Monday, June 9, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

Ok, so this letter was actually written on June 2nd and I forgot to blog it.  Sorry.  So, this one goes before the last one, "Looking Up"!:)

So i don't even really know what to say about this week. It has been kinda tough! Sylvia has been sick all week so there goes about all of our member work! Oh it has been nuts! But we do have a baptism date set with a lickle girl named Phoebe. She is the Granddaughter of a member and she wants to get baptized so we are excited about that! We watched the restoration movie with her and she picked up on some of the cutest things. We asked her what she got from it and she said, "He saw a light and it was brighter than the sun." It was just one of those adorable, innocent little child and answers. As a missionary I have really come to see why Christ loved the children so much. It's been one of my favorite parts! 
Shannon has basically dropped off the face of the earth... It breaks my heart! She is so prepared but has just really struggled lately and we never can meet with her. What really kills me though is seeing her cousin Maria have to deal with it. You can tell that it is tearing her apart inside. She is one that doesn't show a ton of emotion but we've just noticed that it's hurting her. Maria is a member of about a year who struggles with coming to church regularly because she doesn't really have a way to get there. Shannon was a light of hope for her and she had started coming more with Shannon but now since Shannon has stopped progressing it has hurt her progress too. It's tough.
This week has just been hard. I don't know what else to say. But I had a neat experience this week! I had just been thinking about what I can do better. It has been tough lately and our area has been struggling. So I worked hard at focusing on exact obedience and then I really focused on the finding section in Preach my Gospel. I read the "talk with everyone" part and then I kinda had to check myself a little. I realized I wasn't talking to even close to everyone. I also thought of Elder Hatch. That guy is my hero! If I could be like any missionary it would probably be him. I remembered how Elder Hatch literally talked to EVERYONE. Ha so on saturday we had a tough day and I was just like "I am sick of this! I am talking to everyone!" So I did! It was neat! I don't know exactly how many of those people will progress but I got to bear my testimony on the Book of Mormon to them. It was a great experience for me! Ha and Mom I know you're probably like "I tell you to do that every week!" Ha but I guess I didn't really take that to heart until this week. But I will consider my ways, repent and do better! :)
This week I realized that I just need to do my best to share the gospel. People have their agency but it's just up to us to share the message. I know that this is the Lord's church. I testify that He is at the head of it. I know that it was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that we have a Prophet on the earth today. Do all you can to follow them and you will be blessed! I love you all! I'll talk to you next week!
Elder Smith

"You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our “houses” left unto us “desolate”—desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations.

So here we have the burden of those called to bear the messianic message. In addition to teaching, encouraging, and cheering people on (that is the pleasant part of discipleship), from time to time these same messengers are called upon to worry, to warn, and sometimes just to weep (that is the painful part of discipleship). They know full well that the road leading to the promised land “flowing with milk and honey” of necessity runs by way of Mount Sinai, flowing with “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots.”
-Jeffrey R Holland

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