Saturday, February 2, 2013

MTC Week 3!

Family!!

Well, I didn't think it was possible, but the time moves exponentially fast here.  My companion and I can't believe how much we've accomplished in just a few weeks.  It has been such a good and necessary experience so far.  The MTC has taught me so many things and I feel I have been truly stretched so to speak.  Each day calls for you to give your all, and at the end of the day, my head literally crashes on the pillow, and I'm out. So draining. It's AWESOME.  I love it.

This week has been so very, very good.  Sister Garrick and I have begun to really learn how to live, work, and think in-sync with each other.  SO cool.  We are beginning to finish each others' sentences and find that through our fervent prayers and studies, we are able to create the best dynamic possible for our investigators.  We must have taught a dozen or more lessons this past week.  We were able to get several baptismal dates set, as well as invites to church this Sunday, (despite the fact that it's the Super Bowl).  We'd really been struggling with these individuals, so it was neat to make some progress.  One lesson in particular really had an effect on my companion and I.

Her was Linda.  She was a volunteer so we only had the chance to meet with her once, but it certainly had an impact on each of us.  She was an elderly woman.  An artist.  In fact she said that art "defined" her.  It was her life.  It was who she is.  We had the opportunity to look at some of her work, (so beautiful) and I wanted to spend hours with her talking about what mediums and brush styles she used, but that's not why we were there. After talking with her some time, I asked her what she expected to gain from our visit and if there was anything in particular we could explain, or discuss with her.  She expressed her gratitude, (apparently her last visit with the missionaries was okay at best, simply because they didn't take the time to get to know her and what she needed to hear).  Linda then proceeded to confide in us that she was going blind.  Our hearts sunk.  She spoke of her passions and hopes and dreams, and poured out her heart to Sister Garrick and I as we intently listened.  She told us of how she prays to God, or rather talks to Him, (and quite often too).  She said she would talk to Him as if her were sitting right next to her as she painted, that it was an escape for her.  She told us of her fading faith in God and that she understood life happens, but why do bad things happen to good people?  Etc...  This entire time, I began wracking my brain for any ounce of revelation or comfort I could give her, and knew by my companion's countenance she was troubled with the same thoughts.  When Linda finished...my hands and words were certainly not my own.  I flipped to the verse I had memorized since I was Ashton's age, and had Linda read out loud from the page: "And I Nephi said unto my father, I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.  For I know the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the things which He commandeth them." I then had her re-read the passage replacing the word commandments with challenges.  "For I know the Lord giveth no [challenges] unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way that they may accomplish the things which He commandeth them."  She seemed to really like that, and then my companion shared a thought from her patriarchal blessing on accepting trials cheerfully.  We shared many more things with her, and the words just flowed like no other.  After a while, we both stopped talking and so did Linda.  She was quiet.  Then hesitantly said, "So...you're saying...when God gives us challenges...He's complimenting us?"  My companion, (with a mortified look on her face) immediately contradicted her saying "No! Sorry, that's not what we meant!"  Quickly catching on to the situation, I exclaimed to Linda, "Yes! Yes! That's exactly what we mean!"  My companion (bless her heart) turned at me with the most confused appearance.  I smiled at her, and then in the same instant, recognition spilled over her face and we both turned back to face Linda.  We taught her how the Lord would never give us any challenge or trial that we couldn't overcome.  That we couldn't handle. God knew she could face this bump in her life and that it wouldn't tear her down, but build her up.  I mentioned that she is clay in His hands, and He's molding her into something even more beautiful than she had ever imagined possible. She just didn't know it.  We explained that her perspective was the perfect way to look at her situation, and that if it helped her to understand, "When God gives us challenges, He's complimenting us," because He knows we can handle it.  I told her to be pliable and patient, and in due time, she would be able to make sense of things, and still be able to keep touching the hearts of individuals through her strong example, in addition to her art. Linda thanked us again and again, and we closed with a prayer and left. Walking out, Sister Garrick and I stole a look at each other and we were both smiling from ear to ear.  If this is just the MTC, what would be awaiting us in the field?  Whatever is is, I can't wait.

Last minute thoughts: 
  • Grandma and Grandpa there is a Sister Chelsea Snow from your ward in my zone!  We just figured it out a few days ago.  I also met a Sister Danielle Calder!  We all went to Sunday School when we were younger one of the times we visited you in Carlsbad. Small world, huh??
  • I met a Sister Reusser yesterday.  Sister Shanna Reusser.  We were roommates up in Rexburg for AFY over three and a half years ago.  She's going to Japan!  We had a fun chat.  It's an even smaller world.
  • Grandma Graff, I met a Brother Daryl Glazier who said he was just sure he was distantly related to some Graffs, but couldn't throw out any names for me.  Any relation? 

Sorry I have to run, but I love you all SO much! 
Sister Graff 

Hebrews 13:17 (For the little kids--Dad and Mom, maybe you can help explain it to them ;) 

Pictures:
1. Walking out after our Saturday session. (1/26) 
2. We both discovered we had pockets :) (1/27)
3. Our Elders decided to photo-bomb our pic. Definitely made it better. (1/27)
4. Sunday temple walk. (1/27)
5. Our awesome district. (1/27) 
6. Elders from our zone. Elder Olive (pronounced "Oh-LEE-vay". Tongan. And the biggest teddy bear on earth.) and Elder Hitesman.  Both serving Richmond, VA. They rock. (1/27)   

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is so cute!!! That is so awesome that you made the decision to serve. How inspiring. I'm doing a blog for my best friend and it's so much fun to update. You should follow her blog...hermanasilva.blogspot.com! Congrats again and I look forward to reading your blog:)

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