The past week or two I haven’t been sleeping much. The muscles in my legs are having a really difficult time relaxing and so the cramps have been keeping me up at night. Sunday night was particularly rough and often as a missionary its easy to feel very alone, especially at night if you are awake and your companion is asleep.
Well let me tell you, Sister Goodwin is the best companion in the church. She stayed up with me and helped take my mind off of how bad my legs hurt. We talked and talked and probably talked way to much. We stayed awake until 1 in the morning until we both finally fell asleep.
I am so grateful for her. She has been such a strength to me and has helped me reach what i feel is the maximum of my potential and then pushed me to reach an even higher level. We have these bracelets that if you hold them up together they make a pair of wings, but separate they are just one wing. Well a bird can’t fly with just one wing. Just like I cannot do this work on my own. I have to have my companion with me and we have to be working together in order to accomplish this work!
Recently our mission President sent us an email about our companions. He said, “
In Romans, the Apostle Paul teaches a powerful lesson, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Notice that Paul makes the observation that when we love God we work together towards His purposes. Of course, His purpose is our purpose, which is to invite all to come unto Christ and there are many ways in which we can work together to accomplish this. Paul’s use of the words “work together” is very interesting in light of the fact that as these words are translated into Greek the single word is “synergeo.” This is the word form that we derive our English word, “synergy.”
Of course, synergy is the principle which states that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Simply stated in mathematical terms, 1+1=3 or it could even be stated as 1+1=10. For our purposes the general idea is that when we work together, the outcome is far greater than doing things on our own. This principle is true in a marriage, a family, in a companionship, a ward council, or in relation to this letter, our work as full-time missionaries and servants of the Lord with the members in our assigned proselyting areas.
President Monson’s statement, “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work.” This is such profound and wise counsel from the Lord through His chosen servant the prophet. It is in fact, the will and direction of the Lord as received by His prophet and mouthpiece on the earth. We must learn to act in faith and as we work together, we will truly see the principle of synergy in amazing and powerful ways.”
I know we cannot do this work alone. I have never really done well with a group project or a team dynamic, but now I understand how important it is that we rely not only on The Lord, but on the people He places in our path to support us. If we rely on them and capitalize on their strengths we will be able to accomplish so much more than we could ourselves.
Sister Goodwin and I know that next week we won’t be able to serve together anymore and it makes us really sad, but I look back on all we have done and am in awe. Miracles follow when you have two or more people working together who love and serve each other. When members and missionaries are unified and working towards a common goal success will follow. I know that because I have seen and experienced it here in little ole Woodstock.
I love you all so much. Thank you for all your prayers! i am excited to see so many of you for the first time in a long time next week.
I love you!
Sister Goodwin’s email!
Wow, so much has happened in the past week! We have had a lot of fun soaking in all the time we have together! The fair was in town this week, so we had a lot of fun going and talking to people! There were lots and lots of people!! We had some kind of crazy weather, lots of rain! Our teaching has been on fire! Sister Johnson and I have become so in sinc that we seem to always be thinking the same things! It is really awesome when we teach, because instead of worrying about what we are going to say or when we are going to say it, we are focussed on feeling and following the spirit! We teach really well together! We have so many amazing people we are teaching right now, many of whom have had great experiences and wittnesses that the things we are teaching are true. More to come with them at another time! I know the Lord is hastening the work, because we are seeing so many people come into our teaching pool that are truly prepared to accept the fullness of the gospel!
I would say the biggest highlight of our week was ALEXIS WENT TO THE TEMPLE! It was such an incredible miracle how we got to go with her. So there are certain requirements that have to be met in order for us to get permission to leave our area to go to the temple with our Recent Converts. One of those requirements is that they have to bring their own family name. She was planning on going Wednesday Morning with the youth group, so we had to find a name for her fast! As soon as her membership record went in, we started helping her with her family tree. We were basically starting from scratch, so it was hard. She didn’t have much information on her family either. We gathered all the information we could, and then handed it over to the Lord to work out the details, because there was nothing else we could do. Monday night as we were working on it with her, she remembered suddenly that she had done a geneology project the year before, and still had some of the files on her Google Drive. She was able to find one paper, that just so happened to be a Record of DIvorce with enough dates to fill in enough information to get a name!!! However, the only dilema was getting approval. She called her Grandpa and got his permission to do the baptism for his mom, and then we had to wait to see if Family Search would also approve it in time. (I guess it can sometimes be a process) However, the next day when we checked again, it all went through!! She was able to do that baptism. However, even better- when we went to print off that name, Sister Johnson found a duplicate of that name, that then linked us to so many other names that then filled in a whole bunch of Alexis’s family!!! AMAZING! She also found another name to take with her! We had such a great time at the temple! The spirit was so strong! We could definitley see that she had family members on the other side helping her in getting her work done, for herself, and now for her family! How incredible is that?!
Also, fun moment from home… Bishop Wright suprised my family while him and his family were out in Utah!!! They had fun chatting for a few minutes!:) My 2 worlds collided, for just a moment!!!
We have been having a blast enjoying every minute of our missions that we can. Having Sister Johnson going home has helped me to recognize how fast this time flies by. I want to savor the moments I have while they last- even if there are days where I just want the day to be over so I can crash and go to bed. I know I only get the chance to serve the Lord in this capacity once. I am going to do my best to put forth my all while I can. Sister Johnson has been a great example to me of giving everything she has to the Lord for her mission. She will be able to go home knowing that she did all that she was called to do. I can only hope that I can be that way too! I will always strive to do my best, and i know the Lord will make my best efforts enough!
Love you all! Know that the Lord loves you and is aware of your every need!!!! You are in good hands!:)
———->PICTURES FROM THIS WEEK!
Sorry I didn’t send pictures last week!!! My camera died…we tried to save it…but it couldn’t be revived. Fortunately the wonderful and amazing Sister Wright let me borrow her little camera so I’m back to being the picture Nazi!!!
When it’s so rainy you can’t see anything but clouds…
A nice sideview of Sister Goodwin.
Me trying to soak the stingers out of my ankles from some nasty little bugs.
One more goodbye…I love the Weavers!