Sorry I didn't email yesterday, holidays are some of the best days to proselyte because everyone is home! I think that was the first time I've "labored" on labor day. It was great, very productive day! Anyway, thanks for the emails everyone! I'm glad you guys had a good Labor day as well 1,000 Springs in Idaho looked like a lot of fun! The Winkelman's and the Becker's are sure awesome, what a fun trip! I'm glad you guys are all doing well. So no Hooper this year? haha. Thank you so much for the package, that was so sweet of you Mom! It came on a day that I was struggling, Sister Knowlton and I especially loved the biscuits! How did you know those were my favorite, can't get much better than a package of all your favorite things, that was such a fun surprise! Not to mention, I loved the cute note from Andrew, that was hilarious, sweeping up the water with the broom, and Sister Knowlton and I got a good laugh about the Holy Ghost story. I miss cute little Andrew, he just gets funnier each week. I don't know how I got so lucky to have such a wonderful family.
Well, it's been a good week. Lately a large portion of our work has been with the members. We have been following up with members to see who has come to their mind, it's been neat to watch them grow in their desires to share the gospel with their friends. After their fast, we encouraged them to pray sincerely for their friends, and the results have been incredible! When we follow up with them we share a Mormon Message- "Lifting Burdens" (You'll have to watch it, it's incredible!) after we watch it with them, we share the fact that as we share the gospel, we invite those we love to access the atonement, God's greatest expression of love for us, that provides relief from all that may be holding us from feeling God's love. Then we brainstorm idea's of different invitations they could extend to their friends. Ideas such as ward activities, (Relief Society, Mutual, Etc...) Baptisms, Farewells, etc... It's amazing that when others come to activities, they see the joy that we have, and they then in turn desire that happiness in their lives. We went to follow up with Sister Paventy, and she said she didn't know anyone who wasn't LDS, but she has neighbors on all sides who she hasn't met that aren't LDS and she has a goal to meet her 10 closest neighbors within the next month. How neat is that? Then we went to follow up with another family the Matthes, their grandfather lives with them. It touched my heart to see that even he wanted to get involved, and wanted to share with the woman across the street. He's offered to go mow her lawn, and invite her to our day of service. Then we went to follow up with the Robinson family, I was so touched to see all of their children wanting to get involved, cute 10 year old Melissa said "I want to invite my friend Hannah to Activity Days, Church, The Halloween Party, and Everything!" it was cute to see her enthusiasm. It's so touching to see everyone so involved. It's been an inspiration to me. So many seeds are being planted here, it's incredible! Just imagine how many more people could enjoy the joy of the gospel if everyone went out of their way to be a friend. I think you guys are amazing, you are such good examples to me as well!
Anyway, the recurring theme in my studies this week has been that of prayer. I back tracked in the Book of Mormon, so I could get a refresher before we taught the Whites, and I read 1 Nephi 3. It's the story of Nephi and his Brothers going back to get the plates. I'm sure you're all very familiar with it, but it struck me differently as I read it this time. If you remember in the first attempt made by Laman, he simply "Asks" Laban for the plates, and he is chased off by Laban. In the second attempt, Nephi thinks out a plan, and they take all their riches to trade Laban. Sounds smart right? It was, yet the plan still fell through... After they'd done all in their power, an angel came to them and said "The Lord will deliver Laban into your hands" (v 29). I related this to prayer, sometimes I pray just expecting an answer. Sometimes I wish he would just grant me what I'd prayed for, that would be wonderful! Yet, that's not how God works, he wants me to learn from the trials he gives me. Especially on my mission, Sister Knowlton and I pray, that people will desire to know more about the gospel, yet we have to come up with a plan and receive revelation here, and revelation there. Then usually in the end it's not by the plans Sister Knowlton and I have come up with that people are touched. In the end, it's truly the spirit that touches people. So after we ask, and come up with a plan and follow through with it, God will take care of the rest. I've just come to realize, through every experience, if he didn't just answer my prayers the way I wanted him to, I wouldn't learn anything.
It's also been interesting to see that the more specific I am with my prayers, the more specific the answer I receive is. I've also learned that when I pray, sometimes I want God to align his will with mine, but in reality, as I pray I've learned to align my will with his. I have a testimony that if we pray, then come up with a plan and follow through and do all we can in our power, God will take care of the rest. Just like After all Nephi had done, the Lord delivered Laban into their hands so they could bring about Heavenly Father's plan. I know he has an incredible plan for each of us, and his plan is much better than any we could ever come up with ourselves. Don't forget to trust him.
Anyway, I hope you guys have a wonderful week!
I love you guys so much!