November 3, 2014
Hey hey everyone!
Good news about transfers and kind of surprising, too: I will be dying in Lebanon! This will be my fourth transfer here and my third transfer with Sister Crook. YAY! I think the entire ward was praying for it. There’s too many exciting things going on. 🙂 It’s strange to think I’m on my last transfer.
ANYWAY. Something else that’s exciting today: It’s been 13 years ago today that I got baptized. I realized that this morning and it was pretty cool. Crazy how time flies! 🙂
Here’s a gentle reminder of my request! Please help me out here! A few of you have already done it. You know who you are! 😉
I don’t care if it’s mail or email, but my request for the next six weeks, is for at least a few of you on a weekly basis to share one or more of these things with me:
2: What you’ve been studying
3: Missionary experiences
4: Your favorite scripture and why
Because I want at least a few every week, this doesn’t mean you have to write every week. It just means I want a couple of you (out of 58) to write at least once within the next six weeks (starting this week, November 3).
Now, why am I doing this? For a purely selfish reason: I go home in 6 weeks, and I would like some boosters every time I read my emails or look in the mailbox to keep me going strong until I finish. Like in a race, everyone stands at the end and cheers the runner on the last little while. Same thing. But I have a restriction: Don’t tell me how excited you are for me to come home or anything like that. Just talk about the Gospel, Christ, missionary work, etc. I have to stay focused for this short amount of time I have left and I need your help to do it! You’re all great and I hope you choose to help me out here. 🙂
Wow. A lot happened this week. Good and bad. Frustrating and wonderful!
I’ll start with the bad and frustrating so we can end on a good note!
On Tuesday, we had a lesson with Roland and Anne. They were nice enough, but they are very set in their ways and not interested in changing basically AT ALL. So it was a rather frustrating lesson. It’s really hard to teach people who say they’re open but really are not. We also were pretty uncomfortable almost the entire time we were there. After praying and thinking and talking about it all week, we finally decided not to go back at all. We’d set up an appointment for this Tuesday, but we just didn’t feel good about going back. We were uncomfortable while we were there and we were rather creeped out by the place and the people. So yesterday, we called and told them that we didn’t see any purpose in visiting them if they were so set in their religion. We did encourage them to keep reading scripture and continue strengthening their faith. That was quite an interesting experience. But I’m thankful that Heavenly Father lets us know when we need to stay away from certain places. He really does watch out for His children, as long as we’re willing to hear what He’s telling us!
On Wednesday, we saw Dody. We had a fantastic discussion about the Plan of Salvation. It was a rather long one, too, and pretty in depth with all the questions he was asking. He seemed very interested and happy to discuss things. Sister Crook and I felt really good about the lesson when we left. But about 10 minutes down the road, he called us and told us that he wasn’t interested in meeting with us anymore. Sister Crook took that really hard. It was the first time she’s experienced someone dropping us and it was definitely not expected. I was really sad, too. As much as I don’t enjoy having people reject the Gospel because I know how much it will help them and bless them in their lives, I’m so grateful for the experiences because it helps me to recognize how much I have felt Heavenly Father’s love for these people. It never ceases to amaze me how much He loves these people, and if He loves them that much, He has to love me just as much. And THAT is mind blowing. I think that along with feeling the Spirit, feeling Heavenly Father’s love is the best feeling in the universe! 🙂
We’ve had a lot of rain, still, but no snow quite yet. It’s tried, but hasn’t happened. It’s cooling down a lot though – I brought out the winter coat and tights this week! With the time change, it’s already dark by 4:30… Not sure I’m a fan of THAT. And today, I pulled out all my thick socks in preparation for boots. I hope it comes soon because I really love it! Although, this area will be RIDICULOUS to drive in. We drive on so many back roads that we’d need increased mileage during the winter to stay safe while driving, or at least to keep ourselves from getting stuck! We even drive on some roads that are closed in the winter.That’s how far out in the boonies our area is. I love it!
Yesterday was another great experience at church! First of all, it was Fast Sunday again. The past few months have had marvelous testimony meetings! I’ve enjoyed every one of them since getting to Lebanon! But one brother, Brother Chacone, got up to bear his testimony and I LOVED what he said! As you all probably well know, I just love truth. Because truth is truth and it doesn’t change! Brother Chacone was talking about eternal truths (like God is our loving Heavenly Father, Christ died for us, the Book of Mormon is the word of God, the Church of Jesus Christ is the Lord’s kingdom on the earth, etc, etc.). He made the point that those are eternal truths. They will never change. And it doesn’t matter if we believe it or not. It’s truth no matter who believes it. And it reminded me of President Uchtdorf’s talk about being the Lord’s disciples. He said something like “God does not need us to love Him or worship Him. He will still be God whether we acknowledge Him or not! But OH! How WE need to love Him.” And it’s true! We need God. Truly, we do. I know that my life would be completely different without Him, and if I didn’t have the Gospel, or God, I would be most likely a very sad and depressed and lost individual. I would feel no purpose to life and THAT is not a good feeling. Without purpose, it’s difficult to do anything. And God, my Father in Heaven, gives me purpose.
