Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Inspired Trainings

I feel like each week is so different than the one before. Maybe its just the area being so different but I feel like our weeks are different up here than in the valley. To start off we had some amazing days of training. We had our one week follow for the missionaries and trainers. We talk about the handbook and the rules and the manuals that are here for our use and learning. I love talking about the handbook. I always see something that I need to improve! And they are always the little details but they will make a HUGE difference! That wasThursday.
On Friday we had a Zone Training Meeting. The zone leaders and the sister training leaders train us on what the President trained them on. At one point we needed to set our zone goals for the month for New Investigators and Baptismal Dates. If we dont set goals then how will we work hard to help the Lord? Also by setting these goals we are actually setting goals to help our investigators progress towards baptism. So as we were talking about it I realized that we weren't just talking about what our goal should be it was a council. There were ideas being put on the table with reasons behind them that we all wanted but we had to decide what the best goal would be for us. So at one point my district leader stood up and shared a scripture. It was D&C 6:8-9. I would type it up but I dont have my scriptures. So you will have to look it up now. Anyway, when he read the scripture my whole body broke into goosebumps and I just started getting this feeling of motivation and extreme happiness. I just wanted to stand up and say, "AMEN!" I wanted to get out and get working. I knew this was the spirit testifying to me that we were on the right track. This was a promise to our zone in the scriptures and we all knew it!  So we set a goal of finding 100 new investigators and setting 75 baptismal dates for this month (March). This day of training reminded me so much of how our Mission Leadership Council's are. I LOVED IT!
As if that morning couldn't have been topped we went on exchanges that afternoon. Sister McQueen is from New Zealand and she is a temple square sister. As we went out and worked hard all afternoon we had some really cool experiences. For the first time on my mission I taught the Restoration on the doorstep of someone's home. I wasn't trained very well in door contacting and I have struggled with it my whole mission. So this experience was amazing! I learned so much from this exchange. I had prayed so hard that I would have the ability to learn what I needed to learn. What was even better is that I was able to go back to Castaic and apply it directly and we had a wonderful time. It doesn't matter how long you have been out you will always learn something.
 A quote that was shared in ZTM has stuck with me really hard. "Love is now spelled T.I.M.E. Serve the Lord with the time you have as a missionary." -Elder Holland. I have been slowly learning that Diligence is the way I show the Lord my love for him as a missionary. I have also been learning that my time is very short now out here in California. So this quote made a huge difference for me. Every time we get ready to go out I think about this quote. It makes me think about how hard I am willing to work with the time we have scheduled for the day. I am not sure if I am explaining it the way I feel it. But I feel it resonanting with in my heart urging me to be even more diligent every day. I want to feel successful as a missionary. I want to say I did my best to share the gospel. I want to show the Lord my love for him. To go along with this quote another one has popped up that I feel goes along with it. Again Elder Holland says, '"The crowning characteristic of love is Loyalty." I feel very strongly that when we are Loyal to the Lord to do His will then we are willing to dedicate our time to him in a way that is acceptable to him. I am a missionary. This was his will for me and I came. Now its up to me to show my Love for Him. Kind of a mind spinner, huh?
Well I love you all very very much! I hope you have a great week!
Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Cottrell