work 1/2 a day, but I tell you what: she makes that 1/2 day count! We WENT TO WORK! It was awesome, we practiced using good questions to discern the needs of our contacts and gave baptismal dates to 2 people in the street! It was awesome! AND while we were on the bus in Morrinhos, I saw an ex investigator from Santa Rosa who couldn't get baptized because he was always out at sea fishing for work, but he quit his job and is now living in her area and accepted visits from the missionairies again!! :D and his daughter asked for his Book of Mormon because she wanted to read it, and has been reading it for like a month. The sisters are going to visit them this week. I am super excited!
Yesterday I got to go on exchanges with my old African companion. It was such a blast! She opened up and told me how much I helped her while we were companions and I was shocked! I had no idea how much she said she learned from me. It was humbling to know that I was able to help her become a better missionary.
I'm not sure what else to say. I'm trying to become the best Sister Byrne I can be. I love the Lord and I am finally getting to know Him more personally. We talk a lot. Prayer is essential for my survival these days. Things happen with sisters and I have no clue what to do. Absolutely no clue. So I go into another room, pray to know what He wants. Maybe I have the wrong attitude, but I'm like, Okay God, you put me in this position, we have a problem here and it needs to be resolved. I don't know how, so I need you to tell me. He always does :)
Life is good. Missions are great. I love my life.
Oh! scripture of the week is Mosiah 24:13-16
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.
#it's real God lifts our burdens, takes tiredness away, gives us the strength we need to keep going.