Saturday, August 30, 2014

Don't Run Faster Than You Have Strength
August 25, 2014

HELLO EVERYONE. I have been so busy I haven't really been able to email for the past couple of weeks! but hey now I have a lot of exciting updates and I love it and I have so much to say. I am staying here again for another transfer!

So the reason this transfer has been so crazy is because we had to go on a lot of exchanges with the sisters in this area.  I feel like I haven't had a chance to breath. It was probably the busiest I've ever been and the most tired I have ever been. Seriously, at times I thought I was going to fall over and die because my BONES were so tired.  At times when a sister was sick and I had to stay inside with her, I felt like I had lost all of my motivation. I felt lost and that I had forgotten how to be a missionary because I hadn't been able to teach in 2 weeks.  Another reason we were so busy was because we were planning a Sister's Conference. We didn't get the inspiration we needed until a week before, so Sister Jones and I were running around like insane women trying to get everything done. There were times during this transfer that I did not think that I could stand up again, or go on another exchange, or do another thing, but what I learned from this transfer was more valuable than anything else. I learned about the enabling power of our Savior Jesus Christ. As we were doing all of these things serving the sisters around us, I knew that it was God's will for us to do it and to finish this Sisters Conference. I knew without a doubt in my mind that He would prepare a way. I always thought that the Atonement was just for our sins, and that our Savior knew how we felt when we were sad, but He truly can give us strength to do things that we could not do alone in our mortal bodies. Missionary work requires all of your strength, for 16 hours a day. We literally do not stop until then  and I know that I could not do that without my Savior Jesus Christ. When he needs us to do something, we will be given the literal strength in our bodies to push through it. I have learned that I need to take time for my own conversion and own well being, and when I do that- when I fast, when I pray, when I read the scriptures- I learn what is possible for me to do because I am learning the will of God. When we know the will of our God, we know that anything He asks is possible. We just need to know what He's asking.

Something else I learned was to trust in all of God's promises. In the beginning of the transfer, we asked God what He wanted us to do this transfer- and I got the distinct answer that we needed to find a single woman to baptize. Throughout all of the busy things we had going on, our area was pretty neglected and we weren't able to do much missionary work. We knew God wanted us to find someone to come closer to their Savior through baptism in the month of August- but by week 4 out of 6 we didn't have anyone we were really teaching that was close to that point. But I knew that God had told us that is what He wanted. So, one day, we were teaching this lady who had recently come back to church and she had mentioned that she didn't think she was ever confirmed with the Holy Ghost, because after she was baptized 40 years ago, she never came back to church. WE FOUND OUT THAT SHE NEEDED TO BE RE-BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED! Could you imagine thinking you were a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for FORTY YEARS and you weren't even receiving the blessings of baptism and the Holy Ghost!??!!? This Wednesday is going to be the best day of this lady's life. I could not even believe that this great blessing had fallen upon us. I knew that God was taking care of us every step of the way.

In the middle of the week, this lady had called us and cancelled her baptism. Her family was not supportive and she would not be able to go through with it, and would not even be able to come to church for a long time because of it. I was so preoccupied with everything else going on that truly, I didn't have time to think about it really. I knew that if God wanted it to happen, it would. The Bishop ended up calling her and explaining the scripture in Matthew 10 that says that Christ did not come to bring peace, but a sword  and everything clicked for her! Making this right decision would not necessarily fix everything in her family, but she would be strengthened enough to overcome this hardship and do what God's will was for her. Knowing God's will can change our lives.

Something I struggled with during this transfer was feeling like these problems with the sisters were never going to end, and we would not be able to do what God wanted us to do. I felt like all of my strength had been taken away from me, and I wasn't able to be myself, but I got to witness a miracle in my own life at this time of sadness. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, one of Christ's 12 apostles on the earth today, came to speak to us and he even said my name!!! haha but he came to speak and before we went in the chapel to listen to him speak, one of our leaders reminded us that sometime we need to slow down our minds to the speed of the Spirit. our minds can be so preoccupied by the world that we simply cannot be in tune with the Spirit. We had the opportunity to read the scriptures for 45 minutes before we heard him speak, and this scripture really stuck out to me... "Do not run faster than you have strength, or labor more than you are able, but be diligent until the end. pray always, so you can come off conqueror."  When we need to conquer different things in our lives, we need to slow down to the speed of the Spirit and work how our Father in Heaven would have us work. Sometimes we just need to stop and think, what would the Lord tell me to do in this moment? This is something that really helped me. Whatever we do to cultivate our faith, we need to do it consistently and that will give us the motivation to repent. It will prepare us for our covenants. and most importantly, that will help us endure to the end. "act upon this land as if for years." (scripture from the D&C I forgot where) do everything you're doing consistently, as if you would be doing it for years. It brings a lot more joy into whatever you're doing and it completely changed my life. Being grateful in all circumstances helps us battle our trials.

I truly know that Christ is our Savior and I know that because I experienced His mercy and because of that, I feel like I can do anything. I know he takes care of us because I experienced it firsthand as He led us through these past weeks. I know He wants this lady to be baptized because without Him, she would have fallen back into her old habits. After she told us she was not going to be baptized, she picked up a cigarette to smoke, but then decided she did not want to do it anymore. Angels surround us every single day. I rejoice in the times that are hard because I know that our Savior is closer to us. I know that He is teaching us what we need to know for heaven. Lastly, this is all worth it because of experiences like these:

I got an email from a recent convert in my last area and it brought me to tears knowing that this is God's work:

"My comprehension of death is so different now that I know about the plan of salvation. It's crazy!! I'm more happy than confused for people who pass. I know they finally get to see the truth.

Did I ever thank you for sharing the gospel to us???? Because it is the greatest gift EVER!!!!!! IT IS SO AMAZING AND I LOOOOVE IT!!!!

Love you!!!!!! And miss you!!!!!!

PS- I finished the Book of Mormon. My faith and trust in God is rock solid now. I now know without a single speck of doubt this gospel is true."

I could go on and on about how much I love this gospel. I loved meeting one of the 12 apostles. I know without a doubt that He is an apostle of the Lord and we got to hear His words just like the people of old got to hear Peter's words, or John's word, or James' words. I know with all of my heart that we know the plan of salvation and it changes us into who we need to be. I know without a doubt that we are in the right place at the right time, and we are chosen servants of our Lord and Savior. This is the true gospel and I love it. I've never been so happy. I've never felt so excited to meet my God and Savior one day and thank them for giving me this Gospel here on earth. I hope you all have an opportunity to learn more about this gospel and experience all of the blessings that flow from it daily. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth and I know it because I feel it.

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