Work here in Olympia has been pretty tough lately but I know that God is refining me and helping me become more of the daughter that He wants me to be.
Last Tuesday, I went on exchanges back to my Winter Garden!!! It was so fun to be back to where I first started my mission. What was even more exciting is that I was on exchanges with Sister Haley Taylor from Woods Cross High School! Such a small world. If someone had told me a year ago that I would be an STL, in Winter Garden on exchanges with a friend from Woods Cross... I would have never believed it! It was amazing how many memories came flooding back to me as we rode our bikes up and down the streets: the foul smells, dirty homes, and humble people were all the same, haha, but it was such a great reminder to me that EVERYONE is a special child of God and that He LOVES every single one of them very dearly. I remembered how much love and compassion that I learned to have for those humble people last year... such a different transition this summer working in such a wealthy area. We saw great miracles that day and found a new investigator that the missionaries are still continuing to teach! It was great :)
The rest of the week was pretty rough. It was a lot of finding on our own efforts, in the wonderful sun of Florida =D, and working with members to try and find people through them. I have found joy in the small things this week. One great miracle that we saw is when Sister Thompson and I were out finding people last Thursday. We were teaching a lady who was sitting out on her front porch about the Restoration when a potential investigator that I had met previously drove into the driveway next door! After teaching the first lady, we went over to talk to the potential investigator: Geeta. She was sooo excited to see us! She had actually just jumped in the shower when we rang the doorbell but she had wanted to talk to us so she hurried and dressed although she was sopping wet, hahaha! We had talked with her one other time before about the Book of Mormon and she wanted to learn more... so we watched the video, "Because of Him," and then read 3 Nephi 11... it was such a powerful lesson!!! We helped her see through the video and through the Book of Mormon that Christ truly lives and loves us. She said the closing prayer and in her prayer she thanked God for helping her "feel so alive" when we read the chapter of scripture. So neat! We are hoping to see her again next week :)
Another miracle that we saw last week happened on Friday. A couple days earlier, the Elders in our ward were riding their bikes to the church and a man in his car pulled over and told them that he wanted them to come by and teach him! He is in our area, so we dropped by on Friday! God's timing was so perfect. Right as we pulled up, Manny (this man,) pulled up in the driveway and invited us to come inside his home! We came to find out that his wife his very against all religion and if we had not met Manny outside his home and been invited in, we may not have ever met him! He was a former investigator that is still searching for truth. He expressed to us that he felt like he hadn't gotten an answer to his prayer last time he was meeting with the missionaries but that he wants to give it another try. We promised him that he would feel the spirit as he follows God's will and is receptive to the spirit. It was neat!
I want to share one cool insight that I had this past weekend in my personal studies: Lately, I have been asking the question in my studies: "How can I learn more about God and WHO He is? How can I feel more of His love?" Well, I'm still studying this because I love it! But a couple things that I learned:
John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Through our whole lives here on earth, we are trying to come to know God and His will but we will never know it perfectly until the next life ... when we have eternal life. Ok... duh, right? But when you truly think about it, it's powerful to know that one day all of us will truly remember who our Father and older brother are …PERFECTLY.
I was also reading a powerful talk from Elder Holland in the 2003 November Ensign called " The Grandeur of God". In it he says that God has continually called prophets to try and help his children come to know and remember who their Heavenly Father is; that God in His ULTIMATE effort shows us WHO He is by send Jesus Christ to be an example of His love. Christ is the perfect example of God. He was created in his very likeness and image. Christ served, loved, forgave, warned and spoke the way our Father does :) So as we come to know Christ, we know who our Father in Heaven is as well :) I love this gospel!!!
I love you guys! Out of time!