Hi friends and family!
Has your week been as hot as mine? Probably not. It sure is warm here! But hey, The Lords work never ceases (:
Speaking of hot, our AC unit is much of nothing and covers a radius of about 5 feet. Rather than complaining, we just made our living room into a bedroom. We call it our "Hometel" Haha a mission, on top of all else, has taught me to be self-reliant before complaining to someone else. Thank goodness, right dad? (;
So! My first full week in Teay's Valley was great! I have had a hard time not comparing it to my first area. The work here really does have a whole different set of challenges and strengths. We don't have an abundance of people to teach yet, but we are getting there! We find and find and find some more. (: While I have felt a lot of love for the area, I have not been given the warmest welcome in the world. The last Sister and I were very different (okay, polar opposites) and those we are teaching aren't taking the change well. But! The members have been a saving grace and I have learned to not give up, to do my best and improve my weaknesses. It has gotten better over time(:
This week in church a sister in the ward (Sister Heywood) gave a talk on the principle of pioneering. She taught us that each one of us should BEcome a pioneer in our own lives. 1. Pioneers know their history and have faith in it. They look to the past and cultivate respect and honor for those who have gone before them and marked the path. (Christ marked our path and we can always look back and strive to increase our faith in his atoning sacrifice)
2. They journey together while marking their own path.
"People survive alone, but they don't establish frontiers alone." When we see the value in others and strive to develop value in ourselves, we become more willing to serve and work with them. We look around to see Christ in our self and others. Then, at the same time, we strive to walk without comparison on a very personal journey with God! Think about how different every pioneer’s journey was, even if they were on the same trek as others. YOU AND GOD IN A WILDERNESS OF YOUR OWN. That is what God asks each of his children to do (Ether 2:5). This demands faith in every footstep for us.
So, why I am sharing this: I feel like I am in a wilderness of my own right now haha. One that is unfamiliar to all except Christ. I have not had a moment go by where I don't feel alone in what I am doing even though there are people all around me. This feeling has given me the opportunity to really have faith in Christ. I get to the point I do not have faith that I will see him in every part of my life, but I just have started to expect him! The experiences I have out here continue to aid my strive to confirm my assurance and trust in my savior. I know THIS IS HIS CHURCH AND HIS WORK. I LOVE HIM and I trust him.
I know that pioneering really is a gospel principle. We are all on a journey and we have been asked to push through with faith! Can we pioneer a little more? Work a little harder? Or pray with more faith?
We saw miracles in having the faith to find those really ready to hear our message and to not spend so much time with those who aren't. Sister Tippets doesn't enjoying just talking to every stranger she sees and it is harder for her. I am in awe at how well she just does it anyways. One night I got a prompting to go work an area we haven't been very much. It wasn't easy for her, but she was willing and faithful. THE SECOND house that we tried was the cutest little family. The mom just could not get enough. At everything we taught she just dropped her jaw and said, "no way? That is so cool! I didn't know that!". They were both prepared and open to hearing more.
I LOVE MY MISSION!
Jesus loves you and knows you by name (:
Sister Justina Campbell
West Virginia Charleston Mission
Sister Campbell and Sister Tippets, hot and sweaty, but happy serving the Lord!