Saturday, August 15, 2015

Weight Lifting

July 27, 2015

Hello family!

It is weird to think that you are already back in school. Weird. But I'm glad to hear that everything has gone well.  Hopefully everything continues to go well.

This week was pretty good. We were able to work on some things together in an attempt to improve the productivity of our area. It sure needs it! One of the things we have been working on is having members come out with us. We don't have too many set lessons, so usually if we get sisters out with us we try to find some potentials and go contacting. It has been good so far. A newlywed returned missionary just moved into the ward and she is awesome too, so that helps.

Our big miracle for the week was that John D, our baptismal date came to church yesterday!!! If he didn't we would have had to turn him over to the Lord (in other words drop him, but we don't talk like that). And he even brought his son with him too. That was awesome!!

We also had a really good meeting with our bishop yesterday, and seem to be building a better relationship with him, which I am happy about. He and our ward mission leader have asked about our dinner calendar, which has been pretty empty since I got here. Hopefully they will be able to reach out to the ward and have us get more dinners, since I have found that is the best way to get to know the members. We made progress with that too, because bishop and his wife signed up for dinner tomorrow night :) As far as I know, they haven't had missionaries over in a while. Slow but steady progress!

I am going to include the following from my email to President Weidman:

Before I finish my email, I just wanted to let you know that I finished reading that book you gave me "Believing Christ" this morning. I really enjoyed reading it, and am thankful to you for giving it to me. It was very helpful to read all of the different perspectives that were mentioned, and several of them stood out particularly to me while reading them. The one that I remember best right now is the one about members of the church thinking that we are expected to do too much/ there is too much expected of us. The author uses the analogy of lifting weights.

If I were going to do bench press, I would lie down on the bench and then my spotter would stand ready to catch the bar if they needed to. I would proceed to do the number of reps. When finished, instead of racking the bar, my spotter would say "One more! Just do one more!" or something like that. I would give my very best effort and keep doing "just one more" until I could physically do no more reps. Then the spotter would take the bar and I would be done. In much the same way, the spotter is like the Savior telling us that we can keep going, we can do "just one more" and he encourages us and wants us to go above and beyond. It is only in this scenario that we are able to improve - when we push ourselves past what we think we can do. But then when we really can do no more, the Savior is there to take the bar. 

This analogy struck me because I did weights in high school and college. It helped me stay in shape for sports, and was something that I really enjoyed (and miss too). It pumped me up whenever my spotter - usually a friend or teammate - would say "One more! You've got this!" or something to that effect. It is when I tried to do more than I needed to that I was able to improve myself. So naturally this analogy helped me to understand that the Savior is my "spotter". He is there to look out for me, help me go above and beyond, and then when I can do no more, he takes the bar and helps me rack it. I LOVE THIS! I think I tend to get in the mode of thinking that the Savior is disappointed in me or not on my side or things like that. But in reality he is on my side and he is always there spotting me to make sure that I don't hurt myself, and also to encourage me to give my very best effort. 

I am going to try to think of the Lord in this way from now on. Maybe not in the weight lifter perspective, but as a friend that is on my side and who wants to help me. I am pretty sure I have always known this. It just took a while for it to click in my brain and have an AHA! moment.

So that's one good thing I got from that book. The end are other things I "learned" or rather forgot that I knew, but it was a really great book for me to read and helped me. 

Tomorrow I have my first quarter training- the training you have at 6 months. I know it's a bit early, but I have already been out for almost 6 months!! That is so crazy to me. 1/3 of my mission is over, and we get to have trainings to celebrate (ha-ha). But it should be fun to see the other 2 elders I came out with. It will be interesting when it goes from who I came with to who I will leave with. Weird.

I love you all a bunch and hope that you have a great first week of school!

Sister Lauren Hatch

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