Well.... this past week has been... interesting? both amazing and horrible all at the same time? confusing and clear? I am sure many of you have seen the church's Because of Him campaign. oh my it has been so amazing to use as a missionary! we were able to show it to all of our investigators this past week and many of the families in the ward. as I have watched the video time and time again it has truly touched my heart. Every single time I watch it I feel the spirit. every time. when I first saw it last week I almost burst into tears right here at the library. President Anderson encouraged us to use the video and the website as much as we could this past week and it's been so great! As we have shared it with the families in our ward we have been able to ask them what they have Because of our Savior. with out fail in every single home they have mentioned family as one of the first things. it was incredible to hear their thoughts. one little boy said air! another little girl said friends! comfort, peace, understanding, forgiveness, homes, love, so many wonderful things!! all because of Him. I love it!!!
well so this past week has been hard because well... our area has kind of struggling.... but!! it's okay. we had a few girls who were Karen that we have been teaching and this past week we prayerfully made the decision to hand them over to the Elder's (Elder Zaw is an elder here who is actually Karen himself. so he is fluent in the language) it was one of the hardest decisions I have made on my mission but I know that it was the right thing to do. One of the girls is Ma aye aye. She is the one who is 11 and fluent in English. and oh my goodness I love her so much! she had the strongest desire to be baptized and she knows and understands why she needs to be but she struggles to help her parents understand why. We struggle to over come the language barrier. So we prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed some more and we know that we need to pass them off to the Elders. so we have! and we have pretty much not many people left to teach. but it's going to be okay!!
In conference President Ucthdorf talked about having an attitude of gratitude. something that he said has really stuck in my head and in my heart. He said, "How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?". Sure this past week a lot of hard things have come our way. and there were moments when I was so tired and so mad or so sad or so who even knows. moments of anger moments of frustration. and yet I am still so incredibly blessed. There are little tender mercies in every single day. I think that I sometimes get into the mindset that I keep working hard because a blessings is coming. why not work hard because we are supposed to work hard regardless of the result? why does it always have to be I will do what I am supposed to because it will bring me something? why not do it because it is right. because it's the way that you know you are supposed to be living. I think that sometimes we become motivated to live the gospel because we know that blessings come. why not live the gospel because it's what Heavenly Father has asked us to do? How much time do we waste "wadding" through trials searching for the end of them without realizing all the great things that we have in the moment. and knowing that the "great" things are often not incredible manifestations of huge things. but that they are simple. The gospel is simple. the way God shows His love is simple. we don't have to be thankful for things. we should just be thankful. The other day we were driving in the car and seriously it had been a hard day. we were upset about a lot of things. and things that would genuinely upset someone! but I hated the feeling that was in the car. and so we began to go back and forth and list off things that we were thankful for. blessings we had in this area. pretty soon the mood in the car changed. we were able to smile and laugh. we began to again invite the spirit into our work. now did that magically solve all our problems? no. but it did help us feel better and realize that there is always much to be thankful for and about. is it easy to have this thankful attitude? no. it's one of the hardest things to do. but I think that as I have tried it out these past few days I have come to see that it helps us to find happiness now. to enjoy the rain! without always just waiting for the rainbow :)
so I got to speak yesterday in church. it was a really great experience. Sister Dennison also spoke and she shared an experience about how she has come closer to the Savior and created that personal relationship with HIm. I was about to speak about missionary work and the atonement. which at first I thought was going to be hard but the more that I studied the more I realized just how inter related the two are. At every single stage of the Atonement Jesus Christ commanded those are Him to share the gospel. In the final chapters of each of the 4 gospels Christ as a resurrected being commands that HIs followers go and preach the gospel to all nations. while in the spirit world He establishes missionary work and preaches the gospel. Right before entering the garden to take up himself the sins of all man He tells peter that when he is converted to strengthen his brethren. my all time favorite story however is when they are on the shores of the sea. it's the last chapter in John. and Christ asks peter 3 times if he loves him. I love His simple answer. then feed my sheep. If we truly love the Savior then we will feed His sheep.
well I have more I could write but I am running out of time! I love all of you so much!!! this past week my testimony of the Savior and His atonement has grown in ways I never would have imagined. missions are hard. sometimes they seem lonely. but I know that I never am alone. I know that there is always someone there who knows me perfectly and who wants to help me every single step of the way. I know that I have a family back home who loves me so much. thank you for all that you do! I love you all!!!