Hey hey! How is everyone?? I love hearing from you all – it’s so fun to hear your exciting news and things you’re learning. 🙂
This week was great! It was a little different in that we didn’t have nearly as many lessons and that left a lot of time for contacting and doing service for the people here. Today we did cookie contacting! We made a ton of cookies, probably around 70, and then put them with pass along cards in little bags and handed them out to tons of people in centru. It was really fun.
Tuesday we had English as usual and had an awesome spiritual thought. We do our spiritual thoughts as a district at the end of English each class and they have been so good. We’re using a lot more media in them, especially as we get ready to get iPad minis. People really like it! We had our thought on prayer and the spirit was so strong. People were legitimately crying, which was so cool! Haha also, this new kid came to English and he is a crack up!! He’s nine years old but talks like he’s 30. He became one of my favorite people this week. He is super smart and we set up 30/30s with him and his mom! [30/30s are classes with 30 minutes of English and 30 minutes of gospel teaching.] Our lesson with them this week was super cool as well. He had so many questions about God and they were deep questions for a nine year old to ask. I was really impressed. Although his mom is Orthodox, they’ve obviously been raised to be very open minded and to question things for themselves. We gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to start reading and we’ve been finding passages that answer all his questions. He’s so cool!
We have an investigator getting baptized!! She’s the daughter of a recent convert and I think of her as my little sister. She is so sweet. I’ve been teaching her piano and singing lessons after our Gospel lessons. The whole branch is excited about her baptism! She wants me to sing with her at her baptism – I’ve totally lost my voice though (I was super sick last week and couldn’t talk for 3 days, which doesn’t work as a missionary haha) so we’ll see if it’s back in time.
We had a powerful lesson with a less active and her family this week. Her son is so receptive to the Spirit and we really are trying to be able to work with him so that when he turns 8 he can be baptized. We showed a Bible video, the one where Christ heals the man at the waters of Bethesda I think. We talked about how the man had to reach out his hand first, and then Christ stretched forth his arm and lifted him up. I shared with her one of my favorite quotes from Elder Holland, which says: “God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.” We talked about doing all we can before the Lord helps us. It was a powerful lesson and I left feeling like even though we had brought the lesson, I had been the one that the Spirit taught that night.
I love the Doctrine and Covenants!! I finished it about a month ago. After reading the Book of Mormon, I read the Doctrine & Covenants and then the Pearl of Greath Price. I’m in the New Testament now and it’s so fun. I love the scriptures!! Haha, that picture of me “sleeping”at conference was staged. I was awake 🙂
Several times this week I have felt carried by my Savior. I know I say this all the time, but that’s cause it happens all the time, haha. I have learned much about grace and how it is always available to me. I read a talk this week by Bishop Gerald J. Causse, called “We are the Architects of Our Happiness.” I loved it!! Everything he said was exactly what I needed to hear. I especially love the three principles he tells us to remember and to live. One of my favorite parts is when he talks about the love of God. He says:
“Often the feeling we have of our personal worth is based on the love and interest we receive from those around us. Yet this love is sometimes lacking. The love of man is often imperfect, incomplete, or selfish.
However, the love of God is perfect, complete, and selfless. Whoever I am, whether I have friends or not, whether I’m popular or not, and even if I feel rejected or persecuted by others, I have an absolute assurance that my Heavenly Father loves me. He knows my needs; He understands my concerns; He is anxious to bless me. And the greatest expression of His love for me is that He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). He did not remove the Savior’s bitter cup and surely was in agony Himself as He watched His Son suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. Christ atoned for the sins of all men, and a part of that great Atonement was destined for me and is reserved for me today. This infinite gift, shared by the Father and His Son, confirms in my soul the personal worth I have to Them.
“My brothers and sisters, imagine what it mean to you if you could see yourself as God sees you. What if you looked at yourself with the same benevolence, love, and confidence that God does? Imagine the impact it would have on your life to understand your eternal potential as God understands it. If you could view yourself through His eyes, what influence would that have on your life?
“I testify He is there. Seek Him! Search and study. Pray and ask. I promise you that God will send you tangible signs of His existence and His love for you. It might be through an answer to a prayer; it might be the soft influence of the Holy Ghost consoling or comforting you; it might be a sudden inspiration or a new strength that you know didn’t come from you; it might be a family member, friend, or priesthood leader who happens to be in the right place at the right time to bless your life. In one way or another, as you reach out to Him, He will let you know He is there.”
Isn’t that one of the best things you’ve ever read? I know that what he said is true. I have felt so many times, and I do feel every day, that my Father in Heaven knows me and loves me. He knows exactly what I need. I know He knows all of you in the exact same way and that He and Jesus Christ can provide for, support, console, encourage, comfort, and love you in a way that no one on this earth can even come close to doing. If you ever doubt that fact, get on your knees and just pour out your heart. Read the scriptures and read your patriarchal blessing. The Lord has promised each one of us such incredible and immense blessings and, if we let Him, He will lead and direct our lives to fulfill His promises to us.
I love you!! Stay safe and happy please. I pray for each of you and often you are in my fasts as well. I know the Lord takes care of you all while I’m gone. 🙂
Love you and stay classy 🙂