I am grateful for my parents. So incredibly thankful for them. I am so glad my dad taught me how to change a lightbulb, fix a toilet, check a fire alarm, etc. I am grateful my mom taught me the importance of thank you notes, weekly cleaning, planning sessions, taking pictures, etc. They have both taught me so much that I have used daily on my mission. Yes I did have to fix a toilet and change a lightbulb, and we do write thank you notes for our dinner appointments. So there's my little shout out to my amazing parents! I am truly blessed to have them for eternity.
Hymn #45 is absolutely beautiful. Especially the 3rd verse.
This week we had some rough patches with our investigators who are preparing to be baptized. Satan works so hard on people as they prepare to make these covenants (or promises to God) at baptism. But we are promised time and time again in the scriptures that Heavenly Father is with us, and He is far more powerful than Satan ever will be. We also saw miracles this week in the number of lessons we had and in the number of members who want to come out teaching with us. This stake truly is incredible, and the members have caught the vision. I am so grateful to be working with them!
We are trying to be more creative in our approaches to finding people to teach and helping members be more involved. We'll see where the Spirit takes us in that endeavor. Ideas would be welcome :)
Elder Ballard spoke about the importance of knowing the doctrine. When we truly know the doctrine, we can go and teach in faith and confidence. When we know the lessons inPreach My Gospel chapter 3, we can testify and teach with everyone we talk to. When we know the truths we teach, we can be confident in sharing our beliefs with anyone, even kings and rulers of the world. When we really know what it is our Heavenly Father needs us to teach, the doctrine moves from our head to our hearts. When teach from our hearts, others can feel the Spirit touch their heart as well, and that is where conversion takes place.
Elder (or Brother... not sure because Elder Ballard kept calling him Bill...) came as a last minute addition to our mission meeting. That man is incredible. His faith truly motivates everything he does, and when he keeps his faith in Christ at the center of his life, he has seen great things happen both professionally and spiritually. He counseled us to look for the right opportunities to be successful, to always accept Church callings, to make work and prayer the recipe for success in all things, to always ask others for their opinions, and to love every single second of whatever you do.
Something that amazes me every single day is the power of simple invitations. When we talk about lessons, we give the same invitations to each person: Will you read the scriptures, pray every day, have Family Home Evening, keep the Word of Wisdom, pay tithing, obey the 10 commandments, pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true, come to Church, etc. But the three we almost ALWAYS give to people is something we refer to as CPR: will you come to Church? Will you pray every day/to know the Church is true? Will you read the Book of Mormon every day? Church, pray, read. Three very simple things that are completely central to building our testimony, staying converted to Christ, and feeling the Spirit in our homes and our hearts.
And so today, I extend a simple invitation to each one of you:
Will you pray every day to know that your Heavenly Father loves you?
It seems a simple thing. You would think everyone would know that beautiful truth. But I know there are several of you who may have never thought of that, and all of us need to be reminded.
Will you do that this week?
I hope you said yes.
I look forward to hearing about your experiences this next week.
I love each one of you so much. I know this Church is true. I know our Savior lives! I know the Holy Ghost is there to lead and guide and comfort us along the way. I know God is our Father. He loves us, more than we could imagine. He knows exactly what we need, and as we turn to Him in full faith, He will bless us beyond comprehension.
I love this work. I love this gospel. I love my Savior. And I love you all :)
Expect miracles and remember to smile!
With Tia and the Norman family. They have been a huge help in being friends to Tia and providing a place for us to teach her. And Christian (the Norman's son) is one of the sweetest kids I've ever met.
Besides my little brother :)
Angela, me, and Kinley at Temple Square!! Temple Square is such an amazing missionary tool. It really is a safe haven. And Angela is preparing to be baptized, and Kinley is such a great support and example for her. Love them.