Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 75: We're Not Human Beings Having a Spiritual Experience, We're Spiritual Beings Having a Human Experience

5 Questions:

1) Does the DeKalb- Sycamore area have you girls in members' home for dinner appointments fairly often?
2) What do you do if you don't have a dinner appointment?
3) Is the worldwide missionary meeting available anywhere online, do you know?
4) Have you given any thought to you plans for summer yet? I only ask because Debbie said Melanie (who gets home mid April) was going to take a couple classes in their summer term. 
5) How long does it take for you to get mail that goes to the mission home?

  1. YES. We actually had to cross off some of the days from our calendar so that people can't sign up to feed us because we are just wearing ourselves so thin--some days we have lunch AND dinner appointments. Which is a blessing, don't get me wrong. But I don't have the mental capacity to do that every day. I mean, we're only human and sometimes we just need a mental break from teaching people.
  2. So, therefore, if we don't have a dinner/lunch appointment, we eat at the apartment and then use the rest of the hour to study more or to clean up Area Book or do lesson reports or other various logistical important things that need to be done. We are just SO busy here--more so than any other area I've served in--that there is always something more to be done. For example, I didn't even finish the My Plan session for this week (it's on the to-do list today) because we were so busy during meal times.
  3. Yes, but only on the missionary portal (the missionary website) so only current full-time missionaries have access to it. I can share my notes with you some time if you want to know more about it. But that's about all I can offer.
  4. Well, I have some goals for my life after I'm released as a missionary, especially for the time between release date and school in the fall, but no set plans. As far as school goes, I think I'd like to take a Spanish placement (?) test to see what level I could start in so I can do a minor in Spanish, and then of course I'll register for classes, but I don't think I'll actually take any classes before the fall--I deferred until Fall 2016. I could probably change it but I don't think it would be worth it. Just planning on working and doing other things that need to be done at home/for my own growth.
  5. I have no idea...if it's a letter they'll just forward it after putting an address label on it with our apartment address. But if it's a package, we get it whenever the next big meeting is usually. Occasionally the zone leaders bring packages to district meetings but not often. We have a zone conference this Thursday which will be the last meeting for us before transfers.

This week was pretty normal; nothing too crazy happened. One of our investigators is very excited to be baptized--originally he wanted to be baptized on his birthday at the end of April, and then he went to Saul and Francisca's baptism and we taught him the Plan of Salvation (God's plan of happiness for all of his children) and he has decided he wants to be baptized AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. But the soonest we can do is 27 February because we still have the majority of the lessons to teach him and he learns slowly. His name is Pablo and I've learned a lot from him and the process of teaching him. 

I know that God is aware of all of His children and speaks to each of us in the way we need it--even and especially when we don't have a solid understanding of God's laws. What matters most to our loving Heavenly Father is our desires and intents. If we have the desire and the intention to follow Him and His Son, then that's what makes a difference. Even though Pablo doesn't understand everything like Saul does, they're both sons of God and they're both loved by Him. I know that God cares more about the direction we're going in than He does about how fast we're getting there. 

The Gospel path is straight and narrow, and we're all at different points along that path, but all He asks is that we make covenants with Him (like baptism) and then do our very best to keep those covenants--and when (not if) we make mistakes, we apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repent, and keep moving forward. That is what is called enduring to the end. And it doesn't have to be painful or bitter. We can endure to the end with joy. Men are that they might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25). God did not send us to earth so that we could suffer; He sent us to earth so that we could experience the happiness of sharing the Gospel, the joy of seeking what's good, and the love of family relationships. 

I know that God has not forgotten about a single one of His children; sometimes we may feel that He is silent, or that we simply don't matter to Him, but I know that He is always there, looking out for us. It is our own choices that separate us from feeling God's love, but all it takes is one more choice to draw near to Him and I know that we will feel His love again. I know, without a doubt, that you have a Heavenly Father, who loves you. He cares about what's important to you, and He knows what worries you. He knows what questions trouble your mind. He knows what demons you grapple with. He knows what you struggle with, be it mental or emotional or physical. He knew that you would have those trials and struggles before He sent you to this earth. And that is why, even before the world began, He provided a way for you to overcome each and every one of those struggles--He provided a Savior, even His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives, and He can help you through whatever circumstance you are in. But just as that source of comfort has existed since before the world was, so too has your agency. You alone have the choice to make that will enable you to over power whatever demons test you here in this mortal life. Christ is more than willing to empower you, but you must choose to let Him. Open your ears to hear, and your eyes to see, and your heart to feel. I know that He will answer in unmistakable ways. I know He has for me, and I know that He will for you. I share this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love, Hermana DeBuck

1. Jose and Ida's baptism: boy I sure do love these two. They're awesome. I am so blessed to have taught them.
2. District lunch at Jamrah: Middle Eastern Cuisine. (Missionaries: we are just so weird...)
3. Me with my chicken shawarma sandwich--which is one of my new favorite foods, I might add. It was tasty!
4. Fake flautas (they're corn tortillas instead of flour). I haven't had flautas since the MTC! And they're basically my favorite Mexican food (Okay, maybe not favorite because those chile rellenos are deliciosos...)
5. We had dinner with a family who showed us their missionary wall--basically all of their four kids (all under the age of 12) want to serve missions so they put together a wall showing where all their family members have served, plus a clock showing the time in their dad's mission. How cool!

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