Monday, August 8, 2016

Trials and Tribulations

Hi everyone!!

Well, after much trial and tribulation, we finally got to email! Today has already been a crazy! We were shopping at Fry's, and we were in the self check out lane.  I was just about ready to scan my bananas, when a balcony table shows up on my scanned items.  We got it figured out, and it went to the other check out for the person who was actually buying it, but it was an adventure.  The attendant was laughing because I guess my face was priceless while holding a ton of bananas.

I think Arizona has messed up my sense of temperature.  I was wearing a cardigan all day yesterday.  It was also 110 outside.  Arizona. Wow.

This week I got to go on exchanges with Sister Burton, and it was a lot of fun! I had to lead out the area, so that was fun trying to remember everything that Sister Sprouse is in charge of remembering.  The day did pass without Arizona being more on fire than it already is, so it was a success, I'd say.  I learned so much from Sister Burton.  I learned how to talk to people a little easier.  It always feels awkward trying to stop someone to talk, especially when they are not about to stop for anything.  She helped me a lot with that, and since then, Sister Sprouse and I have been able to talk to a lot more people each day.  Sharing the gospel doesn't have to be scary.  It's sometimes as easy as saying, "if you need anything, that's what we are here for".

This week hasn't been horribly eventful, however, we did have some ups and some downs with Carl.  We went over to see how he had been doing on Tuesday last.  He admitted that he slipped up, but then ran inside to get something for us.  He came back out with a page long essay of the "workings of the Holy Spirit" while he wasn't drinking.  It was really cool to see just how many opportunities the Holy Ghost was able to provide him with and that Carl was able to notice just how big of an impact it had on his life.  He finished his essay with the commitment to continue abstaining from alcohol and see what happens.

However, don't think that Satan's going to let Carl off the hook that easily.  As much as we want Carl to enjoy the blessings of the gospel, the adversary is working hard to keep him from that.  We went back a few days later, and Carl had changed his mind.  We had a discussion with him, and it at least got him thinking. I was praying that he'd be at church again, but he didn't come.  I was frustrated, and probably not very understanding.  Brother Jones asked us about Carl at church on Sunday, and he ended up teaching me a very valuable lesson in patience.  I was not happy that Carl took steps back . . . actually, I wanted nothing more than to be passive aggressive towards the situation.  However, Brother Jones said that Carl has taken a bigger step forward than he had seen him take before.  It made me realize that now is the time to be patient and understanding and keep cheering Carl on--not be bitter that his conversion is taking time.  It really made me stop and reflect on my attitude.  

I'm learning a lot about the importance of attitudes and how we think.  Even when we might think that a thought can't make that big of a difference, it can.  I'm striving to be more positive with everyone, including myself.  I read a talk about how language is meant to uplift, so that is my goal for the next while. (Unfortunately, I'm realizing that I may have to cut back on my sarcasm to do so, but I guess it will be worth it to be more Christlike.)

That's all for this week!  I love all of you more than words can say!

Sister Emily

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