Heeeeey you guuuuuuuys!
Good morning! I hope everybody's doing well and healthy! I'm writing this on the bus to Madrid cause guess what! ¡Juerga de compras hoy! Shopping spree! Hehe Just kidding, but we are headed off to Sol (downtown Madrid) today. So even though I haven't had the chance yet to read everybody's emails I hope you're all doing well. Spain's good, everybody's pretty shocked and up in arms after all that's happened in France. We've gotten a lot of mixed reactions. Some people blaming it on religion, but we had a great comment made in Relief Society that it's the hatred of men not love of God that makes them do thing like this. Kinda makes me a little nervous to get on a plane in a few weeks!
This week was great. I gotta start off by saying how blessed I am to have the companion I have for these last months of my mission. Hna Cheret is so great. Seriously, I can completely just be myself around this girl. I think we've both been able to learn a lot together these last couple months and I'm just so great full for her!
Next up, "J." our ward mission leader, seriously the best person ever. I hope I can explain and get through everything that I learned from him last night. In correlation he talked about how each one of the 12 apostles has their own "apostolic calling". They've got their normal call, but it's like they also have an emphasis, if that makes sense. For example President Uchtdorf is always lifting people up. President Packer seemed to always talk about family and chastity. President Monson, missionary work and service. President Hinckley, temples. Make sense? So he talked about in his mission he was to testify of Christ. He said if the Lord measures the success of a mission in how many baptisms you have, he probably wouldn't get in. But if he's judged upon how many times he testified of Christ, he did alright. So it got me thinking in my call as a missionary, what's my emphasis? What's the thing I always go back to?
In talking with my comp and meditating on the words in my patriarchal blessing I realized it has been to find and help those who stand in need of encouragement. To the covenant to 'mourn with those who mourn'. I've been blessed with many opportunities in my mission. Beginning to share the gospel with "I.", finding "E." in time of divorce, crying with "E." with her pain of cancer, helping "M." with her endowment. Even small things like burying "Y."'s bird or giving ""I." a foot massage when she was pregnant. Or even this week when we found some members cleaning the church and we helped them for a few minutes while we waiting and a sister started to share some of the pain of her mother's passing a few years ago. I've been blessed and guided in seeking out those who need that encouragement. How satisfying it felt last night, to reflect and realize all the moments when Heavenly Father has blessed me with those moments to lift and help. As my companion and I have reflected on our special 'callings' we've been honored and made more humble and grateful to see the ways the Lord has helped us develop our talents and be a special tool in his hands.
I often think the observation that Heavenly Father must look at us in amusement, as like little children who after being to do something time after time are still surprised when we start doing something that makes our lives easier. For example, my mission. I can't count how many lessons I keep having to relearn time after time. I'm so grateful our Heavenly Father is a perfect being with perfect patience, cause I think I really must try it sometimes! For example this week I learned
a really important lesson...again! How important it is to have specific plans. I think we got into the routine of "We're opening a new area...backup plan...contacting!!!" And that was true at one point
cause we didn't have anybody, but now that we're starting to have a few more friends that are progressing we had to learn once again this week the importance of prioritizing them first.
To finish off I just want to share one experience that we had this week teaching the grandson of a member who hasn't been baptized. When asking him how his prayers were going he answered enthusiastically that he loooved to prayer. He said "When play my video games, I stopped 4 or so times to pray! I just turn my game on pause and tell Heavenly Father how I'm doing and that I love him!" The faith of a child is incredible. He really realizes that he is a son of God.
It' s my hope that this week we can all realize our divine potential and who is our Father. I love you all so much! Don't forget to pray!
Love, Hna Finch
PS. Just cause I'm coming home within the month doesn't mean you can stop emailing me!
Ballet shoes with "N."'s daughter!
That's what real artists do: