Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week 40: Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

I realized this week just how much I love my mission. "The attitude you have toward your mission experience is a reflection of your love toward your Heavenly Father and His Son and your respect for the priesthood." Preach My Gospel page 151

I never want this time to end. I am exhausted and frustrated sometimes, but I love these people so much. If only they would use their agency correctly... oh well. I love being able to devote all my time and attention to serving and helping and teaching my brothers and sisters, these other children of Heavenly Father. I wouldn't trade this time for anything. 

Carly was baptized back in December. She got a calling early in February (an assignment to serve in the ward) and hasn't been to church since then. We were finally able to get an appointment set up with her this past week. We had an AMAZING visit with her! She knew the gospel was true the first time she heard the story of Joseph Smith's First Vision. We talked with her about some of the concerns she has, mostly with being overwhelmed right after she was baptized with various things, and then school and work and starting her own business became consuming, too. 

This week, we'll be reading the Book of Mormon with her, and she is so excited! She read all the pamphlets, but the missionaries before never really taught her official lessons. So we're going to go through the lessons with her and help her progress to the temple. She committed to work towards the end of August for going to the temple to do baptisms. We are so excited for her! Her testimony is incredible, and her love for the gospel is already inspiring. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such faith-filled people and to have the opportunity to work with them to strengthen that faith even more.

We had fun adventures visiting people in one of our wards with Sister Abraham, a ward missionary. We met Coralia (see story below) and some Young Men-age boys who she invited to an activity that night. Afterwards, she fed us lunch and we just visited and heard her life story. And learned to say a few things in American Sign Language :) It's amazing to see the difference between those who have been truly converted to the gospel and let Christ be at the center of their lives, as opposed to those who let everything else in the world get in the way.

"Our mortal lives are a constant struggle between choosing a oneness with God or a oneness with the world." -Tad R. Callister, "The Infinite Atonement"

We had a blast helping Sister Larsen, one of the widows in the ward, clean out her sewing room. We found old treasures, lots of dust, and learned lots about sewing and quilting. She shared lots of wisdom about how we can't just talk the talk, we've got to walk the walk before the Lord can truly help us.

This week I brushed up on my Spanish! We went and visited Coralia, a sweet sister from Guatemala who is not a member of the Church. Her two kids go to church every single week and absolutely LOVE it. We visited them with Sister Abraham, and she agreed to a return appointment despite my rusty Spanish translation. We returned with Sister Fletcher (who speaks legit Spanish) and just talked for a bit. Coralia gave us delicious Guatemalan tamales. And then the Spanish Elders arrived and took over. 

What stood out to me from that experience, though, is how her heart has softened because of the examples of her children. Mosiah 3:19 counsels us to become as little children. Their faith and their desire to follow Jesus Christ has brought the Spirit into their home, and Coralia's heart has slowly softened over time.

Prayer, especially praying in faith, has been a huge theme for me this week. Just study pages 93-95 in Preach My Gospel. "You can teach in the Lord's way only by the power of the Spirit, and you receive the Spirit through the prayer of faith." This is His work, and it must be done in His way. I know that as we continually seek the guidance of the Spirit and follow those promptings, the Lord will guide us in where we need to go, what we need to do, who we need to visit, and what to share with each of them. I know that prayer is a sacred time to talk with our Heavenly Father, and I am so grateful that we can take that time to pray any time, any day. Hopefully continually every day! 

3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."

I love this gospel. I love you all! I know our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live! I know that as we seek His help and guidance and comfort, He will lead us in all that He has for us to accomplish. I know His will is far greater than ours. This is His work. He will not let us fail. 

Remember to smile! 2 Nephi 9:39

Sister Holbrook
(the super duper old one)

You all should explore lds.org. The front page is packed full of incredible articles and talks that I don't have time to read. So sad. You all should do it for me instead :)

This is a fantastic article that just gives a little extra boost of motivation to share the gospel!

Funny story of the week: Oceanus the Titan and Idaea the Nymph
Congratulations, Holbrook family. We're related to legends.

A few things we learned from Sister Holbrook’s hand-written letters this week:
Her quote from Pres Hansen last week  – SCUFF means Short, Simple, Clear, Understandable, Frequent Lessons.  Sounds like a good thing to use when teaching anyone!
The Utah missions are not allowed to tract – as in knock on doors.  So they try to talk to people in the streets.  Most people are really nice even if they aren’t interested.  They don’t yell at them or call them names, so that is good.

Sister Larsen and me. I love this sweet, wise, tells-it-like-it-is sister. 

Companionship picture!

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