I am sorry for not having been able to write a good email these last few weeks. This week was challenging, but we felt so strongly the love of our Heavenly Father.
As a mission, we are creating a family mission plan with all of the families in our wards. Two weeks ago, we created a mission plan with a less active sister in the ward, hoping that it would also give HER a chance to be nourished by the spirit and the gospel! We planned several Family Home Evenings with her and the families we chose by the Spirit, but as each FHE passed last week and this week, every single one of the people she had invited cancelled! We put new plans with them, and again they cancelled. After one particularly frustrating intent for her, she entered us in her house and almost cried! She told us she didn’t want to try to invite anyone to hear the gospel anymore because everyone just cancelled, even after all of the effort she expended. We began to share a scripture and it wasn’t long before we all three received a special impression–the way we feel after many ¨failed¨ efforts to help other learn of and live the gospel is the way our Heavenly Father feels when we don’t keep our promises with Him. The less active sister who hadn’t been to church in more than 4 months looked at us and told us that she understood now and that this Sunday she was NOT going to miss church. We left her house feeling SO grateful for the experience Heavenly Father had allowed us to have, and she came to all three hours of church yesterday.
We also had a great lesson with a new investigator and one of the Relief Society counselors. Cintia is a mother of two little boys and the sister of a less active member in the ward. As we taught about prophets and the restoration of the gospel, every comment she made showed that it simply made sense to her. That it is all how it is supposed to be. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted a baptismal date for the 5th of September.
Mom and Dad, my camera was stolen this week! And the worst part is that I know who stole it. But I think their family needed the money more than I do. I am just a little bummed for some of the photos.
I LOVE studying the scritures. As Hermana Hernandez and I prepared a message for our district meeting, we learned how similar the mission is to the plan of salvation. As we prepare and send in our papers, it is as if we were spirits waiting anxiously to come here to earth!! Only to get here and feel as if we know practically nothing…. We learn how to rely on the Savior and then go home–and from then on, “we decide if we will live a celestial, terrestrial, or telestial life,” as a brother in our ward said this week.
In our earthly life, it is not so hard to remember that we are not perfect! Nor does our Father expect us to be, even as we part from this life. But on the mission, it is often harder to remember that the Lord requires a constant, consecrated effort on our part, but not perfection. If we will learn that the Lord needs us to take HIS yoke upon US, so we can feel that our burdens are made light. I learned that when the Lord invites us to take upon us His yoke, He asks us to come and join HIM in HIS great cause. Then, we will feel strengthened and supported. This work belongs to the Lord, and all of the fruits will be His forever. But how grateful I am that He allows us to carry a few so that we will feel strengthened, so that we will feel joy and learn of Him.
It is a beautiful part of the mission, and the plan of salvation, that we must suffer a little, endure a little, struggle a little–that sacrifice and sweat, diligence, patience, and great faith is what will make the fruit so sweet and precious (Alma 32:40-43). I know that the Lord has refined me, and continues to do it. Oh how painful the fire can be!! But oh how joyous is the fruit! I identify greatly with Alma 27:18 and Alma 26:21 and it is one of the great truths that I have learned! This gospel brings JOY and great UNDERSTANDING when we live it and study it daily. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. How great is our Father! In Him is our joy! (Alma 33:11)
I love you all!