Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ

June 16, 2014

Okay I won't say it...BUT THIS WEEK WE TAUGHT 35 LESSONS AND FOUND 11 NEW PEOPLE TO TEACH. (the best week ever? what?) I HAVE NEVER TAUGHT THAT MUCH IN MY LIFE! I have also never seen so many miracles in my life. I got to tell so many people about the Book of Mormon and teach people that I never thought I would and we found so many FAMILIES TO TEACH! I have never been so excited about the Book of Mormon. It's so special and so needed! We explained it to everyone like this: if you have a street sign with one nail, it can turn around a bunch of different ways. But if you have a second nail on the bottom, it secures it in place and keeps it strong. This is like the Bible and the Book of Mormon! The Bible is NEEDED because it's the last three years of Jesus Christ's life, and what is better than that?! nothing! but if you put the Book of Mormon with it, then it just secures that testimony of Jesus Christ and adds that extra witness that we need to solidify our lives and point us in the right direction just like a street sign does. I thought that made total sense! It simply strengthens the Bible. Having a literal record of Jesus Christ in the Americas is the most amazing thing. WE TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED. Does anyone realize what we truly have? It is not just a story written by Joseph Smith that tells us that we have to have 6 kids to get to heaven! (that's what someone told us this week.) The Book of Mormon is ANOTHER TESTAMENT of JESUS CHRIST ministering to the people in the Americas. It's an ANCIENT RECORD of prophets bearing testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and bearing witness of His divinity. Why wouldn't we want that in our lives? It is more scripture written by ancient prophets like the Bible, revealed to us by God now. WE NEED TO TELL EVERYONE! The Book of Mormon is something to solidify our testimony of Christ and it shares with us His full gospel to bring us full joy and to bring our families closer together in purpose and goal! to live together for eternity! The Book of Mormon shows us the path to take to get to eternity with God and Jesus Christ with our families.

We have seen so many cool things happen, but there is one in particular that I want to share. A long time ago (like 5 months ago when I first got here) I told a story of Sister Winkelman and I tracting into this lady who's mom had just passed away. When we knocked on the door and asked to pray with her, she burst into tears and we had a really special few minutes with her where we got to tell her where her mom was and that she was okay and that God loved her. She just couldn't believe that we had shown up at that time and little did she know, we were all the way across town and were inspired to go specifically to her street! but anyway, we had gone by and tried to visit her a few times after that but it never worked out. So the other day, we were around her neighborhood and I was driving and all of a sudden I thought of her and I immediately started towards her house. When we pulled up, she was outside and as I got out of the car she was looking at us like who the heck is that!? haha but as I walked up to her she said, "I REMEMBER YOU!" and she gave me a big hug and said, oh my gosh you were the one that came before with the other sister and just offered to pray with me! I always wondered how you guys knew, it just seemed so inspired and I have told EVERYONE about it!  but really she told everyone. her neighbors, friends, family, everyone. she was so touched that we just wanted to pray with her and made her feel so much better the day after her mom died. I was so happy to be reunited with this lady! She made me so happy! As we were talking she just stopped and said, "I often wonder what the purpose of life is. Do you know what the purpose of life is? Why am I here? Sometimes I feel like I should be doing something but I don't know what it is!"  then i died. YES WE KNOW THE ANSWER! We told her we would LOVE to tell her more about it, and we were just overjoyed. We had to get going right then, but we set up a time to come back and see her.

Heavenly Father knows what he's doing. He knew that she needed us that day and because of that, we get to teach her about this great plan of happiness. He sent us there. Going back to what I said in the beginning, I love the Bible and the Book of Mormon together because it answers all of the great questions of the soul.  If you need to know what the purpose of life is? it's in there. how to help your family become closer? it's in the book of Mormon. how to share the gospel with others? it's in the book of Mormon. how to make an important decision in your life? it's in the book of Mormon. what to do when all else fails in your life and you feel stuck? it's in the book of Mormon.

I want to bear my testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon! It's the best book in the entire world because it is straight from God, and it helps me know the plan God has for me through Jesus Christ. But the ONLY way you can know is by reading it. I can tell you all I want how great it is but until YOU read it and pray and ask God if it's true, you cannot say it is not true. I love the Book of Mormon because it's changed my life. It is something that I could never live without because it holds a power that nothing else in this world has. It has the words of our Savior Jesus Christ. and that is what is most precious to me. I love it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Families are Eternal
June 9, 2014

D& C 128:19 "Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth!..."

