Obedience really is happiness

Hi everyone, 🙂

I hope you all had an awesome week! Ours was busy, and hard, and I learned a lot. It was one of those weeks where I really sought for revelation and God gave it to me little by little.

After internet last Monday, we met up with three young investigators we have to eat with them and they brought a friend. We got to just have a natural conversation with all of them about their lives and apply gospel principles to what each was going through. It made me realize how easy it will be to share the gospel when I get home.

Here are the highlights from this week:

– Awesome lesson with Constantina. We gave her a soft baptismal commitment and she accepted, even though she is very hesitant to leave the traditions of her Orthodox faith. She continues to come to church every week! And all the members love her and have just embraced her already as one of their own. I love seeing that. 🙂

– Wednesday we had four lessons which felt so good. They all went really well too. We committed Cristina Borbea to fast with us on Sunday for a baptismal date, and then shared a really cool lesson with two other families about our “daily bread,” aka daily scripture study and prayer. They both loved it, especially Violeta’s family. We got there and there was already such a good spirit in their home. Her son Mihai was so well behaved (he’s normally a little wild but I love the kid) and participated SO much. He wanted to read every scripture we read and then made his mom promise that they would read about Nephi right after we left. I love seeing families come together to live the gospel.

– We had a lesson this week with a member in our branch that’s been there forever and who everyone just loves. She’s a special human being and we loved our lesson with her. We took an experience from the YW personal progress booklet about faith and made it our lesson. We taught about the plan of salvation and read some scriptures with her and then had her teach it back to us, using a diagram she made. Well we had no idea that she’s super good at drawing. She whipped out a picture of the earth in about 6 seconds flat (no kidding) complete with near perfect country shapes and correct placement. Then she colored it in, including brown for where deserts are and the north and south poles were light blue for “ice!” as she said. She gave us the diagram and we hung it up in our apartment. 🙂

– We contacted in the Bairs’ bloc this week. We went back to a bunch of people that we sang Christmas carols to and got some funny responses. This one guy answered the door in his sweats and Nike shirt, holding his iPad with his earbuds in, took one look at us, shook his finger and said, “Ummm, nuuu.” He closed the door and we had to take a 5 minute pause to stop laughing. BUT, then we ran into the lady we were hoping to run into by contacting there. We sang to her at Christmas and the Bairs have talked with her and wanted to go back and she was home! I asked her if we could come in just for a little to talk with her and share a quick message. She was so inviting and let us in without a thought. We had a really cool talk and set up plans to have her down for dinner with the Bairs sometime this week. So that’ll be cool.

– We had the best lesson with a less active family that we have never met before. We went with the Bairs to their house and the Spirit in their home and in their family was STRONG. They have a 12 year old that has been doing personal progress on her own!! I was so proud of her. She’s such a sweetheart. We had a really beautiful lesson on repentance. I love talking about repentance. It is never something that we should fear, but something that we should look forward to. It can bring a negative connotation but it really is something that I love doing. It’s an opportunity for us to change, to become better and be happier! Yes, sometimes it’s hard but I feel closer than ever to my Savior when I am trying to change and improve and that’s an amazing feeling.

This week I think I had the best studies so far of my entire mission. I really really was seeking for knowledge and inspiration and guidance. As I reflected today on everything I learned this week they all merged together and I realized that I had learned some powerful things.

The first thing is that the Lord tries our faith and our patience.

I can’t explain everything since there isn’t time but I’ll include the scriptures and quotes that I read and studied.

– Hebrews 11:13, 40

– James 1:2-3

– 1 Peter 1: 6-7, 13 (I love these ones!)

– 1 Peter 4: 12-14

– 1 Nephi 7: 12-13, 17-18

“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your own disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (Proverbs 3:11-12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion [two very important gifts] which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.”

– Elder Richard G. Scott

The second was obedience. Just the principle itself, but also that obedience really is happiness. It is the law of God. I learned that to take upon ourselves the name of Christ means to live a life of obedience, to follow His example which was one of complete and total humility, obedience, and submission to His Father.

– Philippeans 2:8

– Isaiah 50:5

– 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

– Romans 12: 1-2, 14

– “The Will of the Father in All Things” – Elder Holland (This is a BYU speech and it’s AMAZING. I studied it for three days.)

“Knowledge is gained by obedience.” – Bruce R. McConkie

Sub-topic under obedience, is that we are only saved through grace if we are trying to be obedient, if we are submitting ourselves to the Father.

– 2 Nephi 2:7; 10:24-25; 31:7, 13

– Jacob 4:10-11

– Mosiah 3: 12, 17-19, 21; 4:6-8, 10, 11-12; 5:7-9; 13:28-32

– Alma 7:15

– Alma 29 (blessings of being obedient and of submitting)

– Alma 34: 15-17

– Alma 36

– Alma 42:4 (cross reference Alma 34:32)

– Alma 42: 22-24

A scripture I love that applies to both of these is found in 1 Peter 5:6-10.

Another amazing principle I learned is that one way the Lord tries or proves our faith is through trials of obedience. Will we be obedient to Him no matter what, no matter what others say, no matter how hard it us, no matter if we understand why or not?

– D&C 132: 49-50 (read the section to know the context)

– Luke 14:33

– D&C 5: 22

– Genesis 22:1-12 (I love this story more and more)

– 1 Nephi 3:7, 15; 1 Nephi 4:1, 3, 6-18, 34

And lastly, I’m learning the “why” behind it all. What the Lord is asking us through every trial of faith, patience, and obedience is this: Do you trust me? Do you love me more than all of these?

– “The First Great Commandment” – Elder Holland

Anyways. For those of you who made it through and read ALL the scriptures, BRAVO. Good job. Gold stars for you. I know it’s long, but my studies meant everything to me this week. I loved them so I shared them. 🙂

I love you all!! Stay safe and happy. 🙂

Sora Marcheschi

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