Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dear Family!

                I know that you have been waiting all week for this letter and here it is. However I am sad to say that it isn't that exciting. We had just an average week. Sister Bird and I still have a lot of investigators that we are working with and we are really enjoying things. One of the investigators that I told you about last week, Pauline, is doing really well. She is still scheduled to be baptized on the 28th of September and we are really excited. She is just so sweet and so happy every time we go to see her. I just love her so much. She is struggling with a few things due to a stroke that she had a few years back and so we have to teach her on a very basic level but she always feels the Spirit when we teach her so things are going well. Our Zone Leaders actually gave her a blessing after church yesterday to help her with her understanding. I am just so excited for her.
                Now remember Pauline’s daughter Mal that I mentioned we were teaching too? Well she hasn't talked to us for the past week and we are devastated. At first we thought it was because we were teaching her mother but we later found out it was because she had a falling out with her less-active member friend that initially introduced us. So because Mal is so upset and hurt because of the fight between her and her friend, she has decided that she doesn't want anything to do with us anymore. It breaks my heart because Mal was doing so well. She was so prepared for our message and I could see how her life was beginning to change. Sister Bird and I are still hoping that the two women will repair their friendship and that Mal will reach out to us again. I guess this is one of the reasons that missions are so hard. You really develop a deep love for these people and so when they stop talking to you it is truly devastating.
                Sister Bird had to experience a really awkward situation this week during exchanges and I am so happy that I didn't have to be a part of it. It all started a few weeks back when we were both new in the area and we were going around trying to contact the less-actives on our list and we went to this one house and this lady answered the door and she was really stand-offish and rude. She acted completely passive to what we were saying and she didn't even seem to care that we were talking to her. Finally I thought this is ridiculous and I wanted it to count for something so I went ahead and read a scripture even though she said she didn't want to hear it. We left and promised ourselves that we were never going back. Well a few days ago we got a message from our ward mission leader telling us that his wife was the visiting teacher to the same lady that I mentioned before and that she wanted to be taught the missionary lessons again. Sister Bird and I were pretty shocked so we picked up our pride and went back to the house. This time the daughter answered and she said that she would go get her mom but then a few minutes later she came back and said that her mom didn't want to see us. I am going to be honest I was a little mad. Anyways we left and promised ourselves that we weren't going to go back. A few minutes later however we got a message from the same lady explaining that she as just really tired and that she wanted us to come back and teach her the lessons because she doesn't really know anything. I can’t even explain how confused we were. I thought surely this isn't the same lady that we spoke with a few weeks ago. Anyways Sister Bird and I went on exchanges on Thursday with our sister training leader and so we each went to different appointments and Sister Bird drew the short stick and so she had to go visit this lady. When they got there, Sister Bird said that it was the same as all of the other visits. She said that the lady didn't want them there and that they flat out asked her if she wanted to feel the Spirit in her life again and she said “No.” Sister Bird said that it was honestly one of the most awkward situations of her life. But honestly if people don’t even want to try to feel the spirit in their lives how are we supposed to help them. As it turns out the visiting teacher to this lady all but forced her to meet with us so it is safe to say this time that we will NOT be going back.
                I got another blessing from Elder McLauchlan the other night because I was having a hard time with some things and there was something that he said that really stood out to me. He said that I would be blazing the trail for people to be baptized. This is something that I have recently been thinking a lot about because even if I never have a baptism, a missionary out there will because of my efforts. This is going to be the case next Saturday when one of my investigators from Temple View is going to be baptized. Even though I won’t get to see it and even though it won’t count as one of my baptisms, I know that she is where she is because of the efforts of Sister Whiting and myself. I guess I have just resolved that success as a missionary isn't measured in numbers of people baptized but it is really measured by the lives you touch. I have a strong desire to find and baptize people but this is because I have a love for the New Zealand people and I want them to be as happy as I am. I want them to know that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them. I want them to know that they also have a Savior who suffered everything for them and because of this they have the opportunity to live with their families forever.  This is the whole reason I am out here on a mission. Just knowing this makes it a little easier when everyone you see tells you “No go away I am not interested” or “No thank you I don’t want to talk to you” Missionary work is hard because you see people everyday who blow you off when all you want to do is help them be happy. If only they knew what they were giving up. It is so sad sometimes because I know exactly what they are saying no to and they have no idea. But at the end of the day for every hundred people that aren't “interested” there is the one that is. And the message that we have will change that “one’s” life and that makes it all worth it. I have already learned so much on my mission and I can’t imagine how much more I am growing to grow over these next 14 months. But I am so happy to be here and I will still strive to find the one that is prepared for the gospel.
                Sorry for the downer letter. I guess that happens sometimes. However, I really am loving it here and I am happy to be serving the Lord. The hardest part is being away from all of you. I hope that you have a good week. I love you all!
Sister Simkins
ere are some pictures from the VC this week. The last two are of a tour that Sister Bird and I gave last night.

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