THIS SCRIPTURE DESCRIBES THE GOSPEL AND WHAT IT DOES. I have a new companion! Sister Loertscher! yeaaaaah! We have had the BEST WEEK OF ALL TIME. I'm not kidding. Like the best week of my entire mission. I may have said this before but, I MEAN IT NOW. If you're going to believe me one time, make this that time because we have seen more miracles this week than I have my entire mission. I love Sister Loertscher! She's been out three months and came from Glenwood Springs to here. She's allergic to watermelon and if she touches it I have to epi-pen her. I don't think she should trust me with that. She's also allergic to chocolate but eats it anyway because she likes it. We enjoy each other.

We taught the most lessons we've ever taught in this area! Lessons just came out of
nowhere and all of a sudden people started progressing! So I am going to tell you of some of the miracles. But, before I do, I just want to talk about the divinity of this calling and of this church. I know that it's true because I have literally seen people's lives and marriages change in even just one week from adopting a commandment into their life and into their home. Like the word of wisdom changed this one family's life in 3 days because they followed it! And now their marriage is better than ever before! and another family's life.. they read the Book of Mormon every single day and they know it's true and they have come closer in their marriage too and they are working towards getting the priesthood in their home! I just KNOW that the church is important because it puts you and your husband on the same page. You become one in purpose and THAT is the most amazing thing to see. This gospel isn't just something that MIGHT change your life, but it WILL because FAMILIES ARE ETERNAL and JESUS CHRIST is the head of this church. and nothing else matters. That is why this church is so divine and being a missionary is such a divine calling. We are called to help people get to know Christ so that He can change their lives. WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN THAT!? IF YOU CAN'T TELL I LOVE LIFE RIGHT NOW.

Okay, so the man I talked about last week that made a HUGE change and used to be sad and stare out the window and now feels the Spirit in our lessons.  HE CAME TO CHURCH. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND HOW BIG OF A MIRACLE THIS IS. He has been taught by missionaries for TEN YEARS and he has NEVER, ever ever ever EVER COME TO SACRAMENT MEETING! but he came on Sunday… and I died. and I got to sit next to him. I think yesterday was the best day of my life.

Another miracle was we were tracting and we found a lady. She was really nice to us and talked to us at the door and then towards the end she told us that she is a member of the church but just fell away but WANTS us to come back and teach her and she wants to come to church and she wants to go back to the temple to be sealed with her husband! She was so ready for us it was unbelievable!  It was perfect timing. Also the lady that lives with her agreed to sit in our lessons so we get to teach her too! I love tracting. I really. love. tracting.

This is the best miracle of all time. Oh my gosh I hope my words can describe it well. The family we're teaching, the ones I always talk about, are doing SO WELL! We got to teach just "K" this week and it was the best. She was telling us how her health has been improving a lot and she is so amazed. And then it hit me. A few lessons back, like the first few times that we taught them- I promised her something.  This is where I learned the divinity of my calling as a representative of Jesus Christ. I had promised her that if she read the Book of Mormon every single day, her health would improve. She would find motivation in her life and she would know that it's true. The fulfilling of that promise was sitting right in front of me. She, in fact, had read the Book of Mormon every day and her health improved. and she knew it was true "without a doubt in her heart."  In that moment, I asked her if she had remembered what I had promised her that night. She said she couldn't remember exactly what I said, but she would never forget how she felt. I then told her what I had promised her. Tears started streaming down her face because she remembered. It finally clicked. Everything that we had been teaching was true.

I just want to bear my testimony that I KNOW that this is Jesus Christ's errand that I'm on. I'm not here for me in any way. I'm here so that these families can grow closer to their Savior Jesus Christ and be with Him for eternity, and so that the people around me can experience His love. I cannot believe the miracles that I've seen. I truly feel like I have gotten to know my Savior even more this past week, and I cannot wait to meet Him one day. I know that He is my Savior and I honestly don't know what I'd do without that knowledge. I love this gospel more than anything and I'm so thankful for my family and I want them to know that. I'm so thankful for everything that they've done for me. I want them to know how special they are. Each one of them individually is so great in the sight of God and they have so much potential to do great things in their life, even more than they already have. I know that they are special. I know they each have their divine missions here on earth and I'm so thankful I get to be in their lives.  I know we knew each other before this life and we agreed to come down here and make this earth experience the darn best earth experience we could together. I love you guys so much and I don't know what I'd do without you. I'm glad we get to live together for eternity. I love you and can't wait to see you again one day.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cast About Your Eyes and Be Healed
June 2, 2014

SO MANY THINGS HAVE HAPPENED! First, I'm staying in Grand Junction another transfer! Sister Winkelman is being transferred and we will find out where tomorrow and I'll get a new companion! Missions are excittinngggggggggggggg!
Before I tell you all of the stories that happened this week, I want to share something about Jesus Christ and faith that I learned. So many times we hear about 'having faith in Jesus Christ', but how do you start that?  How do you get that seed of faith to begin with? When you feel lost and don't know what to do,  how do you even begin to find your Savior? How do you begin the healing process?

