So, my interview with the President went well! He didn't say
anything about the Visa, and I asked his wife, and she said that three people
have gotten their Visas, but it wasn't my District or me, so we will have to
see. I'm really on a roller coaster here with the Visa thing. It's like being
in limbo. But I asked him about teaching with the Spirit, and he shared with me
some awesome experiences about it, and I realized that I need more humility. So,
I have been working on that, and being more thankful, and seeing the good in
people. It is really a challenge to change what is on the inside, you know?
Like when you open the door to the basement and the rats run and hide. The rats
are there and you can hide them, but the real goal is to get the rats out
completely. It’s the same thing with our lives. So when you get impatient and
react to something, you say---well, if that didn't happen, I would not have
acted like that. But that is like saying---if they didn't open the basement
door so fast, then the rats would have had time to hide. It is our true
character that we have to work on.
I really liked your thoughts on the Sacrament and the
relationship between the Savior and us. That is a great insight. It makes me
happy to hear about your thoughts, and how you pondered on that. It really gives
me strength to hear your testimonies.
This last week was really good. We had a member go with us to
a couple lessons, and he is a really good member-missionary. He bore a powerful
testimony, and taught so well that the investigator said he needed to come to
Church. So he was there yesterday! He loved it, and he noticed how simple the
Church building is. He said since there are no decorations or distractions, he
is able to think about the Savior and God a lot easier. He is great! We are
going to see him again this week.
So, the best miracle we had last week was pretty crazy. We
hadn't had too many lessons to start out the week, and then on Thursday, we
were doing "bike for baptism," so everyone in the mission bikes, and
tries to find new investigators and talk to everyone. So, even though that day
we had the most appointments we have ever had scheduled for one day, we biked!
So we were going everywhere, and it was so hot and super humid. And I think all
of the appointments we had weren't home, BUT we found other people and taught
them instead! So, in the end we taught more people than we had planned for, even
though we had planned for a lot! Then we biked again the next day, and again
and again, hoping it would happen again. But I just thought it was very cool
because we could have said---well, we have too many appointments, and we didn't
know we would have to use bikes, or it’s way too hot and our appointments
are spread too far apart---but we did it anyway!
I wanted to give you my testimony...I know that prayer is
two-way communication with Heavenly Father. The more we pray with real intent,
and all the energy of heart, the closer we will feel to Heavenly Father. Prayer
is the only way we can receive knowledge of spiritual truths. Prayer is how we
receive revelation. I know that God leads The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints through His servants. I love you all, thank you for all the
There is a cool scripture in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 that says,
“...our gospel came not by word only, but by power.” It really emphasizes how real the Spirit is, that we don't learn just from reading the
words and piecing the information together, but we learn by the Spirit that
touches our hearts. That’s why we need to teach with the Spirit, so that it can
touch the hearts of the people and teach them the truth. I have realized there is great opposition in
this world to righteousness. People feel that it doesn't matter what they do, so the main thing is getting people to care.
This last week we had instruction from the Zone Leaders about there being many things we can't control, and we have no need to
worry over those things, or let them effect us in a negative way. The things we
can't control are our companions, people we teach, ward members. Things we can control are how we
react. The key is
to act and not be acted upon (2 Nephi 2). We always have our freedom to choose, and even when we decide not to choose, we are making a decision. So that is something I have been
thinking about. Like I said, we
are definitely up against opposition, but really it gives us an
opportunity! Sometimes it helps me to look at it that way. It is an opportunity to show faith
in the Lord, to ask for strength to overcome the challenges that arise. Sometimes you feel in a bad mood and forget to call on the Lord, you lose
hope and just say, this day is done, nothing good will happen.
We went to this referral's house we got this last week, and
this guy with oxygen tubes in his nose answered the door. He said go away, I don't want to buy
anything. I said (with a big
smile), "Oh, we aren't selling you anything! We actually came"...then he interrupts
and starts yelling, and says to get off the porch, and won't listen to anything we
say. I asked, "Is Catherine there?" (name
of referral). He won't listen because he is yelling, and I try to tell him we
were actually requested to come here! So eventually, we just had to leave, but
that type of thing never leaves you feeling good. Maybe later we will try again, and hope the person
we were looking for answers the door. But in times like those, you really need to pray, and we
didn't, and I really wish we did. But we need to pray always, and remember who
is behind us.
