The Power of Weaknesses

Today I want to talk about the power of weaknesses. That’s right. “A perfect body is NOT required to achieve a divine destiny.” Russell M. Nelson, this General Conference.

I have found that I drink a lot of water on the mission and as such, often need to use the restroom when we are not anywhere near the house. Why am I mentioning this? Because it has been making me think a lot about physical limitations. Did you know that a physical limitation must be first accepted before it can become a strength. I think I drink more water than anyone I know and it was a bit rough on my companions at the start because I was always excusing us right in the middle of Zone Conferences, right before lessons and such. I felt bad. I tried drinking less water. That lasted for one day. It’s important to respect your body and take care of it. I feel better if I drink a lot of water so I just accepted things for what they were and something interesting has happened.

A week or so ago, we were in a strange neighborhood and I needed to use the restroom. Instead of being frustrated and miserable, I just said a prayer in my heart asking Heavenly Father who needed to hear our message so I could ask them. We passed a few houses and then ran into a very interesting family on the corner. I told Sister Stevens what I was going to ask and went right up to them, introduced myself and asked to use their restroom. She was in shock that I was so bold. They said “of course” Afterward, I shared a little bit about our message with them. It was a great excuse to get in the door! They have created their own little church with just their family. We gave them ” The Family A Proclamation to the World.” What could have been my handicap has become exactly the opposite.

One of my strengths is that I am not afraid to talk to strangers. Coupled with a weakness, that weakness was redeemed to work for my goal.
I want to invite everyone who reads this to think about one weakness that they have. Then think of you you could combine it with one of your strengths to use it to your advantage. It might be that you go to sleep late at night because once you get started on something, you want to finish it. Turn it into a strength by deciding to always start on the hardest things first and do them at the beginning of the day. The weakness of just wanting to add that last finishing touch will suddenly be a levering tool to keep you on track and finish the hard project you are on during the light hours. Your weakness might be that you have a poor body image. Combine it with your natural strength to be sensitive to these things and use that sensitivity to notice, build up and encourage those around you who have a poor body image. Soon you will find that you actually do believe your own adivce. Or it might be a weakness that you are too shy and don’t talk enough. Realize that this gives you a million tiny gifts… it makes you reverent in church and sacrament meeting, it makes you a good listener, it means what you say, when you do say it, will be more sincere. As you frame your weaknesses in a better light, you stop worrying about them. This leads to better self esteem which has a natural tendency to make weaknesses fade into the background. It gives us the power to change and the power to be happy. Now. Today.

Life is a race. But not a race against each other. It’s a race against sin! This is a quote from general conference. Let’s run this race together and run it like a marathon. Let’s all help each other cross the finish line.

I’m super happy today because I just heard news that my dear little family in Manus, Renilda and Andelso, were married and baptized after all! Renilda sent me an email. I can’t describe how it makes me feel. It gives me hope to keep working with the families here in Boa Vista. It makes me keep believing in miracles.

I LOVE my new, dear little companion Sister Cortez. She speaks Spanish and I speak English so we are quite an exotic companionship. It’s awesome!!!! We both still struggle with Portuguese but the people here are awesome and help us a lot. We are starting to be a lot more diligent about our language study. Sister Cortez says that she can feel the Spirit really strong when we teach so I think this opportunity we have to work together is a proof that the Lord really loves us and has faith in our capacities.

Sonia didn’t go to church. 😦 A young man named Leandro did. 🙂 We want to baptize a young girl named Talia and another named Suzana. The work for this week will be trying to encourage Talia’s dad Charlie to return with his family to church, and teaching Suzana’s mom in such a way that she can be touched  and we can mark a baptism date for both of them. Also, we don’t have any more cell phone credits this week so we are praying that Sonia will be at home and we can find out what happened for her to not be at church.

Suzana’s parents are recently separated and so I and her both teared up a little in our last lesson together because she realized that I could empathize with how she was feeling. I told her about how even though my parents are separated, they are both happy and healthy because of the power of this gospel. Her family is very Catholic but I have faith this gospel can help them and so I’m determined not to be intimidated. Several of our investigators have asked us to pray for them or pray for sick relatives. This shows me that they trust us and that The Spirit really is teaching with us in the lessons.

Sometimes I get frustrated because there is not enough time in the day to do all the things we want to do. We want to plan a division. It will be tricky and take a lot of planning but I have faith we can find a way. Sister Cortez is so sensitive and mature that she always makes me feel better when I get a little lost on the map or discouraged about what we should do next. I know this gospel is true. I know God loves us. With this knowledge, everything falls back into perspective.

Thank you everyone for the letters. They are really encouraging. 🙂

love,

Sister Thompson

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