Thursday, May 22, 2014

Remembering in Nigeria

(So sorry for the delay, the blogmom has been out of town for a week.  I'll post Kelsey's update from today soon!)
Me and my new companion, Sister Opeda, on the far right! Sister Ordnahl in the middle is so wonderful too!

Hello again every one! It is the start of a new transfer which brings with it a new opportunity to learn, a new opportunity to grow and a new opportunity to become more like our Elder Brother, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. What an exciting time this is! As I look back on the past transfer with Sister Gearheart there is so much to remember.  I remember first meeting her after arriving back from serving in Reno, Nevada. I remember her kindness, I remember her faith, I remember her testimony.  I remember the miracles we saw as we served at Temple Square.  I remember nights of laying in my bed at night in awe of the tender mercies and grand examples of the Lord's involvement in our lives and the lives of each and every individual and family we have been able to teach.  
Fun zone activity last week bowling!

In a talk I recently read, it boldly claimed that "remember" is the most important word in the dictionary.  As we read through the Holy Scriptures, we can see how quick we are to forget, how quick we are to stumble, and how quick we are to lay by the wayside.  Brothers and Sisters, there is great power in remembering. 

"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yes, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell?" (Alma 5:6)

Think of the joy we feel on Mother's Day, because we sufficiently retain in remembrance that which our Mothers have done for us.  Think of the joy we feel during Christmas because we sufficiently retain in remembrance our Savior as well as those we love.  Celebrating various holidays need not be necessary to remember, but as we actively remember, each day will be celebrated.

Imagine what would happen to the world if we each day took the time to sufficiently retain in remembrance what the creations around us mean.  When we look at the flowers, the trees, the mountains and meadows, can we remember that there is a living God who created these solely for us?  What would happen if we each day took the time to sufficiently retain in remembrance what great joy we felt when we repented and felt forgiveness from our sins. When we look at how far we've come and the progress we have made, can we remember Jesus Christ who made this redemptive progression possible? Do we understand what powerful joy there is in remembrance?
At Valerie's baptism this weekend she remembered so powerfully who she really is as a daughter of God.

This week, Sister Gearheart and I were able to remember Nigeria and through that, remember that God remembers each of His children around the world as well.

This past week we received an inbound call from a man named Anderson who lives in Nigeria.  We were so overjoyed and felt overwhelmed with the blessing of being able to teach him all the way from our small cubicle in the basements of Temple Square. He expressed a desire to change, a desire to follow Christ, a desire for a new life.

The next time we called Anderson we felt prompted to sing for him over the phone.  We prayerfully felt that "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" was the song we needed to sing.  As Sister Gearheart and I sang, a spirit filled our room in Salt Lake, and that same powerful Spirit filled the room in a home in distant Nigeria. After we sang there was a pause.

 Remember Leslye? She was baptized this weekend because she remembered the many impressions she has felt throughout her life
"Sisters," Anderson said, "I can feel it in your hearts, I can feel it in my heart. I will never forget you because you are the people who bring me closer to Christ."

Tears filled our eyes, and awe and wonder filled my heart and mind as to why God would allow us to be on the front line to witness so many of His miracles throughout the world. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my mission, and yet then it became something even more.
Remember Coach Mark?  It was so nice to be included on his special day.  
"Sisters, yes, hello?" There came another voice, a different voice. "Hello, my name is Innocent and I am friends with Anderson. I too heard your singing and I too will always remember you because now I remember Jesus Christ and what He has done for me."
Our amazing district from the last transfer! I can never forget all they taught me!
Brothers and Sisters, the Holy Ghost has more power than we often give Him credit for.  He is the third member of the Godhead, He is sent to bring all things to our remembrance.  We will sufficiently retain all things of heaven in our remembrance as we listen and yield to the Holy Ghost. What a vast world we live in, and yet through the Holy Ghost, we were able to each remember our Redeemer who brought us together that day.  In remembering Him during those moments of song, Anderson, Innocent, Sister Gearheart and I were able to remember that these two men truly are our brothers.  Let remembering start in your hearts, let the Spirit guide you to remember your Savior, God's plan for us through His infinite Atonement, and remember that He is over all the world.  We are remembering this in Nigeria :)

I love you all and pray that this week is full of tender mercies that you will not forget to remember. Keep them in your minds, and let them become engraved on your hearts! 

Sister Briggs
We were so excited to have such delicious milk shakes! 

Fun time at Iceberg with our district sisters!

SHOUTOUTS: Mom & Dad Briggs, Brother & Sister Donakey, Robert Donakey, Mary, Becca, Sara, Barry, Grandmother, Grandfather & Grandma Jeanie.

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