So, we have had a couple experiences like that, of people
saying we preach false doctrine and stuff, but it has really strengthened
me. "I am not ashamed of
the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16)." I used to hate when
people yell at me, now I love it!! Just kidding, I still hate it, but I have learned to take it. And I don't mean I take it and stare at
the floor, I listen to what they are saying, but I am still working on it not
affecting me. I think feelings of discouragement and temptation goes back to one thing, to get us to forget who we are. We are really just
tempted to forget we are sons and daughters of Heavenly Father, but if we can
remember that, not just the words, but remember what it means, then we don't
need to be discouraged. We can be
given peace in times of trial, not as the world gives it, but as the Son of God
gives it (John 14:27).
I know we are sons and daughters of God, and He loves us
much more than we can understand. We can begin to understand and know the
mysteries of God through obedience and diligence, service, patience, and as we
strive to live the Gospel. As we learn what He has prepared for us, how much
God has entrusted us with, we can be strengthened in our faith and love towards
Him. I know that is true. I always think of when Jesus asked Peter, "do you love me?" (John 21:17). I picture Jesus asking
me the same thing.
I love being here. We have a miracle everyday! Yesterday an
investigator that missed the first lesson with us two weeks ago was home! So we
have tried her a bunch of times, and her grandparents answer and say she will
call us. So that rarely happens, but we had no way of getting a hold of her.
Then yesterday she answered the door! She said she didn't have our number! But
she said she wants to learn something new each time we come over. We were like, that's great! That’s
perfect! You are awesome! So, she said yesterday during the lesson that she was
thinking the same question Joseph Smith had, that she didn't know which church
was true. She doesn't like the churches where people shake and things
like that, but she wants to go to a church. So, she said she was wondering that
for a while, then we walk up to her car while she was cleaning it. She was
like, yeah it was pretty crazy that you guys showed up! She is
19 years old and has a lot of ambition for college and everything. We are excited to teach her again
So, things are going well! I really enjoy receiving letters from you all. It is a huge strength to me for the rest of my
week. It definitely encourages me to know that my family is supporting me and
loves me. Some people don't have that, and I realize it is a huge strength and
blessing. I love you all so much. I am so thankful for your examples. I think
about you all often! I really am grateful for the packages too, I am excited to
On the Fourth of July we did missionary work like normal! And
then we baked a cake for Elder D's birthday. Definitely, I have
experienced some great times, and some hard times this week, but I have learned so
I wanted to share with you something President Holmes taught me about the Fall, because we are all born innocent without sin, and we each have our own individual fall. There
is a scripture in Moses 6:55 that talks about Adam’s children, “when they begin
to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that
they may know to prize the good.” And so we all become fallen and carnal, and that’s
why we need Jesus Christ. There is a quote that says, “the more someone
understands the Fall, the more they understand why we need Christ.” I have
understood more about the Fall this last week from 2 Nephi 2 in the Book of Mormon. I have read it so many times, but this
time, I came to a greater understanding! There would be no progression without
opposition, men are free and can choose liberty and eternal life, or death and
misery, but what gives us the ability to even make a choice? The Atoning
Sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ, He makes it possible for us to choose
liberty and eternal life. Without Him, there would be no choice, except death
and the power of the devil. I now understand the Fall deeper in my
We were so glad to have dinner at a member’s home
yesterday! A very loving and welcoming family! I just felt right at home, and
when we left we were so uplifted! The wife was telling us about her missionary
experiences, and it was just so refreshing! We were then able to go teach this
new investigator about the Restoration, and she loved it! She really recognized
us as servants of the Lord. It was funny though, she said she felt like my eyes
could see through her into her soul. It was a great lesson, and she already has a strong testimony of prayer, which she bore to us! We read
with her Moroni 10:2-5 and asked her what it meant, and she wanted to mark it
to show it to someone. She said she is so excited to read the Book of Mormon.
It was so great! I know that she is a true follower of Jesus Christ and a
seeker of truth. I hope we can strengthen her testimony!
