Brothers and Sisters I am excited to talk about this week
It started Monday, we went to two set apointments that we had, and both did not answer the door and both were home.
Nevertheless, God's plan and patience are everything
We must keep in mind that He knew both of our apointments were going to fall through
and He had some other appointments in mind.
Walking down a cute southern street
we knocked a couple of doors before knocking on one, and we heard a voice say, "Come In."
We walked in the door and saw no one.
I was a little nervous, but I knew the voice we had heard was female.
I said "hello?"
She said" yeah?"
We followed her voice walking in the living room where all at once I could see a young middle aged woman sitting on her bed tears in her eyes-
something was obviously really wrong.
The Spirit hit, she was shocked. She was not expecting to see two strangers in her home.
I asked her if she was okay, she said yeah but started to tear up.
Then I asked her what was wrong and she said she was having a really rough time that day.
She asked us who we were
I said, disciples of Jesus Christ.
The words filled my heart and I promised her that God is very aware of her, that she is special, and that He can lift all of her burdens through Jesus Christ.
She cried some, thanked us, and told us she was expecting a cousin to come pick her up. We gave her a Book of Mormon, and asked her name. We promised we would be back and testified of the Book of Mormon, Sister Fast gave her a favorite chapter to read, and just as we finished the cousin came through the door.
We left, and there was a peace of the Spirit.
I love when these tender mercies happen.
We then stopped at a park and experienced the teeter-totter because Sister Fast has never been on one.
I realized at some point that I had left my SD camera card in the computer at the library, so we went back there and luckily it was there!
As we were driving out, blinker on, making a turn, I saw a lady walking in the opposite direction of where we were headed.
The Spirit was like.. go talk to her
I was like.. I don't want to. It will be super awkward to pull over while she's walking. Was that even a spiritual prompting? Maybe not.
I just need to interject my own story and say NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES
you think you have overcome something that the adversary has poked at you with in the past, he doesn't ever give up what has worked before.
I have awkwardly pulled over and talked to people outside many many times. My companionship's have seen miracles as we take the time to follow promptings that seem awkward.
Yet still, here I was pulling on to a road, justifying and allowing myself to feel fear.
Almost immediately I recognized a withdrawal from the presence of the Holy Ghost
not completely or even abundantly, just subtly less than before.
I opened my mouth quickly--
"I think we need to go talk to that lady."
Turned around and set my course straight because I am just not willing to let that happen.
He cannot give us all the blessings of the Spirit when we do not act on it, and the more we do act on it, the more miracles we witness and the more abundantly He will be recognized, felt, and become part of who we are.
We pulled up a little bit ahead, off to a street where she could not see us so she wouldn't think we were stalkers
walked across the street around the corner and stopped her.
Sister Fast being the detective she is asked about the ladies name tag, she works for a retirement home.
We told her we would love to volunteer.
She invited us to come do Bible Study with the retired folks!!!!!
Then we told her we sing and play the piano and she straight looked up and said, "Thank you Lord" and told us she was just thinking about how she needs more activities as she is the activity director and she was finding herself in a pinch.
She then got so excited she hugged us both and thanked us a million times and we all parted ways excited to see each other again.
+ the spirit was restored + my faith was strengthened
FAITH OVER FEAR
For the kingdom HURRAH!!
Two days later it was 11 am and we walked in the doors of the assisted living home, played the piano, sang some Primary hymns, and had a Bible discussion about Mathew 14 with 6 of the most incredible, adorable, sweet elderly women ever.
We talked about how miracles still exist, we just have to have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to feel.
One lady said, "I have seen miracles in my life." She proceeded to tell just a few. Later, we found out one of the others was her sister. The sister told us of some personal miracles in her life along with her sister.
The first sister mentioned said,
"I told you I've seen miracles"
She was so tender.
Again a few minutes later, we found out her niece was also there in the home because of a car accident that she should not have lived through. Again, the sweet elderly lady said,
"See, I told you I've seen miracles."
and we all chuckled, she just smiled. She told us when she talks about
"That Place"--Heaven--it fills her with such a feeling in her heart. A feeling of happiness. She knows it won't be long, and she's excited for thosee golden streets.
We learned so much from these sweet women and their life stories. So close to the end, they know in whom they trust. Jesus Christ.
There is no fear near death, when we are near to Him who overcame it.
That reminds me of a couple of the talks Saturday morning session of confrence, we all have to pass away. It is what it is. But it can be an experience of peace and happy reunions! As we look to our savior, and enjoy our lives soaking it all in with savor, we will be burden free and satisfied when the time comes.
