Sunday, September 7, 2014

september 2nd

Can you all believe that it's September already?  The year is flying by so quickly...  I Remember talking to the sisters before I came out on my mission and they said that days felt like weeks and weeks feel like days, and that's exactly how I think time feels in the mission.  Some days seem to drag on fooooooooorrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr, but when you look back at the week, it seems like it passes in a snap. 
This past week was a little different than normal because we taught a lot of less active lessons.  Due to school starting, and the heat (though it really hasn't been any hotter than the rest of the summer) not many people are outside, so finding has been low, but that's alright, we work with what we can, and watch the miracles happen.  And several of those miracles were seeing less active families back at church again!
One thing that has really stuck out to me this week as we taught a lot of less active families, is the importance of the Gospel in the home.  There is no substitute for not teaching your children- because what they're taught in church isn't going to be enough to help support them through the trials of life.    So that's one thing we've been focusing on is helping families (active and less active) become truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to strengthen their families. 
One less active miracle started last Sunday.  There was a girl I didn't recognize in primary and when I asked the primary chorister she said it was the daughter of a less active family we've been trying to contact since APRIL.  Well, both children from that family was there, and the parents were too, so we had a quick opportunity to say hi.  Monday we swung by the house to see if anyone was home, and it turns out the mom just went through a schedule change at work, so she'll be home in the afternoons, and we had 2 amazing lessons with them last week!  And they came to church again!  Slowly but surely they're coming back and hopefully we can help them build a more sure foundation (Helaman 5:12) in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We had dinner with another less active family, who is also in the process of coming back to activity.  They shared with us that one thing that help was just the calls, visits and encouragement from us as missionaries but also the ward members.  The hermano in the family has a calling at church, and every time they do make it to church, the Bishop lovingly reminds him of the responsibility, helping him feel like is really is needed.  And as a missionary, I'll admit that I don't feel like we've work with this family as often as some others.  We've had 2 dinners with them, and have tried scheduling others things, that just never worked out... but even that little was enough.  And that's a lesson that I need to remember, what's little and insignificant to us can be really important to others. 
General conference is coming up soon (we are SO excited... we started a General Conference countdown in our apartment... :) ) and it marks the 2 year mark of when President Monson changed the age of missionary work!  Think about that, it was only 2 years ago... it's crazy to think what has happened so much in two years.  I remember hearing everyone's speculations on why the ages changed, and then in the MTC I heard a devotional from Elder Bednar saying to stop speculate.  The Lord changed the age for missionary work because he is hastening his work (DyC 88:73).  And as a missionary I have seen that in so many ways.  But part of the work of Salvation is from the end of just members too, and I think part of changing the age was to hasten the work by increasing the missionary force, thus one day increasing the force of return missionary leadership in the church.  It is an interesting perspective to be serving as a missionary in a ward and work with families, some that deem themselves less active, others that think they are completely active (but aren't), and others that seem completely active and converted to the church, but you slowly learn there are gaps.  Now every family and every ward is different, but it's just been such a powerful blessing to me to change and see how one day, I can be a better member, how I can be a leader and sister in the church.  How I can be a better visiting teacher.  And someday in the future, how I can be a better wife and mother to help my family become securely rooted in the Gospel.  There's much I can so now, but there is so much more in the future and it's exciting just to learn and discovery just the beginning.
I am still playing the piano in primary and it's going well.  The primary program will be in November and who knows if I'll still be here (I've been in this ward for 5 months now), but if so, I hope my piano playing skills are up to par. 
I hope you all have a fantastic week and a wonderful time at school!  Go learn lots!  And have fun while doing it. Life rocks!  That's something I learn everyday, we can make life amazing.  And one thing we have an opportunity to do this week is fast on Fast Sunday.  One thing that Hermana and I are doing is going around inviting all our members to fast and pray for missionary opportunities.  That's something I'm going to invite you all to pray and fast for too!  Fast that the Lord will open your eyes and hearts to see the needs of others and help bring them to a knowledge of the fullness of the Gospel.  Can't wait to hear about the miracles you'll all see!

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