I'm going to apologize in advance, my keyboard isn't working very well. So as you can see by the por speling so far, it won't let me type in double leters. Hapy editing, Mom!!! :)
We had an amazing week here in good ol' Mississauga! We've been trying to work as hard as we can, talk to lots of people, be obedient, etc... On Thursday last week, we had zone conference and that was honestly the best zone conference of my mission (which is a good thing I guess, considering the fact that it was my last one). I learned a lot about the importance of setting goals and making plans, not just as a missionary, but for the rest of my life. (Blessings! The person beside me moved, so I have a functioning keyboard now!). We also talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation, and President Shields shared something with us that I thought was pretty neat. He told us that he thinks in the pre-earth life, we were probably involved in the planning of the Plan of Salvation to some degree. Isn't that cool! My favorite thing I learned though, was at the end. President showed us a video from the last mission president's training. Elder Oaks gave a talk about the sacrament that encouraged the mission presidents to teach their missionaries to appreciate the sacrament. He said that in some churches, they participate in communion where everybody eats an identical sized wafer. In our church, we partake of the sacrament, where the bread is broken in our presence. Each piece of bread is unique in shape and size, just like the individual who partakes of it has unique sins and needs. He taught us to conscientiously renew our covenants each time we take the sacrament and to be grateful as we partake. Isn't that cool?!
At zone conference, all the missionaries who are going home that transfer give their departing testimonies. It was a very spiritual experience for me to be able to get up and share what my mission has meant to me. It has really taught me that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can have a change of heart and we can receive strength to do things that were once impossible for us. The Savior really has become more of a reality to me the past 18 months. Being a missionary is a sacred privilege that should not be taken lightly. We have such a great responsibility to represent our Savior. It has been such a blessing to serve him as a missionary.
After zone conference, we went on exchanges with our Creditview sisters. I was in Mississauga with Sister Keeslar. While we were on exchanges, we found a family to teach! It was so cool! They are both Christians, but the denomination they belong to only exists in Syria, so they are looking for a spiritual group to join. I think we can for sure help them out with that! It was such a blessing!
On Sunday, four of our investigators came to church! One of them was a new investigator named Rajani. She is from India, but over the past several years, she has come to believe in Jesus Christ. She walked into church on Sunday morning, stayed for all three hours, and then we taught her later that night. It was such a tender mercy!
I wanted to share two things I learned in my studies this week.
1). On Thursday, I was studying the talk Our Father's Glorious Plan from general conference. This part really stuck out to me. "Another of the great blessings of my life has been to feel the closeness of heaven during those moments when I sit at the bedside of people as they pass away. Early one morning some years ago, I entered the hospital room of a faithful Latter-day Saint widow who had cancer. Two of her daughters were sitting with her. As I went to her bedside, I quickly discovered that she was no longer suffering, because she had just died. In that moment of death, the room was filled with peace. Her daughters had a sweet sadness, but their hearts were filled with faith. They knew that their mother was not gone but had returned home. Even in our moments of deepest grief, in the moments when time stands still and life seems so unfair, we can find comfort in our Savior because He suffered as well. It was a privilege for me to be in the room." As I read, it really strengthened my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of eternal families. Death is not the end! Because of Jesus Christ, the grave has no victory and death has no sting!
2). First, can I just say that the Book of Mormon is so amazing! Wow! I don't know how I missed this before! I was reading in 1 Nephi 16, and as I read, I realized that so far, the Book of Mormon has been all about how Lehi's family deals with one trial after the other (like the effectual struggle in Mosiah 7:18 and the muddy creek story I shared a few months ago). I started comparing the different responses to the trials, and I put them in three main categories. A. Laman and Lemuel Level: Whenever something goes wrong, you immediately begin to murmur by your words and your attitude. B. Lehi Level: You're very faithful and want to obey, but sometimes murmur. C. Nephi Level: No matter what, you do not murmur. You trust the Lord and instead of just sitting around, waiting for your trial to end, you get up and act with the faith that solutions will come in God's timing. Our lives are like the first chapters of the Book of Mormon. There will always be challenges and trials to overcome which we cannot control. However, we can control our attitude. When we don't murmur, it is a sign of deep faith.
Wow, this email got really long! I love you all so much!
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Wow, it's August! When did that happen?! July just started. This week was such an amazing opportunity for Sister Varty and I to learn patience and diligence. We've lost almost all of our investigators, most of our appointments cancel or don't show up, and for those of you who have served missions, you know that it's not exactly the funnest situation to be in. It's been really good though because both of us are learning patience and humility. Last night, we were talking about it, and we decided that even though our area is not doing very well, we can still make these last three weeks of the transfer fun. We've both learned on our missions that the greatest joy comes as we obey with exactness and have urgency about the work. We've set goals and made plans to be exactly obedient and work super hard. We're doing our best to talk to every person the Lord puts in our path. (Haha, we've started talking to people through their car windows and inviting them to church while we sit at stop lights. It's pretty awkward, but it sure keeps the work exciting!) We both have so much more energy and a renewed love for the work! =)
Last night, we had such a good lesson with Sister Pat. (I love her...she calls us her little daughters!) We taught her the Restoration again because we really want to help her understand the priesthood authority. While we taught, we both felt so much love for her! Because we felt so much love, we were able to be very bold with her and we testified that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one true church upon the earth. We promised her blessings and invited her to read and pray. It was such a powerful lesson!
We had MLC last Wednesday! It was my last one. =( It was such a good meeting though! I love going to MLC because the Spirit is always so strong. It's such a great opportunity to learn from other missionaries who are trying so hard to do their best. I wanted to share one thing that really stood out to me from what we learned. The assistants gave an instruction about how we need to lead our missionaries in the Saviour's Way. To help us understand our role as leaders, they shared the story from the Bible when Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. We watched the Bible Video and it was so powerful. Each time Peter answered the Lord, he got more and more serious that he truly did love Him. The elders taught us that Peter's responses represent our conversion. The first 'yes' was us at the beginning of our missions. We really want to tell the Lord we love Him, but we're struggling to leave home behind and be on our missions. By the time we end our mission, we should be on the third 'yes' where we're deeply committed to obey and serve. They taught us that our job as leaders is to help our missionaries when they want to say 'yes' to the first 'do you love me,' but are still struggling to obey. It was such a powerful lesson for me!
So now for the funny stories...
1. Yesterday, we were walking down the street and we were trying to start a conversation with this guy walking away. He wouldn't stop, so we just said by and turned back around. As he walked away though, we noticed that he just had this random snake in his hand walking through the middle of the city. What?
2. Haha, this is probably my most embarrassing moment of my whole mission. Sister Varty and I went running this morning and it was a really good run. We were keeping a pretty good pace and we both felt pretty good. We turned a corner and I'm not quite sure what happened (maybe the side walk was a bit uneven or something), but with I totally face planted on the sidewalk! Right off of the highway! It was hilarious! I wish somebody would've gotten it on camera. Wow, I'm so graceful.
I hope you all have a good week!