I'm writing this email while I'm on a spiritual/missionary/gospel
high, so be prepared. ;D ha ha. There were some definite ups and downs
this week, but the ups make the downs pale in comparison.
First off, a few unique things we did this week:
- Ward chili cook-off...we got to be the judges! 'Twas delicious.
- Meet the Mormons movie night! We helped with popping the
popcorn...living the dream!
- Got to teach seminary and tell the stories of how we decided to
serve missions....definitely a highlight!
We have this really awesome investigator, and her name in Cathy. She's
had a few baptismal dates in the past, but when her son passed away a
month ago, she wanted to postpone her date. She believes all of it
though--she's even watched several conference talks. When we saw her
this past week, we watched the talk by Elder Paul V. Johnson (PS he is
President Johnson's brother!!) called "And there shall be no more
death". It was such a powerful moment because I felt the spirit so
strongly. One thing I have come to know with unshaken faith is that
the plan of salvation is REAL. We WILL see our loved ones again. This
faith has been tested this week in other ways, as you'll find out in a
The Spirit is INCREDIBLE. Honestly, it is what makes or breaks
missionary work. Without it, we can't do anything. I absolutely ADORE
moments in lessons when something comes to my mind that I should
say/share, and I do, and it is exactly what they needed at that
moment. But it's not me. It's 100% the Spirit. There's this lady named
Milly that we are trying to help come back to church who we taught
this week. After being prompted to by the spirit I shared a quote by
Elder Holland, and it was perfect for her. Our Heavenly Father truly
knows each of us individually and loves us perfectly.
" . . . However late you think you are, however many chances you think
you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or
talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family
and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not
traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you
to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Another amazing moment with the Spirit. We have another investigator
named Vanita. We saw her this week and taught her the Restoration. We
taught from the pamphlet, and when we teach it, we usually have them
read Joseph Smith's account of the first vision, but this time I
decided to recite it as I looked into her eyes. The Spirit filled the
room and I felt it from head to toe. She could feel it too--it was one
of the most powerful moments thus far on my mission.
We had to lean on our faith in the plan of salvation more this weekend
as a member of our ward passed away Saturday morning. Her name was
Wendy, and she was amazing. I barely knew her, but I know she had
turned her life around very recently, had become active in the church, and just
went through the Temple the week before. Sister Smith had such a hand in
that, and she was devastated with the news (Please pray for her-she is having
a really hard time with it). My heart broke too, though I had only seen her a
handful of times. She was only in her 50's and this came out of nowhere.
She has been in a lot of pain due to health problems, but we had no idea she
would be called Home so soon. Regretfully, Wendy had invited us over on
Friday to see her and her grandkids, but we had other things planned so we
didn't go. Wishing we would have made time for her, but now it's too late.
As hard as it is, I know unshakenly that God is the One in control. He is and
He always will be. Yesterday we had Stake Conference, and it was incredible.
We sang in the choir and all thought of Wendy as we did. She loved singing in
the choir; it had changed her life. We sang for her, and it felt like she was there.
Another member of the ward also passed away this weekend, her name was
Dorene. Hers was more expected due to the cancer that had overtaken
her body in a short amount of time. Both Dorene and Wendy were in a
lot of pain in this life, but now they are no longer suffering. With
all this that has happened, and the passing of Sister Wells two months
ago, I have come to gain unshaken faith in the plan of salvation. It
Last night, we participated in another "Why I Believe" fireside.
Sister Johnson asked me to sing a musical number, so we drove to Plum
(close-ish to Pittsburgh) to sing there. Unfortunately, President
Johnson wasn't feeling well (we found out later he had a kidney stone,
poor man) so we had to go forward with the fireside without he and
Sister Johnson. All was well, though. I sang with the other
missionaries in the choir, and also a solo: "Blessed Be His Name"
(written by Tyler Castleton, sung by Jenny Phillips). The members and
the missionaries loved it. The Spirit carried the message of that song
to the hearts of those listening. It was a beautiful experience and I
felt blessed to be able to be there and share.
This gospel is SO true. It is life changing. And I love it. I also
love you with all of my heart. I hope you have a wonderful week!
"Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is
cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever." (Elder Holland)
Being a Missionary = HAPPINESS!!!
At the "Why I Believe Fireside" with
Sister Taunima - one of my favorite peeps!
Popping popcorn for movie night--
living the dream!!