Friday, August 12, 2016
Hi people I love and miss.
I thank Heavenly Father every single day for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. I just love every moment. The good, the bad, the stressful, the disappointing, the exciting. I am growing and learning in ways I never thought possible. My prayers have become more sincere. My words have become more kind. My thoughts have become more positive. My love for the scriptures has deepened. My studies have intensified. My appreciation for and reliance on the Savior has increased. I just feel like I am in a really really good happy place. I love Oakland and Sister Hsiao.
This week was challenging. We had to waste like 5 hours getting our car fixed which is frustrating because you feel like you are wasting so much time. Joseph got into some anti mormon stuff about Mormons being racist and doesnt want to meet with us anymore. Jimmy wont answer our calls. We officially dropped Earnest again because he is not progressing. A potential we had said he was just too busy to meet with us after all. Our less actives didnt come to church. Some of the recent converts are looking into other churches. All of the referrals we get are in the elders part of the area. So, all of this was overwhelming, but Sister Hsiao and I met our challenges and disappointments with FAITH and COURAGE. Faith that the Lord is in this work. Faith in His timing. Faith that there are people out there prepared for us to find. Courage to wake up. Courage to answer the phone. Courage to invite someone to learn about Jesus Christ. This is all very very humbling. I know that these experiences are helping me and teaching me and stretching me. I am praying harder and walking faster and bearing stronger testimony. I remember one night I just knelt down and prayed my heart out with tears streaming down my face. "Father, I just want to teach. I just want to find someone to teach who wants to talk to me and help them feel your love and share the gospel. I just want to teach." I was immediately filled with this warm peace. It felt like someone was hugging me and wiping away my tears. I KNEW that He loved me I KNEW that He was going to take care of me and this area and my companion and these people. This is just a bump in the road that will help me to be STRONGER and BETTER and MORE POWERFUL and MORE EXPERIENCED. We have some great goals and plans this week to find! I know the Lord will lead us to those who are prepared to hear the gospel. The Visitors Center has been really busy, so that is a wonderful experience that I TREASURE. The Visitors Center is like my home. I feel peace and love and the Spirit so strong! What a wonderful sanctuary it has become where I can confide.
I cant thank you all enough for your prayers and love and support and encouraging, LOVING words. I couldnt do this without you. I am so blessed and thank Heavenly Father on the daily for each one of you.
Something that strengthened my testimony this week:
People lie according to the circumstances so that people will believe them. If you lost your homework, you arent going to tell you teacher that an alien in a UFO came and burned it. You will tell her something reasonable and believable and realistic so she will believe you, like your mom accidentally tossed it out with recycling. If Joseph Smith wanted people to believe him, if he was really lying, he would have said that only God appeared to him because that was the religious belief at that time. But no, he said that he saw TWO SEPARATE beings. He told the truth. He knew what he had seen He wasnt trying to fool anyone. He was FOURTEEN! He wasnt trying to outsmart anyone. He was just telling everyone what he saw. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Because of this MIRACULOUS LIFE CHANGING event, we have the Restoration of the gospel, the priesthood, the Book of Mormon, temples, life saving ordinances, knowledge, the list goes on and on! I am eternally grateful for our Brother Joseph.
You are in my prayers, Thank you for yours.