Zuster Fox?

Zuster Fox?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Guiding People to the Savior

This week has been one of stretching, growth and change for me. It was busy and full of a lot of traveling- Sister Young and I were actually together, in our own city, for two full days, so that is a weird feeling! I think in the future I will try to spread out exchanges better so everything isn't so back-to-back-to-back. Nevertheless, everything worked out splendidly and it was an exciting week!

Exchanges with Sister Faa!
Monday was zone p-day, meaning that almost every missionary currently in the Flemish part of Belgium gathered together in Lokeren to play sports for a few hours, and it was really fun. This time we actually got a picture to prove it. I discovered that I am mildly competent at soccer (voetbal!) and I really enjoyed playing with everyone. We also played volleyball and despite the forecasted rain, the weather turned out to be pretty nice!

On Tuesday we went to district meeting in Gent and afterwards I stayed there on exchanges with Sister Robbins. It was especially poetic because we realized that Tuesday marked the official year since we arrived in the land here- meaning that it has been exactly a year since we stopped being companions, and on that date we were reunited to work together again, this time as seasoned, experienced missionaries (although we both still feel like there is a long way to go). Needless to say, it was a blast, one of my favorite exchanges ever. Finding and teaching with her felt easy and fun, and we also had some pretty deep conversations, so that was enlightening. I think a highlight was teaching a recent convert there about the temple together. There are so many blessings available to all of us there! Gent is a beautiful city too.
Sister Robbins and I!
With cowgirl Belgian hats and boots
We had back to back exchanges, so we met back up with our companions in Antwerpen Centraal, and Sister Young had five minutes to update me on what had happened in Turnhout the day before, before the Antwerpen sisters arrived and and we split up with them, Sister Faasavalu coming to join me in Turnhout for the day. And it was a busy day! We had a lesson with our most progressing investigator, and last minute a member was able to come along, and it made it such an incredible lesson. He answered her questions about tithing, testified that it was a true principle by sharing his own experiences and those of others, and invited her to church, General Conference and family home evening, which led to her accepting all of that and inviting us to come over for dinner before FHE. Basically it was the best thing ever! Thank goodness for member present miracles! And it is always fun to work with Sister Faasavalu :)
Crazy back to back exchange
We took our bus to Antwerpen on Thursday, where we did some planning with Elder Hirsch and Elder Bernier in preparation for zone training (which is tomorrow! I have to present- wish me luck!). At that point however, Sister Young and Sister Faasavalu were both feeling sick with bad colds and would need to rest... So we had the idea to let them work together (and rest together, if necessary) in Antwerpen, while Sister Johanson accompanied me to the Netherlands, where we needed to sleep over before Mission Leader Council in Den Haag the next day. That sounds really complicated. In any case, it worked out really well, and Sister Johanson ended up coming with me to Dordrecht.

The next day Sister Fleming and I went to Den Haag and I had my first real full MLC. It was incredible! I was amazed by the careful, thoughtful way matters of the missionaries are resolved. No decisions were made before considering every aspect of an issue. I was honored to participate in helping decide the direction of this mission, to some extent. We also received a lot of instruction that will be valuable to share with the other missionaries.
MLC (Mission Leadership Council) fun

All of the switching was finally over on Friday night. On Saturday we still went to District Leader Council, to help relate all that we had learned to the district leaders. Then Sister Young and I went home and used it, and had the best weekly planning of my mission. I have never felt so set up for success on my mission. I feel prepared like never before and united with my companion and the Lord in our goals. My testimony of planning and goal setting is increased. That's how you progress in life!

Sunday was a wonderful day too, lovely weather, and we got to go out and talk to people all day about the wonderful restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! more need I not ask.

The lessons I learned this week kind of came through all the other sisters I spent a long time on trains and buses with, and a lot through the Spirit. I realized that I was letting myself get tense and stressed, because I was loading myself with a lot of unnecessary burdens. Due to my calling I have a unique opportunity to be aware of any other struggles that the sisters in my zone might be carrying. I just have this desire to want to be able to think of and provide the solutions to all of their problems! But righteous and sincere as my desire to serve might be, as a former companion wisely counseled, "You are not their savior." No! I don't want to be, and I can't be. Every person in the world already has a Savior, and so do I. He has already willingly taken our burdens upon Him. So how silly is it of me to feel overloaded and overwhelmed by problems that aren't even mine. My calling is to love, support, encourage, serve, and just be a friend who can listen. My new focus will be on pointing others to the Savior. He is the one who can truly provide comfort and solutions- for me and for others. I need to lean on His enabling grace to continue on when life seems so intimidating. We all do.

I am so grateful that we have a Savior. Growth and change are often uncomfortable, but I am so glad that he has been teaching me how to rely on Him and lean less unto my own understanding. it is in Him that I have truly found the answers to my prayers and the support I need to get through this crazy life.

I hope you may all discover this week how to rely on the Savior- how to set goals that will take you higher. He will help us to ascend :)

I love you all! I am loving my mission and loving life. Good luck this week, iedereen.


Zuster McKinney Voss
Zone P-Day

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