Weathering Change

3  June 2013

I don’t want to complain, but this week has been really hard. The weather may account somewhat for my depression (rainy all week), but I’m struggling so much to keep my chin up with all of the changes and stresses and strains that transfers have brought. Discouragement has been looming over me like a choking cloud all week, to the point that I am even starting to feel low about feeling low! Surely if I trusted the Lord completely, then nothing would get me down?

Rain, rain, go away...

Rain, rain, go away…

We were blessed with great success last week (11 member lessons and 3 new investigators!), but for some reason all of our investigators seemed to evaporate this week (no time, no longer interested, won’t pick up phone…) and our results weren’t even half as good. Our efforts are so imperfect: with senior companions running a tight ship it was easy to feel that we were on task and on time, but without that perfect example to measure myself against, I feel lost and overwhelmed with the responsibility that has been placed on our shoulders.

Fortunately,  Heavenly Father has blessed me with a lovely, sunshiny companion to buoy me up. I feel the way forward is to trust in my companion – rely on her strength and be open in confiding my fears – and then be that steadfast, effective companion she can rely on, so we can trust in each other equally. We’ll be careful not to lose the good habits our trainers helped us develop, and then move forward and improve step by step. Thank goodness for the comfort of Mosiah 4:27 – the Lord only expects us to run as quickly as we have strength for.

“And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.”

The parcels I got from my family came at the perfect moment… I have been gradually unpacking them throughout the week, and slowly discovering all the happy little surprises, and special messages. They thought of everything: music, counsel, encouragement, photos, news from home, treats, clothing… I adored every bit of it! My siblings sent some truly awesome drawings and comics, including a particularly fanciful one from my 10-yr-old brother.  (It chronicles the adventures of my illustrated alter-ego, who finds a trans-dimensional portal… let’s just say that by the end, the precious Book of Mormon has transformed the life of one “Brother Sméagol”). Today I laughed myself silly when I read my 13-yr-old brother’s summary of his half-term holiday activities:  “This half term, I started a book on D-day, watched too much TV, and spent more than an hour talking to my brothers about the effects of using grass and metal type Pokemon at the same time. To put it in a single sentence; I have done nothing constructive. Awesome!”

I think that’s a great deal of what I’ve been missing this week: forgetting to laugh, sing, and smile. It’s difficult to find a balance between taking care of my personal needs, and making sure I’m never so self-absorbed that I forget about others. I pray that as I seek to do the Lord’s will, that I will learn to truly love others as myself and to find joy in the service I’m doing my best to render every day.

This week will be so much better – I just know it! 🙂

Mam tá rada ako cokolada,
Sestra Jones

A note from the Editor:
Just to provide some additional perspectives of the typical first experience of Transfers, here is what some of Sestra Jones’ fellow missionaries have shared about their week:

“My lovely (trainer) left wednesday morning, may have made a scene…Had a disastrous day after that, lol. Everything was going wrong at once :/ i felt like she had left me unchaperoned for less than 24 hours and it was already alll going downhill…the rest of the week consisted of contacting/tracting in the rain. Not even rain, tracting/contacting in a full on waterfall. There were flood warnings everywhere and i was sopping wet.

thats basically my week:)

church really smoothed it all over for me. i needed that time to rejuvenate. now i am back to being chipper. President has us talk to ourselves in the mirror everyday “o boy, o boy, o boy, am i enthusiastic!” (add a british accent to it) it really does work, haha…dont worry about me. i can take some toughening up”   Sestra D

“I got transferred!…  It’s been probably one of the most stressful weeks ever. I was really surprised when I got the transfer call, so I had to pack up everything, say goodbye to everyone Sunday, and leave on Monday, and take a train by myself. That would have been fine except they were working on the tracks so we had to switch to a bus, and then back to the train…with all of my luggage. Dragging two suitcases and a duffel up all those stairs was definitely not my first choice! I’m pretty sure each of them weighed more than half of me. Definitely got a workout from that! But I made it eventually.

We had Sister S for two days, and then she went home, and we had to fend for ourselves.  I got to go back to Prague on Saturday actually because there was a district relief society conference, …that was an adventure too! On the train ride up, (the Elders’) investigator started arguing (a doctrinal point) with one of the members… I tried to get them to see that it was just semantics, they were actually both saying the same thing….but to no avail. So me and (my companion) decided we were all going to read Moroni 7 together, out loud, so they couldn’t argue anymore… They were all obedient, and readily agreed. I honestly felt like I was chaperoning little kids….and all three of them were at least 50 or 60. It’s quite intimidating to have that much responsibility…I don’t feel like I’m old enough! 

… I’m really working on trying not to complain and just go to work. So the rest of the week was kind of rough too…we had 5 people dog us (not show up). So we did lots and lots of contacting in the pouring rain, and our numbers were really low. As if all that drama wasn’t enough (plus the trying to speak czech and remember everything we are supposed to do when we are both new)…. since it’s been literally pouring every day for weeks, (I honestly don’t think I’ve seen the sun in weeks, and that is not an exaggeration) there are now severe flood warnings! Yay.  All of that happened in a week!”  Sestra Co

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