Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I'm Where I'm Meant to Be

  I was introduced to our newest house pets this week. COCKROACHES. aghablaghegalghahbeghah!!!! Yep.....that's an understatement.

They've taken up residency in the bathroom and I've now got into the habit of flipping on the light before entering and hoping that that 30 second warning was enough for them to take a hint.......before I walk in and start using every toiletry weapon in site to smash the little buggers. If anything, it's entertainment for Sis Green:)

And at least they don't fly......right?........right?! :)

Tuesday afternoon we were invited to a part-member's home for lunch. I'd met them once before and they're a sweet adorable older couple. I was on exchanges and took the lead in the lesson, which went well. I still felt like our invitation to them to come to church wasn't fully accepted, but I was at a loss as to how to connect with them and help them understand our love and concern for them. We were about to wrap up, when I got the impression to ask Art (the husband who's a member) how to pronounce his last name. He responded, 

"Lahtinen.....it's Finnish."

Before I could even think, I blurted out, "No way! My Dad served there on his mission, and lived there for three years when my grandpa was a mission president there, and my grandpa served there too, and we learned Finnish growing up, and we have all kinds of Finnish traditions at Christmas......" and basically I just blasted him with all the info on my all-but-actually-blood-born Finnish family! And it was exactly what created an instant connection between us and he began telling me all about his Finnish parents and childhood! It was incredible to see how the Spirit used one small seemingly random prompting to help me build such a unique connection and friendship with this less-active! we were then able to revisit the topic of church attendance, and they committed to try and come, and to pray together as a couple!!! Gosh....the spirit is amazing:)

Sis Green and I have been trying hard to know our purpose in this area. It's been a difficult couple of weeks, and I feel that the Lord is testing our faith and dilligence. We're trying to stay positive, though, and we've been feeling repeated promptings to start working more with members. I just want to leave my mission and this area knowing that I made a difference and I feel like I'm running out of time! AH! It's a bit overwhelming at times, but it's motivating me to pray more, work harder, and stay closer to the Spirit!

I had a beautiful experience this week which started as our district was sitting together at lunch. One of the elders casually mentioned the name of a member in the ward, and for some reason it perked my interest. I'd obviously never met the family, but felt an instant attraction to them. Then, the next night, another ward member mentioned them in passing, and that was my second witness. I told Sis Green that night that we needed to meet them, so acting in faith, I called them up and the husband welcomed our visit. Long story short......they ended up not actually living in our area (they actually lived quite a ways out), the wife is not a member, and the husband is actually a returning less-active!!

Turns out, they invited us over for dinner (!!!! this is kind of a huge deal in this area:) and we were able to get to know them better. It didn't hit me, however, until we were actually in their home and sitting across from them, that the Spirit had been driving me to that point the entire time. I'd subconsciously just felt that it was a hunch or "a good idea" but when we were there, and began teaching them more about the atonement and our Savior, the Spirit confirmed to me, "This is RIGHT where you are meant to be tonight. And this all happened because you chose to follow promptings."

I can't even describe how much I needed that personal and loving impression from the Spirit! Just that same evening, I'd broke down crying to Sis Green, expressing my frustration because I felt that I wasn't receiving clear direction on my purpose here. I felt that I was just a smile and a name tag......just another missionary passing through. I felt aimless, and wondered if I even mattered. 

I still get those feelings sometimes, and I'm still discovering what I specifically have to offer this area and these people, but that whispering from the spirit that night confirmed to me that as long as I'm trying.....as long as I'm listening to Him and following His will....

I'm RIGHT where I need to be.

And that's all that matters. So for now, I'm just keeping a prayer in my heart and the song in my head, "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, I'll be what you want me to be."

Onward and upward,

Sister Anna Parker