Sounds like you had a great week! Thanks for all the fun pictures Mom! Also, I got your letter in the mail the other day. Thank you so much for your love and encouragement that meant so much to me! You sure know how to make people feel loved. It's been a difficult week and that letter really helped me get through. So thank you! I can't believe Jace Harris is home already! Time goes by so quickly, I loved the stories you shared from his talk. :) I'm so glad Rachel had such a fun time at prom! She looked stunning! :) Josh, I'll keep you in my prayers... I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well... Dad, I'll keep praying for you, I know Heavenly Father has a great job in store for you. Michael, I hope your liking school, I can't believe you'll be in junior high next year! :) Andrew, I love you! Thanks for the fun picture you made for me! :) I love you all so much!
Well, this week I feel I've grown a lot. Some weeks out in the mission field, Heavenly Father feels you are ready to take a months worth of events and gives them to you. I've realized that missions are definitely a time that Heavenly Father gives you to help you grow. Poor Sister Reed was sick for two days this week and had to stay in bed, so I took over the area while the other Sisters took turns taking care of her. Then this weekend we got special permission to go to a baptism in Lewiston for Liz and Loretta- two investigators that Sister Reed had the opportunity to teach since this last August. We had been looking forward to it for weeks! :) We drove out to Lewiston and everyone was walking out the church to leave, we asked what had happened- Liz and Loretta had changed their minds. Poor Sister Reed was devastated. I've come to realize out on my mission Heavenly Father has helped me love people so much more than I've loved them before... Whenever Sister Reed is struggling, I just want to cry with her... Whenever someone we teach is going through a challenge I want to cry with them. I think Heavenly Father is really helping me develop Charity and compassion for others. As I read 3 Nephi 17 this week I was touched to learn that the Savior cried when he loved people. This is my new favorite chapter! :) He blessed the Nephite's children and then cried with them because he was so sad to that they were sad he would be leaving, although he knew he would see them again. I just love the Savior so much!
Although the baptism fell through, Heavenly Father helped me recognize his tender mercies that day. Chynna had come with us, and a cute pregnant Mom Sister Walker had taken the time to drive us out there. We went on splits so Sister Reed could go talk with them, and Sister Johnson and I stayed with Chynna and Sister Walker. I had the opportunity to get talk with Chynna and it was such a tender mercy to get to know her better. She told me that Michael had been inviting her to an institute class about the Book of Mormon, she told me that every time she goes the spirit keeps confirming to her that as she follows Jesus Christ she'll be happy. She still says she wants to be baptized in August. As we waited in the room in the chapel with the filled font, Sister Walker said, "Chynna, why don't you just go jump in there." haha Chynna said, "Oh, I wish I could!" :) She is so excited to be baptized! I was so grateful I had that time to get to talk to her and get to know her better. I learned so much about her that I wouldn't have known otherwise. I learned that her parents were divorced when she was only 14. That her Dad is a substance abuser, and I learned that she has gone through so much. She is one of the strongest people I know. I have just come to love her so much, I love her like a Sister. I really felt that she had needed that time to talk.
The week previous Chynna had, had questions about the priesthood, so we had a lesson about it with her on Thursday. It was one of the most powerful lessons I've ever taught, we taught her about the restoration of the priesthood, and the responsibilities of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood. After we taught her that priesthood is the authority given to man for the salvation of his children, we asked her what the priesthood was from what we had taught. She responded, "Men who hold the priesthood get to act as God's hands." I was so touched by the spirit in the room. It made me recognize how grateful I am for Righteous men who can hold that priesthood to bless us. We showed her the Mormon Message "Power of God" (If you click this it will take you to the link) you'll have to watch it. It's so powerful!
This week we had the opportunity to teach Josh and Kimi. If you remember, Josh is the one that was going to play baseball professionally, but then his hand was smashed in a car accident, so his dreams of being a star was thwarted. It's so hard on him.... He doesn't have a firm belief in God yet, but he wants to! Kimi is the one who recently started coming back to church. They are dating and love each other so much. As we taught Josh, I was touched to see his desire to have faith. As we taught the Plan of Salvation we taught him that after this life he will be resurrected, and he'll be able to have a perfected body. He got teary eyed. The spirit testified to his heart this was true. As I committed him to strengthen his relationship with Heavenly Father every day, through prayer he explained to us that he felt silly and felt as though he was talking to himself. Kimi shared that she imagined a Fatherly Figure who looked similar to Christ, but with white hair listening to her, as she prayed. I felt prompted to share that as he wanted to speak with God, he should pray, and that as he wanted God to speak to him he needed to read God's word. He thought for a second and said, "That makes a lot of sense." Josh has so much faith. He wants to believe. He's working towards baptism, we are so excited for him!
Another miracle, the Book of Mormon has so much power! We went over to visit Rachel and Kaylee who are both less active. As we walked in I felt prompted that we should then and there do scripture study with them. We read 3 Nephi 11- the crowning event in the Book of Mormon when Christ visits the people in the America's after they've been in darkness for a long time. The spirit we felt was so powerful. Kaylee prayed before we left, and said the most sincere prayer I've ever heard. She thanked Heavenly Father for letting her feel the spirit again. She sincerely expressed her gratitude. Then on Sunday she and Rachel both showed up! :) It was the first time Kaylee's made it to church since I've been here! That was such a miracle in and of itself. :)
Well, there is a Mormon Message that particularly has touched me lately- you'll have to watch it. "Mountains to Climb"- "Mountains to Climb"
Thank you so much for your prayers, I feel them every day! They have helped me stay strong. Thanks for your love and support! :) I hope you all have a wonderful week. When you feel you are struggling remember the Savior is there to make up the difference. He loves you so much! He's always aware of you.
Love Always, Sister Sarah Clark