Saturday, October 8, 2016

September 5, 2016 - Come and See

Hermanas Keith and Allan

Hermanas Corneal and Allan
Hello family! It's so exciting reading all of your letters each week! Thank you for all the updates and your love and support! I love you all so very much!!

This week was a bit rough, but of course, still wonderful! We went and visited Modesto on Tuesday to talk about his baptism and how he felt and he asked us for a photo of his baptism which we happened to bring with us. When we pulled it out to give it to him, he had that same expression of absolute joy that he had when he was baptized. It was incredible and truly, he is incredible. It was such a powerful moment and I can't fully express how grateful I am for the opportunity the Lord has given me to witness the conversion of these people and witness the Atonement working in others' lives. Es maravillosa!

We had a cool experience this week, because we had the impression to pass by a recently reactivated member's house, but we weren't sure if we should because it didn't help with one of the key indicators, but we kept feeling like we needed to go, so we did. When we passed by, she had a couple family members over that we were able to get to know and a share a message with. The members 11 year old daughter asked, "can you repent after you're baptized?" We started explaining a bit about repentance and then the members sister who was also there asked "If someone was baptized and then falls away for a really long time, can they come back too?" We started explaining that as well and then later on we found out that this member's sister is a less active so it implied that she wants to come back but just wasn't sure if she could. It was such a spirit-guided lesson as we were able to help her realize her potential and that she can always come back to the outstretched arms of a loving Father in Heaven. I love how the Lord works in mysterious ways and that through the simple and innocent question of a child, we were able to also understand the concerns of the less active sister. The Lord truly loves every one of us and wants us to feel of His love and come unto Him and He will use us to bring these tidings of good news to others who are searching for that assurance in their lives. I just love being a missionary! :)

Then we had a super strange experience..... we set an appointment with an investigator who has been coming to church and when we showed up at her house there were two other missionaries from another church there as well. She had totally set it up so that the other missionaries could bible bash with us and convince us that we were in the wrong. It was the first time that this has happened to me on my mission and I was super nervous and wasn't really sure what to do. But with a quick prayer, asking for the guidance of the Spirit, I felt calm and we were able to know what to say and do to be able to avoid contention and arguments and be able to handle what they threw at us. We simply listened and then briefly testified of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and were able to leave in peace. It was super stressful but it was incredible how the words that we needed to say were given to us through the Spirit to be able to simply echo the invitation of Jesus Christ to "come and see" what it is that this gospel has to offer. 

Yesterday we had a 1/2 mission conference with our new area president, President Gonzalez and it was amazing! He taught us some new ways to contact and find new investigators and I'm so super excited to apply them because I know they'll bring lots of success and help us find more people who have been prepared. It was also fun because I got to see Hermana Jacobsen and Hermana Curneal again!

Thanks for all the pictures! Looks like so much fun!  And Heidi looks like a model! so cute and grown-up! I hope you had a wonderful birthday Heidi and just know, I have something for you but I'm going to send it in a week or two with dad's birthday present as well. :) 

To attempt to answer your questions for cub scouts..... to be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight it all comes down to the basics. It's the small and simple things like praying, reading the scriptures, going to church, and taking those small daily efforts to follow Christ and remember Him that helps us be strong and do what is right. Alma 37:6 is a good scripture to explain this. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. And a moment when I had to be brave.... that's a harder one. I feel like there are so many times each day as a missionary that are really difficult and that I feel like giving up, or I just want to sit there and cry with those who are hurting and suffering, or I feel inadequate, or I have doubts and fears, but there are also so many times each day that I feel the strength of the Lord. I can feel Him pushing me onward, giving me the strength to comfort those that stand in need of comfort, helping me know what to say to answer the probing questions of those searching for the truth, blessing me with peace to simply trust in the Lord and let Him lead the way, etc. I know I'm not very brave and many times I struggle to keep going, but the Lord is who helps me face these difficulties with strength and with faith. I'm sorry that I can't think of a specific experience to share, but hopefully this can help a bit. :)

I love you all so very much and hope you have a wonderful week!!! Love you!

~Hermana Allan

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