July 27, 2015
All is well,
This week was a bit of a rough one. We spent last Monday on a train up to Penza to do splits with Sisters Wagstaff and Thomas. That was really fun :) it's always nice to have a change of scenary. Also it was fun serving with Sister Wagstaff again, she was my last companion and I have missed her spunky personality. We spent a lot of time singing Josh Groban together during meal times this week :) I loved the train rides, it was nice to just sit back for a few hours and write in my journal or read a Liahona. Although our area really took a hit from it this week... we only had 2 member present lessons and one investigator at church.
My companion is doing great, we spent some time discussing how we can exercise more faith this morning and I agreed that we need to cast out negative thoughts by SPEAKING something positive. Words are more powerful than thoughts right?
MIRACLE! One of our investigators, who is the father of a new convert, has been struggling to read the Book of Mormon, especially because it's harder for him to understand since its not in his native language. This week he had a dream about a book that he received from some higher power, and the pages of the book were glowing. He said that he knew that his dream was about the Book of Mormon. Even though he can't read it, he said that he received a testimony of its divinity thanks to this dream. We are always asking that Heavenly Father somehow bless our investigators to know the truthfulness of the church. I am so grateful that we aren't the ones who need to think up these miracles, but that God gives a special witness to each person in a special way, because he is the only one who really knows what they need.
I love church. So so much. If you are ever bored at church I would like to invite you to go to church with a pen and a paper. Why would God open the heavens and give you revelation if you're just going to forget it? When we have a pencil and a paper in our hands God knows that we are serious about learning :) you would never go to math class or biology class without a pen and a paper, so why wouldn't you do the same in church? Why do we go to church in the first place? To learn right? By bringing a pen and paper you can recall the feelings and the promptings of the Spirit that you had at church, and take those home with you.
I have been really struggling to keep my faith consistent. I feel like my body and the natural man really makes me forget my purpose here from time to time. At all times I honestly try to talk with everyone. I do the work. Wonderful. But honestly I feel like more than frequently I get turned on autopilot, no matter how hard I pray about charity I feel like I am sometimes speaking without feeling or sincerity and I really hate it. But I know that there is opposition in all things, my best today is not what my best will be tomorrow or what it was yesterday. And for that reason I am grateful for the atonement. I am grateful that Christ knows EXACTLY what I am feeling. He knows what it feels like to have such a serious calling because his calling was the most serious calling of all... atoning for all mankind. If I just remember that this is his work and not mine, that I am simply a servant in the field and I have no say in when the harvest will be... it takes a great weight off my shoulders. I really wish I could keep that perspective and remember that more often.
Yesterday our mission president came to our branch for church. I am coming to an end on my mission and have really been begging my Heavenly Father for more steam. I feel like I have never understood the words, "endure to the end" until now. It's really not hard enduring to the end, anyone can do it, but the quality of our enduring is really what counts. Runners sprint to the end, they don't slow down, and I want to be able to do the same. The mission president's wife said something that really struck me. She said, "before this life, we lived with God, and he had a plan for us to come to earth and to receive a body to become more like him. Right now we are learning how to use our bodies, how to control our bodies, we haven't always had a body." In that moment I realized something. How long did I live with God before this life? Probably a loooong time. How long have I had a body? 20 years. No wonder it is so hard to control this thing, to not get annoyed by small things or not to lash out when we're hungry or not to complain when things don't go write, to tame our natural man. We aren't used to it. We're still learning how to use our bodies. That thought really helped me to have more mercy on myself, and I know that God has infinite patience with us as well, and Christ's atonement will be there for us until we get it right :)
I love my mission, always will :) it's full of the sweet and full of the bitter. But we are promised by a loving Heavenly Father that anything bitter, anything unfair or hard will be made right by the atonement. I know that is true.
Sister Brooklyn Wilson