August 5, 2013
Well, here I am in my stinky little Internet hut again and I'm a little bit dumfounded because I don't know what has happened in my life since I was last sitting here...I usually have some big, grand event or baptism or something, but this week was just normal and simple. But, instead of anything grand, there were a lot of small, tender moments that really made this week awesome.
One day this week, I was reading about how if someone is truly converted, they will want to share the Gospel with others and it really got me reflecting and I wanted to know if my converts were truly converted. Well, about 20 minutes later, we heard someone yelling outside of our window. "HERMANAS!!! HERMANAS MISIONERAS! HERMANAS!!!!" So we went down the stairs and found Alex standing there with another man.
Alex said, "Hey, I found this friend in the plaza and he told me he wants to learn more about God, so I brought him here." Oh my goodness, I couldn't help but laugh. It was so sweet and simple, but it made me feel so great that Alex was randomly telling people in the plaza about his new life and inviting them to do the same. So amazing!
Remember Luis? Hermana Vasquez's convert that always bought us coconuts? (Can I just add also that before I hated coconuts, then I tolerated it, and now I have a flat out addiction?) We taught him a little lesson about missionary work and yesterday as we were leaving the room he was there in the street and called us over. I was sure we would buy us a coconut, but he did something even better and introduced us to a girl that he had met and shared his testimony with and said that she too wanted to learn from us. I love the Spirit of this work.
Well, I guess since I don't have a ton to share about things that happened this week. I should share what I'm learning/working on. I am really trying to dedicate a lot of time to learn a Christ-like attribute that I really lack: Humility.
I think I got a little bit carried away this last month. I was thrilled to see that, even with a new companion, we led the zone with baptisms for the second month in a row. Everyone started saying things like "Oh, I guess it wasn't Hermana Vasquez doing the Baptizing, it must have been Hermana Simonson the whole time because Hermana Vasquez isn't here anymore."
The zone leaders have started calling me the "Machina de Sacar la Fecha" (The Baptism date-setting machine) and I think I liked that a little too much. Then, I was introduced to the new Assistant to the President by the old Assistant as "The one that was immediately fluent in Spanish." I think my sin was that, as all these people were saying these things, I started to believe them. It didn't help that I was directing the area and things like that.
But, as I studied this week, I read some MTC notes and came across a quote that I had loved: "The problem with most teachers, is that they think that THEY are the teacher." It was then that I heard a quiet little voice whispering, "Who do you think has REALLY been doing the Baptizing here?"
It was definitely humbling. I know that I have a lot to learn and change if I want to be the kind of teacher that Christ was. It starts with me realizing that I really don't do anything. I didn't teach myself this language, I wasn't set apart with my own power, I don't use my own words. Everything is a gift that comes if I just open my mouth. I guess in the end, that's why it doesn't matter who my companion is or how they teach, we can work well together if we both teach by the Spirit and neither one of us is converting anyone.
I am so grateful for this privilege that I have right now. Honestly, I don't know why God trusts someone so young, imperfect, and prideful as me to be a missionary. I wish I fit this calling better. I am trying so hard to be better and I am determined to come home with more than souvenirs, parasites, and skin cancer. I hope that I can come home a little bit better and more worthy of the blessings I've been given.