Guess what? Do you want to hear a joke? Going on a mission is the easiest thing anyone could do. Joke. ha ha. Missions are not easy. No one ever tells you that. But one thing I do know----missions aren't easy, but I KNOW they are worth it. Want to know why? I feel like every weakness that I have ever had has been amplified on a mission. How fun is that? I get to go out an conquer and learn about where I am weak EVERYDAY!!! Do you think I am crazy? Well, because it is crazy! Because God wants us to grow and learn at a rapid pace, He often gives us more than we think we can handle. But, I have learned something. As we look at our weaknesses and our trials as acts of love from our Heavenly Father, we truly do begin to believe and LIVE in a way that we KNOW EXACTLY WHO WE ARE....children of God. How amazing is that? We were talking with one of the most incredible women that I have ever met. We were discussing the fact that we are TRULY children of God, but sometimes we don't even realize it. She gave me an analogy that blew my mind and I want to share it with you...with the hopes that you in turn truly remember this when you feel worthless, lost or when everything seems to be going wrong and you just want to give up. Here it goes...
Before we came to earth our Heavenly Father sat down with YOU. He knew everything about you, your likes, dislikes, weaknesses and strengths. He sat down and chatted with you and told you how much He loves you and told you how excited He is for you to have the opportunity to become a God/Goddess. We talked about the life that we would have on earth and talked about the things that would help us grow the most. Heavenly Father brought up each of our strengths and weaknesses and asked us what we would like to work on and become perfected in. As we looked down at His master plan of lists of "classes" (trials) to take we saw things like "testimony" "faith" "patience" "charity" and a million other things. We saw and knew everything that we would have to endure. We knew it would be hard...but we saw the outcome. We saw the character we could develop and WHO we could become if we endured well. So, together, with our loving Father in Heaven we decided that this was how our life was going to be. WE CHOSE WHAT WE WOULD GO THROUGH SO THAT WE COULD BECOME PERFECTED IN THE AREAS WE NEEDED THE MOST HELP IN. When we came to earth we forgot all about the plan that we made with our loving Father, so when hard times come we get mad with Him. Only to forget that THIS is the EXACT plan we had chosen to follow not long ago. Trials and affliction is that plan unveiling. Sometimes we turn and run and just want to quit. But little do we realize...we signed up for this. Trials and affliction is really want CAN refine us and change us for the better....if we let it. Because we are DIVINE beings and because we will eventually become Gods and Goddesses, God has given us a divine and incredible power. That power is the power of the Atonement. Through it we can CHANGE, GET HELP AND FEEL STRONG when everything in life seems to be in shambles. Sometimes we don't feel the need or are too proud to use the Atonement (the grace of Jesus Christ). But little do we realize that with that power we can do ANYTHING. God has literally given all of His children access to the thing that can help them overcome ANY negativity, trials or affliction. He knew how hard it would be, despite the fact we knew it was coming. So He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. WHATEVER your issues, thoughts, problems or trials are....PLEASE get on your knees. God will bless you strength. That doesn't mean the load will be lighter....it just means you will be stronger.
