Thursday, April 2, 2015

This week… Now I'm all caught up!

Thursday afternoon we hitch-hiked our way down to the valley. That night we had the blessing of being able to go to the Jordan River temple, the build up of going to the temple is so exciting! I love getting to visit the Lords house! At dinner on Sunday the lady who fed us described it perfectly "You walk in with the weight of the world, and then..that weight just vanishes.."
Following the next day the mission had zone conference, there were so many great trainings. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many diligent, and spiritual missionaries. 
This scripture says exactly how I feel when I am re-united with people that I have served around and with...

Alma 17:2 " Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God." 
This whole month we as a mission have been studying patience, this has been so inspired and exactly what I needed. Go figure.  (Mom insert- there is a whole part to this letter of struggles that she has had to face in Green River that is not included in this letter but just sent to me- I am amazed at how she is at a place that I have at my age, recently come to… The blessings of SERVICE- I think we grow more as the giver than the receiver for sure)
Studying more on this topic has opened me eyes to how influential being a patient person can be, the effects can be immediate or sometimes only seen later on. A certain aspect of patience that really stuck out was, having the ability to overcome discouragement. 

Preach My Gospel says, "When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully."

In a talk given by Val R. Christensen he gives the example of Enoch when he was facing some opposition. The Lords counsel to him was "Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look" Moses 7:44
There are at least three steps to take when striving to overcome discouragement:
  1. 1. 
    You can work on changing your attitude toward the problem. Even though you can’t change the circumstances in which you work or live, you can always change your attitude.
  2. 2. 
    You can receive help from those who are close to you—your family, friends, and ward members, those who love you the most.
  3. 3. 
    You can develop a more powerful and complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I love these steps!

The first, changing your attitude, so much can be achieved if we just flipped the situation around. Or as I put it, just get over it! "  After experiencing the death of parents, crop failure, and sickness, she was encouraged with a spiritual experience that changed her attitude. While attempting to seek divine help, she heard her mother’s voice: “Zina, any sailor can steer on a smooth sea, when rocks appear, sail around them.” A prayer came quickly: “O Father in heaven, help me to be a good sailor, that my heart shall not break on the rocks of grief”.

The second, receiving help from others, for some..this can be quite difficult. What I like about his step is that i feel like it would prepare us for the 3rd step, trust in the Savior.
 Alma 34:3: “And as ye have desired of my beloved brother that he should make known unto you what ye should do, because of your afflictions; and he hath spoken somewhat unto you to prepare your minds; yea, and he hath exhorted you unto faith and to patience.” 
The message is simple: problems faced are going to take a long time to solve. If we place a little more patience in the process and a greater amount of faith in the Lord, our challenges will find their way toward successful conclusions.

I am so grateful for the experiences that I have had in this past month that have helped me exercise patience.  I know that the Lord is aware of us, our fears, past, present, financial issues, passing of loved ones and so on.  In the Doctrine and Covenants we read this: “If thou art sorrowful, call on the Lord thy God with supplication, that your souls may be joyful” (D&C 136:29)
Sister Efnor

I just remembered a whole blog post by Sister Efnor that I missed because I was out being a cowgirl!! It's like Christmas!

Friday night I had a dream..
My companion and I were at Home Depot, and there was a man there. He had a teaching record in our area book and previous missionaries had said to not go near him because he was a stalker...something like that. Anyways, at some point the guy was trying to rip my name tag off of my shirt. To which my reply was "I may represent Jesus, but that doesn't mean I wont beat the crud out of you!".  The end.  (What, Why?? lol)

The beginning of this week was rough, my companion came down with some icky stomach flu. 
But she recovered by the end so we were able to go get some work done. 
This past Sunday there were two recent converts that were able to bless and pass the sacrament in two different wards.  It was great looking at their wives and kids and seeing their beaming faces as they watched their dad/husband administer to the ward.
It was a great opportunity for me to reflect on the progression that I've seen in my own life these past months I have been serving.  Probably the best kind of growing pains I've ever experienced lol

“Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;
“And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” Mosiah 27:25-26.
Elder Bednar said "..the conversion described in these verses is mighty, not minor—a spiritual rebirth and fundamental change of what we feel and desire, what we think and do, and what we are. Indeed, the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ entails a fundamental and permanent change in our very nature..
I thinking about how it is so easy to have the schedule I have, and study the way I do, because I only have one purpose right now. I want to start making plans that will help me in continuing on the path I have started on.  Elder Bednar goes on to say "..And after we come out of the waters of baptism, our souls need to be continuously immersed in and saturated with the truth and the light of the Savior’s gospel. Sporadic and shallow dipping in the doctrine of Christ and partial participation in His restored Church cannot produce the spiritual transformation that enables us to walk in a newness of life. Rather, fidelity to covenants, constancy of commitment, and offering our whole soul unto God are required if we are to receive the blessings of eternity."
I just got news that an aunty and uncle of mine are going through the temple for the first time in the coming week.  The gospel changes people!  We stretch, grow, fall, get back up, turn to the Lord always...then all at once we look back to see an old box on a shelf, full of the things that we thought we were.  Now refined, we see who our Heavenly Father always knew we could be.

Love,  Sister Efnor