The closing hymn for sacrament meeting was number 134: “I Believe In Christ”. It’s always a good one, but I tend to overlook it because it’s so popular. That could be one reason why it spoke to me yesterday. Here’s some of the lyrics that really stood out to me:
“I believe in Christ; he is my King! With all my heart to him I’ll sing.
I believe in Christ; he is God’s Son.
I believe in Christ – my Lord, my God! My feet he plants on Gospel sod. I’ll worship him with all my might; He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ; he ransoms me. From Satan’s grasp he sets me free, And I shall live with joy and love in his eternal courts above.
I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
And while I strive through grief and pain, His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”
I believe in Christ; so come what may. With him I’ll stand in that great day…”
I love the whole song, and that’s practically all the lyrics, but those are the ones that just really were clear to me. And it’s exactly how I feel. I Do believe in Christ. I know who He is and I know what He can do for me. Do you? What more can you do to find Him in your life and truly come to know Him as He knows you?
Here are some of my suggestions: Pray. Read the Scriptures. Go to church. Talk with others who know Him. STUDY. Be sure to take time out of every day to learn about Him, His word, and what you can do to be like Him. That’s my purpose in life – to become like the Savior, like my Father. That’s a goal I’ll be working towards for all my life and even beyond. I know that if I keep striving for it, if I continue strengthening my relationship with Christ and my Father and learning more and more of what I can to improve and be better than I was yesterday, I’ll be able to reach that goal. I will be made perfect, like my Father, like my Savior and Brother. I know it’s possible for me if I continue on the path I’m on now. Is it possible for you if you were to continue going how you’re going?
Another suggestion, which actually came up in Relief Society yesterday. The lesson was on Gifts of the Spirit. I LOVE studying about those.
(Here’s a link to where you can learn more about them and study them! https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-22-the-gifts-of-the-spirit?lang=eng )
The Gifts of the Spirit are truly amazing. I’m so thankful that Heavenly Father blesses each of us with at least one of these gifts. One of the main points of the lesson in Relief Society was: “How does the Lord speak to me?” He gives us gifts to help us bless others, but also to help us know when He’s speaking to us. We all have different talents and gifts, which means we all hear the Lord a little differently than the person next to us. A suggestion that Sister Gunnell made as she taught was that we ask the Lord to show us all the ways He speaks to you and then… PAY ATTENTION. Write down when He speaks to you and how. If you pray and ask this question in faith and sincerity, you WILL be able to find the answer, as long as you’re paying attention.
I know that everything we’re given in this life, especially our talents and gifts, come from Heavenly Father. He really does want us to be happy. He’s sad when we are and He’s happy when we are. He expects us to use what we’re given to help ourselves and others to be happier. If we don’t use them, they will be taken away.
I’m so thankful to know the way the Lord works in my life. I’ve found, little by little and with a TON of work, at least one way that He speaks to me. I’ve learned so much about Him and who I am and can become. I’ve learned a lot about what makes me happy, what I want in life and how it relates so perfectly to what the Lord wants. I had a friend write to me last year and tell me an experience she had – she said that the Lord had counseled her to keep her body healthy by watching what she puts into it. She found that the reason for it was to keep herself spiritually strong because your physical and spiritual bodies directly relate to each other. The counsel she received, she said, was simply Heavenly Father letting her know what would make her happiest. The more that I find out what Heavenly Father wants me to do, the more I realize that it’s because those are the things that bring me the greatest joy. I know that if I ignore His counsel, my life will spiral downward and I will go farther and farther away from Him. But if I heed His counsel, I will continue to grow closer to Him, and one day, achieve our goal of becoming like Him.
I’m so thankful for this knowledge and I’m thankful for the eternal truths I know, and even the ones I don’t! I’m happy to be a disciple of Christ and I’m so grateful to be serving Him day and night. This is HIS work and I’m so happy to have dedicated this time completely to Him! I hope to be able to dedicate my whole life, even when I have a family and am going to school, to Him.
Have a fantastic week, keep studying and keep close to the Lord! 🙂