You know, I've taken way too many science classes in my life for someone who loves writing. And I've retained little from these classes over the years except little random facts; like "acro" means limb or if you get a certain sulfuric chemical on your hand it turns yellow and black. Despite the many science classes I've taken and the "in one ear and out the other" attitude of my left brain, one foundational lesson always strikes a chord of familiarity with me - it being the first lesson is any science class and the first chapter of any Biology book.
The Scientific Method.
Now, I'm not about to pretend I know a ton about this since like I said, I'm useless in science. But from what I understand and remember about the Scientific Method is that it's a series of steps you must follow to conduct a successful experiment.
Sister Sanchez and I conducted such an experiment this week. Yesterday, in fact. This week was rather tough for us - we feel like we are working well together and that we are prepared, but our area isn't progressing as I'd like it to be. Rejections were high. We understand that we're being humbled, and it's not like we don't have work at all, but we want so much for the area to progress. To move forward and not just be parked on the corner of hard heads and closed hearts, adjacent to "Sorry Sisters, I'm busy" avenue. But no matter how hard we tried this week to do better than just good, we found ourselves stuck.
So after transfer announcementsnight, finding that we're still blissfully together, we wrote down our transfer goals. Among these include things like "exactly obedient", "teach by the spirit", and "be bold, but loving". We felt so good about our new goals that we decided to put them to the test. Our hypothesis was that if we were exactly obedient, we'd be able to achieve the Standard of Excellence the next day. We were ten lessons away, and that many on a ? Close to impossible, given that the usual average is four of six. But we were determined. We had our past data that concluded that obedience (perhaps not always exact) brought blessings, but mediocre work and a stagnant area. Our independent variable was our obedience - following exactly. Our dependent variable was the guidance and help of the spirit. Our control was same area, same route, same branch missionaries.
Our experimentbegan perfectly. Up at , no lounging. Stretch. A focused and very spiritual companionship study. An amazing District Conference in Tabaco where we got to hear a broadcast with speakers Elder Quentin L. Cook, Carol McConkie, Bishop Dean Davies, and Elder Michael Teh. Came home, lunch, then we left to work. At this point, my confidence wavered. Ten lessons seems big, and it was ultra hot outside. I had holes in my shoes and we weren't moving very fast. But we had faith, kept going, and continued.
We taught some amazing lessons. One of which, we were teaching the mother of a 16 year old progressing investigator of ours. Her parents don't want her to be baptized, so we were trying to soften her heart a little. I just started testifying about how thankful I was for the gospel in my family and how blessed I was because of my father's choice to convert to the gospel and my parents' decision to raise us up in the church. Sister Sanchez spoke of her family's conversion too, and I could actually for once feel the spirit talking through me. I wasn't worried about Tagalog, I just spoke, and it came. I told her the truth - that people change their hearts through the gospel and that her daughter was trying to take that step. I told her that I'm not here on a vacation, but to help her family have eternal life. We even invited the nanay to be baptized. No bite yet, but the spirit testified that she felt the influence of the Holy Ghost and she committed to pray about it.
Most of our lessons were like that. The spirit was with us all afternoon, and because of that, we made a lot more commitments and bold statements of love. No baptismal commitments yet but we're close with a few, and it never hurts to extend! We worked hard till after, ending on a superb, small lesson with an investigator that wasn't interested at first but who is now responding a little more to our concern and love for her.
And you know what we got? That's right. The Standard of Excellence. 10 lessons on a, equaling a lovely perfect 35. Ultimate punch of victory! We were walking on sunshine last night!
Experiment Conclusion: We have proved our hypothesis to be correct. Obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles.
Hopefully this continues, our transfer goals will be achieved, and we are able to continue and see this beautiful area progress. Watch out! These missionaries are onto the secret now! This week was tough, but with the help of the Lord, we ended on a good note, as always.
I possibly just had more success with the Scientific Method this week than I have in any of those science classes. Someone buy me a lab coat to celebrate. Loving life over here! So hard, but so rewarding. Just have to keep it up now! Hot hot hot, but nothing like missionary life to make a heart change and to realize the Lord's hand in your life. I feel better than I have in a long time. This gospel really does change people. I thought so before...but now I'm living proof.
Love all of you! Happy Father's Day to all the poppas!