|Me and my puppy Ginger!|
While we were serving in the temple, we were with some of the temple workers who were helping and directing us. We sat down cleaning crystal chandelier pieces and talked for maybe two hours. It was the first time I've had a legitimate conversation with a person outside of the MTC since I got here and I can't tell you how nice it was to sit down with a person who actually knew 80s music as well as I do (shoutout to Dad and Mom for raising me right!).
Beyond that, the only really unique thing that happened this week was our district kickball game against the Cambodian district on Saturday! We lost, but our whole district had a blast. Considering I've never played kickball before in my life, I think we did pretty dang good. I've also started playing catch with Sister Peck and sometimes other people in our district, and there's nothing quite as relaxing as playing catch outside on a beautiful morning in the shadow of a gorgeous mountain and a temple (until I accidentally hit Sister Brown with a softball. She's totally fine, don't worry. shoutout to Sister Brown for being awesome and playing with me anyways!). Oh, and we also flew kites in the rain during companion study this week. Shoutout to the Cambodian Elders for having kites and letting us borrow them! I'm at the point now where literally anything that takes away from our normal schedule is the greatest thing ever. Also, shoutout to half our zone because they're leaving today and tomorrow! We're losing our Vietnamese-speakers, our Hmong-speakers, and all the Cambodians. That's like...half of our zone. But we get 18 new thai-speakers on Wednesday! We're so pumped to have more Thai missionaries (although we're secretly really jealous that our teachers will be spending more time with them instead of us now).
This week I'd like to talk a little bit about enduring trials. On thursday, I had a strong prompting all day that I needed to be praying for my family, although I had no idea why. It all made sense when I received a DearElder that evening that said that Ginger, my family's German Shepherd, had been put down. While the event itself wasn't a shock, it was still a pretty heavy emotional blow, and I'm still reeling in some ways. She was one of my best friends, my baby, and I already feel her absence. Saying goodbye never gets any easier, but I knew when I left home that I was sacrificing that. Maybe that doesn't seems like that big of a deal, but for me, it was huge. Being a missionary is truly a humbling experience. Just when I think I have given my all, more is asked of me and more weight is placed on my shoulders. The Lord has been teaching me some very powerful lessons lately about learning to rely on Him and I don't think I've learned it quite yet.
In an amazing talk entitled "Trust in the Lord" by Richard G. Scott, he said the following: "To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it...Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love." There's another talk by Elder David A. Bednar called "Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease" that talks about how to move on from tragedy and trials: "We are not and never need be alone. We can press forward in our daily lives with heavenly help. Through the Savior's Atonement we can receive capacity and strength beyond our own."
This work is hard, but it is the only work that truly matters in the end. Said the Prophet Joseph Smith, "Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation." This is the only Church on the Earth that has the restored fullness of Christ's gospel. I know that. I've always known, but probably never as strongly as I do now. I love you all!