Can't believe that another week has already come and gone!
We have been pretty busy and seeing so many miracles! It is the best.
The highlight lesson of my week this week was definitely with our investigator Rachel. She is actually a lay minister in her Lutheran church. She is a very good Christian person- probably one of the most Christian people I have ever met! She was on her churches Facebook page the other day and someone posted something along the lines of "Please pray for the ____ family! They have chosen to leave the Mormon church and we are so glad that they are finally able to escape. We need to pray that they will be able to find the truth and to stay away." Isn't that soooooo sad? Yeah. Rachel thought so to. She commented on the post and said, "Please remember that Mormons are God's children too." Within 3 minutes the Lutheran pastor deleted her post and sent her a personal message about why what she said was wrong. Well that just didn't sit right with her. So she decided that she wanted to find out why everyone thought the Mormons were "so terrible"and she also wanted to understand the doctrine of the Mormon church so that she could correct any misconceptions next time she was in a conversation and Mormonism came up. So she started meeting with us! :) We answered all of her questions and taught her about the Restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith and the miracle of the Book of Mormon. The first few times we met with her, she was very stand offish and made it very clear that she was only there to gather information- not to convert. Well we invited her to be baptized anyway! haha. And we invited her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it so that she could know for herself. The first couple of weeks she hadn't been reading. But when we met with her this week, something was different and you could tell right off the bat. Her countenance was different.
When we asked her how her Book of Mormon reading had been going, (expecting her to say that she hadn't and then to just move on) to our suprised she whipped out her Book of Mormon and a study journal where she had been taking notes! All she had been doing was reading just one chapter every day and you could tell! We spent our entire lesson just discussing the Book of Mormon and the amazing plain and precious truths that she had learned about just in the first few chapters. Then, we asked her if she had been praying about it. She told us that her and the Lord had been "chatting" about it a lot lately. And that the whole time she has been reading from the Book of Mormon she has had a calm and peaceful feeling. She knows that it is true! All this time she told us that she was not interested in converted, but now she has been considering and praying about the decision to be baptized. She told us that she really wants to be, but she is just concerned about leaving her Lutheran church where she is a mentor for a couple of the girls. So please be praying for Rachel that she will not only receive an answer, but that she will have the courage to act on it. I feel so good about her!
Also- just wanted to point out that The Book of Mormon never ceases to amaze me. It is the BEST tool to have as a missionary because if people don't really want to listen to us or if they have a lot of questions or concerns, we just give them a copy and let the book do the work! The Book of Mormon is a book with a promise. Everyone can come to know that it is true for themselves. So as a missionary it is so awesome to have a little book full of truth! We have the ultimate trump card! haha.
Also- this week was...... my last zone conference. Yeah I know, it is super weird. At a missionary's last zone conference President Cutler invites the departing missionaries to bear their testimony. i remember at my very first zone conference seeing all the missionaries that were about to go home giving their testimonies and thinking to myself 2 things. First, they must know everything! And second, that day is never going to happen to me. well that day came, and I don't know everything. Not even close. But I have learned a lot though. I bore my testimony of the Atonement. You know, the Atonement is a pretty incredible thing. I NEVER would have been able to get this far on my mission without it. It has changed me and enable me to do things that I never could have done on my own. I am so grateful for the Atonement.
This Zone conference was focused on something very interesting. It is a very important commandment that I think we don't take as seriously as we should. Keeping the Sabbath Day holy! I love this commandment! I thought that I understood it, but President and Sister Cutler really opened my eyes.
In Ezekial 20:12 it says,
12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.
That is kind of an interesting phrase. That the sabbath is a sign between us and God. But what is it a sign of? It is a sign to God of how much we really appreciate the Atonement. The most important thing we do on the Sabbath day is to partake of the sacrament as a reminder of his sacrifice for us. With the sacrament, we renew our covenants. People tend to think that the sacrament is only a renewal of our baptismal covenant. But that is not true. Modern day prophets have taught us that the sacrament renews ALL of our covenants! So that is pretty neat. President Cutler also taught us that all or the ordinances that we do in the church we only do for ourselves once, and then we do them for other people. For example, we are only baptized once and then when we do baptisms for other people in the temple. Except for the sacrament! The sacrament is the only ordinance that we repeat purely for ourselves over and over and over! That is how important it is. We need the power of the Atonement in our individual lives so badly. We can not make it back to live with God again and with our families forever without it! I love this quote from Elder Petersen:
Our observance or nonobservance of the Sabbath is an unerring measure of our attitude toward the Lord personally and toward his suffering in Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead.
So think about the Sunday that you had yesterday. Were you showing God just how grateful you are for the Atonement of His perfect Son?
Definitely an area that I need to improve! haha.
I am so grateful for how much I am learning. I have learned so much! And grown so much too. But I know that I still have a long ways to go. That is why I am so grateful for the Atonement.
I love you all so much!!! HAve a great week!