|From:||Victoria Paige Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) This sender is in your safe list.|
Thursday, September 11, 2014
So! This week was a weird one. First of allllllll!!!!!!!!! I am emailing you today, which is Wednesday which makes it feel weird. hahahah but that is because we went to the temple this morning! Boy. Oh. Boy. Was that fantastically beautiful. So much joy packed into such a small temple.
I am not quite sure how to describe this week.. it was probably one of the most joy-filled and spiritual weeks of my mission. It was a week where all of our appointments cancelled and no one seemed interested in the message we had to share.. So Sister Martinez and I spent a lot of time in prayer, seeking for guidance, asking Heavenly Father what we could do to build up the ward here... Because let's be real. It needs some help. But all wards need help. And of course--Heavenly Father answered that prayer.
So I definitely know I am in this ward for a reason. Heavenly Father has some wise purposes that I am not sure of.. But after this week I have realized that one reason I am here is because up till this point in my mission, I haven't been the kind of missionary Heavenly Father wants me to be. Up till this point, I have been obedient, diligent, and successful. But I know there is more to missionary work than that. SAY WHAT? hahaha!
As missionaries, our purpose is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End." I've been so darn focused on investigators and less-actives that I haven't done so much focusing on the ward as I should have. So, Sister Martinez and I recognized that. And with some heavenly help, we devised a plan to help the ward. Whether or not anyone gets baptized in the next months, is not what matters right now. What matters is that we are helping prepare these members to usher in the coming of the Savior. So instead of making plans to help the ward and then not following through with them like usually happens--- we actually got to work! We prayerfully chose specific families to focus on, and we have already seen miracles come of it. We have had floods and floods of inspiration and revelation coming in on how to help these specific people.
I have developed a new sense of love, passion, and dedication to the Lord's work. I feel like I am finally starting to become who I am supposed to become, and I know Sister Martinez and I have been prepared through our past experiences for this transfer. I don't know if any of this is making sense. But I truly feel like running and jumping and singing, and laughing and have never been as happy as I am now! The key to missionary work is revelation. The key to revelation is submission. and the key to submission is humbleness and obedience. I know without a doubt that I cannot do this work alone, I need the Lord's guidance and direction through the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I have realized that right now, we are to focus what we teach on the Atonement and the Temple. We are setting hard core visions, goals, and plans for our companionship, our ward, and everyone we teach. We are committing everyone we talk to- members included- to do something and then following up. We are studying harder, learning more, and applying training we receive better than we have before! All because we had one crappy week and decided to ask heavenly father how to make it better. I know the Lord knows how to do His work, and I have every intention of helping Him do it.
And the icing on the cake was going to the temple this morning.
I love you! I love the Lord. I love the temple. I love love love this work.
|Sent:||Tue 9/02/14 2:37 PM|
Man oh man, I have no idea why I am back here in Hesperia Santa Fe Ward. But I know I am supposed to be here.
We got a new investigator this week! His name is Brother Forget. His wife is a Less-Active and she is now coming back to church! It was awesome. We taught him, put him on date to be baptized, and they came to church all in one week! Way cool.
The work here in Hesperia is different and slower than in Apple Valley. My Zone in Apple Valley was the highest baptizing zone in the mission.... so it's been quite the shocker coming back here and not seeing the same. But every area is capable of miracles and wonderful things. And I know there is good things to come here! Good missionaries are obedient. Good missionaries see good things happen. But miracles happen when we work with the ward, to find teach and baptize. Great missionaries, wonderful missionaries are those who work with members. So don't any of you ever think that it is okay to sit back and relax.. the work is hastening and now is the time for members and missionaries to unite together to gather the lost.
Sister Martinez and I have similar ways we work as missionaries, so we get along well! She helps me with my Spanish and I help her with her English! It was so funny to see her freak out as I spoke Spanish to her. She thinks I am really good, but in reality, everyone from Arizona can speak a little if they try. hahahahah It's cool to see how much I have remembered from High School Spanish though.
So Elder Nelson. Yes I got to shake his hand
One of the things he said that blew my mind: One of the missionaries raised his hand and asked the question, "So Peter went through a huge and amazing transformation, he went from denying Christ three times to leading the church with diligence and obedience. How can we have the same transformation as missionaries?" Elder Nelson responded: "Peter was being obedient. Christ commanded him to deny him three thrice...." there was a pause as we all gasped. Then he said "Peter had already been transformed. If you want to be the same, you be obedient." and then he asked for the next question. DUDE WHAT THE #MINDBLOWN
He was finishing up his remarks when he said "Wait, I cannot leave here until you know who you are." Then he turned around to one of the Stake Presidents sitting on the stand and said in a very very intense voice "Your youth do not know who they are." IT WAS INSANE. Then he turned back to us missionaries and talked about the gathering of the lost and how we are destined to help prepare the earth for the return of the Savior. It was magnificent. It was the answer to my prayer. I quite often kneel in prayer and ask Heavenly Father who I am. Not because I am lost, or searching, or feeling like I am worth nothing. But because I know my purpose is greater than what I see for myself. All of God's children have a purpose that is greater that what they see for themselves! We are children of God, we are part of the Abrahamic Covenant, and we are disciples of Jesus Christ.
Elder Nelson also said that there is more to the restoration that hasn't happened yet. boom. mind blown again.
The apostolic blessing he left upon us was the sweetest part! He blessed us to be able to feast upon the scriptures and apply the messages, he blessed us to have health and strenght, as well as our families, he blessed us with healing, and healing for our families, he blessed us to be missionaries in our families as well. He also blessed us to become all that the Savior wanted to make of us.
Awesome stuff. I wish you could have been there!
I love you! I love this work.
Love sister Johnson