[As of right now, we have not heard from Elder Schomburg, so with permission I have chosen to share a letter from our dear, sweet Sister Aubrey Sperry, who is serving in Brazil. She is an amazing missionary full of inspiration and love! I hope you enjoy taking a look at the missionary experience from the perspective of a wonderful young woman.]
Hello dear family,
I have decided that being a missionary is unlike any other experience because you literally feel a love for people that you have never felt before. You also feel a pain for them when you can see that the choices they are making are not helping resolve their problems. In Alma 31, it says this about his experience with the people:
´´O Lord God, how long wilt thou suffer that such wickedness and infidelity shall be among this people? O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may bear with mine infirmities. For I am infirm, and such wickedness among this people doth pain my soul. O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful. Wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success in bringing this people unto Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.``
That is exactly how I feel. The other day I was incredibly tired, and although I love being a missionary it has been a rough road lately. A lot of our investigators are stuck in decision making and it is difficult at times to be patient with them and just love them through the process. I need to realize that while I can be part of resolving their problems, I alone cannot make this decision for them. They have to walk on their own two feet because salvation is individual. It's just that Heavenly Father has put a bunch of His angels in our path to help us all get there.
So I decided to fast for more love, patience, and strength. I know that when I do not have enough of these things, Father always does and is willing to give them to me to help His children. The fast went well. I decided to bear my testimony in church. But this time something was different. As I sat there at the front, looking out at those Brazillian people, something overwhelmed my heart. It was a love I had never felt before. Tears came to my eyes as I realized that I loved these dear people; that indeed their souls were precious to me, and I would do anything, even give my own life for these people that I love.
I bore my testimony of the unique experience that a mission is because we can feel just a tiny portion of what Christ felt when He felt the ´pains of the world.´ Truly you feel a love for others that is indescribable. I told them that I cry when they cry and am happy when they are. I am truly here to serve and love them. That´s why I decided to leave my wonderful life for a year and a half. Because more than they needed me, I needed them. I needed to know how the Savior feels about each and every one of us. Although I cannot comprehend a love that great, I do believe that I felt His love for them this week. How grateful I am for this experience.
Through all of my experiences, I am being molded into who Heavenly Father needs me to be. Sometimes it hurts, and sometimes I don't understand. But I am truly happy and different than I was. For this I am grateful. I know that my life will be forever blessed from all that I am learning. I can't believe 6 months have passed. I still have a lot to learn, so here's to a great year up ahead!
I love you all so much. When you are tired and you need energy, pray for it. When you are in need of patience, ask for His patience. And when you are lacking in love for others or yourself, His love is waiting there to be given.
Stay strong and have a wonderful week.
Love, Sister Sperry