Monday, March 13, 2017

Soul Savin Sista

Remember how last week we had 6 investigators at church? Well, they all came AGAIN! They love church and are really looking to change their lives! It is the best. There was a baptism in another ward on Saturday and so we invited Chrissy and Patrick to come and they did and brought all of their kids. It was crazy. They have some pretty crazy kids. After we watched the baptism, Chrissy turns to me and asks, "What do I need to do to be baptized?" After it was over, she asked me again! She has such a big desire to change and be baptized! It is amazing the change I have seen in her since the first time we met walking around the trailer park to now. We had to buy her a dress to wear a couple weeks ago but she went out and bought a church outfit, and they bought all of the kids dresses and button up shirts to look nice for church. At the baptism one of the kids named Juliana asked how old you need to be to be baptized. We told her 8 and she got really excited because she is 10 and really wants to be baptized! 

We were visiting this part member family one day and there dog comes up to me jumps on my leg and peed all over my foot and shoe. It was super gross. On my mission I have grown to really dislike dogs, they just cause so many problems... (I still love you Foxy) 

The ward boundaries changed not too long ago and we went to go see a new family who just got moved into the ward. They were baptized this November and were Jehovah Witnesses before. Seriously on a mission, anything is possible. But we met the family and oh my gosh they are adorable! I love them so much already! The family just celebrated their very first birthday when Melanie turned 7. They also had their first Christmas this year. It is a really exciting time for them right now! 

If any of you haven't already, read the book Jesus the Christ. I know it is really big and I never picked it up until this past week because it intimidated me how big it was. But oh my gosh it is so good! I have learned so much from reading just a couple of chapters so far. If you want to know more about Jesus Christ I highly recommend reading Jesus the Christ. 

I know that Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior. He is so much more than a prophet, He is the Son of God who willingly volunteered to perform the Atonement for us. He is completely filled with love. He is our brother and can be our best friend there to help us through anything we go through. He is the ultimate example and teacher. He never missed an opportunity to teach others about the gospel. He is so humble, always giving glory to Heavenly Father. He does Heavenly Fathers will no matter what. He knew His purpose on earth and completed it. He is constantly there for everyone and invites ALL to come unto Him. Death truly has no sting, we can start over again, and again. 
"Because of Him
Guilt becomes peace,
Regret becomes relief, 
Despair becomes hope.
Because of Him,
We have second chances,
clean slates, 
New beginnings,
There is no such thing
as the end."

and I love you too!!!

-Sister Ruffner :)

Video 2 (1) from tracie on Vimeo.

Video 1 (1) from tracie on Vimeo.

Sister Ruffner's Super Awesome Week Filled With Amazing Things

I have never worked so hard in my entire life. I have come home right in time every night completely exhausted. Let me tell you, missionary work is hard work but oh so worth it! "The good works that really matter require the help of Heaven. And the help of Heaven requires working past the point of fatigue so far that only the meek and lowly will keep going long enough. The Lord doesn't put us to this test just to give us a grade. He does it because the process will change us." - Henry B. Eyring As I have worked hard to help people come unto the gospel, I have learned so many things myself as well. It is true when they say, if you want to find yourself lose yourself in the work.

Our investigator Chrissy, her boyfriend got out of jail! His name is Patrick and we have been meeting with him. He has such a huge desire to change! He said that he has been trying things his way and it really isn't working. There was a member in jail with him and started to teach him the gospel and he has a strong testimony in the truthfulness of the gospel and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. It was such an amazing miracle that we found Chrissy walking on the street and her boyfriend is studying the gospel in jail! He came to church yesterday with the whole family! It was a super amazing experience, he is so humble and wants to do whatever God asks him to do. He has so much faith. The elders will be teaching him from now on but I still plan on being a part of his conversion, so I will keep you updated on his progress. Brother Milton gave him a priesthood blessing after church and it was a super powerful experience. The spirit was so strong. My testimony of the priesthood has been strengthened so much while being on my mission. 

My testimony on fasting has been strengthened a lot this week as well. Everything I fasted for has come to pass. One in particular is, as a mission we fasted so that we would be able to double our sacrament meeting attendance. Last week we got three investigators to church. I am not going to lie I was a little doubtful that we would be able to get six investigators to church. But this Sunday we got SIX investigators to church! It was so amazing! We got six investigators, a nonmember, and a really less active to come! It was so amazing! I know it wasn't much that I did, just invited them and the Spirit does the rest. The Spirit never lets you down that is for sure. I know that church is so important and you can gets answers to your questions when you go. 

We also had a women's conference. The theme was, Worldwide Sisterhood. It was really cool, we had all of the women in the stake who was from a different part of the world set up a room and we got passports and went on tours of the rooms. It was cool to see how the people might be different, but the church is the same wherever you go! Heavenly Father could have made us all look and speak the same, but how boring would that be! No matter what we look like or what our culture is, we are all children of our Heavenly Father and that will never change no matter where you go.

This past week I did another deep study of the Atonement. I feel like if I studied the Atonement everyday for the rest of my life, I still might only scratch the surface. I love Jesus Christ so much and am constantly amazed of all He has done for us. The way we can make weak things to become strong is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ 2 Corinthians 12:9. He doesn't ask us to do hard things just to be an obnoxious parent, he does it because he sees our potential and knows who we can become. Following the commandments can change us. Repentance isn't a punishment, it's change. As we live this life and try to do what is right, we aren't trying to make enough points to get into heaven, we are preparing for heaven D&C 78:7. There are so many people in other religions that say they have excepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, so they are saved and that is all they need to do. Someone told me once that they read the Bible and the Book of Mormon and came to the conclusion that all we need to do to be saved is to accept Jesus Christ. This really made absolutely no sense to me, but this isn't the point of life at all. We aren't here to just be saved. Jesus Christ died for us, but it wasn't just some huge favor that he did for us. He performed the Atonement so that we could change and become like Him Moroni 7:48. The Atonement not only cleanses us, but changes us. When Jesus Christ came to earth the first thing he taught was the Doctrine of Christ, or His gospel. This helps us change and gives us a desire to want to change. As we continually have faith and repent and take the sacrament as we endure to the end that change can sink into us become who we are. Just like everything, it takes practice. If we are to become like Christ, we need to practice. Which means making mistakes and trying again. There are not just two options, perfection and giving up. We are all going to make mistakes and that is why we have repentance. We are able to push the restart button and try again. This is the good news of the gospel! God has told us to be perfect and I think he means it, but perfection is a process. As I have studied this more and more I know that, though it seams Heavenly Father asks a lot of us sometimes, He is so patient with us. Jesus Christ is with us every step of the way. He isn't just the light at the end of the tunnel, He is the light moving is through. "Grace is not the absence of God's high expectations. Grace is the presence of God's power." 
Our purpose in life is to change. 


-Sister Ruffner