This has been one of the weirdest and hardest months of my life. But I've learned and grown so much. I am so grateful for my mission because I understand now that when bad things happen, it's for my benefit and growth. When things get hard, I know that's God's way of telling me that He knows I can grow stronger, and He will help me through it. If he totally lifted every burden from off our backs, we would get really weak and lazy. But He lets the burdens weigh on us just slightly more than we can handle, so that we need His help and with Him we become better and more powerful.
I have felt that growth happening within me this transfer more than ever before. I've really started to understand so much more about the Savior and His life and especially His role in MY life. At the end of last transfer, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help me be more diligent and to have more faith. Well, He certainly delivered! He sent me to a really hard area where there wasn't a lot of typical, easy work to be done and where everyone argues against my testimony. Through that, I've really learned how to be diligent despite opposition. I've learned new ways of working, and I've really learned to get over myself and the awkwardness that comes with being a representative of Jesus Christ. Why was I always so afraid of awkward situations?!? I don't know. But I'm pretty much totally over that now. Which is good, because there are some pretty dang awkward things that happen basically every day. It's fantastic.
And as I've been more diligent and yet faced more opposition from people than ever before, my faith has increased drastically. Did you know that when people tell me I'm wrong, it proves to me even more that I'm right? What a strange concept. I KNOW I'm right. I KNOW the gospel is true, and that Jesus Christ DOES live, and that He is our Savior and Redeemer whether or not we accept Him. I don't even care if people tell me I'm wrong or crazy, although it breaks my heart to see how lost my brothers and sisters have become. It kills me a little bit each time someone slams the door in my face or tells me they don't believe in God or Jesus Christ. It breaks my heart when people don't keep the commitments that I KNOW will lead them to eternal life and eternal joy. Why would they not want to accept that?!? I feel almost like Alma when he says “O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!” But also like Alma, I have come to the realization that "I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me." And that is many, many, many things. There have been so many miracles and blessings poured out upon us this transfer. So "why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?" That doesn't even make sense.
Our most progressing investigator is probably C or J. She is 17 and her mom won't let her get baptized, and she doesn't turn 18 until December, but she's pretty awesome. And then J is living with a less-active member but he's finally starting to let us teach him and he came to church on Sunday as well! He's been three times now, which is pretty exciting.
We had quite a few miracles this week. I hurt my back and my ankle so I stayed at members' hosues while Sister Nielsen was able to go out with a girl who is just about to leave for her mission and they did great work. And I seem to have miraculously healed from both those injuries, which is great because sitting around all day is super boring. I do not recommend it.
This is the last week of the transfer, so next Tuesday I'll be starting my 9th transfer! I'm going to send Sister Nielsen home this Sunday and I'll get a new comp next week. Oh and I will be hitting my year mark in like 3 weeks which is pretty crazayyy.
I know I have been called to Paonia for a purpose. For some reason, I am the one that Heavenly Father wants here right now at this time. Whether that is for myself, or for others, I do not know. But I glory in my calling, and I glory in the miracles God has allowed me to be a part of this transfer. “I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; [and all the hippies and coal miners in Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford]; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again.”