So, it has been a really interesting week! But preface to this letter home: I love my mission. Thomas told me last week that he was telling my mom that my mission gets better and better every week! SO TRUE (: The longer I am here, the better it gets!
You may have heard about the crazy storms that we had in this neck of the woods. Our area was not hit with severity. Like at all. Here are some pics of the small damage that was done during the worst part of it last week. 44 of the 55 counties in WV were/are in a state of emergency. There are places that have just been devastated. I mean houses floating down rivers. We have had So much rain here. It is the weirdest rain too because it is just hot. The ground steams below you as the rain hits the pavement. In other news, I sweat more than I ever thought possible this week. It is just sick. Seriously. I wasn’t even doing anything and I would just be sweating. And it hasn’t even really gotten hot yet! Hahaha are we in for an adventure.
Thank you for all of the prayers for the people here! I know that they are helping. Sister Lee and I had a good week(: We finally got our car back on Friday (we were scheduled to get it 3 days before that) and we are so thankful! It has been quite the experience getting around.
We had specialized training this week and we got to learn about becoming master teachers of the restoration. It amazes me that no matter how many times I hear or share the message of Joseph Smiths first vision I get chills! I KNOW that that young boy, in all of his courage to fight opposition saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. It reminded me of a story about the Flanagans. (I sent a pic home a few weeks ago). They have two young kids so we were teaching the Restoration just by holding up pictures and teaching them what they meant. We shared pictures before and after the picture of Joseph Smith’s vision, but when we shared this picture…..the kids could NOT stop asking questions. I kid you not, even after we tried to go on they kept flipping back to this picture and asking about it. It was familiar to them! Why? Because they knew and learned about it before they came to earth and they are so pure and close to God that they have an easier time accepting it (: I love truth and I love the way it feels as it resonates in us. TRUTH IS HAPINESS. The more we can get, the better off we are. And we gain more by living what we already know to be true.
In other news of opposition: Sister Gibson cancelled her baptism date. But keep your heads high! Because there is still hope for her(: She came to church and got a ride all by herself this week. I know that as we continue to help her see the fruits of the gospel she will desire more.
We went on a rollercoaster of emotions with John this week. We had a great lesson with him Wednesday. My favorite part of the lesson was after we taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy he said, “Wow! I want to go to church tomorrow!” That is when you know someone understands the blessings that come from living the gospel(: Then, the next day, we got a text from him telling us that he no longer wants to pursue this course. It was a very, very hard thing to hear. I was so excited for him! I think it was a point where I really questioned if agency was a good thing, but I quickly was reminded that the happiest moments and feelings of joy came from when I chose to do the right thing on my own! It was a good lesson to be learned. He is coming to dinner at the Bishop’s home this week with us, so we will still get to have some contact with him! It was so weird to not see him at church after almost two straight months. He really was a part of the ward.
Friends! I love that there is always hope and happiness ahead and that success as a missionary comes from obedience to the Lord and diligence in growing closer to him. I hope that we can always remember that Service is just Christ like opportunity (: The reason we should serve shouldn’t be for recognition, but it should be a part of our schooling as disciples!
One more thing: Aside from everything a mission has taught me: it has taught me to ASK. This past week if we wanted to get anywhere in our giant area without taking all day we had to ask for a ride. For some reason, it wasn’t that uncomfortable for me. I thought about this and I was shocked. I am so stubbornly independent, but I have had to trash that attitude on a mission because nothing gets done the Lord’s way when we try on our own here. Even just last night, we got done planning tonight and it was a great night! I looked at it and I was really excited. I thought about how many calls and texts we had to make to set it all up and I was in shock! I ask so many people for things on a daily basis, but they are good things! I ask a lot of the members here, but they always step up to the task.
I was thinking about Christ and how if he sees that something needs done, he has no problem in asking for our help. Have you ever gotten a feeling you needed to do something, then didn’t, then watched your neighbor do it and realized why you felt like you needed to do it? Haha, well it just shows that when God wants something done, he doesn’t take no for an answer. Many of the righteous desires we have can’t be done on our own. Too many times I think we stop at person 0 or 1 or 2. If they can’t help, we just give up. But I know that shouldn’t be the case. God tells us: ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE. So, my challenge to you: if it is righteous, and you desire to get it done, don’t stop asking or trying different things until you find the one who can help. I have had to call 10 members before I found one that could come out. And turns out, the 10th one was the exact one God needed in that lesson at that time. God has a plan, let’s do what we can and work until we get on board with that plan! So, BEcome comfortable with asking for help.
I love you! Have a good time celebrating one of my favorite holidays! Light off lots of fireworks (: And eat watermelon too. (:
Sister Justina Campbell
West Virginia Charleston Mission
This is a cicada. They are almost gone! FINALLY(:
When we got stuck in the storm and the power went off in a member’s home!
That is a piece of siding! Pretty strong winds!