So this week we just finished correlation which we do everynight with the ward mission leader and the youth are all there doing an activity. Sister Jackson and I walk by these two youth and it looks like one is giving the other a tour of the church. So we go up and talk to them, and one is named Philip and he is a member and his friend is named Elliot who is not a member. We talked to them for a little while and Elliot believes in a higher power but isn't sure about God, or how it applies to us. So it will be cool to meet with her and start from scratch. I have helped people understand that God hears and answers prayers and that God loves them and wants to forgive them, but never help them know if He is even there. So this will be a really cool experience! We are having dinner with them tomorrow, so I will let you know how it goes. But, seriously what a miracle! I love when God puts people in our path, and I also love members who participate in missionary work!
At the end of the day, we were just updating our Area book when we get a call from a less active member named Rhonda Holderman. She said that she was talking with one of her friends, Raquel, who is struggling with her church right now. Raquel has nine kids and gets made fun of a lot for that (she would fit right in), Her mom died recently and she has been going through a lot of stuff that way, she is troubled by the world and her kids get made fun of at school for liking the Bible. They really need some lds friends. Does she shout prepared or what?! So Sister Holderman who is not active in the church is even sharing the gospel with her friends. How amazing! I am so grateful for that! This was a huge miracle that really lit up our day, along with the triple fudge brownies we made with extra chocolate chips :)
Belleh got his baptismal interview and is so ready to be baptized! He has been through a long journey of studying the church. He was very catholic not too long ago, but once he started reading the Book of Mormon everything changed. The Book of Mormon is so amazing! My testimony of it grows more and more every day.
We had an amazing lesson with Doug. He invited us over for dinner and we know that he has been having a rough time. He feels so guilty of the person he has been and the choices he has made. He is always putting himself down so we planned a lesson on the Atonement. We asked him what he knew about the Atonement. He said that Jesus Christ died on the cross for us, you guys focus more on the prayer before he died on the cross but I think he did the suffering when he was on the cross and died for our sins. We explained to him about when Jesus Christ suffered for everything in Gethsemane, not just our sins on the cross. "There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, "no one knows what it is like. No one understands." But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power." I have such a strong testimony of this, and cannot fully express the gratitude I have for the Savior and what He did for me. He suffered and died for us so that we can repent and be made clean again. He wants us to repent and be forgiven and feel ultimate joy. The Savior wants to forgive us. I think one of the hardest things of repentance is forgiving yourself, and the way to get over that is to truly experience the love God has for you and the effects of the Atonement in your life. You are a white shirt. You may have spilt some ketchup on the shirt and it may have left a stain. All you focus on is the stain, not all of the white left on the shirt. You can throw the shirt in the washer and wash away the stain, but you can not wash away the white shirt because that is who you are. Anyway, it was a great lesson completely led by the Spirit, and moments like that are why I am on my mission.
"I love the story told of a little girl who wanted to carry a gallon of milk in from the car all by herself. She couldn't, so Mom finally picked up the child and the milk and headed into the house, where the girl proudly announced to her father, "Look, I'm carrying the milk all by myself!" Isn't that how we must sound as we list off "our accomplishments" to God who all the while is holding us in his arms?" I am so grateful for all that my Heavenly Father does for me each day. I am so grateful to be able to be an instrument in Gods hands. How great is my calling?! Doing to Lords work I am able to see miracles every day.
(Scene in Emperor's new Groove when the shoulder devil and angel are talking to Kronk) Devil: "He's trying to lead you down the path of righteousness, I'm trying to lead you down the path that rocks." I am here to tell you that the path of righteousness rocks! There really is nothing better than the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is here to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. Having the gospel in our lives can make the good times as well as the bad times a blessing. I love my Savior and I am so grateful for the knowledge of the gospel and the joy it brings!
okay okay I'll stop typing....
All my love,