Monday, July 20, 2015

Vale la Pena? (worth it?)
Alma 11:33 (go look it up) 
hehe
HERMANA BENNETT AND I ON EXCHANGES

I'm exhausted thinking about reporting on this week. haha SO MUCH HAPPENED. Okay...here we go.

First off, the baptism that I was worried about not following through last week...it happened! She was baptized Monday evening and confirmed yesterday at church. It was absolute chaos. But it happened. She is baptized and happy! And it was worth all the sweat, and headache. Her name is Carolina, she is the one who owns a Panaderia (Bakery) so she is always working. She had been taught for a few months and then kind of dropped off the face of the earth due to work and her husband wouldn't give her permission to be baptized.  We stopped by her bakery every now and then and squeezed in lessons when we could, and also prayed and fasted that her husband’s heart would be softened and allow her to join the church. Then one day when we stopped by she told us that she wanted to be baptized this week! MIRACLES I TELL YOU. It really was out of nowhere haha. I definitely gained a stronger testimony of the power of fasting. So yep within 5 days we put together the baptism and although it started an hour and a half late (any of you who know me well, know that I don't do late, I was about to go insane) all is well! Yay for baptisms! And yay for strengthening this little baby Russellville Spanish branch! poco a poco
CAROLINA'S BAPTISM

We had specialized training in Little Rock on Tuesday, and afterwards we did exchanges with the Little Rock Hermanas. I stayed in Little Rock with Hermana Bennett, she is on her second transfer right now, and is from Seattle. So get this, this is my first exchange as an STL, I'm already a little nervous about it because I'm supposed to be teaching and being a real good example. After Specialized we get to her apartment for dinner and started to make dinner (this is new, Lewis and I don't cook) and I was right in the middle of explaining to her how I'm a real bad cook, and that I need to learn, meanwhile I'm opening a can of beans, and the can opener wasn't working very well so I used my fingers to pry it open, and ended up slitting my finger. TMI but my finger was exploding with blood all over the sink, it would not stop. We talked to the mission nurse. She had me put pressure on it for a while to see if it'd stop. And honestly I thought it would! I thought if we just put a band aid on it it'd be fine, but after a while it was still gushing blood so we ended up at an urgent care where they gave me 4 stitches. I felt like a big girl having to do this all alone. haha I also felt like an idiot that on my first exchanges we spent most of the night in an urgent care waiting room because SOMEONE couldn't open up a can of food. -_-. 
The next day Lewis and Hermana Reed came back to Little Rock where we stayed the night again and did studies with the Hermanas. They stay with the ASL sisters who are in a trio so there were 7 of us in one apartment. Little bit crowded.  ASL sisters are super sweet. Sister Garcia, is completely deaf, but she can read lips in both English and Spanish! How cool is that?? We all had a meal at a member’s house that night, and I felt bad because every time I'd talk one of them would have to put their food down and sign. haha so they never get to eat because they are constantly translating everyone. But they have it down so good. I'm jealous, I wanna learn. 
Being an STL means knowing all the disobedience and all the issues in the mission and it’s kinda sad. This week we had some issues and honestly it’s hard to realize all that’s going on. But what is super cool about it is that we talk with President a ton more! And the more we talk the more I realize just how amazing he is. It's cool to be building an actual relationship with Pres. What a good guy. He does so much for us, I love him tons. 

We were given 10 days to put all the people from our Area Book into our iPads. So that has been insane. PAGES AND PAGES worth of people and progress records to enter. It's been madness. 

We've also knocked and knocked and knocked and knocked AND knocked this week. Lots of spiritual harvesting. We found some new areas that haven't been tracted in a while. For some reason we haven't figured out that we need to put sunscreen and bug spray on before we leave the house. So we get sun burnt and bit all day long. One of these days we will learn. 

Now that we know Russellville pretty well we have identified which streets and certain spots have a stronger "dead Amarillo" scent. I don't know why, but really there are certain spots that we pass every time and it’s a smack in the face. hahaha Arkansas is so great. 

