Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week 49: If the Savior Stood Beside Me

I love this song for many reasons. This week, I love it because I know it's true. The Savior does stand besides us in all things! We had a musical sacrament meeting program yesterday that was a testimony to me of the power of music to touch our hearts. That meeting was for our investigator who was there that day, but I was also able to feel Heavenly Father's love through the testimonies that were shared. 

SO MUCH happened this week. And I have about ten minutes left... ready GO!

Tia. I got a text late Sunday night last week saying that Tia was going to do baptisms for the dead at the temple for the first time on Tuesday! I found a ride up to Bountiful and was able to be there with her for that incredible experience. Tia was able to be baptized and confirmed for her mom, and she had a sweet experience being able to perform that ordinance for her mom. It was amazing to be able to see Tia, to see how she's grown in her faith since I saw her back in April, and how much she loves the gospel! 

Wally and Ayak were baptized on Saturday!! Their dad was so happy for them, and he was able to share some sweet testimonies with them as he reflected on the joy of his own baptism. We asked their dad why he chose to be baptized, and he simply said, "Well, because I know this is the true church." I love this sweet family. I love how they have grown closer together as they have made the gospel a more central focus in their lives. I am excited to continue to help them grow!

We always have amazing lessons with Megan. This week we talked about repentance. For her, it is such a foreign concept, the idea that we can be completely forgiven of anything we do wrong. Sister Banaña and Sister Lwin bore powerful testimonies of the love of our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We talked about how repentance really means changing our lives to be more in line with God's will, and asking for His help and forgiveness to do so. We talked about experiencing a change of heart, and Megan was able to share about the changes she's seen in her life since she's just been coming to church beginning in February. I love her so much. I love her desire to know. I am so grateful for her commitment to the gospel, even if she doesn't fully believe it's true just yet. I know our Heavenly Father answers our prayers. I know He will help us to know what we need to share in the moment we need to share it.

Adame. We had an appointment fall through this past week, but a member came with us so we went to visit some other people we knew about in that apartment complex. We contacted a man named Adame on the stairs, and the member was able to offer him a ride to church. Miracle: he actually came this Sunday! And he really wants to learn more, so the member coordinated a lesson and dinner with him. I love these people. I love their desire to share the gospel! 

Family history. Researching our ancestors, finding their names and stories, and taking those names to the temple to receive the ordinances of salvation is the most incredible thing in the world. I know that as we do family history, we can feel an extra portion of the Spirit in our lives. Working with our ancestors allows us to be even more protected against the continual attacks of Satan. Satan's power is real, but we can counteract that as we take righteous actions!

God's timing. "Some blessings come soon, some come late, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, THEY COME." -Elder Holland
"Faith in God includes faith in His timing." -Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Both of these statements are true. We are where we are for a reason. We receive answers for a reason. Heavenly Father tries our patience that we can learn and grown. 

Some science-y stuff for you: This one guy gave a talk yesterday about obedience that was absolutely amazing. He shared from a science article some studies that have been done on decision-making and the ability to make decisions over the course of a day. We all have a limited amount of mental energy. If we use that energy extensively, it goes down and our ability to decide also decreases. If you're faced with a chocolate chip cookie and resist the decision to eat it, you lose more mental energy than if you simply avoided the chocolate chip cookie. He compared this to facing temptation in life. If we choose to just avoid temptation completely, if we make decisions early on in life and in the day, we don't have to use that mental energy later on when we have a limited resource left.

Don't know if that made sense. But it's pretty awesome. Science proves it: living the gospel will make your life easier.

And the best miracle of all: after months of waiting, Ally is finally getting baptized! I love this girl so much, and it is amazing to see how she recognizes how the gospel has helped her in her life. She's an incredible example of faith and patience to me and to her family. The 26th is going to be an amazing day :)

Funny quote: we were walking up to a door and this little kid outside shouted in to his parents, "THE CHURCH IS HERE!!!" So funny!

Oh, and the Spanish-speaking Jehovah's Witnesses missionaries showed up at our door this week. We had an awesome conversation about how faith in Christ has helped us in our lives, and I got to practice my Spanish a bit.

Next week is transfers. Craziness! We'll let you know what all happens.

I love you all! The gospel is true! Heavenly Father loves each one of you. Never forget it. 
Remember to smile. Expect miracles. Pray always.

Sister Holbrook

This is what it's all about: helping people come to the temple to feel the Spirit even more strongly and help others receive the ordinances they need to return to their Heavenly Father. 

Wally and Ayak's baptism!! Getting them to smile is a chore sometimes...

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