Monday, July 6, 2015

Such photoz. Have been erasedz. By virusez. Merp.

Liz told me to come up with more entertaining blog post titles in my updates. I thought she would maybe put something funny or clever or something but WHATEVER I can do it myself.

Just kidding Liz. :)

But yes. I discovered that when I tried to upload photos today, there were no photos in my folder. I have heard from pretty much every missionary that this has happened to them, so I was kind of expecting it, and I didn't have TOO many new ones, but it's still a bummer. Hopefully my memory card isn't completely fried and I can take some new ones.

But anyway. Well this week.

This week was extremely hard I'm not going to lie. About 3 weeks into my mission, I got some tough news from home and, without going into details - it's been very hard to focus since then and I have been seriously considering coming home since then. Some days I found my self focused and pumped to move forward, but lots of days, my mind was exhausted with the divide between trying to focus on missionary work and thinking about the possibility of going home and how GREAT that sounded.

And of course this news comes right when I'm starting and adjusting, right? It's already hard enough for missionaries to adjust and get the hang of things without this extra struggle. It's been hard. Very hard.

This past week, I prayed extremely hard and fasted this past Sunday to know what I should do. The mission president gave me permission to call home today and that I could make a decision. It was a very hard fast and Sunday morning, I was 99.99% sure I was coming home. But extremely torn with that decision because I didn't want to feel like a failed missionary who can't persevere and find the blessings in the struggle. I knew that I could decide for myself either way - but my heart was torn and the answers from God were not coming. I don't know if I've felt more desolated, if I'm going to be honest.

Ok, sorry uplifting thingz coming soon...

Well Sunday afternoon, we had divisions with another pair of sister missionaries and they were the hermana leaders. I was paired with Hermana Keltner, who is leaving on Wednesday. This was the answer to my fasting and prayers. It was so refreshing. I not only was able to express to her my whole situation and my doubts and fears, among floods of tears I might add, and not only did she listen and offer advice - but when we went out teaching people, my whole being was lifted.

I was able to see how she taught and how it differed from my current companion and how I liked the way she did it a little more than my companion. And it made me feel like I can do this. Because when you don't have a very good lesson with someone, you not only doubt your ability as a teacher, you doubt your entire testimony and it spirals into - do I even believe in this crap??? (sorry, but I might have thought that exact phrase many timez in the past month).

But when I was at my absolute breaking point of the mission and ready to give up, He lifted me up. And I can't express how grateful I am for that.

I know that in extremely hard times, it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to stay positive and continue forward with faith and prayer. Trust me - I know. And I know that God pushes us to be better. And even though the changes hurt - EXTREMELY BAD - if we trust in Him and still follow Him, it will ALWAYS be for our benefit and learning. Always. Because God knows each and every one of us personally and knows where our breaking points are. And He will let us be pushed right up to the edge, to see if you still trust Him the closer and closer you get to falling off.

The love of God is real. And if we feel a lack of it in our lives - I know we can feel it again. It's either lacking because our faith is being tested, or He's waiting for us to strive a little harder to follow Him.

Mmkay I'm getting off my soap box. But doesn't being a missionary mean that I'm on a soap box 24/7 for 18 months? Who knows.

Anyway. I need to sleep because the stress of the past month is catching up to me - BUT - I am filled with renewed hope and strength and am ready to go out and find the people who need this wonderful gospel in their lives.

I love you all!!!

-Hermana Layton

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