How is everyone doing?! It is nice and hot here and I love it :)
I love being a missionary, just in case you didn't know! This week I have learned alot and really just grown closer to Heavenly Father.
So I mentioned recently that i have been learning alot about repentance, well this week Heavenly Father really taught me more. Ok, being a missionary is very hard. Its not easy. It never gets easier, I'm starting to realize! But this week we met with a couple of our investigators and the lessons were just not what they should have been. Nothing went the way we had planned. We were there for too long, we didn't teach what we had planned to and I just felt awful and that I had let Heavenly Father down. Well, as the week went on I began to be harder on myself, and that is never good. My faith began to weaken and I began to wonder a little bit if Heavenly Father was still there because He was being pretty silent.
So are main topic this week was prayer. We were studying prayer in our 12-week training program for Sister Hallam and we were also trying to instill good prayer habits with our investigators as well which is improving. But, I think I learned more about prayer than they did. It always happens that way right? Well, while in the midst of this trial I was just praying that Heavenly Father would just send something to let me know that He cared and that He was still proud of me. I felt prompted to read "Living the Gospel Joyful" by Deiter f Uchtdorf, and there was a specific section that just always gets me, he says,"My dear sisters in the gospel, whether you are 8 or 108, there is one thing that I hope you truly understand and know: You are loved. You are dear to your heavenly parents.The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you. Yes, God loves you this very day and always.He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you. And God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens—even when you are struggling with your own.He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly—He knows you as you really are. And He loves you—today and always!" And as I read this I just felt His love envelop me and I knew He was there and that He did love me know matter how weak and imperfect I felt.
So the week went on and me and Sister Hallam have been learning how to teach the "Gospel of Jesus Christ" which means we have been doing lots of role-playing which most of the time is awkward but on Saturday we were practicing teaching it and wow, it was like just what I needed! As we were teaching Sister Hallam seemed to say exaclty what I needed to hear and it just went straight to my heart. She was teaching me of repentance and she said something along the lines of, "Sometimes it hurts to remember our mistakes but they help us to know how we can be better." And then as I taught her about baptism the spirit confirmed to me that baptism truly does cleanse us of our sins and it really does work. As we take the sacrament we truly can be forgiven and He remembers them no more. I knew that He knew my heart, that I was sincerely sorry for the mistakes I had made and that I was forgiven! What a neat experience it was.
So...I kept thinking about what Sister Hallam had told me and I knew that Heavenly Father was helping me to learn how I could be better and that was one of the reasons that I was having such a hard time. My weaknesses were becoming clear..but only so that i could become stronger and better.
And the reason He was doing this is so that I could be prepared for this perfectly prepared human who we taught last night. This man referred himself on Mormon.org and has some pretty awful things going on in his life. He just wants a new start and peace. As we taught him the Restoration I knew that what I had learned this week was just what I needed to know so that I could be able to help this man and assure him that even though he felt bad about past mistakes there is hope and that Heavenly Father still loves him.
So in case this doesn't all make sense, basically Heavenly Father knows what He is doing!! He is in control and His ways are higher than ours. Never doubt. A quote that just summed it up for me today is this, "But here is the point—rather than solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel His love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him, and we can become like Him. For us to be like Him is His goal. In fact, it is His glory as well as His work."
The Lord allows us to go through trials so that we can feel His love more fully and in turn help others as well. Thats my story and I'm stickin to it!
Well, I love you and hope you all have a great week :)
Love, Sister Innes