Dear family and friends,
This week has been full of miracles! It's also been one of the hardest weeks of my mission. All I can say is prayer works wonders! The Savior truly does lift our burdens and carry us through our challenging times. The closer I get to the end of my mission, the more pressure I feel from the adversary. It's been a battle to conquer! But life wasn't meant to be easy! We are going to face temptations. We are going to experience trials. But we are not alone! We are never alone! Our Savior Jesus Christ went through it all for us. He knows how we feel. He understands our pain and our heartache. As we turn to Him and seek for His grace, He will free us from our burdens, lift our pains, and clear our thoughts. Through our Savior, we can be made free!
Lately, we've been working a lot with members. Preach My Gospel talks about how member missionary work is essential in this work. Many general authorities have talked about how every member is a missionary. All of us have the responsibility as members of the Church to share the gospel with others. It may seem intimidating, but as we seek to share the gospel and let our light shine, we will be effective instruments in bringing God's children to the truth. :)
Ray of sunshine! (Working with members)
-We have an amazing man in our ward, Ron, who was very recently baptized. He also got married recently after that and he asked us to come teach his wife. It was pretty far away, but we were willing to sacrifice the miles* to go see them. When we got there, they immediately welcomed us in and we were received well by Kenzie, his wife. We also got to meet his cousin, Jennifer, before the lesson. She didn't join us, but we could tell that she was listening as we talked about the Book of Mormon. After the lesson as we were walking out, Jennifer stopped us and asked for "one of those books". She said that she loved reading and was interested in knowing more about it! Two finds in one! Yaaas! :) It was such a tender mercy. And my testimony of member missionary work and the Book of Mormon has greatly increased from it! :)
*(we have a limited amount of miles each month that we can use on our cars)
Ray of sunshine! (tender mercies)
-We felt inspired to go knock around a member after our dinner appointment with them, so after dinner, we went out. We weren't having much success at first (no one was interested or home). But we knocked on one more door, and out walked an older black man immediately. We told him that we represented Jesus Christ, and he said "Hold on" and went back inside. We waited for a few minutes, assuming that he was either not interested or he was calling the cops on us (haha I've heard stories!). We were about ready to leave when he came back outside with an old, worn out Book of Mormon in his hand. He said, "I've been waitin' for y'all."
We. Were. Shocked.
We all sat down on his front porch and he told us that he was given a copy of the Book of Mormon in 2005 by some sister missionaries, and he had read the whole thing and loved it.
Another moment of shock.
The whole thing?!
This never happens. Only on rare occasions. And he happened to be one of them!
We talked a little about it and testified of the truth of it, and he asked us to come back to teach him!
(Sad follow-up: We went back later that week and found out that he actively attends his church and doesn't want to be baptized. He also doesn't really understand that the Book of Mormon is a record of real people who lived in the ancient Americas. So we're going to do a follow-up lesson and see what his real intent is and if he's ready to make commitments with God. Hopefully there will be better fruits from it next time!)
Y'all, God is good. Life is beautiful. And we are so blessed. I know that as we turn to the Savior, we will be freed from our burdens. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that we will be filled with peace as we are obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. If we trust in the Lord, He will guide us and He will help us to find the answers we are seeking!
My invitation to y'all is to fast this Sunday for the ability to withstand temptation and do the Lord's will. I testify to you that as you do this, you will be filled with strength. You will be able to conquer the adversary, and you will be filled with peace as you listen to the Lord!
Keep smiling, and have a blessed week! :)
Tuesday was our District Leader, Elder Finney's birthday! So we made him a brownie cake with jelly beans! (And mac-n-cheese which failed haha)
I got an email telling me I needed to start doing My Plan, a curriculum designed for the missionaries who are going home soon so that the transition into "real life" is easier. I told Sister Plehn how "excited" (note the sarcasm) I was to start My Plan... And this is what she created! ;) Haha I love my greenie!
PS She isn't actually trunky haha. She's just teasing! ;)
We went to the park to do some park contacting since it was a BEAUTIFUL day! So we pulled out our chalk and did some epic Plan of Salvation chalk art. Halfway through, a guy in a golf cart pulled up and he was like, "You can't do that." He didn't explain why and I got pretty upset (I don't like it when people tell me I can't do missionary work and don't give me a solid reason why)... Needless to say, I asked to talk to his manager and found out that it wasn't a public park. It was privately owned by the city, so they had stricter rules regarding park activities. Oh well. At least we got to talk to some people about it before he washed it away! #sad
And he couldn't stop us from talking to people there, so we went walking around and talked to a bunch of people! :)
We also found a painted horse statue there which was pretty epic. :)
Random selfies! And we found an orange pig! :D