Nov. 4, 2013
Hey family :)
This past week was kind of weird because of Halloween and everyone celebrating the holiday but surprisingly we were still able to get a lot done. For Halloween we were invited by Dakota's grandma to come for dinner. She is the best cook! She had two types of homemade chili, corn bread, warm caramel popcorn, etc. etc. It was awesome! We had to be back home in our apartment doing paperwork by 6 pm that night though so that we were safe. I wore those cute candy corn earrings that you gave me! Thanks ;) haha
We saw a bunch of small miracles this week. We dropped by a former investigator's home to drop some things off and she was so happy to see us! At the beginning of last transfer, Sister Pitts told me that she was sure we were going to baptize her together... but then the investigator (Diana,) had to go through radiation treatments and we thought that we had totally lost her. We had tried going by a couple times, to see if we could help with anything but she always turned us away but this week she was so excited and happy to see us! She let us in her home, we shared a message and she told us that she has continued to read the Book of Mormon. She has been going to church with a member of the ward for over 6 years now. She told us that she has felt at peace as she reads the Book of Mormon and wanted us to come back and teach her this next week. So things are looking up there! This past week I have really seen the potential that this area has to explode in members. At the end of last transfer I was so afraid of not having anyone to teach... but we are being so blessed with so many promising investigators! We still are planning on Ed's baptism the first weekend of December, Dakota's baptism by the end of November and now, I wouldn't be too surprised if Diana was baptized within the next transfer. So many blessings! The Lord truly is hastening His work. I realized that the Lord did not call more missionaries to go out and find more.... but that the Lord needed so many more missionaries because there are SO many people ready and waiting (whether they know it or not) to accept the restored gospel. It's so awesome! The Lord works in such amazing and mysterious ways.
During Weekly Planning, Sister Damato and I decided to pray about what members we should reach out to and help with missionary work. After the prayer I had the thought of calling a certain family in the ward. We immediately called them and asked if there was a time this next week that we could meet with their family. As we were hanging up, the dad began telling us about how he gave a Book of Mormon to a friend the day before and how his daughter had invited a nonmember friend to mutual that week!! I told him that we had just been praying to know who to call, that they had come to mind, and what a miracle and testimony it was that the Lord is watching and directing this work. It may seem like a small miracle, but those small miracles make all the difference in the world and are what continually build our foundation in the gospel. This is the Lord's work!!
Yesterday was probably the craziest Sunday I have ever had.... haha THANK GOODNESS that we had Day Light Savings.... an extra hour of sleep! NINE hours of sleep?!! what?! hahaha it was great :) Sunday morning we had Ward Council at 7:45, then I had to run into the chapel and play prelude music before Sacrament meeting, then I had to play the hymns for Sacrament meeting, then I bore my testimony on the Godhead. During the second hour a counselor in the Primary was freaking out because they needed a pianist for 3rd hour... but I couldn't help because Sister Demato and I were teaching Relief Society and presenting the Hastening of the Work of Salvation Broadcast!! I also had to play the piano in Relief Society. Then after church we went to Ward Choir where I accompanied them. haha! It was a crazy Sunday…doing that, on top of fasting, and having to bike for an hour and a half... woooo…fun day ;) (I had told one person in the ward that I could play the piano and now EVERYONE is asking!) There is only ONE pianist in the whole ward! How crazy is that!? I'm okay with it though because it feels good to play, even if it is just hymns. The Zone Leaders texted me yesterday as well asking if I would come up with a musical number for a Zone Training Meeting this week... ahhhhh! I a little nervous about that one…it's been a long time since I actually performed anything let alone practiced!!! yikes! Thanks so much for sending me that sheet music though! That was PERFECT timing!! haha!
Funny story of the week:
We went to a member’s home for dinner. She lived really far from us and we couldn't afford using our miles on our car so she was nice enough to come pick us up. We sat down for dinner and she realized that she had accidentally put in two tablespoons of cayenne pepper instead of paprika in her crock pot meal!!! It was SOOOO hot!!!! The husband LOVES hot food... so of course he ate it all up and the wife had just had a baby so she didn't want to eat spicy foods.... soooo I had to endure eating the HOTTEST food of my LIFE! ah! Hahaha! It's a funny story now... but I was in pain. oooooh man. Hahaha! The next day was bad too... I had the WORST stomach pains from it... but it's ok now. I'm a survivor! Hahaha!
In my studies the past couple days I have been reading a little from the October 2007 General Conference Ensign. It caught my eye in the stack of Ensigns we have. I began reading it and realized that it covering the first General Conference since Uncle Jim had died. It was cool to see the honor and love that everyone had for Uncle Jim and his dedicated service to the Lord. The older I get, the more I wish that I had been given more time to learn more from and about Pres. Faust. One day I know that I will! I'm just impatient!! This might sound funny Dad, but I've always thought that you guys kind of resembled each other.. even though you aren't blood related! Pretty cool though :)
I ran into a talk by President Uchtdorf that I really liked called, "Have we Not Reason to Rejoice?" I want to share the ending with you. The message touched me deeply. I have always loved his words and his positive perspective on the gospel. He said:
"My dear brothers and sisters, there will be days and nights when you feel overwhelmed, when your hearts are heavy and your heads hang down. Then, please remember, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, is the Head of this Church. It is His gospel. He wants you to succeed. He gave His life for just this purpose. He is the Son of the living God. He has promised:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee” (3 Nephi 22:10). “I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer” (3 Nephi 22:8).
My dear friends, the Savior heals the broken heart and binds up your wounds (see Psalm 147:3). Whatever your challenges may be, wherever you live on this earth, your faithful membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the divine powers of the gospel of Jesus Christ will bless you to endure joyfully to the end."
I just love his words. They are so true!! Although life is hard, we truly have reason to rejoice!! This week as I have run into people of different faiths, I have become very grateful for the fullness of the gospel. God loves us and restored ALL of His truths. We have some of the most plain and PRECIOUS truths. I bore my testimony yesterday on the Godhead... I am just so grateful that we have the Book of Mormon to get rid of the confusion of the world and to help us understand our relationship with our Heavenly Father. It's just such a beautiful, plain and precious thing to know that my spirit, my SOUL was created and is loved so deeply by God!! Of course we have reason to rejoice!!! It makes me so sad to look at the people around me and that they don't even realize their divine potential and that their Father in Heaven is just yearning to hear from them, to feel of their love and respect for Him.The more I study the Gospel and its simple truths, the more grateful I become, the stronger my love is for the Godhead and my desire to more fully understand and learn of the restored gospel increases.
If you are feeling like life is getting too hard to bear... remember that is WHY Christ has laid out the Gospel. When we diligently live the Gospel, the things of the world become trivial and we are able to bear all things so much easier. The Lord is just waiting for us to look to Him for help.
I love you guys so much and I’m so grateful for your testimonies and prayers. You are always in my heart. I LOVE YOU!!!!