Wowee! Life is crazy and so amazing! I keep learning so much and being strengthened in my faith and love for this Gospel and for Jesus Christ. It’s wonderful to have so many experiences that help me to see how it helps me and gives me blessings to have it in my life.
I actually learned a lot about myself this week and how important it really is to rely on the Lord. We went on another exchange this week, so I was up in Laconia with Sister Bowns. We didn’t teach much, but we did have a lesson with a less-active who doesn’t really know why it’s so hard for her to actually make it to church. She has a wonderful testimony and a lot of faith and she wants to get back to church, but it’s always “I’ll finish this project first” or “When I’m retired”. Things just keep coming up. I didn’t have much to say, but we shared a scripture from John in the New Testament. I don’t remember the reference, but it testified of Christ and I shared how much I love the Savior because I know how much He’s done for me specifically. I told her that if she took her burdens and gave them to Him, no matter how big or small, He would take them and carry them for her. It was really amazing to be able to promise her that and it was such a tender moment. 🙂 I loved the Spirit that was there. Later in the week, we visited the New Hampshire Veteran’s Home because there are a few less-actives in there, as well. We met with a man who has Alzheimer’s and talked with him for a little bit. It was so sad to see him in there because he thinks he’s in prison, under false charges of killing someone. He knows that something’s not right, but he can’t figure out what it is. The wonderful thing about him is that he still has a strong testimony of the Gospel and he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He understands that trials come our way to help us be strengthened, but all he wants is to be with his wife (she visits every day or so and he remembers her, but he doesn’t remember her visits) and not wait for eternity to come. All I felt for him while we were there was the love that Heavenly Father has for him. I could just feel how much the Lord cares for him and that He knows what pain he’s in with being away from his wife. He wants so badly to bring him home, but it’s not his time quite yet. When you’re in tune with the Spirit, it’s really amazing what you can come to know and feel. On Sunday, we were with Sister Creed. She just keeps getting more and more amazing. We were asking her about why she does things for someone if they really don’t treat her very kindly at all, someone who hasn’t really ever appreciated her or shown her that she matters. I’ll admit that I felt pretty chastened for asking her that when she answered. She basically said that nobody else cares about him, so she feels like she needs to. Even though he’s not a very good person, we’re commanded to forgive everyone and that God will be the one to judge. So she’s just forgiving him for the things he does to her because she knows it’s the right thing to do. While she was explaining her reasoning, all I could think about was Christ’s example. Sister Creed is such a Christ-like person. All He did was care about people and show His love for them. He forgave people and served them. He sat with the sinners and lepers. He didn’t do what was socially accepted because he did what was acceptable to God. Oh the significant lessons we learn from the examples of those around us. Sister Creed is doing what the Savior would do, and I hope I can be like that someday. 🙂 At the end of her lesson, we were reading Moroni 10 and got the end. I commented on verse 32 and how if we put all our might mind and strength into loving and serving the Lord, the blessings will be so much more than what we do. We talked about how the commandments are what God has given us to receive blessings and to become better. I testified of how much reading the scriptures really blesses our lives if we do it every day. We miss out on so many blessings when we don’t take the time to study. We can feel the Savior’s love through His teachings in the scriptures and we can develop a stronger relationship with Him and with the Spirit to help us recognize the promptings we are entitled to have. While I testified of that, I felt the Spirit really strongly and knew that what I said was true. I’ve seen the blessings of happiness and love in my own life and I want others to feel it too. You can learn so much from the scriptures just by reading, but you can learn even more if you apply them in your life and learn to live the principles taught within them. It was such a great way to end the lesson and I know they felt the Spirit as well. They both committed to reading their scriptures every day, even if it was just a verse or two. And I know that if they do it, they’ll have a brighter, happier week. 🙂
As I thought about that experience last night, I realized how much the Spirit guided that lesson. We weren’t sure what to teach them when we went in, just a few ideas and even those weren’t very good because we didn’t know the best way to approach those topics. As we went through the lesson, we touched on a few of the things Sister Buxton and I had talked about without even trying. The Lord blesses us when we are obedient and if we let the Spirit guide our words and our thoughts, we can work wonders, both in the people we teach and in ourselves. Another thing I found to be pretty eye-opening was how important it truly is to rely on the Savior. My mind likes to wander a lot, even in lessons. It’s hard to stay focused on the task at hand and pay attention to what’s being said if I’m not really engaged in the conversation or if I have a hard time relating to the person speaking. I’ve been trying to figure out why that is for a long time. I think I’ve finally got it. If we let go of ourselves and remember the Savior, forget our own desires and remember the Lord, your mind will become clearer and you can know what it is you need to be saying. You’ll know how the Lord feels and what He needs you to say. Once you do that, all you have to do is pray for the courage to act on the promptings that come. I’m definitely not perfect and don’t have this down quite yet, but I know how much it helps to change your thoughts towards the Savior when you’re struggling to focus, struggling to stay positive, struggling with faith or hope or charity. Turn your thoughts to the Savior and He WILL help you. I challenge all of you to find your favorite scripture that testifies of Jesus Christ, memorize it and remember it when your thoughts are jumbled, you’re feeling down, you’re not feeling so positive about someone or something, etc. It will bless your life greatly and bring you great joy and happiness. I know this because I’ve done it.
Time is almost up, but I wanted to share something that I loved that was said at Stake Conference yesterday by our Stake President: We came to this earth to gain experience. Remember that if we were perfect, there would be no need for this world.
Have a wonderful wonderful week. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Eat lots of food and enjoy the days off. Spend time with family and friends. Love the Lord. Have the courage to act on the promptings you receive from the Spirit. Life is great. 🙂
I love you all! 😀