Monday, January 27, 2014

Wise Men Build Houses on ROCKS

 I LOVE being a missionary. If you were to ask me on a scale of 1 to 10 how happy and how much I love this great work I wouldn't be able to answer because there is no scale high enough. Inviting and helping others so BUILD upon Jesus Christ, and seeing them change and follow His path is something that seems like a dream come true. But it is honestly marvelous to see how the Lord's hand is quickly hastening His work here. I am seeing a pattern that is never ceasing throughout my own life as a missionary and in the process of helping others to come unto to Jesus Christ, and that is how to be SPIRITUALLY RELIANT on the Lord. Not worrying about friends, not worrying about family, or other opinions, but truly turning to the Lord in "every thought" and so we honestly can "doubt not, fear not." (D&C 6:36). We have been focusing on finding the elect and truly having people be converted to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by building on the "rock" of Jesus Christ and His atonement, so that "when all hail and mighty storms shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo" because BUILDING your life around Christ and His atonement, is "a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." (Helaman 5:12) This week went by SO fast and seriously so many miracles have been happening, that I don't even know where to start.
JUAN GONZALEZ ALEGRIA GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!!! WHAT A MIRACLE!!! :) :) :) :) :) :)  We are literally bouncing off the walls because we are so happy! He is one of the MOST prepared and most converted people that I have taught on my mission. He is absolutely wonderful, and I feel so blessed that I have had the opportunity to learn with him, the ward members fellowshipping him, and to invite him to come unto Christ. Juan is a WALKING MIRACLE. We learn a lot about being led and guided by the Spirit to find those who are ready to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Juan is definitely one that was carefully prepared by the Lord and placed in our paths. It seems like yesterday we were walking down the street when Juan walked by with his friends. We said "Hola" and sang a hymn about Christ and began teaching about Change and repentance and how we can be happy through following Jesus Christ. I now understand the POWER of talking to EVERYONE as a missionary, and opening our mouths at every chance. Literally. I have full confidence that every single person that crosses our path in some way has been prepared by the Lord for us to talk to, and teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Having that faith and confidence that these people have been prepared by the Lord, makes it so easy to talk to them about what has changed my life forever. Juan was prepared. He listened. He made HUGE changes. He reads the scriptures, came to church, prayed, stopped drinking beer and coffee, he found a NEW apartment place to live in a better environment, he bought a white shirt....HE CHANGED....all within FOUR WEEKS. He is now baptized, and one of the strongest members I have ever seen. He is literally building his life around Christ, and coming unto him. He literally will do anything to be closer to Christ. He has taught me a lot. He is always smiling, always wanting to serve and yesterday we asked him if he was going to go to the third hour of church, and he responded, "I have made a commitment to my God. Of course I am going." That rang throughout my ears all yesterday. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PHRASE! Juan Gonzalez is one that is truly BUILDING his life upon the rock of Jesus Christ. He has allowed the ATONEMENT of Christ to change Him and make him into something much better. Seeing Juan all in white was one of the coolest moments for me on my mission yet. He really has changed. When he went down into the font and was baptized---I will never forget the look on his face---it was PURE JOY. In fact, the man was smiling so big, I couldn't believe it! He was GLOWING! He is now Hermano Alegria (which means Brother Happiness, if you translate his name to English). I was smiling so big, my companion was smiling so big...and it was a JOY that can't be bought, learned or traded. It was amazing. Juan is clean and is starting totally over. And he is so happy. We are so happy. I am STILL smiling. He asked me to sing, "I know my Redeemer lives" at his baptism, because he had heard me sing it at another one, and said that was when he felt the Spirit so strongly that he needed to be baptized. Oh, the power of music! He received the Holy Ghost yesterday and it was the most beautiful blessing I have ever heard. He was promised to share the Gospel with many and be an instrument for good in the Lord's hands. Lets just say there was a LOT of tears shed. Tears of Joy are the best kind there are.
