Sunday, November 30, 2014

God's Commandments Make Us Free
November 3, 2014

SO MANY GREAT THINGS TO REPORT. Well first off, sorry I meant to change all those caps last week to lowercase but I ran out of time..I stressed about it all week. Sorry everyone. Also, I'm companions with sister Patera again!

Sunday, we had so many miracles! The 15 year old girl that we've been teaching had been wanting to be baptized, but wasn't exactly sure yet. She wanted to learn more. We gave her the assignment to read 3 Nephi 11, and as of Saturday, she hadn't done it. Then on Sunday she came up and said that she had read it and WANTED TO BE BAPTIZED! as soon as possible! I could have shouted for JOY it was the greatest thing to ever happen... besides the fact that this other lady that we are teaching came up at church also and said she prayed about the Word of Wisdom and she was more willing to give up drinking! (last week she and her husband said they were drinking on Saturday no matter what!) AND, another family that doesn't come very often came and stayed for all three hours of church and the classes were PERFECT for them! I love this gospel because it literally binds families together. I just love it so much and I love seeing the progress of these people. Something that is common among them all is that they are reading the scriptures more often than before. That is SO important for our eternal progression! never stop!

I have learned SO much this week and I am really thankful for it. Something I've been thinking a lot about is God's commandments. A lot of people that we teach feel that God's commandments are hard, restrict them, and they want to do other things. This scripture keeps coming to my mind:

Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds (Alma 42:27)

We literally choose what we do in this life. We can choose captivity and death (the devil's way, making our own choices) or happiness and eternal life (the way of Christ, accepting God's will and changing, even when it's hard.)  We were teaching this couple that I mentioned earlier (the wife who prayed about not drinking anymore) and the Word of Wisdom came up, and they started getting somewhat agitated about what they "couldn't do" and how they "didn't think it was that bad." A girl that was with us explained it perfectly. She explained how growing up, she was mad at her parents and she didn't want to do this "Mormon thing." She didn't want to live the "Mormon way" or anything like it, but what her mom said to her, changed her life. She said, don't do it the Mormon way, do it God's way. If we are always asking God what we should be doing in our lives, we will always be led and guided. So many people think that the church has put so many restrictions on us, and all of these different ideas.  This is not the case.

I want to testify to you that it is God's commandments that make us free. It is what brings us happiness! seriously! So many people in the world are looking for direction, and this is exactly what they are looking for. I am so thankful for the Word of Wisdom and the opportunity to keep the Sabbath day Holy and the way we are taught to read the scriptures and how God commands us to pray every day. I am thankful for these things because it gives me confidence in my life. I feel strong. I know where I'm going and what I'm doing. I have full faith that if  I'm going down the wrong path, God will tell me. The reason I know all of this is because of my Savior Jesus Christ.  These commandments literally unlock the Atonement for us because it allows us to CHANGE.

Lastly, I am so thankful for the opportunity we all have to change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This is all possible because of the Book of Mormon and the Bible and all of the answers in it. I am so thankful for the opportunity to live here on earth! and to live and love the gospel, just like we did in the premortal life! and I LOVE MY FAMILY!  The fact that we get to live with each other for eternity is the greatest blessing.

We need to live like Christ is coming tomorrow. We all need the urgency to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Think of what we have- the fullness of the knowledge that we need at this present time! I am thankful for this gospel and the knowledge and comfort it gives me and how it shows me my weaknesses...I have a lot,  but I can change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ! Thank goodness!

Okay bye.  Have a great week!

I Don't Think I've Ever Been So Happy in My Life!
November 4, 2013

SISTER HILTON AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER. I REPEAT SISTER HILTON AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER. in this glorious area of the Orchard Ward. We could not be happier. I am so excited!

Number one thing I learned this week. I am so scared to be old. We always volunteer in retirement homes and such and everyone is so bored and... old.

I am just so amazed at the Spirit and how much it helps in missionary work. we were going to visit one of our investigators last week and on our way there this name came to my mind and I was like WE NEED TO GO THERE NOW. So I turned quickly into their neighborhood because we almost passed it and we knocked on the door and they let us in! that never happens. only sometimes. We taught the restoration and of course that was the best thing. Every day is a testimony of miracles. Another day we were on our way to see another one of our investigators and when we pulled in front of their house, we prayed and really just didn't feel good about going there. Then sister Hilton and I both got the impression that we should go see someone else. It was perfect timing. When we showed up, every single belonging of theirs was on the front lawn. They were being evicted :( there was only one guy there so we waited for everyone to get back with a truck to move it all. So we helped move all of their stuff into the truck and into a storage unit. I was so thankful that we followed that impression to go there. After we finished moving everything from the front it started raining! The funny thing was no one ever questioned why or how we knew to come. We were just there. So if they ever think about it they might be really confused.

My favorite was probably last night. This family in our ward invited their good family friends to be taught by us! We had such a fun dinner with them and then talked about the restoration. THE COOLEST THINGS HAVE BEEN HAPPENING THIS WEEK. I absolutely love teaching the restoration because if you think about it, IT IS THE BEST EVEN THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN HISTORY. we had Elder Baxter of the 70 come speak to us at zone conference and he talked about the scripture in D&C 1:17? I think its 17. but it says that God KNEW that there would be calamity and evil on the earth, so he called Joseph Smith as a prophet and gave him commandments. ITS AS SIMPLE AS THAT. I keep using caps cause im really excited about it. so when we taught this family, after we related the part about the First Vision, the husband goes, "oh, I believe that!" sometimes people say things and either 1. they don't know what they are saying really means or 2. I don't know how to respond because I'm so caught off guard and stoked. but it was the most amazing thing to hear the members bear their testimonies to their friends. it was the most powerful experience because they really meant every word! something else Elder Baxter said about this scripture was that the Gospel of Jesus Christ IS the answer to the evil in the world. it is the solution to the calamity and the questions of the soul. another time we were teaching these two people about the restoration and after we quoted Joseph Smith in his own words and showed them a picture, he goes, "that is SO cool. I've never heard anything like it." so after that happened I just want to tell everyone about it. I think I forget sometimes how unique our message is. I always just imagine if I were a missionary in Joseph Smith's time and how excited I would be to share the book of Mormon. the message is still the same today, and that gives me so much motivation.

I don't think I've ever been so happy in my life.

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