Hi everyone! :)
It's so weird to be driving in our big red truck through all the red rock while listening to "Called to
Serve" thinking to myself, "Wow, I'm on my mission right now..." I think it has finally kicked in. And I love it! Absolutely love it.
To start off, we had a lovely baptism on Saturday for Mollie. It's amazing to see how the Lord has been preparing her for this day her whole life. Sister Brenders and I sang "I Stand All Amazed" at the baptism. And we're singing for another baptism on Friday. And then sacrament on Sunday. She keeps volunteering us... But I really do love it so it's okay :)
I feel so fortunate to have her as my companion because she loves food and classical music just as much as me! It's always hard to listen to songs I have played in symphonies or quartet in the past...It makes me really miss my viola!! But we do have members in our area who have instruments so I'm sure I'll be able to borrow someones. OH and she also puts up with all of my sleep talking. She's said that I've said things like, "Why do we need a Bible?!" "blahblahblah weekly planning..." "SISTER!" and more... Guess I'm on a mission, huh?!
Sister Brenders and I are over seven wards. Yes. SEVEN! And that's because the concentration of nonmembers is not super high so it takes seven ward boundaries to provide us with enough investigators. It's slightly overwhelming at times and you don't get to know the members as well, but then again, you are exposed to so many great people around the community all at once! So it has it's pros and cons.
One of the people we are about to teach escaped from a polygamist family. (BTW I saw my first polygamist in Target the other day...) He is living with the mayor of St. George, who is also a member of our stake presidency. The boys name is Teancum Benjamin. T-Ben for short. I'm excited to teach him!!
About the Visitors' Center - some nights we have a lot of reservations and some nights it's pretty empty. Just depends. For instance, Superbowl night the place was vacant. But Monday nights (Family Home Evening) and activity nights are pretty packed. And we also get our fair share of RM's who like to "learn"... don't worry, I've bluntly stated that my heart is locked while on mission. I haven't seen them since.
There are a lot of amazing sisters serving in the Visitors' Center. Sometimes it's hard not to compare yourself with others. Thoughts like "they teach better than me, they're friendlier than me, they're cuter than me, they're more confident than me" often come to mind for ALL of us. But this week I have been studying a lot about pride. It came across in my studies of Alma 5 (great chapter) and just caught my attention, so I decided to look more into it.
While reading, I noticed that often times I am being prideful without even knowing it. Pride is more than just thinking you are better than someone else, it is also comparing yourself to others. It is putting the vain things of the world above the great treasures of knowledge. It's comparing our talents, looks, professions, and possessions with another. When in reality, God does not measure us by such things! He loves us all equally and cherishes us all dearly to His heart. I read over something by Jeffrey R. Holland that stood out to me. He said, "The race is against sin, NOT against each other." How true is that! It also reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures in Samuel 16:7: "For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."
I know that the Lord has sent each of us sisters to the Visitors' Center because we have individual and unique talents and attributes that, when combined together, can make it a place of unity, love, safety, and learning. And most importantly, a place where the spirit can reside.
When all of us sisters are working together, teaching together, and smiling together, the Visitors' Center is our Zion. I know that we can make our homes, our church buildings, even our workplace Zion if we "strip ourselves of pride" and have the pure love of Christ.
As President Monson so beautifully puts, "Life is perfect for none of us. Rather then being judgmental and critical of each other (or even ourselves), may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life."
I love you all!
Love, Sister Martin