This week we got to teach a lot which was such a blessing. We were in the homes of a lot of struggling members of the ward and were able to express not only our love for them, but more importantly Heavenly Father's love for them and build their faith in Jesus Christ. It strengthened my testimony of how important the "little things" are to do for our souls, like praying (not just saying prayers but really praying), studying the scriptures daily, and actively participating in sunday worship- starting first and foremost with sincerely taking the sacrament each week. I quoted "little things" because in reality.. they aren't little at all! Not even in the slightest! Just like our physical bodies need air and water and food, our spirit needs those crucial things to be fed and to be happy. As I reflected this week, it used to be so overwhelming and intimidating to me sit with people everyday, who more often than not through tears, talked about how their faith was breaking. Some felt they didn't even have any anymore. Although it is still always a really humbling experience to be trusted with such sensitive feelings in those situations, it all comes back to the those "little things" I just mentioned. There isn't a magical cure, there isn't a one size fits all answer, there isn't a complicated equation to fix life's trials and problems. But I know that as we start to feed our spirit, and not just our body, that we open up our heart and mind to the One who can cure and heal our hearts. Jesus Christ. He knows us perfectly and He knows the way up and out of any despair. As we feed our spirit we can feel Him closer to help us at all times. I am so grateful for the fact that although I can not change anyones heart and I do not have all the answers, I can invite others to come unto the One who does. Jesus Christ tells us, "come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give ye rest...and ye shall find rest unto your souls." I know that to be true.
We got to teach Lesley this week twice, we brought a new member from the ward with us this time around and they really connected! This lesson had a totally different spirit to it. We watched the restoration Dvd and had a really powerful experience talking about it after. Her kids are always so energetic through our lessons, but we are learning how to keep them playing and still teach at the same time. They really liked the movie. She was so motivated to make some important commitments after the lesson. She didn't end up making it to church this week, but her kids came with the member so that is a baby step! Good things are happening and I know more are yet to come.
The ward here is focusing extra on prayer this month. There is a true power to prayer, and it really got me reflecting about my own prayers lately. I found these two verses from the Book of Mormon that I love about prayer from Jacob 3:1-2 and it says, "...l". I don't know how it all works, but what I do know is when I am in a hard or low place I get down on my knees and pray for relief. My trial or problem or feelings are not always (or usually) resolved in that moment, but I feel my Father's peace and love strengthening me to have faith to hold on a while longer. He is aware of me. He hears me. Seriously think about it for a minute, Heavenly Father is a King, He is creator of worlds, He knows everything from eternity to eternity...and still- He knows your name. And He knows your heart. And He is ready to hear from you at anytime. I am overfilled with gratitude for that truth. I feel so loved. Prayer really can be our lifeline to personal peace and revelation if we allow it to be.
all my love,
Sister Eleanor Neeley