This week has been a week of many miracles. In my life right now, the people are the greatest miracle and blessing. One of these people include Sister Reyes. Sister Reyes is an incredible woman. She was baptized a couple years ago, but has since fallen away from the church. She hates who she is. She hates the way she looks, the way her life has been and feels worthless. Her self confidence and her purpose in life was so overshadowed by things of the world. It amazes me how often Satan attacks women. Tells them that they aren't thin enough that they aren't pretty enough, that they aren't good enough for anything. HOW FALSE THAT IS, but how often do we let it control our minds, but fretting about pointless things! If we can learn to see with ETERNAL EYES, nothing else really does matter. Literally nothing. As I looked into the eyes of Sister Reyes that night all I could see was sheer beauty. A Queen that has merely forgotten WHO she is and WHERE she came from and most importantly WHO she is becoming. I think EVERY girl struggles with this. WHY!?!??!?!? because Satan is so darn good at what he does. He makes the most powerful, beautiful and righteous daughters of God feel like they don't even deserve to lick the dust off the floor. Sister Reyes was bawling and crying saying that she is not worth anything that she is ugly and that no man would love her. Then we started to sing. Yes, weird, but true. We sang "Soy un hijo de Dios" (I am a Child of God) with her. The Spirit entered that room so strongly I couldn't fight the tears. "I am a child of God, and HE has sent me here....has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear....LEAD me, GUIDE me, WALK beside me, HELP me find the way.....TEACH me ALL THAT I MUST DO to live with Him someday." Does that song not perfectly describe our purpose on earth and the role that Heavenly Father plays? If we would just remember that all we do in this life and all we endure, suffer and go through is BECAUSE WE ARE GODS in TRAINING! Never forget that. Sister Reyes has never looked happier than I have ever seen her after that night. She walks with confidence in knowing that she is in fact a Daughter of a King, and that is all that matters. She is a daughter of a king. Just like you. You are a son or daughter of a King, and because of that...NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. We are going to mess up at times and we are going to forget...but when you are constantly seeing with eternal eyes you will remember and understand that you chose this and YOU CAN DO THIS because you have undying power BECAUSE OF WHO YOU ARE. We got to teach the young women this week. Oh, how I love the young women. They too need to know this. Everyone does, but ESPECIALLY them. Remind your young women, and all the women in your life who they are. DO NOT LET THEM FORGET!
On a less-preachy note----My companion has informed me that I have "arrived" with the Spanish language. Not in the fact that I can speak the language perfectly at all....but....I HAVE BEEN SLEEP TALKING IN SPANISH! Hooray! My companion also sleep talks and so it makes me wonder if we ever have conversations in the night. Who knows. All I know is that I was screaming with joy when I found out!
The apartment is literally infested with cockroaches. We find them everywhere....it is like a game. I love it! At night we come in the door exhausted...but we flip on the lights and creatures flee to the corners....with shoes in hand we have competitions to see who can kill the most! We should probably just get spray...but the game is way too fun. One day I woke up and in front of my eyes on the blanket was a bug! YES! I love knowing that there are living things everywhere. I am working on loving ALL of God's beautiful creations. One juicy, crunchy cockroach at a time. :)
The work is extremely busy! I love it! So much! We have been doing a lot of finding. A LOT. We teach a ton of lessons (usually the restoration), but the problem is finding them again. The Hispanic people are a very hard working people without a schedule or concept of time. So we are working with a variety of investigators and have some awesome members that are coming to lessons and hosting lessons in their homes! I love getting to know the people here. We have also taught in the most interesting and fun circumstances. One time we were teaching this old man on his stairs and the fire alarm went off (right as we were inviting him to baptism, of course) and people started running out! It was hilarious, but we got a return appointment with him! We were in another lesson with a family we are teaching (Jose and Silvia Hernandez family) and their little kids ran up to us and gave us raw meat. My companion and I looked at each other and hesitatingly said, "Wow! Thanks! Raw meat!" We sat their and taught the rest of the lesson with raw meat in our hands. GROSS!! But it is all so worth it. I love these people so much and what I love even more is seeing them grow and progress to be a little closer with their Father in Heaven. I am also having a little competition with one of our investigators to see who will finish the Book of Mormon first! So far she is beating me! She is incredible!!!
Today we went to the Potomac River as a Zone activity! What a BEAUTIFUL sight! As we hiked around the river I thought to myself--"Peace, like a river." How often do we forget to just STOP and enjoy life? I would dare to say most of us don't do it often enough. Go out and ENJOY your life. Find something everyday to be excited for and happy about! There really is SO much beauty around us!
Transfers are this week, so we will see what happens! President told me that I will be training! I am super excited, but super nervous!
Thanks for all your emails, letters, prayers, and support! It literally means the world to me!
I love you more than anything in the world,
|The four Sisters in our zone that speak Spanish! -- Hermanas Christensen, Rane, Weenig, and Allen. At Great Falls! A national park that is near our home!|
|Great Falls National Park|