Dear Family and Friends,
This week has been another really busy week but full of so many miracles, it is unbelievable how blessed we've been! Like always I would love to share a few of the tender mercies that happened througout the week:
- We were able to see Sister Levine before she left to go return back to Hawaii. We sang her a song and spent some time with her and her parents. She is looking a lot better. She is opening her eyes and she is able to squeeze your hand a little bit. But she is still not able to talk or respond. But she is breathing on her own. It is a tender mercy that she has improved enough to be able to return home. Hopefully she will continue to improve. Keep praying for her!
- Mini is such a sweetheart. She had us over for lunch and provided lunch for us for the week pretty much. We ran around so much this week that we didn't even have time to stop at all this week for lunch but she provided some food for us so we packed that around with us everyday. We LOVE Mini!
- This week the members were wonderful in assisting us in the lessons. We were able to have 12 member present lessons this week as well as last week. We've made it a goal to have a member at every lesson. It has been a challenge at first but they have been very supportive. With all the people we have to visit, the members have been able to lift the load a little bit. I've gained a strong testimony on gettting the members involved in the lessons so that the investigators build a relationship with more than just us.
- There was two investigators (Deb and Steph) that we met a few weeks ago. We were walking down the street and there were two women out gardening. We decided to jump into to help them garden. We had a good conversation with them and set a return appointment with them. Unfortunatetly they had to cancel that return appointment last week because of sickness. We were planning on setting up another appointment soon but on our way to district meeting on friday morning Steph gave us a call wanting to have us over in the next couple days. WE COULDN'T BELIEVE IT! Of course we jumped at that invitation and set it for the following day. When we went to Steph's house the next day she had a whole white board full of questions to ask us. I have never had an investigator do that. She said that she read the Restoration pamphet and was very interested to hear what we believed in. We had an incredible first lesson with her as we taught the Restoration. She was happy to hear about it and was so curious. We were able to answer all of her questions and she is keen to continue to learn more. We are so excited to work with Steph!
- On Monday it was a holiday so we had a normal proselyting day. We had an appointment with an investigator named Emily. I was struggling to find a member present to come with us but I knew that the lesson would go better if we had a member there. I had Sister Hedley put a post on facebook to see if there was someone willing to come with us and within a short time we had a member give us a call. We had a great lesson with Emily and we found the perfect member present! It worked out just wonderful! Sister Lopez is so great, she invited Emily over for dinner and even offered to take her to General Conference this next weekend (we still haven't see General Conference here but we get to this weekend). It was such a great experience and I have never seen Emily smile like that before. She is so happy to know that someone cares for her.
- Also on monday I was on exchanges with a Sister named Sister Tsai. We had some service that we were doing that day for our recent convert Trish. We were going to mow her lawn and pull some weeds. Well we had borrowed a Lawn mower and when we got there and tried to start it it wouldn't start. I couldn't figure out what the trick was for it to start. We tried and tried and then we decided we would say a prayer. Not long after the prayer there was this couple walking down the road. We simply asked the man if he could help us and he said he would give it a go. Right away he got it started and we were so thankful! I think the Lord was testing us to see if we would humble ourselves to turn to Him first. Then immedietly he was able to bless us. You think we'd learn by now but we still haven't.
There are so many more tender mercies that I could share. Just as President Uchtdorf shared in the Women's conference about how the Lord is always showering blessings upon us each day. It is just up to us as to whether we're going to let our umbrella down so that we can receive them. I loved that!
This week is my year mark and I've been reflecting a lot on the year that I've had so far on my mission. It has been incredible! I don't even know where to begin with the heaps of different things that I've learned. One of the main things that I have learned is the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and just how far Christ's hands are outstretched. I have learned that the Atonement is not only for the worst of sinners but it is for each of us because we each sin every single day in one way or another. The Atonement allows us to become better. It allows us to reach new levels that we may not have ever thought was possible. All the Lord wants us to do is to apply His atonement and he will continue to build us up.
I have also gained a strong testimony of the power of prayer. Before my mission I would pray but I have never prayed this much in my life. I have learned how to fully rely on the Lord. And I have discovered just how much our Heavenly Father hears our prayers and how he can help us with anything! Now when I may struggle with something my first step is to kneel down and pray. And each time that I have done that I have been comforted and been strengthened to keep moving forward. The Lord is the only one that understands everything that we are going through so I've now understood just how much he can help us because he has felt it before. He knows how to comfort us and to help us push through our trials.
I have gained a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and also the importance of the Restoration. The Book of Mormon is by far my favorite book ever! I can't go a day without reading that book. It is truly the word of God! I know that because I've read it multiple times and each time I get something new out of it. I have come to find that just as it reads in the introduction, "...a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." I KNOW THAT TO BE TRUE! I have come to know God and have come to know my Saviour just by reading this book. I know that God will answer your prayers and it often does that as you read His Word. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet, there is no way that he could translate the Book of Mormon on His own. It is far more powerful than any man made thing or any man written book. Just like I was saying last week. The restoration of the gospel is so powerful. I have come to know just how significant and how percise everything layed out so that christ's gospel could be on the earth today for each of us to partake of it. If there is anything that you wanted to share about our church, I would say share with them the Restoration of the gospel. As someone understands that, then they are able to understand that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is not just any church, this is the Lords church on the earth. I KNOW THAT TO BE TRUE!
Another one of the million different things that I have learned is the importance of having Charity. I have come to love people more and more and I have only begun to see others as our Heavenly Father sees them. And as I have come to rely on the Lord and to have Charity for all men, it has really made all the difference. We are all very different and we have different talents, ideas, beliefs but all in all WE ARE HIS CHILDREN. And the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that we can find that each of us have in common. Every day I look around at how many of God's children have either rejected his word or they are living in ignorance and don't know of Christ's gospel. And that gives me more of a motivation to just keep working hard so that everyone can experience the joy and happiness that I feel each day while I'm living this gopel. I have also learned about just how important it is to do the small and simple things in our everyday life such as prayer, reading scriptures, service, and attending church. That is what will help us to stay strong, we will be able to resist temptation. We need to put on our armour of God each day or else we shall fall. I have seen the blessings that come from putting the Lord first in my life and I know that it is the only way to go. We need God in our lives and it is up to us as to whether or not we will let Him in.
I know that this is super long but I have just so many things that I wanted to share. I have learned so much and I have experienced so many wonderful things on my mission and I'm so very blessed! Thanks for all your love and support. I hope you all have an amazing week!
Sister Heidi Sorensen