Hello, people who I love!!
First off I just want to apologize for being a slacker and not emailing. Our last couple preparation days have just been packed with things to do, they keep us busy here at the JSM! ;) I sure love it though!!
Well, these last couple weeks have just been AMAZING. We have dropped all our investigators except for one who is just so sweet. Sister Newman, is actually our literal next door neighbor. It has been so sweet to teach her. She is a cute little lady in her 70’s who has gone through A LOT in her life. There was a couple weeks when we first got here that we weren’t able to meet with her and it turns out she had been reading the Book of Mormon the whole time! She believes it is true, so this week we committed her to pray to know if it’s true because she is still hesitant about baptism. She said she would be baptized but she wants to know FOR SURE it is the right thing to do. The spirit is very strong in her lessons, it’s amazing how much of desire she has to know the truth, and her questions are really good! Some of the best! I feel like Heavenly Father made a perfect match with us and her. I don’t even really know her still but I love her so much. With the things she has gone through I am so amazed by her strength and faith…this last lesson she shared with us that her mom died when she was 6. We felt prompted to show her the “What we need a Savior” video from this year’s Christmas initiative found at Christmas.mormon.org and she just loved it. The spirit was strong as my companion testified of the atonement of Jesus Christ and the reality that one day she would see her mom and that she could find hope and happiness in the midst of her trials.
I absolutely love that video as well as the “A Savior is Born” video. We share it constantly here at the Memorial. I think I have them memorized by now ;) I love how it says, “He understands you.” As I was taking the sacrament this week that came to my mind and the spirit testified to me of the reality of that simple statement…simple but huge in meaning. The Savior of the world understands me? Yes, he does. This week I was studying Alma 7: 11-13, one of my favorites. The thing that stood out to me this week was in verse 12 when it says, “And he will take upon Him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that He may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” I am so full of gratitude for my Savior, I know that he took upon him my personal weaknesses and shortcoming. He knows exactly how I’m feeling at any time of the day. On my mission my weaknesses have been magnified and it seems as I get close to going home that they are just right in my face all the time! You return missionaries know what I mean?? Well, we had zone conference this week and President Stoker taught us about the atonement, specifically how the atonement helps us to overcome sin and weakness. One thing that he said that really impacted me was that our goal here on Earth is to reject sin and ACCEPT weakness. Heavenly Father will accept us with our weakness...but He can’t accept us with sin. Weakness is not sin unless we our prideful and choose not to use the enabling power. Heavenly Father gave us weakness that we might be humble. This was just what I needed, at times I forget that I don’t have to do it on my own. I let pride get in the way…these past couple weeks I kept wondering if I had done enough and if I had changed enough. I read this scripture: Ether 12: 37, “And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.” As I read this the spirit touched me and I know it was Heavenly Fathers way of letting me know that He knew I was aware of my weaknesses but that He was proud of me for being faithful and striving to serve Him to the best of my ability despite my weaknesses.
I am so grateful to be serving here at the JSM! I think I have met as many people this month as I have the other 17 months of my mission combined. The Lord has taught me many things here. I get a lot of opportunities to sing and play the piano and I have met some pretty amazing people through that. One being a lady I call Sister Susan. One night she came up and sang with me and then a week later she came back and I invited her to sing with me again. After we sang she said that the spirit had touched her and she wanted us to come teach her and she wanted to come to church! So we met with her and it was a great meeting. Me and Sister Petersen are singing at church this Sunday and she is going to come We have really really been trying to get referrals here. We haven’t reached our goal but we sure are seeing many miracles here! I know the church is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and he restored the one and only Gospel of Jesus Christ back to the Earth. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. His love is free and He can help us make it back home IF we let him. I can’t wait for the day when I get to see him again and thank Him. I love my Savior.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and share the Love of Christ with all you meet! HE is the reason for the season.
Love you ALL!!