This was a week with a lot of early morning meetings getting prepared for our Missionary Fireside last night. We sang songs to the public in the Assembly Hall for about 1 hour and a half and it was such a beautiful thing to be a part of. I got emotional so many times as I looked at the Sisters surrounding me, these amazing, talented, gifted daughters of God who have sacrificed everything to come and serve here. I feel so blessed and so humbled to be serving with all of them.
|Missionary Fireside Concert Program|
With all of the early morning meetings and extra rehearsals, it would have been very easy to become distracted or even tired, but I was determined to not let that happen, and I know Heavenly Father was too. Early on in the week I read a scripture that became my theme for the week.
|With our beautiful sisters from Brasil and Thailand after the performance in the Assembly Hall!|
Helaman 10:4 says, "Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments."
I was determined that I would be like Nephi, that I would serve my Heavenly Father and Savior with unwearyingness as it says in this scripture and I had one of the most beautiful weeks of my entire mission.
On Friday there was a tour texted out for 4 people at the Eternal Families desk in the South Visitor's Center. Sister Taylor and I had planned to do Companionship Study at that time, but I felt like we needed to take it and Sister Taylor did too (love her!) When we got to the South Visitor's Center to meet our new friends, we quickly learned that we had two couples who were complete opposites from one another. Kent and Melissa were from Arkansas and were extremely opposed to anything we had to say and even in a mocking way for most of the tour. Paul and Liz were a couple from London, England who were both students and professors of Anthropology and were compassionate people with such a fascination for religion in general.
|We were friends before our mission! We love you Aubrey and Jordan!|
We spoke with these two couples for about 45 minutes in the Assembly Hall as question after question were thrown at us. We were so grateful to have the spirit with us during that time as many of the questions from Kent and Melissa were ones that seemed to be coming from an angle to discourage our faith and our beliefs. Sister Taylor and I were led by the spirit and were able to answer them in a kind and loving way. It was so powerful to have Liz and Paul there because when we would teach certain doctrines that Kent and Melissa were upset about, Liz and Paul would often make comments such as, "Well that makes sense if you think about it," or "what a lovely belief to have, I would cherish that in my life." Throughout the tour we saw Kent and Melissa's hearts soften so much. It seemed at the beginning they would hardly make eye contact with us, but at the end, Kent went so far as to say, "You were all lovely people, thank you for your time." That may seem little, but it was huge to us, and I know it is because we were able to have the spirit of God with us. I know that the spirit touches peoples hearts, and so does kindness.
In Helaman 16:2 it says, "But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel (Sister Briggs & Sister Taylor) were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows."
Then it continues in verse 3, "Now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many more who did believe on his words..."
I want each and everyone of you to know that no act of kindness will ever go unnoticed. No smile, no hug, no words of encouragement, no testimony, no invitation will ever be a waste of time. Do not be discouraged in the works of good you are doing, brothers and sisters. Your patience, love, humility, diligence can soften hearts of people around the world- the Spirit of God is universal in that way. God uses the small and simple things to bring about the great.
If God wanted me to push over a mountain to show people He lived, He could do that- and yet He doesn't. Why? Because if we really pay attention, we can see that God is pushing over mountains through us every single day in the way we respond to the spirit. Do you see that when you let the light of Christ in you shine through, God and you are working as a team to push the mountain of your natural man aside? Is this making sense? Please say yes:) What I mean to say is that one of the biggest and hardest battles in life is pushing aside our natural man to let our divine nature shine through. And this in itself is God pushing aside a mountain; He lives, and He shows us this everyday, and I know that Kent and Melissa were as the people in Helaman, that because their arrows and stones (their harsh words) could not hit us, their hearts became more open and they came to see that we're really not as different as they once thought. Liz and Paul that day left with their own copy of The Book of Mormon and said that the whole experience helped them to regain their faith.
|With Sister Ince and Sister Taylor in the Teaching Center!|
(The Sisters make phone calls and do online chats with people from all over the world)
I am so grateful that God has allowed me to be a part of this work. I know that He is pushing aside the mountains in our life every single day for the benefit of not just us, but His children all around the world. Will you all make an effort to be kind to someone this week, especially those whom it may be difficult to be kind to? Remember, they are children of God and I promise your small act will be just what they need.
|Okay Casey---you can only imagine I screamed when I got this :) straight from Brasil too!|
SHOUTOUTS: Mom, Dad, Bryan, Casey, Sister Britt Lam, Wes Christensen, HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREN RAWE (on 11-11-13), Robert Donakey, Mary, Becca, Sara, Brother and Sister Donakey (Thank You again SO SO very much for coming out for our fireside last night and thank you for the cookies too, you are all so wonderful!) and Grandma Jeanie
|CTR power! With dinosaurs too! Rawr!|