It Is Better To Look Up

Iaorana tatou! Hope your new year is going well! Don't forget to write 2017 instead of 2016 on your papers. It happens to all of us. ...

Iaorana tatou!

Hope your new year is going well! Don't forget to write 2017 instead of 2016 on your papers. It happens to all of us.

We started the week working with a lovely member, Soeur L (a missionary mom! The best kind of mom). It was disappointing at first, because the lesson she was supposed to come with us for fell through, so we tried to stop by and see some other amis, with little success. But in the end she was able to come with us to see one of my favorite amis, C-. Soeur L shared her conversion story, which really helped C-, who would love to be baptized but her inactive member boyfriend isn't ready for marriage. Soeur L talked about all of the little miracles on the way that led to her joining the Church, which goes to show that Heavenly Father knows what He's doing! As we look back, we can see how He was always there to guide us and nudge us in the right direction.

Tuesday evening we were able to do some door-to-door contacting, with more success than before! In fact a Jehovah's Witnesses pretty much gave us a reference, it was great. We talked to him for a while, he was nice but not interested, but we asked if he knew anyone else we could talk to, and he said to try the house next door, his niece. And then he went out of his way to walk us to her house and tell her that we wanted to talk to her. At the beginning she wasn't that interested but we talked for a bit and she ended up saying that we could stop by another time. She laughed because her uncle had cornered her, she had no choice but to talks to us!

On Wednesday I was on exchanges again with Soeur A-, who I knew from the MTC! She left right after I got there. She's amazing, such a wonderful example of light and smiles and patience and go-and-do-it attitude. Which was a good thing, because we started out the morning rather interestingly. First we tried to visit an inactive mami who is hard of hearing, but she was busy and told us to come back another day. We tried to visit an ami not far, but he wasn't there so we talked to his wife Li-, who is deaf and mute. She is so sweet though and our awkward pen and paper / charades conversation pretty much made my day. Upon returning to the car, we found out that I had left the head lights on. *sigh* I will admit this may not have been the first time this has happened, and one handy dandy thing about manual cars is that usually you can push it to jumpstart it. So we tried that. Nothing. Then inactive hard of hearing mami saw us and tried to help. Still nothing. It was really, really dead this time. So mami suggests we call a member to come help us. Only we were in the valley, the one part of our secteur without reception. So we told the mami not to worry, we'll figure it out, then walked until we had reception again, called a member, the craziest papi in the ward, who came to save us with his jumper cables. Then he lectured Soeur A- about how many spirits there are, while Li- (who the papi had picked up on the side of the road on his way) and I watched. Just another day on the mission.

Thursday was my first Mission Leadership Council. We were able to discuss some goals and changes for the new year. We talked a lot about "vision" - for our secteurs and wards, for ourselves and our mission. We can choose to see all the problems and hardships, or look above the problems and find solutions. It reminded me of a story that a member shared with us at dinner on Wednesday night. Soeur A- shared Doctrine and Covenants 88:67 for the spiritual thought, which promises that if we have an eye single to the glory of God, we will be filled with light. Then Frere H- shared a story from his mission. He and his companion went to visit an investigator who lived a kilometer deep into a valley, the only house on a little road with no lights. They stayed a little too long and when they left the sun had already set. There was no light to illuminate the tree lined path. They got on their bikes and tried anyway, but kept running into the trees! So they said a prayer and received the impression to keep riding, while looking up. That didn't make any sense! To ride a bike, you have to look ahead to see where you're going! But they tried anyway, and realized that as they looked up they could see the stars through the gap in the trees that marked the path. In no time they were back to the main road.

It reminds me of a story of a recently called general authority who was feeling discouraged about his responsibilities. In the elevator, he was looking disheartedly at the ground. The man next to him, President Monson, gently said, "It's better to look up."

It really is better to look up.

With love,
Soeur Ladd