Nancy is another person who is building her life on the rock of Jesus Christ. SHE GETS BAPTIZED TOMORROW!!! She is so excited, we are so excited and the ward is so excited!!! Nancy is incredible. Seriously. I hate satan. He has been throwing like 1000000 darts of the adversary at her this week, one of them being that her best friend told her that she was totally doing the wrong thing by getting baptized. Nancy was so sad, but as she told us the story, she said in her mind that, "this is just a test, this is just a test." She told her best friend that real friends would love her and support her in her decisions to do what she knows and has felt is right. Nancy is the strongest person I have ever seen. She says, "I can't deny this is EXACTLY what the Lord wants me to be doing right now---and nothing anyone else says or does will break me." She truly has started founding her life upon the rock of Jesus Christ. Tomorrow she'll be laying that foundation! 
This week we had an ENTIRE mission conference! Elder Gifford S. Nelson of the quorum of the 70 came and spoke to us! It was absolutely fantastic! We learned a lot about getting to know our Savior Jesus Christ and ACTUALLY knowing who He is, and what He does for us, so that we can help other people come unto Him. One thing that really stood out to me was that as a missionary I am teaching people the Process of Becoming LIKE GOD. Isn't that incredible? The gospel of Jesus Christ, the reason we go to church, read the scriptures, pray and everything we do in the church is all part of the process to mold us into BECOMING LIKE GOD. We are God's in training...never forget that. Keep that perspective and nothing can break you. After, the leadership of the mission learned about how we can be better leaders and help serve the missionaries better. He talked about being SPIRITUALLY SELF RELIANT. That when we don't know what to do, where to go, what to say...ect.. the FIRST source we should turn to is the Lord. Often we don't do that. We turn to other outlets for counsel and advice. But the Lord knows us better than anyone else, so He will guide us to do the right things if we allow Him too. It is all part of BUILDING our lives on a foundation that WILL NOT fall. A foundation of turning to the Lord and being continually engaged in becoming like Gods. Elder Nelson said, "In every place you go, it isn't by chance. Ask them and ask yourself, 'God brought me here, so why am I here?' Then just listen and learn." WOW. POWERFUL. Nothing that God puts us through or people we meet is by chance.
We had president interviews this week, and President Riggs is one of the greatest people I have ever known! I know that God calls and inspires men to lead us and guide us so that we can reach our full potential as children of God.
SIDENOTE: I love my companion Hermana Dopp. She is teaching me so much to be a loving leader and she is so kind! We are working really hard and this week is a BIG week for us as we are putting forth our faith to the Lord and have set some really Big, hairy, audacious, goals for this next week. We are ready to find more of the Lord's elect and to work as hard as we can. A few of the Elders have challenged us again..... I love working hard and being motivated to give ALL that I am to the Lord. I think I am a bit of a competitive tyke. Hermana Dopp says, "I wish we had a ladder to all the rooftops, where we could just shout this all the day through." I would have to completely endorse that idea.
School here was canceled all week because of snow. Crazy, right? But it was perfect because everyone was inside and home! We did a ton of teaching and finding new people to teach and they are wonderful! We are so busy, and so grateful that the Lord is providing us with so much work! MIRACLES are happening and this ward IS ON FIRE! They are working around the clock to come to lessons with us, find friends to teach and miracles are happening!
Thank you so much for all your love, support, letters and prayers. I carry you in my heart and prayers and love you so much. I hope you never let other things get in the way of BECOMING LIKE A GOD. I am learning to be spiritually self-reliant so I don't have to rely on things, the internet, people, or whatever else to make me happy. LASTING JOY comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but a lot of times the world tells us to be TEMPORARY SATISFIED through other "joys." Don't let that trick you. You've got SO MUCH MORE JOY AND HAPPINESS THAT THE WORLD COULD NEVER OFFER. Don't loose sight of WHO you are and WHAT you are becoming. I love you. Don't build your life on the shifting sands of the world, choose to build your life on the ROCK of our Savior Jesus Christ...who never moves and is always there. We a wise one, and build your house and your life on a rock.
(on the STRONG foundation of our Savior Jesus Christ)

Hermana Weenig
Hermana Dopp, Juan Gonzalez Alegria and I. WAHOOOO!!! What a miracle! I love Juan! He is an amazing example! He is from Guatemala!!
Baptism! Amazing day! Bruno, a young man in the ward baptized him! What a special day!

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