Dear Family and Friends,
Annddddddd another week bites the dust in Jurupa Valley, California! Time is going by SOOO fast. On Thursday, I will hit my three month mark! I am still loving serving here as a missionary. Although there are times that I would just like to lie down because I am just so dang exhausted, I love this work. And I love helping and inviting people to come to Christ even though some (most) people reject the invitation. I remember reading a talk called "Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Elder Holland. I am continually reminded of the following quote:
"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary."
Missionary work is sooo not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. It takes work! If we just try to internalize the significance of Christ's atoning sacrifice for us, the work, effort, and rejection is worth it. Christ did it for us. He gave his life, and I am very certain I can give 18 months of an eternal life to fully serve my Savior. And when I think to complain, I am reminded that it was never, ever easy for him, so why would it be easy for me?
This week Sister H and I strived to be exactly obedient. Exact obedience is sooo not easy. But I have found that this week has been so much fun--even being more obedient. On Saturday, Sis H and I had ZERO appointments. Seriously. Zero. No one wanted to meet with us! So we tracted and called every single less active member and visited less actives as much as we could! Consequently, we also smelled like sweat. It is SOOO hot and nasty here!! We decided we were going to have a fun day, regardless of our very fullllll (ha. not) schedule. So we sang our little hearts out to songs in the car and decided to sing every single thing we spoke. I am for sure learning how to be more outgoing!!! I think another reason why I needed to serve a mission is to become outgoing. I think we would go insane and kill each other if we never had fun. Missionary work can be soooo boring unless you love it and make it fun.
Anyways. On Tuesday, we went to T's house (R’s brother....R moved out because their mom is c.r.a.z.y....you'll see that in a second) to teach him a lesson. So we knock on the door and Mom answers with a very quick "hi" and a grumpy face. She let us in and said "mejas (little girls in espanol I think) I need to talk to you". I go to shake T’s hand and he wouldn't shake my hand. So I knew something was up. We go sit down on the couch and Mom proceeds to tell us that she never wants us to come to her home again because we are rude and mean. She says that we pushed baptism on T (we didn't....and we stopped talking about it once Mom said she didn't want him to be baptized. She said no church would ask a person to be baptized unless they had been teaching them for AT LEAST six months. Weird. We had dinner at her house the night before (R made the food and Mom was in the other room the whole time). She told her daughter we were coming and we would do "bible study" with all of them after (everyone thinks all we do is bible study around here. so not true!). However, we had told both R and T multiple times that we wouldn't have time to do a lesson after because we had an appointment with another family. She was so mad that her daughter went out of her way to come (from Rubidoux...5 minutes away) to have dinner and NOT have bible study with us! She didn't believe that we had informed T and R the week prior. She also brought up the fact that a few months ago (when we were in the trio) we had to cancel an appointment because something important came up. We apologized for that previously, but she brought it up again. She then was angry that the time before we only had a 30 minute lesson (that day was CRAZY busy). She went on and on for 5 minutes (we couldn't get a word in) and then I just interrupted and said "we are not here to nitpick at each other’s mistakes, that is not our purpose." She replied with, "Well I am here to tell you how rude you are." She said she still wanted people to come do bible study with T (who isn't even a progressing investigator right now). She said we can't come back but to send other people from our church. We told her we would talk to our Bishop. She said if we didn't she would go and talk to him herself! Oh boy. It was wayyyy frustrating in the moment but now I look back and it was ridiculous! Haha. And way funny.
We also visited a less active member. She is bipolar. Before we gave the blessing she said that work was really hard and not a good situation for her. So I started saying the blessing/prayer and I said something like "please bless that N will know whether she needs to find employment elsewhere or..." she interrupts and says "NO!!! DON'T SAY THAT!!!! I like my job!!!! And I am almost to retirement!!!!! and some other things. It was soo dang funny. So I continued the thought and said "...or that the stress at work will be lessened and she will know how to help resolve the situation." It was hilarious. I feel so bad for her, though. She is so bipolar and has been calling us often telling us how her day went. There are just so many people that need love! She also pulled out her book of Mormon and started to flip through it and asked "where are the scriptures??? I was trying to find them in here but I couldn't!" We then explained to her that the entire book of Mormon is scripture.
We meet quite the crazy people on missions, that's for sure!
I gotta go, but thank you all so much for your support and love. It means a lot. Also, read D&C 6. So good.
Love you all,
sister amanda abby chase