Friday, August 24, 2012

crying during the sacrament because I was so happy [From 20 AUG 2012]

This week has been amazing! Yesterday was incredible!!! We had 11 less-actives at church!!!! A couple were families but still it was amazing! I was crying during the sacrament because I was so happy! A couple we never expected to come any time soon just walked in the door.

We found some really good investigators and had an interesting experience with another guy. He was trying to get us to explain and give proof as to what we believed. At one point I asked him if he were given physical proof that the Book of Mormon was true would he believe it? He said no. That he'd need some more proof. Just before he had been talking about faith and how he has faith. So after he said no I asked, "Then where is your faith?" he paused for a moment. The only time during our hour or so conversation that he paused to think. Then he went off again with something else. Our whole time with him was basically him talking and us reading a scripture or two but basically testifying and telling him to open his heart and pray. With every question he posed, every point he tried to make the answer was always having faith and ask God. It really does all come down to that. Have faith, be humble and ask your Heavenly Father. The answer to any question is found in prayer. And I love it!

Yesterday we taught the second two hours of church. Gospel Principles was a surprise but Relief Society wasn't. It was so cool to teach together and testify together. We do it every day but it was a little different. I learned a lot about observing the Sabbath Day. Something Sister Thomas came across in our preparation was a quote by an apostle from the 70's. It’s in the May Ensign issue of 1975 entitled something like Our Observance of the Sabbath Day. But basically the quote, or at least what we understood is the following. "Our observance of the Sabbath Day is a reflection of our love for the atonement of Jesus Christ." Makes you think huh? a little while ago president bunker said that Sunday isn't really a day of rest, it’s a day of spiritual work. We work on our spirits and relationships. Interesting thought.

[Elder Mark E. Peterson:
In the time of Moses, the Lord impressively declared that the manner in which we spend the Sabbath is a sign of our inner attitude toward him. It is a measure of the sincerity of our faith. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever,” God declared (Ex. 31:17), and added: “Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you.” (Ex. 31:14. Italics added.)

President David O. McKay:
We can readily see that observance of the Sabbath is an indication of the depth of our conversion. Our observance or nonobservance of the Sabbath is an unerring measure of our attitude toward the Lord personally and toward his suffering in Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead. It is a sign of whether we are Christians in very deed, or whether our conversion is so shallow that commemoration of his atoning sacrifice means little or nothing to us.]

I feel as if there's so much more to tell you, but I can’t think of much else. Well we had interviews with President Alba. He did mine completely in Spanish. It was neat to be able to do. I was able to express myself and understand him. Cool!

Yesterday Sister Thomas and I got blessings from our branch president and one of his counselors. We had come in contact with some evil influences and just needed some assurance and added strength/help. Within my blessing it spoke about having converts here. Along with other things, but it was powerful and just what I needed. At different times random people and at random times people have told me, you are here for a purpose. I know that. I have no doubt. Now for what purpose? Only the Lord knows, maybe in part to help the Spanish people, but also to help others. This area is just waiting to burst with growth! We are so excited! Every day is filled with miracles! And we love it! At first we couldn’t see them but as soon as we looked for them and wrote them down together we saw more. Now every moment is another miracle. We live life! And we live the gospel!! I know the message we share is true and blesses people’s lives. It changes their lives into something they could have never imagined! Look for the miracles and they will appear in every moment.

I LOVE YOU FOREVER!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND DAD!!!!!! You’re the best parents on the earth! No doubt about it.  :)
Hermana Stephenson

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