January 31, 2017
This week was such an exciting and busy week for us. The rain stopped which made everything easier. It felt like spring a little with all the sunshine, I was thankful for the good weather. We had two new families move into the ward here, and we were able to visit with them and really connect to them. The ward has also really done an awesome job helping them make friends, feel loved and welcomed, and helping them with whatever needs they have. Both families are fairly recent converts of just a few years, and have older kids who aren't baptized and who have not really been to church much. In both homes, they were so welcoming and happy to have us continue to come over and teach. We are excited to keep strengthening those friendships, and to have new teaching opportunities. We feel really blessed by it all. We got to teach Lesley this week again, and really grounded our lesson in the scriptures. She has a hard time reading and understanding them. We went through a chapter verse by verse together and taught from the principles we read about. We felt like she understands better now how to read the scriptures, and really learn principles from it on her own. It made me think of that saying- if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man how to fish he will eat for a lifetime. When we go over for a lesson there is a sweet spirit there and we all learn together, but that lesson is such a small portion of her time. We want her, and everyone we teach, to know how to invite that sweet spirit into their lives everyday, and that is where the process of true conversion begins.
This week was busy with some meetings too. We went to Modesto to watch a worldwide missionary broadcast, which was really refreshing, and surprising. The missionary daily schedule got changed around for all missionaries, everywhere in the world, for now on. Instead of a more regimented schedule that we had- at this time you do this, at that time you do that- it is much more flexible. We now get to use more agency and decide when and how to fit in all our activities and studies throughout the day. And each mission will be unique in their adjustments, as well as each companionship in the mission, according to the area's needs. Our morning and our evening before we go to bed are a little less intense or hurried I feel like personally, and I have more time to really get things done and done more thoroughly. The purpose and the principles are the same everyday, but we are entrusted to use the Spirit to help us decide when things are done. I am really thankful for our inspired leaders who love the missionaries so much, and care for them, and prayed about them day and night, it will be a great benefit to all missionaries moving forward. We also had our president interviews this week which is always special to me. I love president and sister palmer so much, and I love getting to council with him one on one. I can just feel how much he loves me and cares for me, and it inspires me to do and be better.
This week was also a stake relief society activity, which was very special because we combined with the women of the Islamic Center of Manteca. We all had a brunch together, the spirit was so strong in the room as we made new friendships and found common ground together on our beliefs and morals with so much love and respect. It was really special to get to know our Muslim sisters so closely. There were some talks after the brunch by some of our members and also by their Imam (I think I spelled that right?). In a world where we tend to constantly focus on the differences of race, ethnicity, religion. etc between us, we were able to break those bands together and just love one another. It was a beautiful experience for everyone.
Oh yeah, and one more cool thing this week, we went on exchanges. I went to Stockton with hermana Dayton and worked in the Spanish ward. It was so fun, I loved it! I really got to practice my Spanish, I was so nervous at first but got more confident as I just kept trying. At this one lesson in particular, hna. Dayton would teach most the time, and then the man we were teaching would turn to me and say okay now what does the juarita (little white girl haha) think. So I would then teach and bare simple, but fervent testimony to him of the principle we were talking about. I felt the spirit so strong. They were all very encouraging to me with my Spanish, and really helped me out a lot! I got to say a lot of prayers and bare different parts of my testimony many times. It was a great last exchange.
A scripture in my studying has really been on my heart this week, it is in 2 Nephi "Thus saith thy Lord, the Lord and thy God pleadeth the cause of his people; behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again.". It is just a really beautiful verse. I am just filled with love from Jesus Christ as I read it. He knows our hearts, He pleads our cause for us. He doesn't want us to suffer, that is why He suffered for us. We still will have trials in life that are hard for us to handle, but we do not need to suffer it solely on our own, Christ is here for us. He is willing to take the cup from us, if we will let Him. I just have such a testimony that nothing is ever too heavy that the atonement of Jesus Christ can not lift. Out of love for our eternal growth, somethings are not totally taken from us, and we will have to suffer in an imperfect world, but we do not need to suffer spiritually as well- Jesus Christ can give us hope and healing despite all that is going on around us. I know that every tear and trial we face will be taken one day from us through the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Keeping the bigger picture of that promise can help us face trials and disappointments with faith and hope.where Nephi is quoting Isaiah from the Old Testament and it says
all my love,