Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 34: Refining Moments

So last week's email was pretty fantastic. And there's just no way I can top that. And I have a few things I have to take care of today for my mission president. 

Basically: this is going to be a super duper short email that will mostly be my testimony. 

All of our investigators had their lives blow up. Same with most of the recent converts, too. And I can't really share any details because of confidentiality issues. But basically anything you can imagine before someone dying is what happened to every one this week. And it's been intense. And we've been put in the middle of it all. There is only so much we can do, and there is so much more to do to become the missionaries God wants us to be. 

On top of it all, I tripped on a sidewalk that tried to eat me and now have two skinned knees and large bruise on my cheek. 

The moral of the story: this has been an overwhelmingly refining week for Sister Holbrook. And it will continue to be.

1 Nephi 20:10 "For behold, I have refined thee; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." 

Our job as missionaries is to go forth and preach the gospel. The hardest part of missionary work is remembering that people have their own agency, then seeing them utilize their agency in less-than desirable ways. We show them, we teach them, we help them, and they still won't do anything about it. They lose their hope and their faith, and expect us to solve everything. We can't.

2 Nephi 2:27 "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."

It is incredibly frustrating when people don't choose to exercise faith and call upon our Heavenly Father for His help. I cannot even imagine how sorrowful that makes our Heavenly Father. But there is an amazing thing: Christ suffered for each one of us, regardless of if we choose to accept His Atonement or not. He loves us so much, and He is just waiting to help us. We simply have to choose to rely on Him, to trust in His plan and timing, and to do the things that He has asked. And those things really are not that hard, because when we do them, we are promised His help.

I know that when we put our trust in God, He helps us. When we call on Him in faith, believing He will answer, He helps us. He is always there, reaching out to us. It is up to us if we will reach back to Him.

I really do love this gospel. I love the peace, hope, and true joy that it brings into my life. I love being a missionary! I would not trade the experiences of this past week for anything. The Lord continues to shape and refine me into the daughter He knows I can become. And He does the same with each of us if we will trust in Him. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." 

I love my Savior. I love my Heavenly Father. I can see their hand in every single day as I actively look for those miracles. I know He is there. I know He loves us. If you haven't recently, or ever, please take the time to kneel and pray. Talk with your Father in Heaven about life. Thank Him. Ask Him for His help. You will find answers and peace in your life.

I love you all! Remember to smile, because life really is a wonderful thing!

Sister Holbrook

Ridiculously deliciously massive breakfast at Penny Anne's. #oops 

The top of Ensign Peak with Sister Lwin!! Woot woot!

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