Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Week is Officially Titled "Finding" Week

November 15th 2010

Wow! Was this week just the greatest! Although our numbers most definitely will not reflect our efforts, this week I am officially titling my biggest "finding" week. We have met so many amazing people by knocking doors and talking to almost everyone we see on the street. Most have not been interested, but the seeds have been planted, in which with those who have shown some interest we hope to be able to add to our teaching pool this coming week. It still amazes me how powerful the Spirit is in this work. Never in my life have I met complete strangers (although they are not strangers to God) and had so many in "depth" and personal conversations with people. Multiple times throughout this week, we have met people who literally with in minutes were in tears while talking to us at their doorstep. Although with many of them we never made it past the doorstep, the opportunity to express love and comfort those who stood in need of comfort, even if just for a brief moment, has truly been such a blessed opportunity. I am often reminded of the fact that we are the Lord's hands here upon the earth. I recently read a few conference talks from the April conference and although I cannot remember who said it now, I know that even the smallest acts of kindness that may lift someone's day is indeed apart of this the Lord's work. Even just a simple smile can turn around someone's day. It is a matter of reaching out to all those within the realm of our influence: friends, family, acquaintances or maybe even strangers, that does indeed make the biggest difference. Remember, "It is when we are in the service of our fellow beings, that we really are only in the service of our God."

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I have come to recognize I have SO much to be grateful for! I am especially grateful for each and every one of you! You, my family, mean the absolute world to me. And although we cannot speak face to face or even have a phone conversation until Christmas, there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of each and every one of you. I talk about you often, especially to people that we meet. I have so much love for you and I am forever grateful for your prayers, love and support. I have also come to realize how incredibly grateful I am for this gospel and for the testimony that God has blessed me with. Rather than at times focusing on the things that I know I lack, I have been trying to focus on the things I know I have and am grateful to have. Specifically my testimony. As mentioned before, there probably has not been a day since coming out here on my mission where my testimony and faith has not been challenged, whether indirectly or directly by somebody else. But it has caused me to cling tighter to the precious truths of the restored gospel that I hold so very dear to my heart. On another note, I am also grateful for the ability we have to choose and make choices that can bring us the greatest peace, joy, and hope in this life and for the life to come. Although, the choices of others can be heart-breaking at times...I know that it is by our choices that we can experience life's greatest joys. When we make righteous choices and use our agency to continually rely upon the merits of Him who is mighty to save, the reward is eternal life. I am grateful for the Atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If it were not for Him, I would not be able to make it through the days that sometimes are difficult to endure. Every morning that I wake up, I truly am grateful for another day that the Lord has blessed me to live another day and to be here in the service of Him in this, the Lord's work. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. I am constantly learning, changing, growing...and maturing spiritually in ways I'd never quite imagined! Lately, I have even become more unusually attached to my name badge, that inevitably does declare to the world, that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to represent Him. I earnestly strive to do the things He would have me to do; and the ever so constant prayer in my heart is that my words may be His words, my actions His actions, and my thoughts His thoughts. I love this gospel. I love my Savior and my Father in Heaven. Each day is a blessed opportunity for me to prove my faith and to give thanks for all the many wonderful blessings that I do have. I have 10 more months to be fully consecrated to the Lord and to serve full-time in this part of the vineyard, so I know that I am so very blessed! I want to continue to labor diligently, with all my heart, might, mind and strength...and hopefully bring many more people to a knowledge of the truth! Whatever it is that He would have me do at this time, whether it be planting the seeds in the hearts of others, making someone's day better just by a simple doorstep conversation, or teaching the restored gospel and inviting those who have been prepared to enter the waters of baptism that open the gates to the Celestial Kingdom, I will do what the Lord needs me to do!

This coming week we have many more planned finding activities again, in hopes to find those whom the Lord has prepared. We just recently set a very high baptism goal for the month of December, in faith the mission will have a very "white" Christmas this year. We are working with some great people right now. I failed to mention earlier that we very recently started teaching the Mendez family again. This is the family Sis. Naylor and I were teaching when I first came out to the mission. They are a great family, with STRONG potential. We feel that in the Lord's due time, they will most definitely come into the fold of God- as a family! It is always the ideal situation when you have the Dad who is interested in listening and interested in doing what is absolutely best for his family. Please add them to your prayer list :) Moises, Margarita, Yesenia, Julisa, and Lupe. Julisa, who is 11, looks just like Alex! It's crazy how much they look alike, and it makes me miss you baby sis even more lol.

Well, fam I gotta go now. Today we are doing up to Leavenworth to take some old fashioned photos as a district. I know I need to send pics soon, so I'll try to do that in the immediate future. I miss you all so very much! Hope you have a fantastic week! Until next week, hope to hear from ya'll soon. Hugs

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