Then we will be overjoyed when the day of His return comes about, and our spirits and our bodies will be reunited forever more. In perfect prime condition, never to be separated again.
Oh death, where is thy sting? It is of redeeming love I sing. Chains broken by The King. Resurection He will bring.
The greatest miracle of all, the prince of peace overcame the fall. To dry bones we call:
come alive. stand tall.
Death is overcome, and all our sins. Justice satisfied and mercy wins.
as the Semana Sacta approaches, study the life of Jesus Christ. Watch the new videos
Speaking of conference Dianne and her sister came and they loved it! She is going to be baptized next Saturday if we can help her battle the adversary until then :)
The twins will be baptized this saturday, Lexi has asked that I play the piano give my testimony and the closing prayer. Can I just say, I am so honored. I love the Pich/Raspberry family.
We watched conference at the Beldens on Saturday and with Sister Potter at the church and our investigators on Sunday. So amazing.
Elder Hollands talk particularly stook out to me and the talk that was about how lucky we are that God differentiates the sin from the sinner. I'm so glad that he does.
We biked this week and I got a flat tire, so walking it home, we stopped to talk to a man on his porch and he told us he has had three strokes so he smokes weed to take care of the pain.
We asked if he smoked it before the strokes and he said he did, which was humorous.
Then we taught about the book of mormon and what the spirit feels like. Fills your chest with good feelings.
He started busting up and pointed to his weed "That makes me feel that way too"
bless his heart :)
Met a very interesting man a few days after that.
We were driving to another home, and saw a couple outside so we pulled over to talk to them.
Walked up and he proceeded to tell us that God has to be an alien.
He said that people think he's crazy.
When I affirmed that he was right, he just about fell over.
I said. "Well I suppose it depends on what you mean by alien. If you simply mean He was raised on another planet and created this one to raise us on it, then by all means. God is an alien."
that was an interesting conversation, he is very excited to read the book of mormon.
You just never know what the spirit will say out of your mouth it's awesome.
I have something to say concerning the atonement and things that it is not.
7. The Atonement is not because we are good but because God and Christ are good.
They love us not because we are always loveable, but because They are always loving. Understanding this helps us feel Their love even when we don’t see any reason to love ourselves. “I’ll never do it again,” we say. Then we do it. “Now I really mean it. I will never do it again.” And then we do it. At such low moments, it is easy to become discouraged and lose hope. We have such a hard time forgiving ourselves that we mistakenly believe God and Christ must be feeling the same way. We think each setback is devastating, but God and Christ simply recognize them as growing pains.
Jesus suffered for our sins—plural. That means multiple sins, but that also means multiple times we commit the same sin as we learn how to break bad habits once and for all. “Never again” may be the ultimate goal, but in the meantime we can set more realistic milestones to reach along the way. Each time we repent and start again, we are one step closer to our ultimate goal—usually much closer than we think. The love of God and Jesus is perfect—offered consistently through our moments of great success or utter failure. Although we often want to give up on ourselves, God and Jesus will never give up on us. Their hearts simply cannot and will not let go.
-Brad Wilcox "8 things the atonement is not"
I was not feeling very lovable in the eyes of God last week. Call it what it is, attacks from the adversary and discouragement when we feel down for not being perfectly who we would like to be.
I was beating myself up for feeling just that: down
seemingly for no reason! Why can't I be my cheery self ALL the time I pleaded for the answer. I was kind of frustrated and sad.
Well someone whom we had a meeting with that served a mission a couple of years ago out of the blue at the end of the meeting looked at me and said
"People don't prepare us for the things about a mission that are hard. They think the physical challenges need the most attention, or spiritual ones. But the reality is that our spirit is deeply connected to our emotions. When we feel down, or depressed, as missionaries it's because we deeply love the children of God we are serving, and He is allowing us to feel how He feels when they reject His word through us."
Truth.Hit me like a wall of bricks, but gentle and from the spirit of God.
It weighs on us, because we LOVE the people we serve and so does our Father in Heaven. We are all on the same team, He wants them to CTR just as much as we do. Even more. So of course it is sad when they don't. But we love them, and keep going anyway with a steadfastness in Christ.
I'm sure that can apply to many callings in the church or otherwise, and as parents siblings or children. God gives us the ability to feel how He feels, to become who He is, and to know what He needs us to know, that He knows.
I love you all. Have a BLESSED day/week/month/life
ps. today marks 14 months. TIME IS CRAZY. And Fast, like my companion.