"...live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you" (Alma 34:38)
HAPPY TURKEY DAY! Maybe it's a good thing I'm not in Brazil quite yet because today wouldn't be a holiday. My companion and I did our own "Turkey Trot" run this morning and we made it about 4 miles! Now I won't feel so bad about our delicious Polynesian dinner set up for us this evening. We are so blessed to have the members from church feed us.
I hope this letter finds everyone happy, healthy, thankful, and so full you never want to eat again. I am so grateful for this time of year and being able to reflect on the many mercies and blessings the Lord grants me everyday. I am especially grateful to be serving a mission at this time in my life, to be here in California, and to be a small part of this great work of salvation. Can you believe I've been out for 2 months already?I couldn't do it without each one of you- your prayers, your encouragement, your love. I just can't thank you enough!
Last Friday we had Zone Conference and Elder David S. Baxter of the Seventy was there. He gave one of the devotionals while I was at the MTC so I was so excited I got to meet him in person! He taught us so many great things- how to teach clearly and powerfully with the Spirit, how to effectively study in order to testify with conviction, and the importance of extending commitments and promising blessings. I really admire Elder Baxter because he was so direct and bold. He was bold because he loves us! And that's how we need to be with the people we teach. They have to understand our purpose- not to merely be their friend, but to invite them to come unto Christ and help them received the restored gospel. Our goal is to guide them to baptism and eventually to the temple.
Other than Zone Conference nothing too exciting has been going on. You know, just surviving a few rainstorms here and there, going to family's houses with really strange pets... One family has 8 dogs and an inside house pig (excuse me, I mean hog). Another lady has 5 or 6 birds and dogs and cats all over the place. All these crazy Californians and their pets! I don't get it. Maybe it's because growing up all we ever had was a fish and a hermit crab that didn't live very long. Anyway, on Saturday we are doing exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders so I'll get to go to a different area for a day! I'm excited.
We knocked on the door of a former investigator named Kay this past week and she gave us the usual excuse of needing to clean for the holiday. So we offered to help! Surprisingly, she took us up on it. We dusted her whole living room and then she asked us to read 1 Corinthians with her so we did. We had a really good discussion and she loves the Bible, as do we. Now we just got to get her to study out of the Book of Mormon to add to the truth she already has! Hopefully we can get her progressing soon.
We've been struggling this past week with finding people to teach. We still have Lorraine but she hasn't made it to church yet. We're moving very slow with her so it'll take a little while before she is baptized. It's been great to watch her learn and grow a little bit each visit! Larry is still progressing but he has some things to clear up before he can be baptized so we're not sure how that'll go. We're doing our best to talk to everyone and get out of our comfort zone but it's hard! I'm realizing now the area we are in is one of the hardest in the mission. Baptisms are very rare and it's an older, established community. But that's no excuse! We are trying to work with less-active members and part-member families with hopes of more teaching opportunities. It's easy to get discouraged but we can't give up! The Lord never gives up on us!
My motto for the past week has been "por meio de coisas pequenas e simples que as grandes sao realizadas" which means "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass" -Alma 37:6 (yes I'm still trying to keep up my Portuguese!). It's easy to get overwhelmed in life. Always a million things to do, a million things to stress about, a million ways to improve, but we have to take it one day at a time. Baby steps. And that's all the Lord expects of us! To try a little harder each day. For me, to be a better missionary today than I was yesterday.
I hope everyone has a great weekend! The best part about having Pday on Thursday is you get to hear from me again on Monday! Thank you again for all the support. My heart is full of gratitude today for my testimony of this gospel and the happiness it brings me each day. And most importantly, for my Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful for His companionship in my life as I go about serving Him.
I love you all!
Love, Sister Jorgensen