(Sent June 16 | Photos on Facebook)
This past week was super rough for me because I've been feeling super duper discouraged. It's a new transfer and I thought we could start off great and we ended up having an incredibly unsuccessful week. Our key indicators were dangerously low and absolutely no one was accepting of our message. I became so discouraged that I'd reached a point where I just didn't want to go out and work. I thought, if no one's willing to listen to us, why should we go out? But I got myself out there that day. It was yet another unsuccessful day.
I always think about President Hinckley's experience of when He wrote to his father about how discouraged he felt. His father responded, "Forget yourself, and go to work." So I thought, oh, I'll just forget myself...but I never knew what that meant....
Until last Saturday. Because I figured it out! I know why missionaries are sent to areas where no one accepts them. This was our time to develop ourselves not just as missionaries, but also as true disciples of Jesus Christ. I'd noticed myself getting more and more angry because no one was willing to meet with us (yes, I was angry. I'm not perfect. Surprising, I know), and my attitude was horrible. So I decided to read "A Successful Missionary" in Preach My Gospel, chapter one. It says that a successful missionary is measured by their commitment to the work, not by how many people they find, teach, and baptize. Many, many, many missionaries come home having not witnessed a single baptism that resulted directly from their hard work.
As I read the section, it referred me to a scripture (now my new favorite scripture) in Helaman 10:4-5:
"Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people....And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works" (emphasis added).
I realized that if we go out there with full heart, might, mind, and strength in the work, we will be blessed foreeeeeever. That's a reeeeally long time.
So Sister Billings and I decided to work on Christ-like attributes each week for the rest of the transfer because we know that a change in attitude will bring all sorts of success. We decided to have faith and hope this week by being enthusiastic about the area, optimistic about the people, and confident that God has already prepared people for us to teach.
And guess what? Many people accepted to say a prayer with us. All because we changed our attitude and our outlook. All because we, essentially, changed ourselves.
So even though I was so down in the dumps for so many days, I felt rejuvenated by my new sense of purpose. I really do feel hopeful.