A little poem

I always have to laugh when p-day rolls around, because without fail, the day before p-day is always INCREDIBLE.  So I count it as a blessing because my faith is strengthened and my emails are happy.  But I want you all to know that this is HARD work.  And I can't even explain the word "hard."  Anyone who has been a missionary understands, and anyone who will be a missionary one day will eventually understand too...but wow.  A mission is everything and nothing like what I expected.  And I love it. 

As for the past week...where to begin.  I LOVE personal study time.  Did I already tell you that? I can't remember, but I've never had it until this transfer, due to my VC schedule, and it's the best.  At the mission tour/zone conference, Sister Matsumori talked about how personal study is study by ourself, and not for ourself, and I can honestly say that I get so much more out of my studies when I'm studying for investigators.  This past week I studied gratitude, because we were doing a family night with a less active and his two little kids.  And I wasn't going to tell the whole story, but it's such a miracle, that I think I'm going to write it anyway.

Okay, so Mitch was someone we met our first night here.  He lives in a basement apartment with his two kids (ages 5 and 3 I think), so we couldn't come in, but we asked if we could do a family night sometime soon. He said sure, and so we went on our way, and didn't think much of it.  However, when we brought it up to Bishop, his eyes got really big and he said, "Really...?" Apparently, Mitch had not been receptive at all to people from church in the past, even the elders.  His family (parents and siblings) is super active, live in Utah, and he left the church right before he got his mission call.  It hurt my heart to hear that, thinking about how much he lost by that decision, but it made us even more determined to make this a good experience for him.  So we decided to make it a Thanksgiving lesson (pretty appropriate, right?) and to read in Luke 17 about the 10 lepers.  There is so much symbolism in that story, that it made it easy to connect with Mitch.  The catch for this lesson though, was to find the right person to go with us.  There are so many young couples his age in the ward, but that could be touchy, since he was just divorced, and he needed someone younger, but the only single youngish woman in the ward was busy.  Then the thought came, "Call Jazmine."  Now, Jazmine is also a less active, but she's 21, really outgoing, and was pretty open when we met her, so we thought, "Why not?"  We called her, she said yes, and she came! It was truly inspired and perfect for everyone.  We were laughing, and happy, and the spirit there was peaceful.  And everything else had fallen into place, too.  At the last minute, we found a picture of Jesus cleansing the lepers for the kids to color, grandma sent me crayons that we could give to the kids (which they loved, by the way), and Sister Wong had a treat that went perfect with the lesson.  It all worked out so smoothly, and it may not sound like that big of a deal, but in the missionary world, when every other appointment cancels, when people aren't open with us, and when we just learn to deal with glitches in our plans, it was amazing to see everything fall into place.  A miracle. 

And other miracle: Sheri.  I'll talk more about her next week because I'm out of time, but she was a referral that we taught last week and she's golden! Pray for her.  She is just so prepared for this.

Also, I wanted to include a poem that helped me make it through one of those hard days when I was feeling insignificant, and not great enough for this work.  It was quoted by President Monson, and I don't have the exact reference, but here it is:

Father, where shall I work today?
And my love flowed warm and free.
Then He pointed out a tiny spot
And said, "Tend that for me."
I answered quickly, "Oh no; not that!
Why, no one would ever see.
No matter how well my work was done;
Not that little place for me."
And the word He spoke, it was not stern;
He answered me tenderly:
"Ah, little one, search that heart of thine,
Art thou working for them or for me?
Nazareth was a little place,
And so was Galilee."

Beautiful, isn't it? I read it often and it's such a strength to me. 

I love you all! I hope you're doing your missionary work at home.  I know your lives will be blessed in every way as you share the gospel.  That's my promise to you as a missionary. 

Love, Sister Welch

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