14 July 2014
I wish to open this update with a spectacular statement from my mission president, James W McConkie III. It has inspired me, and I felt it was precisely what I needed to hear this week:
“Please know that none of you has forfeited your potential. Rather, as missionaries in the Lord’s service you are exactly where you should be and experiencing all the things you need to experience in order to reach your tremendous potential. Trust in God. Be patient. Work hard. Find. Be spiritual people. Have meaningful conversations. Extend commitments. Testify. Bring people to the covenant of baptism and to Christ. Watch and marvel as God changes the people you teach. Thank Him for changing you too. It is a great time to be a missionary!!”
I’ve been trying to take sufficient time in the past few days to reflect on my missionary efforts and reconsecrate myself before my time is truly out. (Sestra Jones will complete her missionary service next month). It’s a struggle to fight mental exhaustion these days! 😉 I’m afraid that I might miss promptings to improve and serve from sheer lack of energy. But on the other hand there’s very little (short of running late, or chickening out in an occasional contact) about which I feel guilty.
At the close of other stages of my life, like before moving or finishing a schoolyear, I have often been weighed down with regret and despair over opportunities wasted. But in contrast, the past few weeks of my mission have been graced with an overall feeling of gratitude. I don’t believe it’s an attitude of complacency, but rather a sign that I’m learning to accept the Atonement. I’m going out each day with the intention to serve: trying to be obedient and dependable and bold and charitable and sensitive to the Spirit. I used to feel awful self-condemnation for being anywhere short of perfect. Now I feel peace, and realise that the very fact that I am feeling and recognising the Spirit in my life daily is a sign of the Lord’s approval. Perfect or not, my efforts are enough and my offering is acceptable to the Lord. I know of no happier state. (Elder Kopischke, Elder Gong in this month’s Liahona, and Preach My gospel page 10)
As for this week’s exchange with the Trenčín sisters, we were immensely impressed with their capacity as teachers, and consecrated work ethic. They are ambitiously keeping their vision very high and diligently following through: absolutely exemplary. We met many of our goals together, including 14 hours of SOL (er… I think that stands for Speaking Our Language, and refers to gaining greater proficiency in the Slovak language by using it as often as humanly possible) and finding new investigators. From my side I want to improve on selecting activities to meet the Sisters’ goals by planning further in advance.
Our area is making a recovery from last week, greatly thanks to the back-to-back lessons taught in the company of the amazing Sestra Scer. 🙂 We miraculously reconnected with some key people, such as M (a single mum who was on-track for baptism last transfer) and S (mother of 3 and eldest of 13 children, with whom we had a very positive first lesson early on). J M came to church and is working to give up coffee. L started progressing by leaps and bounds this week, as we’ve met more regularly and he made a stellar effort to read the Book of Mormon. I really feel that he will soon be baptised. He’s made great friends with all the other young adults of the Branch, and we hope he’ll recognise his growing testimony fast, before they all leave on missions or go back to school! We had a significant spiritual discussion about the Holy Ghost with the W family this week (they’re the family that invited us to their home to teach English), and they have begun reading the Book of Mormon, making them serious investigators. It’s so exciting – we feel that good things are happening here in Žilina!
I know that the Lord’s hand is in this work!
S láskou, Sestra Jones