Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Katiuska has a baptismal date

It’s been great! Katiuska has a baptismal date for the 17th. Two weeks! We’re so excited!

So after church Katiuska came up to me and said she had something to tell me. She then said she'd decided to be baptized! I was so excited! I would have jumped for joy and shrieked but we were in the chapel. So I just celebrated quietly. She explained that she realized there was more to life than temporal and superficial things. And she knew that the gospel is what matters. It’s the eternal things that matter and will bring lasting and eternal joy and peace. She picked the 17th because it's the Sunday before transfers. Just 2 weeks! We are very excited. So is the Branch. They’ve all come to love her. Its’ going to be amazing!

The branch is very helpful. I love them all! They’re great! Our teaching pool is pretty good. We are teaching a couple families and our less-actives are progressing well. It’s so good to see their progression!

I’m doing really well! I had some rough days this past week, really hard. But I realized something and it has given me tons of help! My energy and desire to keep enduring to the end has been strengthened.

Thursday night was one of the hardest because I suddenly had a fear for you all. I was really worried for you all. But as I prayed I had a vision of us all in white in the celestial room of the Boston Temple. It was really clear and it brought me so much comfort. And every time I started to fear again I thought of that image and peace flooded my heart. Prayer is amazing!

This week has been a lot of ups and downs for me. One moment I'm on the clouds and happy, then the next I'm wondering if I even know what I'm doing, never mind able to do it. I've learned a lot about humility and relying upon the Lord in prayer. Sometimes I'm not very grateful for my weaknesses. Especially when they are manifested in front of the members or other missionaries. But I learned, or rather, re-learned a principle through all of this. The Atonement is real. Imagine that! It's real! And, it works! Not just for those who have committed major sins but also for me and the weaknesses that "do so easily beset me." At the end of each day I look back upon those things that I did well. Not on those things I didn't do well, or didn't do at all. I think of what I've accomplished, of how I'm that much closer to exaltation and to my Savior. Then I resolve to give my best and work just a little harder the next day. Heavenly Father understands that I'm human and will not have a perfect day. He understands that my best, most of the time, just is not enough. My testimony of the Atonement and the Savior's love and forgiveness has been strengthened. I know without doubt that the Atonement is real. I know as I am prayerful and do my best I will obtain eternal life. I love this gospel! And I love my Savior, Jesus Christ! He is my best friend.

Andrea - I did read your email. It helped a lot. It helped me realize the important things in life, that what's important is a strong testimony in the Savoir and his atonement, to have a relationship with my Heavenly Father. It was kind of cool because a day or two later I read President Monson’s talk from the YW general broadcast.  I was reading it for the purpose to help an investigator but it ended up helping myself. As well as Elder Scott’s talk about personal revelation and inspiration. Both talks really helped.

Have you looked at the pictures? !!

Oh! President called me to let me know my release date is October 23. It’s a Tuesday. So I’ll probably fly home on Wednesday. Which reminds me about something. I heard about something I thought would be neat. Before being released I thought it would be cool to go to the temple and do a session as a missionary. If it doesn't work out it's fine, just a thought. When I get more information I’ll let you know. But it probably won't be until about 2 months before my release date.

It’s funny because it seems a lot of people are asking me now what I’ll do when I go home. I just smile and tell them "I don't know" besides the holidays and just being with family, I have no idea. Nor am I going to think about it until then. Well, at least not right now. I don’t' want to be "trunky."  We'll see as time progresses.
I love you all forever! I'm so glad you're my family! I couldn't have asked for any better!

Hemana Stephenson

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