Monday, February 25, 2013

yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

To the loves of my life,

It's nearly springtime here. It's sunny and beautiful for two days and then it will snow and snow and SNOW. And then it will melt and be sunny again. I cannot wait for it to be full-blown springtime but really I just can't wait for full-blown summer. 

On Friday night our Zone Leaders called us and gave us a challenge for Saturday from President Mullen to invite 3 people to be baptized with a specific date. Since we had absolutely nothing but 'finding' planned for the day  it meant that we would have to ask 3 people we had never even met before!?!! But we are faithful, obedient, diligent missionaries (well, we try and pray to be each day) so we said, "Yes! We will do it." But I'll be totally honest. Quality Gospel Conversations have been really tough for me lately. At the start of my time here in the Valley, we spent so much time tracting and talking to everyone and a lot of people were just not interested and somehow Satan tricked me into believing that QGCs weren't worth it. Needless to say, it's been a struggle for me. Like a battle, actually. Does that sound crazy? Because it should. I'm a talkative, friendly person so it's crazy that talking to people (specifically, everyone!) has been hard for me. But I've been praying lately to have that faith and desire to talk to people return. And then we got the challenge from President. And so all Saturday we prayed to have the faith and courage and words to talk to people. And more specifically that we would have the faith and courage and words to invite 3 people to be baptized on a specific date. And....we did it! We talked to EVERYONE and we invited random strangers to be baptized. And our conversations were easy and natural.  And they said, "sure, if I know it's true." or "probably, yeah."! And it wasn't that anything profoundly miraculous happened like everyone we talked to had a desire to learn more. But the miracle took place in our hearts. My heart especially. I'd been praying for the Lord to change me and He did. Because I don't know who is prepared to hear this message, but the Lord does. Because this is His work. And He likes it done His way. Which means talking to everyone and inviting people to be baptized. It reminded me of Alma 32:28:

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

I had a desire, just a tiny particle of faith that I could talk to people, and then as the day went on, and we talked to more people, my faith grew and it filled my soul and it began to be sweet and delicious to me. We went to bed on Saturday night so happy and filled with the spirit because we were fulfilling our purpose as missionaries. 

I love our English ward. We know everyone. It feels so good to walk in and everyone know (and love!) the missionaries. We've worked so hard to visit and teach and serve and love the members here. And so it feels so sweet when they come up to us to tell us about their own missionary efforts and people they are talking to or people they know we can go and visit. It feels so happy to earn the member's trust and to help them have their own missionary experiences.

We are planning a really great Spanish activity in the branch for next week. Oh, I'm so excited. Next Sunday, we are having the whole branch fast for missionary work, and more specifically, their own missionary experiences and then after church we are breaking the fast and having a little dinner (a taco bar, duh!) and then we have a three part activity. The Why, the What and the How of member missionary work. Most of our branch members are converts themselves and we really want to light their fire and get their wheels turning to share the message with their friends. I made the poster for it (which felt so great to design and make art!) and I put the tree of life so that members could remember just how sweet the gospel is.

 11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the afruitthereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the bwhiteness that I had ever seen.
 12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great ajoy; wherefore, I began to be bdesirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was cdesirableabove all other fruit.

I hope you have a wonderful, really great week! Share your testimony and pray for missionary opportunities. You never know who is prepared. 

I love this work. I know it's true. I know families are forever and the only way to have true joy and Happiness is through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Love you! 

Hermana Em

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