“ … And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.” - Alma 27:27
Monday, June 13, 2016
SPEAK OF CHRIST
Good Afternoon Everybody!! I can't believe how fast the time flies. Firstly, Happy Father's Day to the best dad in the whole world. I love you, Dad!!!
This past week was filled with so many tender moments and pockets of joy. Things that made me happy before the mission-playing sports, getting a good grade on a test, eating ice cream, finishing mowing the lawn haha ;) ...they were good, but they're incomparable to the joy that comes when the Spirit is present and revealing truth to you. I love the feeling of certainty that I have at this time. I have never been so sure that I am on the right path and doing what the Lord wants. I'm so happy to be growing spiritually!
I was very grateful this past week for the chance I had to interview with President Simmons. He is one of the reasons I have been called to serve here. I know that with all of my heart. We discussed many things, but while talking and bearing testimony, we both realized that the most precious gift we have received as we've served the Lord is a deeper testimony and witness that Jesus is the Christ.
I have been greatly blessed by the redeeming power of the Atonement in my life, but until I was a missionary, I didn't understand even the smallest part of the enabling aspect. When I asked if Christ truly had to suffer not just for our sins, but also our infirmities, sickness, afflictions, pains, etc. I was excited and grateful that President Simmons shared the simple answer. Yes. He did have to suffer for all of those things. At first I didn't understand why; did I really NEED the enabling power of the Atonement that comes because it is infinite and he understands exactly everything I went through? Yes, I do! My purpose is not just to be redeemed from sin. Heavenly Father's plan for all of us, agreed to before we even came to Earth, is to receive the blessing of exaltation and all that He has to offer. I am grateful that I can continue to rely on the Savior's Atonement to go from good to better and proceed from grace to grace until that perfect day.
This past week was filled with miracles. I'm so grateful that I'm able to type that sentence every week. I am so blessed. WE are so blessed. In the middle of district meeting, we did a simple role play that I've done maybe a thousand times as a missionary. We invited someone to be baptized and put them on date. Sister C absolutely froze when it was time for her to share and practice. After, as we talked about how we could improve, I was able to share that we don't ever need to feel lost or alone. Christ is there with us as soon as we speak of Him and testify. No matter what the situation is, speaking of Christ is always the right answer.
I always "knew" these things, and even though I was sharing them for somebody else, the things I shared made the biggest impact on me. Christ is with us as soon as we share about Him. It's not enough to just pray, think of Him, and hope. We must exercise our faith and speak! He is there in our words, in our actions, and in our thoughts. I know that He lives. I know that He cares about me. I know this is His work. I'm grateful that even in little, seemingly mundane role plays, the Spirit is able to teach me and remind me of these precious truths. I must always keep His name on my lips.
Later in the week, we were practicing contacting, and a similar thing happened. I envisioned myself as an investigator we've been teaching and went back to how he might have felt the first time we met him. As the other missionaries contacted me, they shared exactly what "the investigator" needed to hear. They even said a prayer, even though it was a role play, and the Spirit was so strong. My eyes filled with tears of gratitude. I know that we are engaged in an extraordinary work. As important as helping other investigators, members, and people we meet on the street is, I'm grateful for missionaries who are willing to share their testimonies with me, practice, and bring the Spirit into all aspects of missionary work. I love being a missionary! It is extraordinary!
Although this past week was filled with many ups and downs (soooo many people ended up cancelling on us or not showing up to the appointments), I am grateful for all that happened. On Sunday, when we were finally able to meet with a few of our investigators before church, I realized just how grateful I am that Heavenly Father has blessed us with anybody to work with in the first place.
In the white handbook, it lists that leaders should strive to develop Christlike attributes including love, humility, obedience, and hard work. Especially in Miri, I have been blessed with so many opportunities to develop more humility and gratitude. I love being a missionary, and I'm grateful for Heavenly Father and Christ's trust in me. I know that it is not about me. I know that I am simply asked to be the guide. I hope I can abandon my pride and continue to be humble, trusting in the Lord, and being grateful for each small thing that happens each day. Every single moment is a chance to become more like the Savior or abandon light and gather darkness.
There were so many blessings this past week as we worked with members and gained their trust. Somebody brought us a car load of veggies and fruit. Another member asked for a blessing and allowed us to exercise the Priesthood. Even when appointments cancelled, the members that were with us kept a smile on their face and encouraged us to go forth in faith, trusting in the Lord's plan and the grand design. I am so grateful for the angels along the path of life--they are friends, family, church members, and even strangers. When we choose to look for the good in every situation, we find it. We find joy.
35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
I do not understand everything, but I know that He does. I know that I am worthy. What an amazing feeling! I know that as I serve with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength, I am able to help others, and the Lord is able to change me. Elder LW and I are working with some of the most sincere investigators I've ever met, and I'm excited for what lies in store for the coming weeks.
I am happy. I love this work. I love the Lord. I love the people.