March 16, 2015
Change is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? The fact that humans can CHANGE. Through the Savior’s Atonement, we can change and grow and become something more. I know that I am a changed person. And I am continuing to change. I’m so grateful for that, because I have to change even more.
Forgiveness is truly a gift – a gift from a Father who loves us and a Brother who died for us. How blessed we are to have a Savior and a Redeemer. Through Him, we can CHANGE! Broken souls are healed and hearts are purified. I think that sometimes, people feel like they can’t be forgiven. They’ve gone too far and done too much, but that isn’t true. No matter how far you have strayed from God, he is ALWAYS there, ready to welcome you back. He is our loving Father But you know, sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to get you to turn to God. People always talk about “the view from up here”. Well, this week, I’ve seen people looking at “the view down there” at rock bottom. They hit rock bottom and see a choice – to turn away from God or towards God.Thankfully, so many people are turning towards God. We had about seven less actives come to church on Sunday! Seven! It felt like Christmas. Every time I turned around, ANOTHER less active member from our area walked in! It was astounding. We have been meeting with some of these people for 7 months (as long as I’ve been here, and some have been meeting with the sisters for years) but they have never come. On Sunday, they all came! Sister W (who brought her two non-member grandchildren), Brother and Sister S (and their 2 year old daughter), Brother J, Sister D, Sister D, and R. S. I can’t explain it, because I certainly did nothing! Every success is the Savior’s. Also, they all stayed for the full three hours. And THEN (to put their cherry on top) R. S. stayed after for a lesson. He’s been less active for years, and hadn’t had any contact with the church until Sister Williams and I hunted him down before Christmas. He seems to have forgotten everything about the gospel during his years of absence, so Sister Folmer and I went back to the basics: the Restoration. Wow, I love the Restoration, and I love teaching about the Restoration. We are so blessed to live in a time when the priesthood is alive on the earth. Isn’t it amazing to think that the true gospel of Jesus Christ is here, and we are led by a prophet of God! I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for restoring the gospel through Joseph Smith. Also, I’m grateful for the Book of Mormon. I know that anyone who prayerfully reads that book will know that it is true, and that it is of God.
As for investigators, Sister Folmer and I are in a “finding stage”. We have a ton of cool potential investigators, but none of our real investigators are making serious progress right now. They start to, and we have amazing spiritual experiences with them, but then they disappear. It’s a New Jersey thing. It’s okay though, because this work is the Lord’s, and miracles happen every day. Yesterday, I was determined to knock on at least one door before going home. Well, we knocked on two. And the second one was an AMAZING Guatemalan family who invited us right in (seriously, the spanish program has it SO easy. People just invite you in on the spot. I don’t think anyone in the English program has ever invited me in to share the Restoration with them right then. Maybe one person, but I can’t recall anyone…) Sister Folmer and I were floored. So we went in and had a really spiritual conversation with them and shared the Restoration with them! The sad thing is, the mother refused to read the Book of Mormon. She absolutely refused to read it. It was so sad, because she loves God and loves His word and has SO much faith, but she isn’t open to the concept that God still speaks to His children today. However, she took the Book of Mormon, and we are sending the Spanish sisters over next week to teach them the Restoration in Spanish. They were pretty amazing though, so I’m excited for the miracles that will happen in their lives as they open their hearts.
Family, I love you a lot. I love the Savior, and I love being a missionary. Choosing to serve a mission was the greatest choice I have ever made.
“As now we praise thy name with song, the blessings of this day will linger in our thankful hearts, and silently we pray for courage to accept thy will, to listen and obey. We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full. We’ll walk thy chosen way.”