Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Week When Everything Fell Through

Hello everyone! Merry Christmas!
This has been one of my hardest weeks in the mission, maybe except for the first one. A trial of faith and of perseverance. Last week I mentioned that the mission had a goal of finding 800 new investigators (meaning 8 per companionship) just this last week. I knew we could do it, we are in M├ílaga after all! We hadn´t had much set up at the beginning of the week but we set a goal to contact and knock as many doors as possible. We talked to more people this week than I ever had, we filled up our future investigator page and set up appointments with enough people to reach the goal. And then one by one each plan fell through. Not only investigator lessons but even ones with converts and less actives. People weren´t home, some had given us fake addresses, some were "busy". But I was determined that we would get a miracle because we were trying to show faith and we were working our hardest. Every time plans fell through we knocked more doors, we talked to more people on the streets and buses and got more plans, that later fell through as well. It didn´t help that my back has been killing me everyday and we were exhausted and discouraged.
It seemed like everyone was having success and seeing miracles except for us. (It doesn´t help that there has been a baptism in this area every transfer before I got here). Saturday night was the ward Christmas dinner. We invited people who said they were coming for sure for sure and so we waited expectantly. Investigators and less actives showed up but none of them were ours. I couldn´t understand it. I was obedient when some of those having success weren´t, I was trying more than ever, and yet nothing whatsoever was coming out of it. I knew it was a trial while I was in it, but that doesn´t lessen the effect of it while it´s happening. I was going through my own spiritual/emotional/physical crisis. They even sent our district leader to work in our area and one of our sister training leaders as well thinking it would change things. The plans still fell through. We even taught a whole restoration lesson on the street to a man and didn´t get a return appt so he couldn´t count either. Sunday night we were pressing the call buttons outside a building trying to get in to knock doors, no one was answering, then finally a lady let us in. We went up to her door and she claimed she was busy cooking and had talked to Mormons before anyway. There was an African man in the back and we tried to talk to him since they are always friendly to us, but rarely he was Muslim so I was thinking it was a lost cause. Hna Ramsey (our sister training leader) started to ask if we could come back another time and they just let us right in. We taught the lesson and she agreed to let us come back today. Miracle. That was actually the first time so far that someone has let me just come in right there on the spot and teach. We got one new investigator for the whole finding week and the mission as a whole reached 847. In case you are wondering that is a TON.
I am still learning the lesson from this last week, I still have things I need to work out. But mostly the Lord wants me to learn patience and faith even when I don´t see the results of that manifestation of patience and faith. That is the hard part. Submitting to the Lord´s will happily and patiently. Some days we see successes but apparently right now that is not the will of the Lord. So we wait. And we continue in obedience. I don´t understand why things are the way they are but they are that way for a reason. The mission is a refining fire, and now I am more comfortable with street contacting and knocking doors, something I have been praying for help with. So, nunca se sabe. I met many people this week, some wonderfully nice and friendly and others who claim that the Book of Mormon is fantasy and a lie- but I am happy with our efforts this week because in all cases we were able to testify with certainty that this gospel is true and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
The more trials and rejection we face the closer we come to our Savior and are able to feel a little more acutely what he felt when he gave his life for us. Our small daily afflictions are nothing in comparison. So this Christmas season give your all to the Lord Jesus Christ and spread the good news of His birth. He lives and he loves us with a perfect love!
¡Feliz Navidad!
Loving you all from afar, 
Hermana Thompson
ps- sorry everyone for not sending anyone anything for Christmas you´ll have to forgive me! 
Audg and Dan, got your wonderful package. Highlight: audio of Ginny singing Let it Be. Cutest thing on the planet I´m pretty sure, you are teaching her well. Say hi to the new baby for me! I heard the water just broke!

photos!
last pday we went ice skating and no one was injured or died! (i have no photos of the Christmas party as of yet because other missionaries have yet to send them to me, but if you head over to the mission blog http://thespainmalagamission.blogspot.com there are pics of us singing at the Granada Christmas concert!)

more photos!
the missionaries in our ward in the seat of the Rey mago (they have a three kings day here as tradition to celebrate Christmas)
and us missionaries banished to the hallway to eat since more people showed up than expected




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