Saturday, June 3, 2017

2017-05-31 Life Changing

Sorry I didn't send my parents anything last week - it was a good week and this last one was pretty πŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ‘ŒπŸΌ as well :)

Hey so look, I really just want to share an experience with you that has really changed life, my perspective on pretty much everything.

I first off want to say that God has been nourishing and tending to my little testimony always in the most perfect way. Just, from the beginning of my mission until now and I'm sure until the end of my mission (I'm assuming also after??), He's given me the right trials and the right companions and experiences and everything in just the right moment to the point that I seriously do feel like a rough stone that got pushed down a hill and I'm gonna be super polished when I get to the bottom - not because I'm awesome at all! I'm saying God is awesome. Because without even wanting it or willing it or expecting it, my mission has polished me in real and specific ways right when I needed it and they're changes I'll carry with me forever.

So, this week was one of those instances. Something I've been finding out a lot these last 9 weeks is that I'm a perfectionist. I like things done perfectly. Now, I know perfectly well that my way is not always perfect but...when I think things should be done a certain way, I really don't understand why it should be done any other way! In other words, I have a very low level of trust in others and like things to always be in my hands. I've realized this because my companion is exactly like me. Don't you think it's perfect that I'm learning this lesson right before I go home and have to face the stress of college? Yeah, help me, Lord (He did).

So I have a hard time trusting my companion's opinion but an even harder time trusting God's. Why? A myriad of reasons. Because maybe I don't trust spiritual promptings always/am not close enough to God therefore don't have a super close relationship with Him, because I have had a vision of missionary perfection that I've created for myself that isn't necessarily bad but also isn't perfect, and other things. 

This week was an instance where I had a vision of perfection, I wanted it my way, and didn't trust that God maybe had a different plan in mind. 
The scene: two days before an exchange with some Sorelle from another city
The problem: nobody is available to see us and we have like one appointment and 24 hours with two companionships. I started to think, "maybe God doesn't want us to have appointments!"
The solution: stressing out and busting my hump trying to call every person under the sun who I have ever met so that we can get more appointments for this scambio
Now, you have to understand that I was doing this because I wanted this Sorella to have a good, uplifting scambio and not because I wanted her praise. I seriously just felt bad if she was gonna come and we'd have to do finding for 24 hours. Poor girl! So I had righteous intentions but I didn't realize that God's plan was more perfect.

I finally find an appointment. It's with a less-active. I didn't feel any particular need to see her, I just took a shot in the dark and she was finally the person that said yes. Good. Pday ends. I get on the tram with my scambio companion to head out to our appointment. On the way out there, I find out all kinds of things about this sweet Sorella that I didn't know before. She has been going through an incredibly difficult time for the last five months. She cried a lot, and I cried some, too. She told me she was considering heading home. I confessed to her that I had had an insane amount of difficulty finding appointments for this scambio and... that I was right. God didn't want us to have appointments and I was too hard-headed to have asked Him what He wanted. She didn't need to teach people, she needed to go home and chill out after one of the most emotionally draining days of her mission. We got off the bus and I asked her if she wanted to go home as we walked to our appointment. She said yeah, so we did, and I cancelled that appointment that I hard-headedly made at the last minute. She found an answer to her prayers, made a decision, and I am happy for her and that she's peaceful now.

There's a lot of things this taught me. Above all, it taught me to include God more often when I form opinions of perfection. Who would have thought that a scambio without appointments would be perfection?? But it was.

The coolest blessing of me being polished is getting to share my experiences with others. Not only is God teaching me this lesson right when I need to, but He put someone in my path who needed to learn the same lesson right after I did. Yesterday, we were at the house of a family of members. We shared a message with them on missionary work. The whole lesson was sort of awkward and strained and also way too long haha, but at the end of it the mother of this family starts talking to us about how bad she feels since her and her husband have had to start working sometimes on Sunday and they feel like they're becoming less-active. So random! So, I was able to share this experience with her that our idea of perfection isn't God's. If He knows you can't make it to church, but that you are trying, he will tell you if that is "perfect" or not. When I told her this, the Spirit was so strong. At the closing prayer, she thanked God because we were an answer to her prayers.

God is so great!! I just think this is a way cool experience and I want you to know that my mission has just been peppered with experiences like this right since the beginning. Trust more in the Lord, pray to Him more often and with more intent, and don't be so fixed on what you think perfection is because frankly, despite however much we think we know, we don't know everything yet. πŸ˜‰ thanks for sticking with me to the end of this crazy long blog post and I hope you have a good week!!

P.s. Shoutout to Fratello Walden, congratulations on meeting the love of your life! ❤

So - Italy is the fashion capital of the world, right?


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