Saturday, March 29, 2014

Play By Play

March 10, 2014 

I don't even know how to explain my week, so I'll just have to give
you the day by day.
Monday: Still upset from a long, hard week. Internet getting cut short
didn't help. We went to work at night and I thought things were good
until Elder Muñoz called us wanting me to thank him for saving my
life. I asked why and he explained that the Zone Leaders were really
mad at me because they thought that I wasn't working hard enough and
that I was bored of my area and wanted to interview me, but he
convinced them not to and they said they probably wouldn´t. I didn't
care about the interview, the thing that killed me was that they
thought my Indicators were THAT bad and that they thought I just
wasn't working. It was true that we had had two really bad weeks, but
they were things out of our control. While my companion was sleeping,
I knelt down in prayer repenting for not working good enough and
asking what else I could do. The answer was clear, but unwanted "the
only think you need to do is have pacience." Oh, I hate that word!
Tuesday: They didn't interview me...they found a better way to get after
me. Every week, we have a leadership meeting with me, The District
leaders, and the Zone Leaders. It's always weird being alone in a room
full of 5 Elders! Anyway, during the meeting, the ZLs pointed out that
there was a concern in the zone, then went on to say that that concern
was Hermana Simonson´s area.  I wanted to day. Everyone turned to look
at me and I know I went bright red. One ZL looked at me and said
"Frankly, Hermana Simonson, we know there is a problem and we want an
honest answer, are you bored of your area? Do you think that since you
Baptized so much before you can just stop now?"  I wanted to die.
Then, they started burning me because the other sisters in the Zone
had people fall through and wanted to know why I didn't save them, as
if I was Superman or something. When we left and I found my companion
waiting outside, she knew something was wrong, but I just tried to be
positive. Elder Muñoz called me at night to make sure I was okay after
the burning, and I really was fine, but his words helped a lot.
Wednesday: So much better! A wonderful family that I love finally
accepted a Baptismal date! Walking on clouds.
Thursday: I had asked Elder Muñoz to go with us to visit the family
because it's always nice to have a little reinforcement in a delicate
situacion. Of course, to be able to do it he had to ask permission
from the Zone Leaders because technically only the Sister Leaders can
do visits with the sisters' investigators to reinforce, but I don't
exactly have a Sister Leader. We were sitting in the lesson waiting
for him to show up, and he walked inside. I expected his companion to
follow him, but the next Elder that entered was that same Zone Leader
that burned me the day before. I wanted to scream. "I don't need HIS
help!" I thought. "I'm better off on my own he doesn't need to come
just because he thinks I'm uncapable!" I was angry. He plopped down
next to me and I was ready to explode, until I remembered the words to
the Musical Number we had been practicing in the zone "Savior may I
love my brother, as I know thou lovest me." And "Who am I to judge
another, when I walk imperfectly?" I knew that if I sat there in
anger, the Spirit wouldn't be able to help us help the family. I
prayed with everything in my heart that the Lord would help me forgive
and love this Elder. Afterall, the 12 Elders in my zone are my
brothers for this time (and I thought that having four was bad!).  The
lesson went great. When I didn't know what else to say, I swallowed my
pride and gave time to the Elders. We ended up going back and forth
teaching the principles and verifying her Baptism, and found we have
very similar teaching styles, and were able to help this family a lot.
That afternoon, me, and all the Zone Leaders from Iquitos were called
into a special meeting with Elder C. Scott grow from the Quorom of the
Seventy. We were a group of 8, along with our President and Elder
Grow. He asked us a lot of things, and then went around and asked
every companionship how many Less Active Families they had rescued
this year. I wanted to run and hide. At least the ZLs were all there
with their companions to take the heat in two, but I was all alone.
Each companionship only had had 2 or 3 and I could tell that Elder
Grow was disappointed. I was dreading my turn. How was I going to
stand up in front of a General Authority, by myself, and tell him that
I hadn't rescued a single family? How was I to explain that I had
never given it importance because I was too focused on Baptizing
because, in my mind, it's more fun? I felt awful. The last
companionship before me reported one rescue, and that was enough for
Elder Grow. He looked at us all and said "many people don't rescue
because they would rather Baptize, but I promise you in the name of
the Lord that if you rescue, you will also start to Baptize even more
than before." Yes, that was enough for me to get on the ball with the
rescue thing! I was lucky that I never had to give my number, but all
the same, I had seen that I was in the wrong.
Friday: An all-day conference with Elder Grow and his wife. The
message was powerful and beautiful. I was able to share a few comments
as well and the Spirit was so strong. It was interesting, he talked a
lot about marriage and how we should make sure we choose a good
spouse...not a typical Mission Conference, but I loved it. He also
talked more about rescuing and I loved it. He told us about how the
Prophet had talked about wanting to send the missionaries out to
rescue Less Actives, and how Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stood up and
told President Monson a story that he had kept sacred for a long time.
He talked of how when he was ten years old, his father was inactive.
One night, while his father was outside smoking and drinking coffee,
the Bishop, another leader, and the Sunday School president came over
and extended his father a calling as a teacher. They told him the Lord
needed him. Soon enough, he stopped smoking and brought the family to
church. Elder Holland explained that he himself, being an Apostle, was
nothing more than the ten year old son of a rescued family. He said
that, in the Milenium, while everyone is in line to meet Joseph Smith
and Moroni and Nephi, he will be out searching for that Bishop, that
leader, and that Sunday School President, and thank them with all of
his heart. It was so powerful.
After the meeting, I thought I heard Elder Grow whisper my name from
behind the pulpit. Then, President Gómez stood up and asked if I would
go to the Stake Offices right away. I wasn't sure why, but I did it
anyway, and ended up having the amazing opportunity of having a
personal Interview with Elder C. Scott Grow. He asked me to tell my
story of how I got to the mission. He listened to every detail from
the Bishop that told me to prepare when I was just 16 years old,  to
the run I went on but was impressed to turn back and got just in time
to hear the announcement, to the moment when I sat in silence with my
parents, avoiding the subject knowing that none of us understood what
was happening, until dad finally just asked when and I looked up him
through the brim of my Lin's Meet Hat and sad that I would be meeting
with the Bishop the next day, and my parents gave me stressed, but
humble and accepting, looks.  He teared up as I talked about the night
I went through the Temple and how it just happened to be the answer a
young future Bishop was looking for when he saw my dad there with me,
and how my dad conducted my last Sunday at home.  It was such an
amazing opportunity for my simple, but powerful, little story to be
heard and I was amazed at how genuinely interested he was. I was
flattered that, of all the missionaries in that room, he felt inspired
to talk to me.
"Sister Simonson, will you do a favor for me? Will you write your
family on Monday and tell them that this week, you had a personal
Interview with a General Authority and that he looked into the eyes of
their daughter and saw deep into her soul and saw that she is a
beautiful, righteous young woman that has dedicated her life to the
Lord, and that will work miracles for him throughout Eternity through
her righteousness."
Elder C. Scott Grow, First Quorom of the Seventy
Sunday: We saw the fruits of our labors and our patience. We had three
families come to Church and two that are now preparing for Baptism.
Things were even better than they had been in a long time. The Lord
truly blesses us when we work diligentely, even when we work a long
time without seeing results.
This work is amazing. I love it. Go out and find less actives and
bring them back to the fold, it's a commandment from the Prophet and
it bring blessings!!! Love you.
Hermana Simonson

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