(This post was sent November 9, 2015)
Sister Finlinson and I were able to pin down exchanges yesterday, and we went through the white handbook vigorously to make sure we're measuring up as good sister training leaders. There's lots of good stuff in there! I'm hoping that exchanges aren't a total disaster, but even if they are, it'll be a good learning experience. ^_^
I've made it a goal to read 3 pages from PMG every day, and thus far it has been extremely enlightening! All of the stuff I learned at the MTC and forgot is right there in those pages. It's cool to be refocused on my purpose and to relearn what that means. The trick now is figuring out how to apply it so that it sticks.
We were given four marvelous opportunities to see our investigator, Mackenzie, this week! Sister Finlinson and I have thought a lot about what we can do to help strengthen her testimony. She is truly amazing. She's come with us to a couple of dinner appointments with members, and she would've come with us to another investigator's lesson if she didn't have to work. Isn't that crazy? Mackenzie has felt the influence of the Holy Ghost, but she's afraid of admitting to herself that all this is true because she knows that she has to act on it. That part is difficult for her, mostly because her parents aren't really on board, and she's afraid that it'll distance her from them.
We got a new investigator named Alex this week! The 1st Ward Elders tracted into him and referred him to us. He's recently graduated from college, and he's a computer technician. He thinks really deeply about everything. It's very refreshing! I had a moment while we talked with Alex where I knew that I came to Minot to meet him. He and Mackenzie both have the same concern about being unsure whether the Holy Ghost is a real influence, or if it's just a psychological thing that they made up in their heads. I know how they feel! I've felt the same thing.
Sister Finlinson and I have been trying to help further motivate members in missionary work, and we felt like it would be a good idea to help them with their family mission plans. Except, I feel like we're coming across as more patronizing than helpful. It's not intended to be, but most of the messages sound like, "You need to be doing missionary work" instead of, "How can we help you resolve your concerns so you can feel successful in sharing the gospel?" So we're working on that :) I think it would be good to remember that "ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (including me.) There was a cool phrase that one of the teachers in the MTC said. It was something along the lines of "We're all in the same boat. I need the atonement as desperately as you."
I love Sister Finlinson's desire to be good! She is constantly evaluating to know how to improve. I feel like a lot of the times I want to be better, I don't know how, but she's so great at making things happen. Also, she has this motto of always giving one hundred percent in communication. I'm starting to really understand why open communication is so important! I'm grateful for her example of counseling with me as her companion in everything we do, and wanting to go forward together instead of only focusing on self-improvement.
This coming week is going to be fantastic. The Lord is going to make things happen.