We have a booklet called Adjusting to Missionary Life that is full of idea to handle the stress of missionary life, in all its various forms. A line we read this morning describes this past week perfectly. It says "not all of life is deeply meaningful or exciting". This past week was pretty boring, actually. I can't really think of anything outstanding that happened, either good or bad.
This past week (and until when we get the car back) was bike week. Partly because we couldn't seem to find members to come out with us, we biked a lot this past week. Counting this morning, we biked about 30 miles over the week. Bike week is great! It has been pretty hot, which isn't fun when you're riding a bike. BUT it means that more people offer to give you water when they see you going past. I have learned to never say no to an offer of water, it usually gives you an opportunity to talk to people that you wouldn't otherwise have. There was one guy who offered us water while we were walking up a hill. He was so nice! He gave us cold water bottles and fixed the water bottle holder on Sister Burkholder's bike! We talked to him about what we do as missionaries and how our missions are done differently than other churches.
I guess since this week was not very eventful, I will include some little miracles from each day
- While we were tracting after a lesson, we didn't really have a specific place we felt drawn to, so we were just walking trying to find a place that felt right. A few streets over from where we started, we heard a man ask us if we were lost. We told him we weren't lost and told him we were missionaries. It turned out that he was a member of the ward and he pointed us towards his neighbor as someone who might be interested.
- While out with a member, we went to go stop by another (fully active) member of the ward. This woman's husband hasn't been to church in months and usually doesn't say anything to the missionaries. Well, he got home while we were sitting in the living room. After putting his things down, he came back into the living room and had a conversation with us! After we left, the member who had taken us told us that was the first time he had talked to missionaries since he stopped coming to church.
- A family who lived in the Durham 1st ward when I was there moved after I left. They moved in to the Durham 4th ward, which meets in the same building as the Durham 2nd ward. I was able to see them briefly in the evening and it was so fun to see them again!
- Despite not having really biked in almost two transfers, I wasn't sore at all.
- Tracted into someone who seems totally ready for the gospel. He told us that he is at a point in his life where he is starting to wonder which religion is true and which one he should join.
pt 2- This one isn't so much a miracle as it is a funny story. We started talking to this man in a the parking lot of an apartment complex. He knows a Mormon and is good friends with him. We had a good conversation, but he was really interested in hearing more. We asked if we could give him a card with our number on it (in case he was ever interested in learning more about the church) and he said "I already have a girlfriend". Sister Burkholder and I started laughing as soon as we got around the corner.
- This was the day we biked the most. It was also probably the hottest day. There was one hill where we both just gave up biking and decided to walk. Two people in a row gave us water bottles (the second one is the one mentioned above)
- Church. I love being able to go to church every week and take the sacrament.
I think that's about it. Seriously, not an exciting week. Before I end this though, I want y'all to know how grateful I am to be out here. I had the realization this past week that the only thing I have to do for a year and a half is talk to people about the restored gospel. That's it. I don't have to worry about school, work, politics, or anything outside of my calling. There is nothing better I could be doing and nothing else I want to do right now. I get to spend all of my time talking about something that matters more to me than anything else. I get to tell people very single day that the Creator of the universe knows their name and that there is hope. I know without a doubt that this gospel is true, that the church I represent has been restored by Jesus Christ Himself. He is truly the head of this church. It is not run by mortals, but by the Savior. I do know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet and that he has been called by God to lead the church here on the Earth. Ultimately though, Thomas S. Monson is not the one in charge, Jesus Christ is. I am so grateful to be a part of His restored church and have a greater knowledge of the gospel. I know that the work I am doing is not my own. I am here to bring God's children to a knowledge of Him and help them to return to live in His presence. What more could I ask for?