Tuesday, March 1, 2016
First Week in the Mission Field!
I am in West Jordan, Utah!
My first companion and trainer, is Sister Lopez! She is so amazing, and I am so happy Heavenly Father put me with her! She is from Mexico and speaks Spanish and English fluently, which really comes in handy here. We meet a lot of people who speak Spanish and she can talk to them, I just smile and nod. I can pick out things being said here and there and when they speak directly to me they are typically asking if I speak Spanish, she taught me how to say poquito (a little) haha it gets me by! She is so patient and loving towards everyone, even when people are rude to us, she just loves them. I want to learn as much as I can from her!
I'm so excited to finally be putting faces with names! When I got here she told me about all of the people they had been teaching and a little bit about each of them! I am slowly meeting all of them and getting to know them, so I don't have to keep asking her, which one is that? There are three people being baptized this month! It is so neat to be a small part of thier journey! They have all been truly prepared by God to recieve His gospel.
One of the best experiences from this week was meeting a man named Mike. He used to be Baptist, and he went to school for theology to be a pastor. He said that in that kind of school they sort of tear your faith down to rebuild it, I don't know if that is the case for everyone, but anywasy he said that he dropped out at the crucial rebuilding faith phase. He now doesn't believe in Heaven or Hell or even God. He knows he's recieved answers to prayers in the past and felt the spirit, but he doesn't feel it now. I felt the spirit so strongly as i just bore simple testimony of my Savior to him. He is mostly only interested in learning about the gospel to make friends. He said he could debate with us all we wanted, but I told him that was not why we were there, we were there to build his faith and bring him closer to Jesus Christ. I think he was taken aback that we were not interested in debating. Before we left I told him to just think about how he feels now compared to how he felt when he believed in God, and the difference in his happiness. I asked him if he wanted that feeling back, and to feel the spirit in his life. I told him we wanted that for him but he had to want it to. I know that nothing I do will change him, the Holy Spirit will have to work in his life outside of our lessons.
In other news, it is so much fun being a bike missionary! We rode bikes for the first time on friday and it was so nice out! I felt like a kid riding my bike around knollwood with Cooper and Jordan! :) However, I used to wonder how so many missionaries had bike accidents. Now I understand. When you are on a side walk riding single file, folling to closely to your companion, it's a whole new world. Last night riding home in the dark my face hit a few tree banches! Haha and a few bumps snuck up on me that almost took me out. Stay tuned, I'm sure there will be worse incidents haha.
This week I have learned a lot of things! Most recently, while we were riding bikes I was thinking about the amount of time we are spending out here, compared to the amount we are teaching people (not as much, but a lot compared to other mission I hear) I started to wonder how efficient it was, and I realized that Christ spent His entire life teaching and spreading the gospel, ultimately taking the sins of the world and dieing for us all. Through it all people denied Him, one of His apostles betrayed Him, and the people crucified Him. Now we are nothing close to Christ, but if people rejected Him, and it was not easy for Him, how much harder should it be for us, His imperfect servants. He asks so little of us. I want to serve him with all my heart, might, mind and strength, and do what ever He asks of me.
I wish I had unlimited time to tell you all that is happening, but I hope these highlights suffice! I have GREAT news though!!! I can read emails that you send me every day when I have free time, typically that is at lunch time. I just can't respond until Monday around 10:30 am my time. So email me as much and as often as you like! :)
Also, we will not be giving out our individual addresses here, everything will go through the mission home and we will recieve packages or letters on Tuesdays. So if you want to send anything, the address will be the same my whole mission. (Below)
Sister Tara Kirpatrick
I love you all so much! We only get an hour to email, so I'm going to start responding to as many emails as I can now!
You are all in my prayers!