We've been fed spaghetti (I wish you could have seen how I spelled that before the computer corrected it hahaha) at least 5 times this month. Not complaining, we will take it, but it’s kinda funny. I think last week we had it 3 times. haha

Okay so you know how in basketball or any sport, you watch film? Before big games, Coach Price would walk us through film of our opponents and study their plays, their players, etc so we would be prepared for the game. Sooo I decided to study Satan a little bit and this is a little bit of what I found: 

Moses 4:3-4 Deceives, blinds, and lies. One of Satan's biggest tactics is blinding us. I love Alma 10:25 where it talks about blinding us so we don't know the truth. How often have I been going through the motions of church, seminary, etc, but not actually understanding the lessons I'm being taught or what I'm actually learning. Although I think I'm doing the right things, Satan has completely blinded me and kept me from understanding the truth and ultimately progressing even though I was in the right places. Satan is sneaky in that way. Also he blinds us from seeing what is prepared for us (D&C 78:10) he blinds us from the big picture. He wants us to forget what our purpose is here on earth, forget what God has in store for us, and wants those who don't have the gospel to stay in the dark. 
He also is very good at making it seem that it is okay to JUSTIFY. (2 Nephi 15:23, 2 Nephi 28:8) Mormon 8:31 he wants us to think its okay to do "this and that" and that it doesn't matter what choices we make. He knows our weaknesses, he knows those weak moments and the easiest thing for him to do is put in our minds "it's not a big deal." Again, sneaky guy. haha

We also learn in 2 Nephi 2:18 that anything from him is misery. Satan has nothing to offer, no reward to give except for destruction. (2 Nephi 26:10) We also know that Satan's way is easier. God's way is straight and narrow (3 Nephi 27:33), whereas, Satan's is broad. It is far more easy for us to choose Satan than it is to choose God's "straight and narrow" way. Staying in that straight and narrow path requires us to work (1 Nephi 15:32) so we often easily slip into Satan’s broad path because it doesn't make us work (Alma 37:46).  Except God actually has a reward to give us, in fact he has quite a bit to offer. ETERNAL LIFE, ETERNAL HAPPINESS, LIFE WITH OUR FAMILIES FOREVER. And as much as Satan tries to convince us that "it mattereth not" that all will be just fine no matter what I do. That is Satan feeding us lies. And it does matter what we do. 

No unclean thing can enter into Gods Kingdom (Alma 7:21, Alma 11:37, 3 Nephi 27:19). If we aren't clean to live with God then we will have to live somewhere else. ---> 1 Nephi 15:35. And that place isn't going to be very happy (Mosiah 2:41) We also will be called by some other name (Mosiah 5:10) And we know that only in and through the name of Christ are we saved. We have to be called by His name. (Mosiah 5:8, Mosiah 3:17) Only Christ is 100% clean and worthy to enter into Gods kingdom. ONLY CHRIST. However, if we do all we can do (2 Nephi 25:23), not get tangled in Satan’s chains (Alma 12:11) and take upon us the name of Christ and do what is required to worthily carry that name (effort on our part for sure) then when the one perfect man who ever lived, Jesus Christ's, name is called to receive his reward, we get to step forward with Him.   

(paragraph from talk grandpa sent me)
"Jesus said, No I do not pay for anybody else’s crime. What I have done is put my spirit in them, and by my spirit, they will live my life. They will be sanctified and purified by my spirit and because my spirit is in their bodies, their bodies become part of my flesh. And when the name of Jesus Christ is called forward my body will step forward and that’s the only one. All those who are not called by my name cannot come." 

Good news? It’s completely our choice (2 Nephi 10:23) We can choose to work towards the reward that is already prepared for us! More good news? Gospel has been restored and we have everything we need (D&C115:4, D&C 127:8) to enter into His Kingdom (Alma 40:12, Alma 5:16). 

 Vale la Pena? (worth it?) ---> Alma 11:33. (go look it up) hehe

Love y’all. 

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