Hello, hello, hello!
I hope everyone has had a wonderful week. I can't believe how time is flying here! This week has been amazing. Sister Hosea and I have been blessed to be able to see so many miracles once again. I'm starting to feel a bit like Ammon. I wouldn't mind serving these people until the day that I die (Unlike Ammon, I mean in mission terms though. Still trying to get on Ammon's level. Not quite there yet lol)
Something that I absolutely love about being a missionary, is that it gives me an opportunity to refine my ability to be "others focused". It's amazing that during the most self-centered part of our lives, missions give young men and women an opportunity to turn outwards in love to others.
One day this week as Sister Hosea and I were walking and walking and walking, I thought about the pioneers. I thought about how they had so much further to walk in weather that was so much harsher. I thought of how they would've done anything to be able to wear my flimsy payless shoes, and they would've jumped for joy if they only had to carry my bag full of pamphlets and Book of Mormons. As I groaned under the weight of my "heavy" bag and shook the rocks out of my shoes, I couldn't get them out of my mind. Here I was, exhausted by the thought of walking from Winmalee to Springwood, when they had the task of sailing across oceans and crossing the country.
What could possibly be driving them? Singing "Ye Elders of Israel" 24/7 surely couldn't have been enough to keep them pressing forward day in and day out. I didn't find my answer until today as I was in the temple.
As I sat in the Celestial room of the Sydney Temple, my heart was filled with joy that could hardly be contained. My testimony was renewed and my soul was refreshed. I know without a doubt that these lessons that I teach, The Restoration, The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, are all 100% true. They are each a part of a merciful message given to us by a tender, loving, Heavenly Parent. Our Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to have only the best. He wants us to be able to live with Him again, with our families for time and all eternity. I cannot deny the spirit that I feel in the temple. I know, with a surety, that there is life Eternal. I know that we can be with our families forever. I know that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven.
My previously mentioned joy filled heart ached for just a moment as I worried that I might fall short. I mean, I do fall short all the time. Having seen a glimpse of what Heavenly Father has in store for us, I worried that I would not be able to obtain it. Then, an even more frightening though came into my mind: what about my family? I have to get them there too! I began going through a list in my head of everyone I loved so dearly. It went on and on and on. What a task! I need to make sure I do everything I can to help them make it to end so that we can all be together.
Then, it clicked and I realized - If I spend my whole life trying to help my family, friends, and others in general reach the highest degree of glory so that we can be together forever, then I will never have to worry about myself. If I'm worried about serving, helping, loving, and being an example to others, I know I will be able to stay the course.
As we focus on OTHERS and do all we can to help them reach their potential as sons and daughters of God, we will never have to worry about our own salvation. If those pioneers were focused on themselves, they never would've made it to Zion. Each footstep would've been in vain. It is only because those Saints cared so deeply about the Lord and about their families that they could keep pressing forward day in and day out. Their journey would have been impossible if they were only focused on the hunger in their stomachs and the wind on their face. But it was the duty to the Lord and family that caused them to be able to accomplish something so amazing.
The same goes for us, Brothers and Sisters. This life might seem daunting and impossible sometimes. But if we take our focus off of ourselves, and turn it towards others we will soon realize that there is much to be done and little time to be wasted. If we are always worried about ourselves, we can feel hopelessly inadequate. But I promise, that a life focused on others is a life that can be proudly offered up to the Lord at the last day. Eternal families are real. Please do everything you can to keep your eyes on Zion bringing everyone you can with you.
-This week Sister Hosea and I were able to do a lot of finding. We made an effort to go to the more untouched parts of our area and saw success! We found so many new people to teach and we are so excited.
-Taking ugly pictures with my girl Sister Pearse. She goes home so soon and I'm sure gonna miss her.
-Sis Hosea and I always go to the same Turkish Kebab place in one of our areas and the Turkish guys who work there love us. We got free Baklava this week from one of our Turkish bffs. So sweet!
-MIRACLE ALERT!!!!!!! We finally got to teach Miyoko who was a referral. She is so hard to get a hold of but one day we were by her house and one of our appointments fell through so we dropped by. SHE WAS HOME!!!! YAY! She let us in and we taught her and her cutie lil son the Restoration. She is so humble. She said we answered so many of her questions. She has been being prepared and we feel so blessed we get to teach her. Please pray for her!
-One of our members came up to me this week just to let me know how much my talk from a couple weeks ago influenced him. He told me it caused him to be more Christlike in a time where he usually would have been focused on himself. It was so nice to hear and so sweet of him to share with me.
-Learning to drive. It's actually the worst but Elder Finch (one of our senior missionaries in charge of cars) said I'm the best American he's tested. Whoo! Prayers that we'll get a car soon would be greatly appreciated. Also prayers that these Australians will have extra patience with my Grandma driving wouldn't hurt.
Have a great week!
Love you all HEAPS!