Monday, March 7, 2016

February 29, 2016

Week 2: Psalm 27 Verse 1

It's hard to believe an entire month has almost passed since I last saw you all!!! Now that I'm in the field, time is flying by. I know I've said that a lot, but it's true! 

This week has been insane. We worked at the temple (I pretty much have that entire video memorized word for word) which was fun, but I probably gained 50000000 bajillion pounds because the volunteers kept bringing donuts and brownies and cookies and cupcakes and basically every sweet imaginable that makes life worth living. Anyway, the temple was great. One of the days we were working, I had about 3 completely different and random people ask me where I was from because apparently they're related to Wainwrights! None of them were from Florida though, so I doubt we were related. Still cool though. I also had this one guy come up to me after the temple video and ask where I was from because he thought he recognized me. Does anyone remember an Elder Johnson (I think that's what he said  his name was)? He served in Live Oak a while back and actually lived in Uncle Barney's barn/apartment! It really is a small world after all, isn't it.

Speaking of which, I ran into Haley Wright and Cody Smith at the temple too! Which you probably already know since I'm assuming she posted something on Facebook...hopefully I don't look too weird in the picture, I didn't get to see it before they took off. Oh well! It was nice seeing some familiar faces, and of all the video rooms they could have walked in, they walked into mine! 

Anyway, so yeah, the temple was awesome. We met a lot of cool people. One night a General Authority reserved one of the smaller video rooms for his entire family to tour the temple. It was pretty cool. I can't remember his name but I think he may have been an area seventy in Africa or something like that! So that's why I responded so late last p day...we were working all day at the temple, so we had zero time to do anything. Thanks for caring enough to email the mission office though....getting chastised for not emailing my parents wasn't embarrassing at all.

So I was really put through the ringer this past week. We met with Sister Saili's MTC TRC investigator for lunch and she really let me have it. She's a member, a returned missionary,but an Evangelical convert. She apparently has PTSD from her mission. She's been struggling a lot with the church and is super less active, but she knows missionary work. So after eating lunch I, being the greenie, had the privilege of sharing a spiritual thought with did not go well. I picked a scripture where you can replace their name with yours and she immediately said, "I hate when missionaries do that!!!" So from the start you could say she was cramping my style.  Anyway, I plowed on, and in the middle of what I'm saying she just starts shaking her head like crazy and says, "Nope. Try again." After about half an hour of her doing this, and constantly judging and questioning everything I tried to say, I was pretty much sobbing, trying to just bare a simple testimony without her challenging me at every turn. It was the hardest, most frustrating, emotionally traumatizing experience of my life as a missionary thus far. At one point I just said, "Look. I know our Father loves us. If He didn't, if this church wasn't true, there's no way I would have left my family for 18 months to come sit and cry at a table in a gas station pizza joint in Provo Utah."

Suffice it to say, that day she took what little confidence I had and chewed it up, spit it out, set it on fire, and threw it into oncoming traffic. I had never felt so inadequate and horrible at this as I did in that moment. Luckily, I've yet to meet any other investigators or members like her, and with any luck I never will! (*knocks on wood*) I don't think I would have been emotional if she wasn't a returned missionary and acted like she knew every little thing that I was doing wrong. 

​Ugh. It was brutal. 

​I don't think there was anything wrong at all with what I was sharing with her, but apparently I wasn't "ministering to her heart" as much as I was supposed to be.

​Blegh. ​
Anyway, so that was my learning experience for the week! If I learned anything, it's that you need to listen and 
​seriously ​
minister to the hearts of those you teach, not teach a set lesson. Which I thought I knew how to do already, but apparently not
​??? I think it goes without saying that I am not really looking forward to meeting with her again...don't get me wrong, I want to help her, but helping her is not very fun. ​

​Just gotta keep reminding myself that it probably wasn't very fun for Christ in Gethsemane. 

​So I have officially spoken in sacrament meeting twice in a row now, and after spending all week reading and preparing for a talk, I ended up getting five minutes at the very end. ​I guess that's the Lord's way of telling me to stop relying on a written talk and just get up there and say what He wants me to say. I dunno. So I had to throw out pretty much everything I wanted to say and just go with it. It went well though, I think.Afterward one of the counselors of the YSA ward we were speaking in came up to me and told me he has family in Lake Butler, and a girl in the congregation said she served in the Jacksonville Mission (not in Live Oak though). Neato.

Our last night at the temple, all the veteran sister missionaries wanted to take 3289407859402784219 pictures (even though they've already taken 23875891743218-054-0785489321659078940321 pictures), so that was kinda annoying. Me and another greenie, Sister Brown, got tired of waiting on them, so we snuck into the Temple to see the Bridal Room (we actually had permission from the four fingered security guard Jacob); it was so awesome. The Provo City Center Temple is just beautiful.

All in all this week was good. I'm still alive. So far, serving in Provo has been nothing like I expected...I still don't like being over multiple stakes at all, because I feel like I don't get to really know anybody, so that kinda stinks. It's good practice for talking to random people all the time though, and on the flip side it's kinda nice knowing you'll probably never see them ever again lol.

Keep sending me pictures and emails throughout the week!!!

​Alofa ia te oe,
Sister Wainwright

So... my companion experimented on my hair.

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