Hello Friends! Two things:
1. The sooner you learn to focus your mind and all your thoughts on Jesus Christ and His gospel, the sooner you will be able to testify with power. One of the Sunday night devotional speakers at the MTC said that and I wrote it down because it is brilliant, and I am here to testify that it is the truth.
I have honestly had a hard time being 100% committed to the work. Weird, right? I was definitely not expecting that little challenge. But one day I realized that I was being distracted by something. I still don't even know what that thing was, but there was just something in my subconscious or something that was holding me back. So I decided to recite my purpose a million times a day. Instead of thinking about whatevskis as I shower, I recite my purpose, and I internalize it. Sister Olsen and I decided to memorize a scripture every week, and this week is Alma 26:12. So as I sit there in the car, I recite it in my head. Or out loud.
Don't worry, I still have normal thought processes, like a normal human, and Sister O and I have normal, non-churchy conversations daily. But let me tell you, taking control of your mind and choosing to think about what you want to think about?! Smartest thing I have ever done! Wow! I am definitely not a pro at it yet, but this week has just been so so so much better. When we get out of the car, I say, "What is the goal? What am I supposed to be focusing on right now?" and then Sister Olsen pours words of wisdom into my soul and I say, "Excellent. Let's do this." And then we find people. Sometimes rude people. Sometimes indifferent people. Sometimes amazingly prepared people. Amazing.
2. Prayer. And agency. Those are my new struggles as of late. I have a hard time with people having their agency. I don't want to get my hopes up that someone will change their life and join in the blessings of this beautiful gospel, because guess what! They have agency. There is this weird balance between working so hard and loving the people and wanting them to know the truth and be baptized -- and not getting discouraged when they don't, you know?
It's hard to explain.
As a missionary, I am expected to do everything I can do to help others receive the restored gospel. I really do have to truly care about them! But then, when I truly do care and I truly do love and work and pray for them and they don't accept? And they just drop us? Then it hurts! But then I can't get discouraged because guess what. Discouragement lowers expectations and weakens faith. They have agency. And so do I. And I need to use that agency to move on, and still truly love and still truly work and be diligent because someone is going to use their agency to accept the gospel. And that one person will be worth it.
I had a hard time praying for peoples' hearts to be softened because I would think to myself, "Well, God will prepare whom he will, and they can choose to accept if they want to." But very recently I have come to learn that that is not true. God has told me to pray for the people. He has told me to ask in faith that their minds will be opened and that they will accept the message. "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking them." Well said Bible Dictionary. We have to ask. With faith.
Does that make sense?! Ah! It does to me and I can certainly say that my prayers are different now.
What a beautiful thing this mission is, wouldn't you say? Until next time, my friends.
Love, Sister Brittan E Plante