LOTS TO DO. LOTS TO STUDY. LOTS TO WORK ON!
This week I had to use a sewing machine. We made pot holders for an enrichment activity and I didn't break anything and I sewed really not so straight lines but I did it and I have a dorky little pot holder to prove it!
We had a hot dog roast with Sally and Linda this week. Sally was a missionary here 12 years ago and converted Linda and now they live together and are the best of friends and it’s the cutest thing ever. They fed us hot dogs, smores and hot chocolate and we sat around the fire and visited. Such a fun night!! Love them!
SALLY AND LINDA'S HOT DOG ROAST
We prepared, prayed and fasted all week for a special lesson on Saturday. We wanted to teach the importance of the age of accountability to the parents and help this sweet girl feel like she was ready too. The morning before the lesson we received a lot of clarity of exactly what we needed to teach for her and felt so good about it! We were in the middle of our fast and were just so excited to go see her! We felt for sure this was our miracle we've been waiting and preparing for! So we went and taught, everything went according to plan, we felt that going through the baptismal questions with her would indicate whether she was ready or not and could prove to us, her parents and her that she was ready, and we also did a little activity with them explaining baptism. It all went smoothly and she knew all the answers for the baptismal questions. Her parents were on board and agreed that she was ready as long as she felt ready. The happy ending to this story would have been "she said she wants to be baptized tomorrow! But nope, she said she wants to wait a month. She wasn't really sure why...we don't really know if she knows how long a month is..but her parents didn't want us to push it so we left it at that. We left feeling pretty sad. We put our whole hearts preparing for that lesson, and it did go well we just didn't get the result we thought would come. We feel like so far we haven't seen the miracles that we were expecting. The hardest thing for me is to decipher between my lack of faith/work between God’s will. At least the parents are on board now too! We did get a step closer...we are just waiting a month now haha. There is still time for big miracles! God’s timing. I hate that sometimes.
We had a lesson with a less active's son. We taught the Restoration and it was one of the better lessons I've had on my mission. We teach the Restoration more than any other lesson and I love it. It’s so simple and clear to me now and it’s cool to see how far my teaching has come. The Restoration brings the spirit more than any other lesson in my opinion. At the end we invited one of them to say the prayer, they both declined. After waiting for a minute in silence she said "well I do have some things I'd like to say" She dove right into a prayer and apologized to God for falling away and for not doing what she needs to be doing. We also were able to set a date with him.
Sunday morning in ward council President Hall introduced some things that were going to be discussed in the upcoming weeks and months. Anyone who attended ward council this last week most likely discussed the same thing. For the last little while The First Presidency has asked the church to emphasize on keeping the Sabbath day holy by coming and partaking of the sacrament. The goal was to increase the spirituality of members everywhere. Now the next part of this is being introduced and we are being asked to model gospel living within the homes, to teach one another to live the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout our week within the family unit at home. It has been made very clear that (PROCLOMATION TOFAMILY) the parents are responsible for making sure that their children are living the gospel fully and are in consistent progression back to their Heavenly Father. It’s obvious looking around the world today, especially as missionaries we see it up close face to face, that families and parents all over the world are not doing that.
This conversation really struck me. I didn't have to translate this week, or investigators to sit by so I had the entire sacrament to be lost in my thoughts. I've realized I receive the best revelation for myself among the spirit during church. I'm going to attempt to collect all of my thoughts and I want to share some of them.
First I had an overwhelming appreciation for my family. The primary song "Love is Spoken Here" came to mind. I'm grateful for a mother, who like the song, made my siblings and I, as a family gather together to pray, despite all of our grumbles and complaints. A mother who prayed for me. A mother who took us to church every week and enforced young women activities and seminary. We were not perfect, sometimes our "family nights" weren't as spiritual as they should have been (Walking Dead and SYTYCD;), we weren't 100% with everything, but the spirit was felt in my home and I knew what God expected of me. I grew up with 3 loving parents who were involved in my life, who expected a lot out of me, and who implemented the principals of the gospel in our home. (PLEA TO MY SISTERS, recent conf talks)
This week was hard. We didn't see a lot of progression with investigators or less actives. Our sacrament attendance was poor and some of the member’s testimonies are wavering. My heart aches for the families who aren't living the gospel of Jesus Christ or who won't except it and aren't receiving the blessings waiting for them. I feel and see the casualness about things that are not in any way casual. We are so good at making excuses. I do it all the time. I've heard and I've given too many excuses as to why we can't fulfill our duty as disciples of Jesus Christ, in fact just this past week I've heard oh I dunno upwards of a dozen and I've given the same amount too. And I can't help but think of the day when we stand before Christ and try to give him the same list of excuses face to face. It's time for me to tear up that list.
I'm excited to help encourage and apply this new announcement our prophet has given. We plan to get into more member and less active homes and help them strengthen their families.
Y'all will be learning this real soon and have the chance to apply and improve on these things as well. I have a testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ is lead by Jesus Christ and right now that is what He needs us to do. This is what we are lacking. He has called a prophet, Thomas S Monson to be His mouth piece and because we have a living, latter day prophet, Jesus Christ can still be the head of His church and help us learn what we need to learn and change what we need to change.
Speaking of prophets, that’s been a hot topic lately too. We haven't seen the news but we hear enough to know that testimonies are being shaken because of the recent statements made by our prophet. I remember having a conversation with my mom years ago. It was about drinking coffee and having extra piercings. Those commandments didn't make sense to me really, I thought they were silly. She told me that she didn't have all the answers but that she knew that a prophet asked us to avoid those things, and what the prophet says is what God wants and therefore basically we should "get on board." haha I loved that. And because of that, whatever our Prophet has to say is of God. I sustain him, I know he is called of God, therefore, I don't questions what he says. I get on board.
It's saddening to hear that people are leaving the church and I can't imagine all the nasty media comments that are going around. But at the end of the day we know what is true and nothing that anyone else says changes that. "I fear not what man can do" Moroni 8:16
President Wakolo asks that whenever we enter into a new area we get a blessing from the Bishop/President. I think I say this every time I get a blessing but this one was so incredibly powerful. I do not know this man yet I received specific guidance that were answers to prayers that I've been waiting for for weeks now. Only God has the power to do that. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but I suspect that I will be in Danville for some time, and I've realized that my purpose in Danville is different than in Russellville. We need to spend more time on the members here and bring back those that have wandered. There is so much work to do; the biggest issue is not having enough hours in our day. I was also assured that the work I'm doing now is preparing me and my family not just for this life but for the eternities as well.
I'm approaching my 9 month mark. And I wanted to be able to have some sort of list of all the things I've learned. I realized that’s not very realistic, but some of the bigger things that God has made clear that I need to learn is how to raise my future family. He has been preparing me for my calling as a mom. I wasn't much of a babysitter growing up, but out here I'm drawn to the kids. I love teaching them, and I've learned how to understand gospel doctrine in a way that I can explain it simply to children. My mission has strengthened my testimony more than I ever could have imagined. I feel I am a more stable and converted disciple of Jesus Christ because of my mission. And I feel in the world we live in, I have to be.
Lots to do, lots to study, lots to work on.
The Church is true =)
THANKS GRANDMA FOR THE CUTE CHRISTMAS TREE! WE LOVE IT!