First, charity, the pure love of Christ. It has been my focus for a long time and as such I've been consistently working on it. I came into this area having heard many good things about it, so I was already hopeful. Also I made the determination before I even got here to love the members of the branch as well as the individuals and families we work with as quickly and as sincerely as possible. And I'm amazed at how that mindset has impacted my experience here. From the very start, I already loved each person I met, and that love has only grown as I've learned their names and who they are, and most importantly as I've served them and worked with them. I also love more sincerely the missionaries I've worked with my entire mission. I can testify that a positive mindset and an honest effort can and will result in miracles, like those I've seen here.
Second, diligence--working hard and taking advantage of every moment. I can honestly say that I've worked harder in the last several weeks than I have my entire mission. We always had a goal, a destination, in mind, and a plan to reach it. We never stopped nor did we waste a single moment. I personally could be better at initiating the work, if I'm honest with myself, but I didn't mind being pulled along; in fact I thoroughly enjoyed it. I only hope I can keep it up, and make things happen because I'm working hard, not just because my companion is leading me along. A result of our diligence is that those families with whom we have been working are progressing more in the gospel, and they have a growing desire to be faithful to it. Of course, none of that is due to my efforts or those of my companion. None of the miracles I've seen I can attribute to anyone but God. He is the worker of miracles; we are just the instruments.
Lastly, following the guidance of the Spirit. I admit I didn't focus on this one as much as I should have, but I've already made a commitment to do better. I have noticed that with extra preparation, the Spirit was more likely to be present, and I feel as though I have become a better and more effective teacher. The successful lessons we have had are completely the result of the Spirit guiding me and my companion and testifying to the individual of the truthfulness of our words. I have an experience to share about one experience where we followed the Spirit.
One night we both had the feeling that we should visit a sister in our ward who hasn't been to church in some time and has been having some struggles. We'd never previously talked very openly with her about spiritual matters, but we did let her know of our love for her through service. When we arrived at her house, it was late but she was awake, which was unusual. We talked a little about the trivial things, then she opened up and confided in us her struggles. She said she feels that she has to do everything by herself and must take care of everyone else, and she felt as if no one knew her inner struggle. We listened with love, both of us wondering and praying to know what we could possibly say to help her. Then my companion began to testify of the love of the Savior, how perfectly he knows each one of us individually, and how much he longs to reach out to help us. Right in line with my own thoughts. I added my testimony to hers. I could feel as I spoke and testified that my words were being guided by something beyond myself. I couldn't have spoken so simply yet so powerfully if it weren't for the Spirit. The Spirit was palpable and it was clear she could feel it. She was crying and we could all feel the Savior's love for her.
There are still two weeks left of this transfer (I just don't know when I'll next have a chance to post because it's going to be busy). I intend to keep working on these goals and continue improving. And I know for a surety that as long as I remember to rely on my Savior, instead of trying to do everything myself, I will be able to accomplish my goals. And each one of us can do the same, as long as we rely on Him.
"When you have already done everything possible, let God do the impossible."