Sunday, May 12, 2013
Monday, May 6th
Well, still no word on my date for departure to the common wealth, aka Australia, but I should hopefully find out in the next two-four weeks. Patience is something I have had to learn through this experience which is a blessing for sure. It has taught me to focus on where I am, and to blossom everywhere I stand, not just where I could or was originally supposed to be. I know I am here to learn and to grow which is exactly what I am trying to do.
I learned a profound lesson this week; actually I learned two lessons
The first lesson I learned is that we each have our own sins. Everyone sins differently, and it's through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can sincerely change. The whole point of this life is to follow the example of Jesus Christ through faith in Him and the Atonement, repenting, being baptized, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands, and enduring to the end. How do we do this? Well, it's through Jesus Christ. Mosiah 4:2 says "And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men."
This life is a time to receive clean hands and to purify our hearts which is a job that truly takes a lifetime. I often wake up thankful for the gifts I have been given from the Lord and I know He will help me with the things I struggle with.
Another lesson that I found profound was from our mission president, President Miller. He said: " Each of us has chosen one principle to work on for this and possibly the next transfer. As you continue to focus on these principles your testimony will grow and your power to become a Preach My Gospel Missionary will increase. You will be able to testify and call down the powers of heaven to witness the truthfulness of that which you teach.
Throughout your life if you will continue to identify the weakest link in your testimony and strive to strengthen it, you will never have to fear that you will lose your testimony or join the ranks of the inactive. Rather you will be the center core of the Lord’s church in preparing and ushering in the advent of the Lord. The Lord has declared: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). This means in the end he will conquer Satan and his kingdom. If you choose to be on the Lord’s side, you will choose to be on the winning team.
As you continue to focus on strengthening your testimony you will meet the measure of your creation. You will become a powerful challenging and testifying missionary ( or memeber missionary.) You will be numbered with the noble and great ones."
Each day, seek to strengthen the weak links in your life and you will NEVER fall away. That is a extremely profound lesson to learn in a world that is constantly tearing down morals and righteousness in every facet of life. Stay strong, hold to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that provides the way to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all God's Children.
Anyway.. onto the week.
This week has been a week of more miracles and happiness, but also challenges from which we have grown. The beginning of the week Elder Bennett, my companion, and I were able to find three more FIVE more investigators! YES! Their names are, Dylan and Parker Spraig -Twins, Jameil and Alleah -cousins in the same house, and Leland who is a nine year old GOLDEN CHILD. My goodness. They are all amazing. All of them are at different stages of Spirituality and that is where the challenges have come from. We invited all of them to come to church. At this time we have many investigators and we committed them all to come to church... but only two of them came to church. It was frustrating to have that take place. I know that we still have to figure out the concerns of each of them that will bring them the testimony they need to truly come to repentance. However, the endless blessings that come from going to Church each Sunday are amazing. I love learning about principles of the gospel in a new light. I cannot even begin to explain how much I have learned.
Now, to tell you about the miracles: Dylan and Parker were found through an OYM, or opening your mouth. This is a principle taught and DRILLED INTO OUR HEADS. Talking to everyone is the key to success in finding those elect who are prepared by the Lord to receive our message. Elder Bennett and I were riding our bikes up a street on our way to a lesson when I heard someone talking. I looked around to find that there was a woman sitting on a set of stairs in the back of her home that led to her basement, or something of the like. I had the thought to go and talk to her even though she was so out of the way. It turns out, she is a less active member of the church who has two twins that have been wanting to talk to us. They are the coolest 13 year old kids ever! They love talking to us and learning. We had some concerns but all should (hopefully!) be well for them to get baptized!
The thoughts we receive are often the Spirit telling us to do something. The next time you have a thought to do something as simple as talk to someone, or bring something extra to a friend's house, or even to put on your seat belt, that these thoughts if listened to can bring many blessings to you as well as those involved. Listen and learn to how the Spirit works through you and cleave to that understanding. It will bring so many blessings to your life, as it has in mine. I am still learning, and am very insignificant but I know that all will be well!
Just a shout out to my wonderful family: GABE, HEATH, EMMA, KARA, KRISTA, BROOKE, BRITTANY, CALEB and their families, CHASE GISH, GAGE GISH, MAMA GISH, PAPA GISH, and my amazing Mother and Step Dad. I miss you all and love you. I get so excited thinking about being able to talk to you on Mother's day! (Hopefully).
Well, life is well. I am happy despite the ups and downs that constantly are part of a mission. There is never a day where the unfortunate things can bring you down enough to outweigh the bad. This work, the purpose of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of all of God's Children is a daunting task, but a task that everyone can be apart of. I LOVE being a missionary. The Life is amazing and I cannot nor do I want to change this routine. I cannot imagine waking up and not reading my scriptures for an hour, or praying as much as I do.
Being a Missionary is amazing. Thank you all for your prayers, letters, and messages.
IF I DO NOT WRITE YOU BACK QUICKLY IT'S BECAUSE I EITHER DO NOT HAVE STAMPS OR NO TIME. Preparation days often jam packed... but I do my best.
Love you all,