Hola Mi Familia! :)
It was good to hear from all of you! Sounds like you had a really fun week! I loved the stories about Andrew- It's so crazy to see how much he's grown since I've been out. That was cute to hear he chose a present by himself for Josh. :) Josh! Happy Birthday this week! I hope it's a great one! You're growing up way too fast! haha. Dad, I'm so glad things with your business are going well- it's incredible how much Heavenly Father is blessing you, I know he's so proud of you for your diligence, and that you continued putting your trust in him all throughout this experience. I'm so proud of you too! Thanks for your emails Mom and Dad! Well, to answer your questions- 1) Where am I going for Thanksgiving? We're going to Linda and Lloyd's, they don't have any family that is coming in town, so they're adopting us in as their family. :) 2) Yes! I did get the package. Thank you so much, I'll be patiently waiting to open it. ;) Also, Mom thank you for helping me out with the gym pass, etc... I'm so thankful for all you and Dad have done for me, words can't even express the gratitude I feel.
To start off, we had a lot of fun this week- Sister Larsen and I have become friends with several people at the gym, and one woman we met- Sheryl, was talking to one of the instructors about religion, and the Doctrine of Christ, he was teaching false doctrine... So Sister Larsen and I went to talk to her, and told her we had a message that could help her find peace and answer her questions. We met with her the morning of my exchange with the Post Falls Sisters Sister Shelton, and Sister Tureson, they both came here to Plummer with me. Sheryl didn't want to give us her address yet, and only agreed to meet with us after she was done working out. We found a quiet conference room at the gym, and as we taught her about the Restoration the spirit was so strong! :) We're meeting with her again this next week. I decided we'd save contacting a referral we'd received to go contact a woman that lives in a Tepee, it was this HUGE Tepee, we met the son Isador who said we can come back next week. They got the true cultural experience of Plummer. :)
It's been a great week! It's definitely had it's ups and it's downs. It was really difficult Jed and Bishop lost their Dad this week. He had died from Drug over dose, and really had a hard life. I was touched to hear about how much they'd still loved and taken care of their Dad. Although he hadn't been a part of their life, until he came close this last year. He'd been homeless a majority of his life, and Jed and Bishop had worked to save money so that he could have a place to live. They had even started reading the Bible with him. They had so much love for him. Bishop and Jed had so many questions this week, I felt so much gratitude that we have answers to these questions. Jed asked where his Dad was right now? We shared Alma 40:11-12. He then asked about what happens to people who don't get to really have the gospel in their lives here? We then shared Mosiah. The spirit bore powerful witness of these truths. You could tell that Jed was able to feel more at peace. I just feel so much love for Jed, I'm so grateful Heavenly Father sent us to him. At that moment I thought to myself, if God would have sent me to Plummer just to help Jed, I would have done it. I realized in that moment, just how much I've taken these truths for granted. I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father hasn't left us in the dark, but has blessed us with knowledge and answers.
Other Events of the week, Lloyd sat in on Linda's lesson. We'd felt inspired that we needed to share the Restoration with him. As we taught, after we quoted Joseph's own words. I asked Lloyd how he felt. With tears in his eyes, he paused for a moment, then said, "I. I don't know.. I don't know.. " It was heart breaking to see that he'd felt the spirit, and still didn't want to accept it. I want this for him so badly... I just love him. I wasn't sure if we should extend a baptismal invitation, the spirit prompted me, that I needed to. As I did, I felt so much love overwhelm me. I explained how the greatest gift our Savior has to offer is to be baptized by someone holding the authority of God, that as we do, we can receive the gift of Having the Holy Ghost with us always. He still said he didn't know if he would. It broke my heart, We just continued to express our love, and we let him know we didn't love him any less for that decision. Each time something like this occurs, my love and understanding of my Savior grows. It's so hard that to know that what I've been blessed with can completely change their life, yet they don't want it. I imagine how hard it must have been for the Savior to offer that gift to so many who rejected even him... I know when the time is right Lloyd will get to have all those blessings. This experience brought a favorite scripture to mind-
Doctrine and Covenants 45:8- The Saviors Words to Us
8 I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not; but unto as many as received me gave I power to do many miracles, and to become the sons of God; and even unto them that believed on my name gave I power to obtain eternal life.
The Savior can only bless us according to our faith. If we exercise our faith, we receive the potential to have eternal life.
There are so many people who feel like there is something missing in their lives, we have many less active members who just aren't happy with their lives. Sister Shelton shared a powerful scripture with me about what can be missing in our lives at times.
3 Nephi 20:8- After the Savior was going to leave
8 And he said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.
As we take the sacrament, we are filled with his spirit, what was missing in our life was that closeness with God. As we feel the spirit we feel that same love we would feel if we were in his presence. <3 I am so grateful to take the sacrament, to be filled, and feel joy no matter what the circumstances of life may be. To be able to feel whole, even when things aren't going perfectly. I thought at this point in my mission, I'd be close to perfect.
In the scriptures I found words of comfort. In Matthew
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
It cross references to- Doctrine and Covenants 67: 13
13 Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.
I'm so grateful Heavenly Father has given us our whole lives to work on this process.
Well, I love each one of you so much! I hope you have a Great Thanksgiving! :)