Monday, December 9, 2013

The clay for the Master Potter

Happy Birthday yesterday, Papa! Hope it was WONDERFUL!
Gente, essa semana vai ser maravilhosa! Woa... sorry. I didn't realize I was using Portuguese. Desculpa. But really, this week is going to rock. We have already started off great. This morning I started a snow ball fight in my apartment with the ice/ slush in the freezer.  Yep, we don't have snow here- which means we gotta get creative because my need for cold, white weather is going NOWHERE. Haha I don't think my companion was too happy with me- but then she got me back real good with a shot to the head. KO! Haha i hit the ground laughing so hard- great morning. That's what you get from a Colorado kid and a Utah crazy. #lovingthe``winter``weather

Yesterday was cool. Jaqueline spoke in Sacrament Meeting on faith and missionary work- it was really cool. She is a really great example for this ward. Josias is doing great too- he was confirmed yesterday. Jaqueline invited two friends to come watch her talk and we taught them later that night and they both accpeted baptism. (It is an uncle and 14-year-old boy). The uncle (Neto) studied theology for 7 years but really loved the church. But the cool part was what Matheus, the boy, said. We were all so happy to hear Neto accepted baptism even though he has been baptized many times before and usually people argue about that. YES! He understood the Restoration. Ha. Then Matheus said he was excited to be baptized and that he is excited because he has never been baptized before. It was a really, really cool lesson. We will be working with them a lot this week and I will let you know how it goes.
Tomorrow is our mission christmas conference! YES!!!!! I should have tons of great photos to send your way next Monday. Be excited... I am STOKED. Love these crazy kids here in JP- so excited to see them all again.

So this week, after transfers- I hit a wall. I am not a perfect person and I will never be a perfect missionary, so I hope you aren't disappointed in me, but it's true. This week was really hard emotionally. I couldn't even tell you what was wrong.. because I hadn't even noticed that my behavior had changed until my companion stopped me on the side of the road during street contacts and I broke. They say that hell is a state of no progression. I never understood that. But, now, I am sure of it.

I have never in my life been apathetic. I have never in my life been unmotivated either. On the contrary, I´d actually like to believe that I am very self-motivated. I always have a goal, the next step in mind. But before this week, I have never felt so lost in my entire life. Not knowing what I want or what I am doing. Or even who I am. I used to make excuses for my head... ``I can't change....  thats just the way I am``. I never tried to change because I never saw change as a possibility. So, whether it was: I get offended easily, I am short-tempered, I am bossy... oppinionated... shy...or any mix or match in between, that was always my response. My excuse. I saw a lot of changes in myself in the beginning of my mission. I dont even know what changes they are- or if any of you would even notice them at all. But they were there. This week I said I was feeling lost. And I was. When high school essays or writing prompts asked one to describe themself- I always had an answer, but asking my self the same  questions this week, ``Who are you``? My mind drew a blank. I don't even know anymore... I have talked to a lot of missionaries who feel they have hit this wall before too- almost like a plateu. I promise you that no greater pain exists that the torment of feeling like you are not progressing when you know you should be.

But, this week, we had a killer zone training that blew my mind. The LZ´s talked about God as the potter- an analogy  we have all heard before. They talked about how when master potters are creating something on a wheel- if it beccomes even slighty distorted, the potter will crush the clay into a ball again  and start from scratch- because what they were creating wasnt really what that potter intended that clay to be. The ZLs talked about each of us in the clay in the potter´s hand. That maybe it hurts to have become something you thought you were and they to be broken down again... but thats because who you had become was never who God had intended you to be. And He will build you up again to be what He desired when He created you. I feel like that this week. I think I had an idea my entire life of who I was- virtues and vices- dreams and defeats- everything I wanted out of life based on what I thought I was capable of. But I have been broken. And quite frankly, I think I am not even all the way broken yet- I believe He is still breaking me. But at the same time, I believe He is teaching me that in all reality- I was becoming someone I thought I needed to be but I did it my way and now that I have no idea who I am, I am ready for Him to show me who I was supposed to become in the first place. I really don't know if any of this even makes sense, but it was an incredible lesson to me this week.

I know we all feel broken down sometimes- and that's hard. It's really really hard to feel like we dont know what we are doing, or even  who we are. But I believe all we have to know about ourselves is that we are children of a God who loves us. One who designed us to be someone we have never  even dreamed ourselves capable of being. So if you feel broken, Look up. Tell God you are ready to be who He intended you to be and you will know what He wants for you and He will show you how to get there. Look up. Dont look down on others, or side to side to compare. Look up and heavenward and God will take you there.
I am not trying to say that I am done changing, or that I have even started to become who God wants me to be. But, for 20 years I never thought to change because 20 years of habits is quite the task to unravel and refine. But, I guess I am trying to say that it doesnt matter how old you are or how many traits you want to develop or do away with. Your entire life here on earth was designed to change you and you have today, you have tomorrow. Change is really hard- but its possible. And... when done in the Lord´s way, its worth it.
Anyways, I love you guys so much. Have a wonderful week. You are all stellar! Be safe.

Serve. Go caroling. Smile. And... go start a snowball fight;)

Sister M. Seal

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