Sunday, December 14, 2014

Samara - Week 15 - "See the Salvation of the Lord"

November 3, 2014
All is well,

This week was a little bit crazy. We didn't get to work in our area very much. But we had zone conference and it was wonderful :) President Klebingat (he spoke in general conference and is a VERY powerful speaker) came and spoke to us.

Elder Jörg Klebingat

At the end of the conference it was open to questions. I had a burning question in my heart so I raised my hand as quickly as I could :) "During planning we have impressions that we will baptize a certain amount of people in a cycle, we feel that these answers come from the spirit. If we are exercising faith and repenting, then why do we still fall short of those goals? Does that mean it is God's will, or does it mean we didn't exercise enough faith? What does it mean?" There were a few answers given (this doesn't just apply to missionaries setting goals, this applies to all). 

One answer: your goal was so good, it was pure, you had good intents, and God knew this. He confirmed your "goal" whether you would accomplish it or not, because he knew what you would accomplish in yourself while in the process. Goals push us to do things. He knew that goal would push us to be a better person, we would perfect ourselves in the process! Honestly God doesn't care that much about the end goal, he cares about what you do in order to reach it. 

The second answer: agency of others. Maybe that goal was really supposed to be so, we had every intention of accomplishing it. I think that God had the intent to help us accomplish it too. In fact, God's work and his glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. However, do you think that God is going to reach that goal? Sadly, the answer is no. He loves us so much, he wants that gift for every single human being. Salvation is free, but by using our free agency incorrectly we deny ourselves of that precious gift. Sometimes we also fall short, not because of God, but because of the actions of men. But don't let that get you down! Remember that God will never abandon you :) 

My companion and I studied Alma 37 today and were heavily impressed by the following verses. These scriptures are talking about the Liahona:

40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.

 41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;

"if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, IT WAS DONE... nevertheless... they were slothful, and FORGOT to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey." How sad! All that they did was forget to exercise faith, and the marvelous works ceased. You know who wants us to forget? Satan. He uses forgetfulness as a weapon against us. He wants us to forget the feeling we get after we serve someone. He wants us to forget the joy that comes from self mastery as we are obedient to God's commandments. He wants us to forget that we need to rely on the Lord's power, not our own. He wants us to forget who we are. However, there is another source of power that counteracts Satan's influence, and that is the Holy Ghost. One of his roles is to help us remember. He gently reminds us who we are, and who Satan is. We will always have more power than Satan, we have a body! Who does he think he is anyways. 

Sister Martinez and I are doing wonderfully :) We're two happy peas in a pod, and we are working hard. And you know what? When we aren't, we recognize it, we repent, correct it, and move on. Repent and move on :)

We had made a goal to have 140 baptisms this year. I believe that we have about 60 baptisms left in the year. I want to share a small part of President's letter: 

"Satan knows what is about to happen and so do we! We have already far surpassed 2013's baptisms with two months still left to go. But to reach our mission's 2014 baptismal goal, every companionship will need to baptize two people by the end of the year. Can it be done? ABSOLUTELY!! We believe in a mighty "God of miracles" (Mormon 9:19) who created us and also worlds without number, who moves mountains, raises the dead and parts seas--who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. A God who "comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:41). 

With two months and three days left until the end of the year, IT IS NOW "CRUNCH" TIME! It is time to give our very best, to work our hardest, to give everything we can! It is time to exercise even greater faith, to trust in God, and to cast out all doubts and fears. In a miraculous way, it is time for us, just as it was time for the Children of Israel standing before the Red Sea, to "fear not" and "see the salvation of the Lord" (Exodus 14:13). To those people, Moses said: "The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace" (Exodus 14:14)."

I love being here, I can't tell you how much I have seen myself grow. I am so uncomfortable all the time, I am being stretched. And it's good, because I am a natural man. And by being stretched, by going through some stress, I will be made perfect in the potter's hands. I trust my loving master. 

I love you all :) thanks for the support!
--Sister Brooklyn Wilson 

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