It’s been a good and challenging week. It felt pretty long looking back on it, but it was so good. I think there are just three main things I want to share about this week.
First of all, our friend and newest member, David, received the Aaronic priesthood yesterday! He did his little happy feet dance in church and during our class. He is just so happy all the time! He is going to be (and already is) such an amazing addition to the Lord’s church and its so neat to see all that the gospel is doing for him.
Second, we’ve been working more with our other friend we’ve been teaching as well as her brother! Both of them are now preparing to be baptized and they are so excited. We had met with them to celebrate our friend and one of our member’s birthdays and after our celebration, we had a lesson over at our church about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We had such a wonderful discussion about baptism and repentance, and invited them both to be baptized.
The wonderful thing about David and these other friends we are teaching, is that the members in our Branch have been so closely involved with them and bringing them to the gospel. It’s inspiring the members in our Branch to help more, and I think they really see the joy that comes from member-missionary work. I think I mentioned this at some point, but the way I see it is, missionaries are doing the same work we’re helping the members do, because we’re members as well! The two biggest differences I see between members and missionaries, is that set apart missionaries do this full time for 18-24 months, and are set apart to preach the gospel. But missionaries can’t do the work alone.
Without the relationships (or fellowship if you prefer) that the members make with these people the missionaries teach, or without those relationships already developed with people, this work would be much more difficult to accomplish. David for example, already had a relationship with some members, and it’s the only reason he ever considered attending church and learning about our beliefs. He had a lot of questions he felt comfortable asking the members he was friends with. The members just loved God and loved David, and shared their testimony of eternal families when he was going through the hardest time in his life. Then he wanted to learn more, and they invited David to meet with them and the missionaries. Love, share, and invite. It was the same way Michelle was baptized. Now, our two friends preparing for baptism love church because of the relationships they’re building with the members. I’m so grateful for the organization of this church!
This Saturday, I had an opportunity to go on exchanges with Sister Hansen. She has been my STL for all but 2 Transfers (about a month and a half). This is unfortunately her last transfer as a missionary, and I’m sad to see her go. She’s been with me on my journey as a missionary for SO long. Most of my mission. She’s such an example of charity and strength to me, and I’ve needed every second I’ve had with her.
Sometimes I have wondered if this was the mission the Lord wanted me to serve. But then I think about the people that I’ve met. My mission president and his wife. My STLs. My companions. My trainer😻. My trainee🏸. The friends I’ve taught. The friends I’ve lost. No other mission could be as hand crafted and selected as this one was to me at this time in my life. Every transfer or area, I see a theme in what the Lord is trying to teach me. Right now it’s self worth.
Sister Hansen and I talked a lot about self worth on our exchange. She helped me feel loved, and special. She helped me set goals to see myself the way the Lord sees me, and I had an opportunity to share that with our friend who also struggles with her self worth. I have so much more I could share, but I never feel I have the time to write it all, and I will have to focus on keeping the things I’ve learned in my heart and in my actions. I’m excited for zone conference this week (where we get together with several other missionary districts in our stake) and I’ll write about it next week!
Stay safe, love you all. Know you are so loved by your Father in Heaven. ♡
Sister (Katie) Malan