Experiencing the Atonement in my life is the greatest miracle, and all these other blessings and miracles that come about because of it remind me of the love Heavenly Father has for us individually and as families. . . .
Irvine is a tough mission, mostly because so much blood, sweat, and tears goes into every possible individual. But it keeps us from being half-hearted missionaries, we have to give it all we've got to even get a lesson or 2 in a week with a non-member (unless you're Spanish speaking). It is fascinating what kind of refinery this mission is, because there are missionaries sent here who have no problem following every rule and giving their all in every situation regardless of the blessings that come temporally. But there are missionaries here that struggle with some of life's most harsh challenges on all levels in any way you could imagine. With both those in mind, I see a little more each day small confirmations that this is my mission and it has been prepared perfectly for me. . . .
In visiting and meeting all the people that we do, and even talking to a lot of missionaries, and in thinking of my family (immediate and extended) back home, I can't help but remember how blessed and grateful I am for the countless tender mercies I'm coming to realize more and more, especially when it comes to my home and family. It reminds me of when someone asked Thomas S. Monson (I believe it was him... Dad could correct me on it) what he would say if Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. He responded by saying that he wouldn't say anything, he would listen. I feel like that in a way sometimes with the perspective I have as a missionary, that He is showing me all these experiences to teach me how to become and how not to become, especially in relation to home and family, present and future. I don't know if I'm wording this right. But as much as I can teach or testify or help these people, whether their situations change or not, I get so much out of every little thing we do and find countless ways to apply it. As I ponder and study on this more, maybe I'll be able to explain it better later.
As far as the work, we couldn't even make weekly progress records because of how slow this week was. Our goal was 70 contacts, we got 15, 2 of which were extremely rude and all the rest were not even courteous, let alone interested. No temple tours since the temple is closed. Our investigators and potential investigators won't respond, we haven't been in contact with any for 2 weeks though we've tried. We have several meetings about not wasting time, it's quite ironic and frustrating. But this week should be better, we already have 2 or 3 referrals and new list of less-actives to visit and serve. We are going to try to place more copies of the Book of Mormon in contacting. Next week's report should be better.
Missionary life - not much different than last week. We just keep going.
Thanks again for the package! It was a moment that helped lift me up a little right when I needed it.
- Sister Shumway