October 20, 2014
Hello Family and Friends!!!!
Well. This week kind of zoomed right on by. I’m pretty sure I just emailed you all yesterday! How was everyone’s week? Great, I hope! Ours was. We found a new investigator, Martha, who I’ll tell you about in a second. Then we also went on exchanges, had some fun dinner appointments and had the most amazing church services yesterday!
I suppose I’ll start with Martha. We found her a few weeks ago, but she’d been busy for a long while. We finally got in this week and answered some of her questions about women in the church, gays, evolution, etc. We did our best to answer simply and lovingly and I think she was pretty well satisfied with what we said. We referred to the family proclamation a lot and THAT was neat because while I’ve thought about it before in the sense that the way the family is set up is the same way the church is set up, it seemed clearer for me this time as I explained it and testified again to me that this is definitely an inspired organization! 🙂 Here’s what the Family: A Proclamation to the World says that I loved:
“Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives – mothers and fathers – will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
…By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.”
Oh boy. I just love it! DEFINITELY inspired – the church is organized the same way! Men are to preside and watch over the members in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for the members. Women are primarily responsible for the nurture of the children. We are obligated to help one another as equal partners. It’s just wonderful! 😀
Here’s the whole proclamation for you to read, because there’s a lot more to it than just those couple of paragraphs. 🙂
When we see Martha tomorrow, we’ll be going over the Plan of Salvation, which I am SO excited to share with her since she also had questions about the after-life. YAY!
Exchanges were pretty good! I stayed in Lebanon and had Sister Jensen with me while Sister Crook went to Canterbury with Sister Simons. I love Sister Jensen! She’s wonderful and she’s SUPER into horses. It’s fun to talk to her about it – she want to school for it and she’s great at training horses. Anyway, she’s also a fabulous missionary who just lays out the Gospel, teaches by the Spirit and testifies that it’s true in such a powerful way that I just don’t want to add to it because she’s pretty much said it all!
Saturday we had dinner with the Arnold’s again. We discussed missionary work with Sister Arnold because it was pretty much just us and her. She is such an amazing member! She’s trying so hard to do missionary work and she asked us what more she could be doing. She already does a lot – she’s willing to come teaching with us, she gives us rides when we need it, she feeds us every week, she invites people over for dinner and does her best to think of ways to talk about the Gospel with others. We suggested that she study Preach My Gospel because while it’s geared towards full-time missionaries, it’s pretty much for ANY missionary (which should be every single member of the church). She loved that suggestion and so we’ll be helping her out, studying with her, and hopefully, then she’ll feel that she’s doing great missionary work, even though she already is!
Alright. So the best part of the week was DEFINITELY church yesterday. Every single meeting seemed to be connected, one right after the other. Basically, it was all about repentance, in a round about way. The talks in Sacrament meeting were based on President Uchtdorf’s talk in Priesthood session, “Lord, Is It I?”.
Now THAT is a great talk! They all are, but I love that one a ton! Sister Alemany asked the question: What are the things we’re putting before the Savior in our lives? A person’s character is revealed in what they do with their leisure time – what you do in your leisure time gives you away. I LOVED that because it’s SO true! And when I think about what I did in my leisure time before my mission, I shudder. I was definitely a lazy person. NO BUENO. When I go home, I hope that I can often think of that question: What am I putting before the Savior in my life? What am I doing in my leisure time? Hopefully, the answer for me will be: “Nothing! In my leisure time, I do all that I can to exemplify Christ and do as He would!”
Brother Alemany talked about “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” As he spoke it made me ask myself: Am I looking at things in an eternal perspective? Do I put the Lord first? He continued and talked about Elder Scott’s talk called: “Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority”. ANOTHER amazing talk!
In that talk, Elder Scott teaches us four tools we can have to ensure that our priorities reflect our treasure. Those four tools are Prayer, Scripture Study, Family Home Evening and Temple Attendance. We need to make all four of those things PRIORITIES because if we don’t, we aren’t doing as the Lord has asked of us. Prayer and Scripture Study are how we have conversations with our Father in Heaven. Doing it together as a family helps us to learn correct principles and grow closer together as a family. Participating in WEEKLY family home evening helps our families to be stronger and closer to the Lord. There, we can develop relationships that will last for eternity. If we do that, we’ll have peace and love in our homes. Temple Attendance brings revelation, knowledge, peace, and joy. Being sure to not let ANYTHING get in the way of any of these things is how we can ensure that our treasure becomes wherever God is. At the end, a question popped into my head: “Are there things in my life that I need to let go of in order to make room for what matters most?”
I challenge each of you to reflect on those questions, figure out your priorities, what you want in life and what makes you happiest. Where is your treasure? Where do you want it to be?
Gospel Principles continued with the Repentance theme. But I want to get to the next lesson because it was just SO good!
Finally, the Relief Society lesson was amazing! We were discussing “Living By Every Word That Proceeds Forth From the Mouth of God”
WOWZERS. THAT was a pretty powerful lesson! We discussed a lot of how to balance our lives, follow the Spirit and do what the Lord has asked of us! A couple of the things I loved: The Spirit speaks to us through feelings. If you’re not happy, change what you’re doing. Follow how you feel. What brings TRUE joy, not just happiness in the moment – joy that will last for eternity? The way Sister Amundsen explained that one a little more was “Focus on what’s most out of whack at the moment.” She used the example of being a mom – her kids want to play with her but she needs to clean the house. So she balances by making her kids happy and playing with them. When she starts to feel unproductive, and her kids are satisfied, she’ll start cleaning again until they want her to play again. She said “I don’t clean because I love cleaning. I clean because I love a clean house. I don’t play with my kids because I love to sit on the ground. I play with my kids because I love being a mom!” I may not be explaining this very well, but it really stood out to me and helped me to have some better ideas of how to balance my own life. At the end of the lesson, she said “The key to life is love. If you’re not happy, if you’re not balanced, turn to charity and love.” And that is so true. If we’re not doing things out of love, not just for others, but also for ourselves (we need time to ourselves to make sure we’re able to help others too!), then we won’t be happy. It’s just a wonderful neverending circle! 🙂
I love the Gospel because it makes me happy. I do my best to live it every day and apply what I’ve learned every day! I know that’s the best and simplest way to find eternal happiness, so I challenge each of you to ponder these talks and questions, then APPLY them. You’ll be very happy as you learn where your treasure lies, how to balance your life, and where to find joy in living the Gospel principles! I love it and I know you will, too! 🙂