In Alma 33:19 it compared it to Moses, when He told the people that if they looked upon the serpent they would live. "Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live." so those that looked upon it, lived. But there were some who's hearts were hardened, and they would not look" Maybe they didn't understand because they were distracted by things in their life other than what was truly important. Their focus wasn't where it should be. They didn't know God.  They didn't have an eternal perspective. "But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them." it's when I read this that I understood how it related to finding faith in Jesus Christ. All we have to do is look for Him, and we will be healed. BELIEVE that Jesus Christ will heal you, redeem you, walk with you, help you. Sometimes life can seem overwhelming and complicated, but it's when we "merely cast about our eyes" that we are healed.  All we have to do is look for our Savior Jesus Christ and believe that He died for us, and that He was truly resurrected and we will be also one day. Jesus Christ is in everything. He is all around us, in our wonderful families, in the beautiful creations outside, in the Spirit that we feel at church, in our friends, in our talents, and in so much more. Stop and think about where Jesus Christ is in your life, and write down one thing where you know He is in your life!  "O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish?"

This week INDICA WAS BAPTIZED!!!!! It was such a special experience because we have been working with her since we got here. I don't even know how to begin to tell you how special this girl is! She is only 11,  but she has an understanding of the gospel that is so rare. She truly is blessed with the gift of having faith in her Savior. When she was baptized, Heavenly Father's love just filled the room! It was so clear to me that her Heavenly Father knew her perfectly and was just so happy on this day! She is the perfect example of just looking for Christ in her life. she recognizes it everywhere. My favorite thing is when she prays- she always says thank you for all of our blessings, especially the ones that go unnoticed. I LOVE HER TO DEATH!!!!!
There was one lesson yesterday that stuck out to me that I wanted to share. We have been teaching this lady's husband for a few months now, and the first several lessons he would just frown and stare out the window.  He has been taught by missionaries for like 5 years. He wouldn't really listen and didn't like when we asked him questions. But yesterday we saw the biggest miracle in the entire world! It was sister Winkelman's last lesson with him and we just bore our testimonies to him of how much he is loved. I have never felt so strongly that Heavenly Father had a plan for someone. Heavenly Father planned for us to be here, and it was prepared from the pre-mortal life that we would find him and touch his heart. He was brought to tears when we told him this and he said that he knew the truth! The Spirit was so strong and I know that I say that a lot but I wish you could just feel how REAL it is. I never want to give up being a missionary because of the experiences we have every day.  I know without a doubt Christ was in our midst that day as we taught Him. He was such a changed man and I know without a doubt that Spirit softens any heart.
We also got to teach our favorite family this week, the one that we talk about every week. I think I always talk about the "best lesson" we had with them, but I swear THIS was the best lesson! I don't even know how to describe it in words! so I won't. but I'll tell you about the closing prayer that "B" gave at the end. I don't remember it word for word but this is what I do remember:  "Dear Lord, thank you for sending Sisters Gregerson and Winkelman to "K" and I. I am so thankful for what they have brought to us. I am so excited for this "beginning of an end", where we get to start on our path to salvation. They have shown me a spiritual world that frankly, I didn't think existed. I'm thankful that I've gotten to learn about this religion that I hadn't heard of until 2 months ago. I'm thankful for you sending the Barney family to me, because they are an example of how I want to raise my family. Even though I was skeptical of this at first, and even though I  haven't read much of the Book of Mormon yet, they have won me over and I feel I have found the truth. In the name of Christ, amen."

This is the truth. Hard times are coming. Following Jesus Christ will carry us through. The hastening of the work is not happening for no reason. It's happening because this is the last dispensation that was opened by the prophet Joseph Smith. It was prophesied that this would happen. We live here now because we were prepared in the pre-mortal world to come and fight for Christ now. We are strong enough to do it. I love my Savior so much and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's church restored. It is true.