So let me tell ya, serving in the Visitors' Center on Valentines Day is...well, not the most ideal of situations for a sister missionary. Of course every Saturday at the VC is "wedding show Saturday" (where we can see all the brides from inside the VC and pick which dresses we like the best), but on Valentines Day weekend, HOLY COW! So many brides, so many people getting engaged, and so many couples wanting to watch God's Plan for His Family. It was too much for me to handle. At first it was really cute, but after the fifth giggling and flirtatious newly engaged couple walking in, it got a little tiring.
That weekend was PACKED! But now it has died down a lot because the temple is closed for cleaning (and we get to clean it and get a tour of it tomorrow! yay!). Recently we have been going through bus training because we get a little under a thousand buses in the summer time. About 550 of them are French buses. And they always come to the VC because we are the number one attraction in St. George! So I am mentally, physically, and spiritually preparing myself for loads of foreign buses and scorching hot weather this summer. Bring it on, St. George!!!
This week we had scheduled quite a few lessons, but the majority of them fell though. You know, it was a little disappointing, but we know that we've been trying our very best, and sometimes we just have to come to grips with the fact that we cannot control other peoples agency! When a few of our investigators cancelled we would just bake them our missionary cookies (best cookie recipe ever) and try to set up another appointment.
Part of our area is in a retirement community called Sunriver. It is the cutest and most beautiful quaint little village ever!!! And the homes are beautiful! We are not allowed to procelite in there so all of our investigators are member referrals. One of them is actually a 34 year old boy who is living with his mom in the community. We were told that he was autistic (so that's why he's living with her there) but I can hardly tell!! He works at Deseret Industries and his mentor suggested that he take the missionary discussions. I guess he would express to his mentor that he wanted to become a better person and live a righteous life... how inspiring! His mom is a very spiritual person and before he goes to work everyday they pray. We asked him if he has felt an answer to those prayers. He then told us how he prays every morning for strength to react kindly to his co-workers and to turn the other cheek. So then we learned that he really struggles with anger management. But he told us how he can feel the influence of God in his life and the strengthening power of prayer throughout his day. He was so sincere and had a strong desire to make the most out of his life.
I never expected to learn so much while being on my mission!! Learning from our investigators, our leaders, our fellow missionaries, and most of all, learning from the spirit. It is only through the spirit that we are truly converted to the gospel. I realized that in order to keep the same uplifting experiences that I have here on the mission in my life at home, I need to do everything I can to keep that spirit with me! I am so grateful for the tools we have to help us keep that spirit as a constant companion every day - from prayer to scriptures to the temple and church and even lds.org!!
Much love, Sister Martin