Monday, January 16, 2012

It's only a failure if you don't learn from it

It’s been a great week on the Isle of Man! Sister Hoffman and I have really been striving to follow the Spirit, especially in our finding, and we have made some very good contacts. Equally as significant is that I feel Sister Hoffman is also building good relationships with the ward. She's easy to love. And the members of the Douglas Ward are easy to love!

We spent Saturday tracting on the North of the Island (Side Note: the landscapes just take your breath away! Unreal beautiful.). We feel really good about the countryside there. Several members have suggested that we tract up there and we just really feel drawn to it. It’s not as effective number wise (it takes time to get from house to house) but I have a feeling we are going to “strike gold.” Someone out there is praying for the gospel. We have met a few people who’ve invited us back already. We fasted yesterday to find a family (I don't know how you do it, Mum! every time : )) So exciting to be a missionary! I always feel like we are on the verge of miracles and, of course, I'm right. The future is as bright as our faith.

In Relief Society this week we learned from the teachings of George Albert Smith. One of the things he said was,

“What a fine thing it is to feel that we belong to a church that is or should be composed of saints. It is not sufficient that we have our names upon the records. It is important that we live the lives that entitle us to be called Saints, and if you will do that, you will be happy.”

It reminded me of something Sister Hoffman and I experienced Saturday night which involved the Clagues family. The Clagues own a little party centre (with laser tag, playgrounds, etc.) called the Fun Barn. They have always told us that we can come in anytime for a meal as they also sell hamburgers, sandwiches, chips, etc. We found ourselves without a meal appointment Saturday evening and decided to take them up on their offer (for the first time since I’ve been on-island.) Well, it just so happened to be the night the Jehovah’s Witnesses had booked the Fun Barn for a party : D : D What are the chances? The thing that really amazed me is that as soon as Brother Clague saw us come through the door he was all smiles, “Hello, Sisters! Come have something to eat! Guess who else is here tonight? (with a grin...)” All of his customers were looking at us a bit funny (naturally) but he just rolled out the red carpet and treated us like queens. He really could not care less what they thought, even if it would mean losing business (which it didn’t, luckily). I so admire him for his integrity and the way he lives his faith! He and his family are worthy of the title "Latter-Day Saints" and I'm determined to continue to live my life in a way that I am, too.

I find it fascinating that there is never a dull day as a missionary. I am constantly faced with opportunities to learn and grow. I think life in general is this way if you can only recognise those opportunities as such! The biggest thing I've learned on my mission so far is this simple phrase taught to me by the Spirit,

"It's only a failure if you don't learn from it."

It sounds simple enough, but since it was taught to me by the Spirit it has really become a part of me and it's seen me through many challenges. When we really view life as a laboratory for learning it seems easier to forgive ourselves and others of shortcomings. I’ve found it especially interesting lately as I have become increasingly aware of my motives. I don't know exactly what it is, but I seem to take a little more time to make decisions now and I've been given the gift of discerning my feelings. Earlier on my mission I might feel resistance to doing something out of my comfort zone but then duty or fear would kick in and off I would go. Now, the fear is gone and I find myself continuing to do the same things but I do them more consciously out of love of the Lord. It’s a wonderful feeling. This really is between me and the Saviour and the whole experience is so sacred to me.

I had the opportunity to bear my testimony in church yesterday. I am so filled with joy as I consider upon the truths that I know. I always knew that the church was the Lord's Kingdom on Earth, but now that I have been involved in building it up I have seen and experienced firsthand how involved He is and what power there is at the centre of it all. I love the Lord and I love His Work.

Have a miraculous week : D and I will, too!

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