Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Learning a Bit About Faith

This week was insane times twenty. Sister Olsen and I have started to take turns "enforcing," meaning: we need to leave this lesson at 1:40 to get to this one at 2 and we need to leave this one at 2:25 to get to this one at 2:30. We taught about 30 lessons this week. The Lord has been preparing people in this area to listen to our message, and He has been way too kind, (always!) in blessing us.

Unfortunately, John is going out of town for 3 weeks. I'm legitimately slightly depressed about this, because we had some great lessons with him and he is just SO close to committing. I told him not to go see his family on the east coast, but he did not like that idea. We had a dinner with him and some members this week, and he brought a head of lettuce. Him and his hot yoga and lettuce.

THE ENRIQUEZ FAMILY!! This week we taught them a lesson on the Plan of Happiness, and the Spirit was incredible. After the lesson, Sister Olsen started crying on our way home because she was so happy. I was too tired to cry, but I was definitely smiling:) The parents randomly came out and told us that this is the direction that God wants them to go and that in other religions, there has been a hole; there has been something missing. When they said that, I was trying not to burst out laughing and hyperventilating at the same time. That would have been awkward. But seriously, HELLO WE'VE GOT THE DIRT FOR THAT HOLE!!! It was incredible to hear someone just up and ask what it is they are missing, and be willing to act on what we teach! They came to church in their jeans on Sunday. The whole family walks in late, and my heart was full. So full:) The whole 3 hours of church was centered around families, which was perfect for what this wonderful family needs. The Lord's hand is intimately involved in helping individuals in this wonderful work! 

They were fellowshipped by our ward SO well, and the youngest one had 20 new best friends after primary. He also "was a very good singer." I absolutely agreed. They are coming again next week, and I have a feeling that they will never miss again:) I'm the happiest girl in the world.

This week a few sisters got in a bad car accident. The president called us in a panic to go to the ER and help them with anything they needed. Well. Naturally my companion and I had just been hiking/running up a mountain, (it was p-day,) and so I'm in my shorts and t-shirt and totally sweaty. We showed up to the hospital, and about 6 elders had just arrived there as well. What the heck, Sister Brooks, why are you dressed like that? Oh, and I'm also in my running shoes that have so many holes that I have duct tape covering them. I look 100% homeless, and I'm trying to lift up this other sister to help her off the hospital bed, all the while having the elders trying to figure out why in the world I was running on my p-day. 

Sister Olsen just laughs and assures me that I will be known forever and always as the complete psycho-runner. I think everyone at the hospital went home that night thinking: Wow. Mormons are weird. I'M SORRY, I JUST LIKE TO RUN OK! 
So. About the boy we raced up the hill! He allowed us to come over and teach him and his family, (with special permission from the Zone Leaders because this family is Muslim.) I had absolutely no idea what I was marching into, and about the middle of the lesson I was really wishing I had Tyler Holle on one side of me and Kramer Holle on the other. I feel like they would have known better than me how to handle the situation! It's difficult to teach people who are very opposed to the idea of Jesus Christ being the Son of God. They were shouting questions left and right and I was sweating trying to keep up and trying to slow things down so the Spirit could be there. The extended family had also been invited to listen to us as well, so it was a party! They fed us Iraqui food and prayed in Arabic for us. They have so many questions about the Book of Mormon, but a lot of the questions they have are the unanswerable type. The type where all I can really say is: I have no earthly idea. Ask God.

Really, the answer to most questions is to ask God. He knows, and I don't. It's an interesting and difficult situation.

The fourth of July was indeed a celebration. I made a red/white/blue cake and brought it to zone meeting. I was so proud! I also wore blue bows in my hair like I was 2 years old. Success on all accounts.

 Well, my stalker continues to stalk. That's all I'll say about it.

I learned a really important lesson this week about faith. First off, I realized how truly little faith I have. I have faith for the things I want to have faith in, like in other people progressing in the gospel or in being led by the Spirit, but I have very little faith when it comes to other things. So here is my analogy on faith:

Faith is taking a step into the dark. Faith is ALWAYS dark for a second before it turns light, because the Lord requires vulnerability as we learn to submit our stubborn will to His. Sometimes it's dark for a long while, because God is the only One who can turn on the light for us. The light inevitably always comes on, but most of us are super uncomfortable for that time in the dark that we are tested. I learned this week that my whole life when I've stood in the dark about something, I've tried to turn on the light myself. I've tried to control the situation and I've searched frantically for the lightswitch. I get myself all up in a frenzy about not knowing what's around me and what exactly is going to happen with my life. And what a faithless way to live! I think the key to life is learning how to party in the dark:) We don't have control. I don't have control at this point about most everything in my life, including when I go to Brazil, what I eat, or how I spend my time. CONTROL GONE. So here I stand in the dark, trying to figure it all out instead of trusting that although I'm in the dark and sometimes I feel alone, God really is in complete control of what's going on. So what does it matter if I understand? Kaylee, LET IT GO! Enjoy the dark. 

I know that when God wants me to understand the "why" of something, I will. I know the light will come on about a lot of things I've struggled with if I trust Him. I know it will be in His timing. I like to kick and scream and be stubborn and proud, and I think God probably just kind-of watches and waits for me to calm down. Then He starts talking to me, once I realize that being in the dark is maybe and probably exactly where He wants me. I'm afraid of the dark, I'm terrified of it! But He has been teaching me one thing at a time how to relax and trust His love. It's SO much easier for me to kick and scream about what I DON'T KNOW. But He is very patient with my silly mind. And I'm learning how to smile in the dark and stand there calmly, listening always for His voice in the darkness to make sure He's still right there with me. I know He is.

I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that there is nothing outside the reach of His Atonement. I know that God listens to us when we pray. I also know that He doesn't do things for us that we can learn to do for ourselves, generally. I'm grateful for that:) I talk to Heavenly Father all day every day, and I love Him so much for being my Father and my Friend. I know that this is Jesus Christ's gospel on Earth today, because He allows me to feel its truthfulness everyday. I'm quite determined to be a missionary for the rest of forever. There is so much joy to bring and to feel:) Have a great great great week and remember how precious every soul is to our Heavenly Father:)

Sister Brooks

Adam and Me holding a Skunk!!!
My favorite couple that I play the piano for
every Saturday night!

This was in our mission letter...
That's right...
My mission encourages running...
I'm just being obedient!!!

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