Monday, January 6, 2014

99

Sziasztok, 

Well I think I mentioned that the New Year marked my 100 days left on the mission. With so much abnormal time we had on new years eve, I made a lot of goals for the rest of my mission and post mission. I decided I didn't want to countdown, but rather count up to the best 99 days on my mission. (9 does happen to be my favorite number anyway).
Yeah, well I don't think I could have imagined just what that goal would entail. The first 6 days have been incredible. We had a new years day hike with the cutest recent convert family ever, a super nice guy from Poland come up to us after English class to ask if he could talk to us about God, lunch with the funniest 80-something year old couple (our investigators), other investigators bringing their friends to our lessons, members volunteering right and left to help with our programs, and almost every progressing investigator came to church (including the 80-something year old man). We've quite enjoyed the first week of January. But that's not even all...
 
To tell this next story, I have to back up to pre-mission life. 
So before my mission, I started reflecting on how I had gotten a testimony. That lead me to the journals I'd kept since about 8 years old. For whatever reason, I decided to type those up and post them to my blog (where some of you may be reading this). Looking back, I have no idea why I decided to do that. My journal is normally kept tucked away and adequately hidden from snooping eyes. But there I was, posting my life. With at least slight caution as to the extend of what I shared, I consistently re-wrote my life and the spiritual experiences that had solidified my testimony. I think it was mostly for me, because I doubted many would see it. But maybe a part of me hoped that if they did, then it would mean something to someone. 
Well as I've rounded the bend in my mission, it has literally come full circle. 
I mentioned last time how we were lead to a new investigator. We've now been meeting with him daily. Before we even met him, he had beautiful desires to change and do what God wanted him to do. Then we showed up at his door. As we started to meet, he consistently quizzed us on our personal experiences. He wanted to be sure we actually experienced what we taught. That we actually live what we believe. Yeah we are all cute and nice and all, but anyone can say anything. As he adequately pointed out, we've been warned to beware of "wolves in sheep's clothing". Well a couple programs in, he told us how he got an answer to his prayers:
He stumbled upon my blog. 
When I started that blog, I never could have imagined how directly it would effect my mission. Not only that, but I never could have imagined how personally God knows us in such a way that he could intricately use that little experience to answer my investigator's prayers and mine. 

I didn't bring my old journals on my mission. And as missionaries (at least so far in this mission) we don't use the internet for anything other than a once-a-week email. At this point, I can't see my own blog (my mom posts these there). Obviously I occasionally remember my spiritual experiences as I share them, but it's also so easy to forget just how involved God is in our lives.
As my investigator re-told me my life, from everything to old teachers to track meets, I got my answer. After a very faith trying, exhausting month, I needed that reminder.
I already know. He's been there all along. I've already experienced.
I have such a humbling distance to go- so much to learn and so much to change, but we all already are more deeply converted than we think we are. God knows us perfectly, but we also know Him more than we consciously realize. Although we don't always recognize it, his hand is always in our lives.
God, Christ, this restored church- it's true. All of it. And it always has been. 
Szeress mindig, 
Curtin Nővér 
p.s. köszi Zsolt 
p.p.s. The little details- 
1. Fog. For some reason- every time I go hiking in Hungary (well like the 2 times) its always super foggy. Pretty though.
2. Snow. We still have yet to get any snow. I count that as a blessing because finding in a snowstorm is only half funny. 
3. Sister Westover's favorite Hungarian dish is called stuffed cabbage. Its pretty yummy :) 
p.p.p.s. Next week is a transfer week, so preparation day won't be until Tuesday.