Monday, April 18, 2016

One transfer, 4 Companions

Hello Family and Friends! It feels so good to be able to write to you!
This week was a long week. Like really long. Like really really really
long. There are many great things happening out here and of course
there are some hard things happening out here. First of all covering
three wards is exhausting and trying to meet the needs of every ward
is exhausting. Missionary Work is exhausting. The thing is though it
isn't just physically exhausting. It is mentally, spiritually and
emotionally exhausting as well. All four of them wrapped into one and
a two day nap with no worries in the world would be great. Let's be
real though that isn't how life works. So far this transfer has been
all about surviving for me. Surviving the three wards and the two
companions. My companions are great people they really are but let's
just say that walking outside by myself was really needed this week
and I don't regret the two minute break one bit. I'll be perfectly
honest this has been a hard week for me in the mission field. I've
been struggling to really put my everything into being a missionary
and I have kind of felt like I have been in a slump lately. The best
thing about slumps is that they teach you to rely on something
greater than yourself. For me that something was holding on to the
testimony that I have that church is a place where we can readjust our
will to Gods will and we can receive help in anything and everything.
This whole week I have been looking forward to attending church on
Sunday. It was a great sabbath day for me. I wish that every sabbath
was like this one. I think that the thing that really changed this
Sunday from another is the fact that I knew I needed it and I needed
to be strengthened and I was willing to do anything God wanted me to
in order to receive that strength that God had for me. There is
immense power in recognizing what you need and acting on it. I needed
church this week. I was spiritually ready to be 100% uplifted and
because I was ready I received the uplift that I needed. It is a
really testimony building experience for me. Sometimes church just
feels so routine but if we really prepare ourselves for it and look
forward to the revelation we can receive while we are there then we
can have a great experience and an uplifting sabbath day.
We had an experience on Wednesday that rattled us a little bit. We as
per usual decided to visit some less active members homes in one of
our wards and then we decided to tract that street. No one was
answering their doors. It was early afternoon so that makes sense but
we just wanted one door to open. We get to our last door and bam it
opens. This man turns out to be a huge anti-Mormon. He basically
started preaching to us about how we needed to study what our church
really believes in, how we were a cult and how he loved us and wanted
to help us understand what we believed in. He went on and on. I did
everything in my power to not let my big mouth get the best of me. It
could of been really contentious on my part but instead I calmly asked
him if he had ever read the Book of Mormon and asked if it were true.
He replied that he would never read the Book of Mormon but man I have
surely talked to God about the Mormons. Then he began stating that he
got all his information off the internet and a book called kingdom of
the cults. We ended up just telling him to have a nice day and left.
What a guy though. I have never faced anybody with that much hatred
towards the church. It was hard to hear someone completely destroy
everything that you have ever believed in and everything you are
dedicating your life to. That experience also made my testimony grow
ten fold. I'm grateful that we knocked on that door. It was hard but
it has led me to more fully understand the importance of the gospel in
my life and in the lives of those I am teaching. Everybody might not
fully understand why I'm doing what I'm doing. Probably because i
never took the opportunity to fully explain it or because they weren't
willing to listen. I'm in Las Vegas, Nevada serving a full time
mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because I
know with the entirety of my being that this is the only true church.
I know that the same church that Christ established while he was on
earth is here again today and I'm a member of it. I'm here because I
love God and I have seen his love and felt his love more times than I
can count. I'm here because everybody deserves the opportunity to hear
about this gospel and everything it can do for you. This gospel is the
thing that constantly keeps me going. it has helped me to realize and
understand that I can have a relationship with God. He isn't just some
being that is talked about He is real and he loves the crap out of his
children. This gospel has provided me with opportunities to grow and
to overcome everything that has been thrown my way. I'm not here
because I wanted to take a break from life or because I don't
understand my beliefs. I'm here because above all I'm willing to do
anything for the person that has done everything for me. It isn't
easy, actually it is really really hard but it is the most rewarding
thing that I have ever done. Sharing the gospel with those around me
and seeing people build their personal relationship with God and Jesus
Christ is worth the sacrifice. Not everybody will understand or accept
my message but everybody deserves the opportunity to accept it.
Without my relationship with God I would be nowhere. Many people ask
about what they can do to help me while I am here. There is only one
thing: find your relationship with God and act on it. The blessings
are real. God is real. Christ's atonement is for everyone. We need to
use it. Don't disregard the greatest gift that has ever been given.
I hope that you know just how much you are loved. I love you all so
much and I am so beyond grateful for everything you have all blessed
me with. Thank you for your support, it means the world to me.

Just super quickly. I received a call this morning from one of the
assistants to the president stating that I will be finishing training
another missionary who has been out for 3 weeks and I will be staying
in the Eldorado Highland ward. This has been a crazy transfer. On
Wednesday I will be getting my forth companion for this transfer. I'm
not sure how I feel about it yet but trust God and I'm ready for
whatever he needs from me.

Sister Lauren Camilleri

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