Bianca is also still awesome and progressing! Before we left
last time, she said wait, when are you guys coming back? So she beat us to it! She
is like the most golden investigator though, so it’s completely different going
to her house.
It is awesome to be able to tell people I am headed to
Brazil, they are really impressed, and I just say, yeah we take this seriously.
Then I tell them my sister is serving a mission for the Church in Siberia, Russia right now, and then their jaw drops. They ask all these questions, and then they realize that it is more
than just a religion. This is the work of the Lord! We don’t just walk around
and give out cards, we bring people the Spirit of God, and we are commissioned to do
really makes a difference when you say, "yeah we are just missionaries and
stuff, and we teach people and share the gospel," as opposed to, "We are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are
full time servants of the Lord." That is really what we are, and we take our calling seriously. So it is great to be here!
After teaching that family last night, I don’t want to leave
now, so that’s good! So, I'll work on wanting to leave Michigan once I get to
Brazil! That’s another lesson I have learned, to love where you are.
I know the
Gospel has been restored to the earth, and we are led by a modern day prophet,
I know the Spirit speaks to peoples’ hearts, I know the Spirit can be our
constant companion, and can tell us what we need to do to become closer to the
Lord. Just think, what can I do to be a better disciple of Christ? You will
have a thought come to you, choose whether to act on it or not. That’s what we
did in our mission, to become more consecrated servants. It is so awesome! I
know it’s true, I have received so many blessings! I have received more
faith. I love you all so much! Thanks for thinking about me!
So, my Visa is FINALLY ready! Wow, I just got
settled in. I will leave at the end of the transfer, pretty much on
my birthday! There is a slight possibility I might move again because I guess it isn’t
legal to have three people in our apartment, and this lady told on us. The manager of our apartments
is in our ward though, so it might be fine. And they really don’t want to move
me again, because I have moved a lot. I don’t want to move again either, but it
has happened in the past, so just to be safe, send any handwritten letters or packages to the mission office.
The missionary work this past week has been going awesome though! The Bishopric asked a missionary from each companionship to bear their
testimony on missionary work this last Sunday. So I bore mine on how the Lord
is with us side by side in His work. It was just for like five minutes because
there are three missionary companionships in our ward, I don’t think I
mentioned that last time. But the Bishop is starting up this member missionary
program, so we can get more member lessons, and have the members more involved,
because the Lord has asked that the members lead missionary work in their ward,
and the missionaries support them, not to have the missionaries as the only
ones who do missionary work. So we are really trying to get the ward involved
because we need people to stay active and not just get baptized.
We actually invited this investigator, Bianca, to be
baptized last night and she accepted for the 28th of July! It was so awesome! She
is super nice, and the best experience with her is last time we were reading Alma
34, and explaining the Atonement and what it meant, and then she was like
"ooooooooohhh" like she understood. And I asked, what---Did you understand
something better? And she said, now I know what it means when the Bible says
that. So it’s awesome because she really is trying to learn. She read the whole
Plan of Salvation pamphlet before we came,
so it’s really a blessing to be able to teach her.
Also, we have been talking to a lot of people on the street
and jumping right in to teaching them the Restoration. Actually, on the bus
coming home from Detroit, I taught this girl a brief Restoration lesson, and
told her to get a free Book of Mormon. She seemed really interested in it. We are really having a great time
teaching and doing the Lord's work.
I know the Lord is here preparing people, and working here
with us, as we strive our hardest to let Him. I like the scripture in the Olive
“...labor in the vineyard, with your might.
For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end
is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your
might with me, ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself
against the time which will soon come.” Jacob 5:71
The Lord of the vineyard sent His servants down for the last
time, and they worked in the vineyard, and the Lord worked with them also in
the vineyard. I know He is working side by side with us. What an honor that is!
It is an honor to see how much trust the Lord has in us, and how much faith He
puts in His children. The more faithful we are, the more trust and power He
I know this Gospel is true, and has been restored
through a prophet of God, who was a humble seeker of truth, foreordained to be
the Prophet of this last dispensation. This is last time the servants of the
Lord will go forth. The work is hastening, and it is something amazing to be
a part of. I will never stop being a missionary, this is the life!
Well, it’s nice to hear how things are going, I love you guys so much. Have a great week!