Sunday, February 23, 2014

Best Efforts Do Not Mean Perfection and Have the Kind of Patience That Abinadi had for Noah!

Rachel!!!!  How did it feel to be in Allstate?  Was it amazing?  That dress you were wearing....I wore that same kind for Latter-day Voices!!  I wasn't really able to listen to the song because I am in the middle of the library but I am sure that it sounded absolutely amazing and I can't wait to hear the whole cd in a few months!!
Elizabeth!!  Thank you for your letter!!  Was the creme bule delicious?  Did you save me some?  Or are you going to take me there when I get back? 
I can't believe that Jake is 19.  I feel so very extremely old. 
This week was crazyness!!  I have been learning a lot about being able to work and also to feel satisfied with the work that you put in.  I think that most of the time in my life I really like to make sure that I do things perfectly.  That is, however, not the way that you learn.  I have learned a lot with my district this transfer about our best efforts in comparisson with the efforts that we put in.  one thing that has really struck me this week is that my best efforts do not mean perfection.  It simply means that I am doing everything that I can do achieve the things that I would like to achieve.  I think that I have always misunderstood that.  Mom and DAd, you guys have always said that we just have to do our best, I guess my mind said that means I must be perfect.  I have been learning about this skills that I lack and how I can become better.  But that I have to measure the success or the things that I do with who I am and what I know at that moment and just leave the rest to the Lord. 
Our Best Efforts - Our Effort = Regrets
If we are doing our best, working as hard as we can, the best that we know how, then we will have no regrets when we get to the end. 
We learned this week about what that has to do with confidence.  A confident person knows his/her limits.  A confident person know who they can rely on for help and who they can ask to help them with the things that they do not understand or are not very good at.  A confident person is humble, teachable and wants to learn and take the advise of others.  Are you confident?  Do you see those things in your life?  If not, what can you do to take a look at what you are doing and change?  How can you learn more about yourself?  How can you realize what your shortcomings are and ask for help?  Do you do that?  Are you willing to do that? 
I can honestly say that I can't answer all of those questions right now.  On my mission I have learned more about myself and who I want to become.  I have been able to see how my companions have helped me and filled in the spaces that I have in my life, the things that I am not yet good at doing.  That is why the Lord puts people into our lives.  We are to learn from them, lean on them and love them  But we need to also make sure that we are relying on the Lord for our most support.
We had a super cool miracle this week.  Sometimes, I really hate the fact that things don't happen when you feel like you are working super hard for it.  I guess I like to see immediate results...that is a flaw of mine.  But on Wednesday, we spent literaly the entire day finding people.  Knocking doors, talking to people on the street, running people down.  And we did not find a single potential that day.  It felt a lot like our first day of the cards where everyone rejected us.  So, we went home pretty wet and discouraged.  Thursday, we had another one of those days planned.  Both of us weren't extremely pleased, but we got out there and went to work.  We prayed harder that day that I think we have as a companionship because it was raining again and we were just hoping that someone would let us in so that we didn't have to go home as wet as the day before.  We picked a street.  And started knocking.  Guys, you will never guess what happened next.  The FIRST door.  A woman named Marisol answered.  She is from Columbia.  She speaks spanish(I knew I brushed up on the good ol' spans before I got called to go to Nederland.)  She said,"you guys are mormons?  Come on in" We went one for one that day.  She is a new investigator and is super extremely positive!!!  It is a beautiful thing when you are given a blessing from your heavenly father.  But also humbling.  I am learning to realize that the Lord has a time table of His own that I have to be ready to accept it and not angry when it doesn't come in my time. 
So, you will never guess who had a birthday on Friday.  My companion.  She has the same birthday as Jake!!  So Jake, I did celebrate your birthday!!  We went and got real pannekoeken with the family Feith and had cake and everything.  It was a beautiful thing.
In the Book of Mormon this week we have been studying Patience.  One thing that I really enjoyed about my study was the fact that I saw that patience is merely an understanding.  Think about it.  If you understand someone, their background and where they are coming from in a situation, then it is a lot easier to have patience when things don't really go the way that you had planned.  Abinadi had that kind of patience for Noah.  He understood what was going to happen.  That doesn't mean that he wasn't upset, but he didn't go out there and start a fight because they were too stubborn to listen.  Kind Mosiah made sure to be able to explain himself when he put out the idea to have judges in place of a king so that the people could be patient with the situation and the process of change.  If you find yourself angry or frustrated with a person or situation, ask yourself what kind of questions you could ask them so that you can understand more of where they are coming from and through tht understanding, you will gain patience.  I tried it this week and it totally worked!!
Zuster Israelsen

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