Monday, June 20, 2011

The Highs and Lows of a Mission

When I was in the MTC I recieved a poem that was written about a mission called "Highs and Lows". I don´t remember most of it but one line that ALWAYS repeats in my mind is "I´ve never been so happy, I´ve never been so sad." I remember thinking, "Psh, what a terrible poem to write about all the negative parts of a mission too. Pretty sure it can be happy if you think happy always!" Well I´ve learned that the words of that poem really are true! I really have never been so happy, never have been so sad! I wish I could remember the rest of the words. But it amazes me just how much of an emotional roller coaster we experience as missionaries in such a short amount of time. One minute you´re floating on air and the other you just feel awful. The one thing that I have come to understand about the negative side of the poem is that we can be sad and have bad days because it has more to do with those whom we are serving rather than US! When an investigator gives up and decides not to be baptized, or someone marks a commitment and doesn´t keep it, or a recent convert starts drifting away from the church and doing bad things. It´s then that we as representatives of the Lord feel extreme sadness unlike anything we´ve ever felt. We pray for them, we fast for them, we cry for them, and in the end realize that once we have done everything we can, the have their free agency.

But at the same time when someone who is investigating the church makes the slightest progression it is like Christmas! What immense joy we feel to hear someone say "I´ve read the part you've left me in the Book of Mormon and I prayed." or to show up at church without our help. A baptism for a missionary is unlike any joy I have ever felt. Just like the negative side, it has nothing to do with me but everything to do with the person and the decision they have made to repent and change, to enter into a covenant with God and take upon themselves the name of Christ. For this reason we are here! We've been having a difficult time finding "elect" people lately, but we are confident they are out there. We just have to find them. I feel strongly that there are those who are praying just as much to find us as we are to find them.

I love to watch the Jehova´s Witnesses. They really do inspire me! Such a dedicated people to their faith. EVERYONE proselytes, not just full time missionaries. Sometimes when we are on the street we see 20 or 30 duplas? (um companionships?) knocking doors and I think "Wow. wouldnt it be cool if members of the Church of Jesus Christ did that?" Sister Pedroso made a comment that I liked. She said, "There are so many of them! and just two of us. It makes me so proud to be a missionary of the Lord!" We are a small army but with His help we can make miracles happen.

We had Zone Conference this past week. President Cooleys last one before he goes home. It was wonderful!! I wish I could write all of the incredible things I learned!! Maybe I will save that inspiration for next week´s email since this one is getting pretty long already. But it sure has been a pleasure serving with him and Sister Cooley. They have done wonderful things for the Sao Paulo North Mission. I look forward to getting a new mission president and seeing the changes that he will put into place. I´m grateful for the things I am learning on my mission I can see the growth and I am happy. (spiritually and materially....I totally know how to make rice now just like a Brazilian!!! :) Hope everyone has a wonderful week!!
-Sister Peck

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