Holy busy!! I can't tell you how excited I am that the bathrooms and the living room are being remodeled. And I totally approve of the tuscan theme. Can't wait to see more pictures! And congratulations to Ryan on his blue belt! He's turning into a ninja!
I was thinking about Dad and how much he's in the spotlight everywhere he goes... No pressure! You definitely feel a small amount of that pressure as a missionary. The question is always, "would my behavior right now make anyone question if I'm a servant of the Lord?" Because of the nametag, people recognize us and have expectations before we introduce ourselves. Dad probably feels the same way. I'm praying for him all the time and I know that if anyone can masterfully handle the challenges that come with the calling, it's Dad! And I know the Lorenzo ward misses you as much as you miss them.
I'm so excited for you to strengthen your relationship with the missionaries and teach someone in our home this year!! And thanks for sharing your goals with me as well. I am a firm believer in setting high goals and not being afraid to work hard to reach them, so your goals look awesome. The best way to reach those goals will to be to get the ward members to the point where they have ownership of the missionary work. When I get some time, I'll find my notes from Elder Foster on how to do that and send them to you. :)
Well, I decided to make a spin-off of Dad's email and title my email "Spiritual Construction Zone" because that is what's happening in my life right now :) This week was definitely a challenge. On Thursday, Bobby dropped us because he's got too many physical & psychological challenges right now to think about making any big life changes, like joining a church. He's going into a program for a couple months and because he's so sick, he thinks he probably won't see us again in this life. Man. We stopped by last night and had him sign our transfer journals. As a parting gift he gave us a giant chocolate cake because we had given up dessert in an effort to help him live the word of wisdom :P so that was sweet of him. Bobby taught me how to really love people.
Ingrid, our sweet 70 year old German investigator, came to a baptism Saturday and told us at the end she's going to stick with her Presbyterian faith. Man... I guess she's just not ready for change. But she said she still has questions about Joseph Smith so we may be able to go over and answer those for her :)
Brock, our long-time investigator who is now ENGAGED :) to member Sis Tooley, has almost been taught everything on the teaching record. He told us this week that he still doesn't feel ready for baptism, yet. He's been taking a very logically-based and methodical approach to learning about the church and we just don't know how to help him recognize the answers that come from the Spirit. He still wants us to come over once a week and answer his questions about the Gospel Principles lessons, but he doesn't want to set a baptismal date. I still feel that with him, it's a matter of when he accepts the gospel, not if, but it may take some more time! I'm learning lots of patience there. :)
I think the biggest lesson I'm learning right now has something to do with faith, hope and humility. I can feel Heavenly Father chipping away at my tendencies to get discouraged and frustrated, to blame or complain, and to think that I can do it without His help. I sure can't do it without Him-- I am completely and totally dependent on my Savior. So I'm grateful. It hurts so good! :)
On Tuesday we had interviews in Havasu with President Snow. In my interview, President told me that I remind him of his oldest daughter, who's a perfectionist, achiever type person. When he dropped her off at BYUI with her full-ride scholarship, he told her, "Don't worry too much about grades. Loosen your bun & enjoy school." So that was his advice to me: "Loosen your bun, Sister Browning!" I'm supposed to not worry about being the perfect missionary, have fun while still being obedient, try some new things and take some risks. So Sister Hame and I made some plans this week to try some new things. We are working with the members more and trying to get them excited about the work with "family mission plans," trying new street contact approaches, working on a "junior missionary" program for the priests and laurels in the ward, and lots of other cool things! I know Heavenly Father will bless us with success for trying new things. I just have to trust in His timing, too. :)
Helaman 3:35 "They did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling of their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts to God."
Slowly, but surely!
Love you times a million :)