to me, Kim, Connor, Leilani, Sydney, Allyson, Tasha
I feel like I have so much to share with you today! I just hope it all comes out right! This week was wonderful. I enjoyed learning from the Spirit about faith, hope, and charity.
First, let's begin with faith. I believe we can learn something about faith everyday. Because everyday is a test of our faith! At district meeting last week one of the Elders gave a great workshop on falling into the arms of the Atonement. It takes faith to turn everything over to the Lord because you aren't always going to see a direct result from it. But i realized this week that although I may not see the results from playing soccer in the park or writing mormon.org with chalk by bus stops, or singing hymns at the Ferry terminal, I can have faith that the Lord is in charge of this work and His work will not be hindered. "be not afraid, only believe" became one of my favorite phrases to think of this week. I never realized how many times I doubt or worry about things but now I know that I need to be of good cheer and have faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know the Atonement is real. It strengthens my weaknesses, comforts my fears, and cleanses me from my mistakes. So I encourage you all to have faith in Jesus Christ and in His Atonement! That is the first principle we can apply as we strive to draw closer to our Savior.
Okay so next is Hope! And Hope to me stands for Happiness, Optimism, Patiently persevering, and Enduring! I received a testimony of hope as I realized that everyday is not always going to go as planned but the Lord's plans are far greater than ours. For instance, we picked up a member from Sri Lanka and wanted to go visit Taru at work! (she's the Sri Lankan sweetheart that works at Dunkin Donuts) Little did we know Dunkin Donuts would be busy at 2 but it was and the manager was upset about something (she was speaking in Singalese so I'm not sure what she was saying haha) but we simply said Hi to Taru and then left. Then we decided to stop by Julie's house just to see if she was home and it turns out she had decided to take off work that day and invited us into her lovely porch/greenhouse thing ha Julie is a police officer who is also staring an infused olive oil company and is divorced with 3 kids. The elders knocked on her door about 2 months ago and then my companions visited with her last time I was on exchanges so this was technically our first lesson with her but it went so well! We really did nothing and yet we were able to share our testimonies of the restoration, a living prophet, and the book of mormon. And even though the member who came with us is kind of shy and has a really thick accent, she bore one of the sweetest testimonies. It was incredible to see the way the Lord works through each of us; missionary, member, or investigator. Another example of hope is Jane Scollan. This may get confusing so bear with me haha Jane's daughter Bree is a missionary in Lousiana. She was living with a family in Washington and was in Sister Caspersons ward! So Bre joined the church about 2 years ago while she was living with this family and then decided to go on a mission. Jane, has been through a lot. She is having health problems and lives in a not so good area some people call the "projects" haha But anyway, a few weeks ago Sister Capseron's mom told her that she should try looking up Bre's mom! So we tried once and we couldn't get into the building. So two weeks ago we tried again and luckily the door was open but her apt number wasn't on her door so we weren't sure if it was her house or not and we were a little nervous to knock on a random door in the projects. Just then Jane walks out of another door to take out the garbage and we asked her if she knew a Ms. Scollan. She happily told us it was her and then saw that we were missionaries and was so excited to see us! So last week we met her at a buffet and had an amazing discussion with her. The part of the story that we didnt' know was that Jane has been interested in the church because of her daughter's mission. She watched two videos recently about the gift of eternal life and has been praying to know what that is and how to get it. She said she had just finished praying one day when she felt like she needed to take out the garbage.... and there we were, put in her path. Talk about miracle!! She asked us about what she needed to do so she could see her daughter be married. We were stunned. Then she asked us if we would be willing to come over to her house and teach her about the church and if she feels like it's right she will be baptized. We honestly did nothing and yet I feel so full of hope for Jane. I am so excited to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.
Sorry this email is so long!! But Charity is the most important of all. I learned the importance of charity this week through a few challenges that turned into great learning opportunities. I won't go into great detail but let's just say our Relief Society is struggling with charity... But the only way we can truly teach someone about charity is to show it! And that is my goal as I complete the last 3 weeks here in Staten Island: To show charity to every single member of this ward and every person on this island!!!! On Tuesday I felt like I was missing something because even though good things were happening like Damien telling us he didn't need to ask God to be baptized he would just do it (what a stud) I was having a hard time being hopeful. So that evening as I was praying the phrase "charity never fails" kept coming to mind. That was it! I had completely forgotten about charity. The next day Sister Howard gave me the talk "Forget Me Not" by Elder Uchdtorf and I believe that that talk was exactly what I needed. I had forgotten a few key principles about life! READ THAT TALK!!! I think it may have improved my entire attitude about life. I love it. Especially because it all comes back to the Savior. Everything I am doing is for my Savior because this is HIS work. I am so grateful that He is allowing me to learn and grow so much.
Well I think that is enough for this week! Never forget to shine your light! I love you and pray for you daily. You are all choice blessings to me and I thank my Heavenly Father for blessing me with so many wonderful examples.