Monday, February 8, 2016

God Loves Us!

There's been a lot of great things happening this week in Woodland
wards. My year mark has come and gone and it definitely is a
bittersweet feeling. I realize more and more just how fast my mission
is going and I'm trying to hold onto every day of it. But thankfully I
get to serve in a beautiful area, have a great companion and see a lot of success.
Quick update on President Taylor he is doing well and definitely has
felt the strength of the fast that we have all done for him. All of us
out here in the Washington Vancouver mission really appreciate all
your prayers and support in behalf of our mission president. This week
we have interviews with President Farren so that will be a little
weird, but I'm excited to meet him and his wife. There's a rumor going
on in the ward that we are getting another set of missionaries next
transfer but we'll see what happens. 

So this week we were able to meet with Ashleyin and she is just so
great. We taught her the plan of salvation and she compared it to a
long journey that we are on, and our God is with us and wants to help us
return. It's exactly what the plan of salvation is. It is my most
favorite listen to teach. It really just brings all of the other
lessons in to perspective. Just knowing the simple questions of where
we came from, why we are here, and where we are going is so much to
change a person. This is why we have prophets to teach us of this
plan and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which helps fulfill the plan. At
the end of the lesson we committed her to be baptized and she said
yes. Her baptismal date is March 5 and we are pretty stoked about it.
And we got her an awesome fellowship-er from school that picked her up
and took her to church. She definitely is a little bit of a quiet
person but she said that she really enjoyed church and wants to go to
mutual. I'm so excited for her. I was thinking the other day about how
much the gospel really changes our life. We look forward with an eternal
perspective, and it's so different than our own mortality. Being baptized
changes everything about a person's life and in the best way possible.
Now she has the temple to look forward to, a mission, and an eternal
family. This really is the best work to be engaged in. 

We still haven't been able to meet with Lawna for the past few weeks
so that has been hard. However she did come to church this week and
stayed for sacrament. And she kept making comments about how much she
loved it. It was so great that all of the testimonies were centered on
Christ. Sometimes they can become a little off-balance. But I always
appreciate those sincere
testimonies about how the Savior and the gospel has blessed their lives.

Honestly a lot of our appointments canceled this week. So that was
kind of a bummer. However we did meet with a new family that is
less active. We had dinner with them on Friday and they live out in
the middle of nowhere. We were able to share a message with them and
invite them to have family home evening with us each Monday evening.
They said yes and so we are going back tonight. I'm really excited to
teach them again. A lot of the people that we talk to here, they
just have forgotten what they once knew. And that's the hardest part
because you have to try and teach with the spirit so they can remember
what they once felt. Once they do remember it's pretty awesome to see
the change. 

 We had kind of an unusual meeting this week. This lady asked us to
come and teach her daughters in their home school class. She wants them
to be versed on other religions and to not be ignorant in the ways
that other people believe. So we went over and taught them the plan of
salvation. It was cool to see the spirit work even with people who are
just learning for academics. It was an unusual request but we figured
that maybe those girls will grow up and remember the missionaries
taught them when they were younger. And we were able to give them all
their own copy of the book of Mormon. We still testified of its
truthfulness and invited them to read and to find out for themselves.
I don't know if anything will come of it right now but later on down the
road I know that they will be blessed and be able to receive the
restored gospel. 

 I have been reminiscing on my past year in the mission field. And it's
been so weird looking back to see who I was before I left and the
changes that have happened since then. And I know I've said it before
but honestly it all has come down to reading from the book of Mormon
every day, having heartfelt prayers every day, and being an active
participant in the Sunday services. I think the biggest thing that I
have learned since I've been here is how much God loves us. It's hard
to explain why that is the biggest thing but I've seen so many things
in a different light. The trials he gives us and the growing
opportunities that we have are not because God is wanting to punish or
curse us, it's because he knows we have so much more potential. We just
need a little more help getting there. The plan of salvation is
real and it is only because our savior came to this world and died for
us that it is possible. And I encourage you if you don't have a
testimony of how this plan will affect your life then get one. There
are so many resources that we have to gain knowledge but the most
important one is asking God in prayer what is true. We might have to
give up things that we don't want to give up but it's so worth it to
have eternal life. I see so many people who just don't understand the
consequences of their actions. There's so much more than the here and
now. We have to be looking forward with faith to the time where we can
be with God and our families again. And this knowledge all comes from
the Scriptures and from the words of the prophets that our heavenly
father loves us so much to give to us. I have loved my mission so much
and I'm so ready to serve God for the last few months that I have. I
love you all and I want you to know that I have a testimony of the
restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He lives and his direction guides this
church and all of us. 

Have a great week! 
 Sister Stephens

One year!


The Allen's came for my year and we went out to dinner! 

No comments:

Post a Comment