today i felt so guided (and strengthened) by the spirit! last night i prayed with everything i had to be able to get up and go to work this morning. and, i did! more importantly, i did it for the right reason - LOVE.
it's something alex [rasmussen] mentioned in a group e-mail a while back; the thing that motivates him to work every day is love for god and the people he serves. i really loved that. so lately, i've been changing the "why" of why i'm here - why i wake up at 6:30am each day and walk in the hot sun for 5-8 hours. when i first arrived, i did it because it was all new and i was so super-duper excited to be in the field. but, that faded with time (not going to lie). it was superficial, anyway. it wasn't a motivation that was deeply rooted - it was more 'momentum.' the craziness of it all pushed me to keep going and experience new things.
but, then it got hard.
this past week, especially, i've been thinking "why am i doing this?" i could be at byu, i could be shopping with my mom, etc. - the skype call on mother's day pushed me to some hard reflection. it made me miss home.
the last couple of months, i got up in the morning because i knew it was my duty as a missionary, because i knew those were the rules. but, i think that reasoning could only get me so far - it wasn't going to hold up. a desire to be obedient is where we begin, but we can't stay there. i think the mission needs to get each of us to the point where everything we do is done because we love god and others.
so, this morning, the reason i got up changed.
some of the first thoughts i had at 6:30am were about "my people" - how much i love them. that's why i got up. and today was an 8-hour work day. and, breakfast was a plate of bread and a bowl of kalamata olives. and, we got a door slammed on us and faced the normal rejection from other contacts. but today, in spite of all that, i was never at any point fatigued or discouraged. in fact, looking back, we had some incredible things happen today.
what motivates us as missionaries? why do we do what we do? and, will those reasons hold up when the sun is beating down? that's what i've been reflecting on this week amidst the turmoil. but, after today, i feel like there are some permanent changes to be made. today was a turning point for me. god allows us to experience discouragement, even fall to the ground at times, but when we pick ourselves back up we become stronger. it's just the learning how to get back up that's hard.
i realize that no good thing is easily achieved. god is forming me into the woman i need to be for my own eternal progression, for my family back home, and in preparation for my roles as wife and mother someday!
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's mom:
hey, momma! how are you? it's so cool that ryan got to go to one of your classes! i'm so excited to sit in on some of your lectures when i get back, too. this week, i had the impression that we should visit a street called "atlantida," where we never go. we noticed there was space in our schedule while we were planning one day at noon, and normally we would fill that space with names of people to visit. but i said, "let's put 'the street atlantida.'" we walked the entire street and found no one. but, almost at the end, we found a less-active member who is ready to come back to church! and, her family isn't LDS, so we're going to try and teach them, too!! the spirit!!! is so amazing!!! :)
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
lately i've been able to find the EXACT scriptures i need for the lessons we teach. it's amazing to be so guided by the spirit - like, scriptures i've never even used before just come. sometimes, i literally flip open the book of mormon (this happened 6 or 7 times last week) to the exact scripture we need. i am in awe at what the spirit can do, and i'm so honored to be an instrument in the lord's hands! love you, daddy!! stay cool. :)
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's youngest brother:
hey, carson! good job on the math test!!! wow!!! so, this week we went to elia's house to do service and help in her yard!! i found some crackers in the mess of her backyard, and who knows how old they were, but they were fully sealed, and i was hungry, so i ate them. :) anyway, i helped her drag out old rags from like 10 years ago that had become buried in the dirt and mud of her backyard...it was super gross. we barely put a dent in her yard, but i think we had an impact on her heart! and, she let us drink from a coconut that came from one of her trees!
me trying to drink out of a coconut
it was delicious!!! clear like water, and so so good.
life in the amazon