Some Amazing Highlights from this week:
Temple: We were able to go to the temple with one of the members Sister Sundwall and I have been working with for her first time! Wow it was an incredible experience. There were two reasons that made this temple trip so special. 1. We were able to be in the temple with Miss Betty Austin and see her do perform baptisms and confirmations for her loved ones, two of which included on of the male members doing the work for her Husband and Son. So very special. She has come along ways, and what a blessing it was to be in the temple with her. 2. I was able to be baptized and my companion and other former companions for my own family names. That was the first time I had done my own families names. I have been looking at those names for several months waiting anxiously for the opportunity to go to the House of The Lord and preform them. It became so real and special to me. Heaven is not heaven without my family. The special spirit I felt in that temple that day was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had in the temple. I love this gospel, and through it we can be united as families forever. Here is a picture of Sister Sundwall, Betty, and I after going into the temple!
Lessons Learned: I wanted to share with y'all three really great things I learned this week.
1. Daily Scripture: Every morning during companion study we send a daily scripture to all the members, less actives, and our investigators. It is something I really love doing. The other day, we randomly received two texts back from two different people asking to not send the daily scripture anymore. It really set me back and kind of bothered me for a bit. Who wouldn't want to receive daily scriptures? My first thought (of the natural man) was that I just didn't want to send the daily scripture anymore. I pondered about the whole situation throughout the day. Then randomly we got a text that said "thank you so much for always sending these! They make my whole day." Then one of the members said to us at the temple "I love those daily scriptures you send everyday!" I began to soften my heart and recognize and remember all the positive comments that we have received in the past about the daily scripture. The next day I sent out a text to everyone saying "who ever would like to receive the daily scripture please respond yes." Within 5 minutes we had received nearly 30 text messages saying "yes", "yes!:)", "yeeeeesssssss!!!! ", and the like. I was literally jumping up and down for joy because I was so happy. We can never let something so little make us quite. We will never fully recognize the impact we may have on people. I learned a valuable lesson that day that we can't give up if we receive a little bit of persecution for doing a good deed. We must press forward, shake it all off, and continue to do what is right. "now when our hearts were depressed, and were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." Alma 26:27
2. What I know: The other day we received a Bible Referral, so we went to deliver it. The man answered the door, and looked right at us with the widest eyes and said "I am a Servant of the Lord." I shook his hand and said "that is great! so are we." It was one of the more interesting experiences I have had on my mission. As he began talking to us, I just smiled and my companion and thought in my head "oh you are so in for a treat." I won't get into all the details because that would be long and probably boring, but he said two things to us 1. i don't care to know or read that Book of Mormon of yours and 2. you don't know your King. We kindly testified of what we knew to be true and left. It was such a great experience because it was a testimony builder to me and I'm sure to my companion as well. I learned two things from that experience 1: I am soo grateful for modern day revelation and Prophets so that we don't have to be in the dark anymore. I know Joseph Smith restored Christ's church and authority, and I know Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's chosen prophet on the earth today. If we follow him, we will not be in the dark. and 2: I have truly come to know and continue to come to know through the Book of Mormon my Lord and King. I know Jesus is the Christ. He is my Savior and Redeemer. I know what he did for me. I know what I must do to return to live with Him. What a blessing my testimony is to me and I truly cherish it.
3. Accepting The Lord's Will and Timing: Yesterday before church I was studying a talk by Elder Bednar in last months Ensign titled this. It is about a young man who is newly married and discovered he has cancer. Elder Bednar went to give him a priesthood blessing and instead of asking him "do you have the faith to be healed?" he asked "do you have the faith to not be healed?" As i read this, something just hit me so hard. We had 2 investigators and a less active family of 12 committed to coming to church . I had been praying so hard all week and all morning that they would come. Then I realized that I was praying for the wrong thing. I decided to pray to Heavenly Father and instead of saying "please bless that they can come to church" I changed it to "please bless that they can come to church, but thy will be done. And if they don't come please bless me with the faith to not be discouraged and to keep believing!" I knew it was scary thing to pray for. It's kind of like praying for patience, because we all know what happens when we pray for patience. We receive plenty of opportunities to practice our patience. Well none of them showed up to church, but I was not discouraged and I still have faith and I still believe! We ended up having a fantastic as usual!! It is never about what we want or what we think is the best, it is all about Accepting the The Lord's Will and timing. In the end, it is ALWAYS the best! I know this to be true!
Toaster: This is a very exciting highlight from this week. My companion has officially used a toaster for the first time in her life! Last night after planning she asked me how to make the bread toasty. I told her to just slap two pieces of bread in that black box and push the button down. She was so amazed. It was a good moment.
Beautiful Sunset: We were driving home yesterday and just had to take a picture with the beautiful sunset! I love it here in Georgia!
Well life is wonderful my family. Life here as a missionary is great, fantastic, marvelous, and just soo good. I am happy. I mean, why wouldn't I be happy? I get to share the good news of the Gospel everyday all day! I hope you all have a fantastic week!! May we soak up our daily lives, because we are blessed. I love y'all! :)
Hermana Stewart :)