Date: Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 10:39 AM
To: carolyn owens <firstname.lastname@example.org>
So, first things first, I got the packages! Thanks soooo much! I loved them :) And Second, I got Grandpa's card! Thank you grandpa, I really do appreciate it! I am keeping it safe don't worry :) Also, Aunt Marsha and Uncle Bill sent a card and I want them to know how grateful I am for that as well. I didn't have a ton of time to read through all the emails sent from the friends, but I do love reading them when I can so if you could keep sending them, that would be great! Thanks mom, you are the best.
This past week was pretty good! Holy cow, the flu is going around like crazy and so many people were sick! Lot's of cancellations, but more time to find and prepare and learn :) We started teaching a young man by the name of....Timmy...he is 12 and comes from a part member family. he wants to be baptized and wants his brother to do it. It's been fun to teach him. His family life isn't the most stable, so we are hoping to help him build good relationships with the ward so they can be his family. Mom, I really enjoyed your letter this week about love and the amazing responsibility we have to be missionaries. What an honor! And especially at this time with so much work to be done and so many missionaries coming out! I am so grateful for this opportunity. Something someone said in sacrament meeting yesterday really hit me. She talked about her mission and how hard it was and different experiences and then said, "It's not about what you can do, it's about who you are." And I will add, who you become. Sometimes I get caught up in the little daily things that we need to do (it's a lot and could drive you crazy.) and the things I struggle being able to do perfectly, but, I never take the time to recognize the progress or see who I am becoming because of these experiences. Wow, I love being a missionary. We get to devote completely 1.5 years of our lives to serve others and bless others lives. There is no greater call.
I am trying to remember what happened this past week that was cool, but I can't really remember so this letter is going to be more reflection than anything. We were driving home one day and as I looked out the window, I realized something. We live near a car dealership and it's kinda funny because on the front of the building it says, "Christ centered!" haha I pass that dealership all the time and have never really taken the time to notice it or internalize it. That is the epitome of MN. They all are believers :) So, I would totally go to a Christ centered dealership to buy a car than any other one. :) totally.
Anyway, we had zone training this week and President came and we had some interviews and such. I always have questions for him when we go in and forget all of them during and remember them after... but, it was still good to talk to him. President and Sister Clements are awesome! He informed Sister Taufer and I that we will most likely be training the rest of our missions. my first thought=ah! you sure you want that to happen? second thought=I got to step it up! third thought=..........it will all work out :) At zone training we talked about repentance. We are all trying to focus on our own personal conversion so we may be more powerful missionaries and we spent a lot of time on faith the past few months and now we are focusing on repentance and conversion. "Conversion is repentance, and repentance is conversion." There are so many things I need to repent of. Here is a quote from PMG that I read this week and it got me motivated again--It's by President Hunter:
“Surely taking the gospel to every kindred, tongue, and people is the single greatest responsibility we have in mortality. … We have been privileged to be born in these last days, as opposed to some earlier dispensation, to help take the gospel to all the earth” (“Walls of the Mind,” Ensign, Sept. 1990, 10).
“What does the Atonement have to do with missionary work? Any time we experience the blessings of the Atonement in our lives, we cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of others. … A great indicator of one’s personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others.” (“The Atonement and Missionary Work,” seminar for new mission presidents, June 1994).I KNOW the Atonement is real. I Know we can be healed completely. I know His sacrifice covers all parts of life. I know He knows how it feels to be discouraged, sad, overwhelmed, disheartened, burdened, confused, happy, peaceful, empty, etc. I know Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. And that is why I chose to serve a mission. To help others realize it. That is the call to each one of us that have felt the Atonement influence our lives. We want to share it and help our other brothers and sisters feel peace, hope, and joy. I hope we can all share the gospel in some way this week. Pray for those opportunities, carry a Book of Mormon around with you. Help those missionaries find people to teach. Have faith in the converting power of the Spirit. Sharing the gospel is easy! Every single person you meet needs what we have---seriously people. I am reminded of Alma 5:26 "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren (and sisters), if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" I hope we are always looking to experience the blessings of the Atonement daily. I don't know where I would be without it. Christ is my Savior, God is my Father, Joseph Smith was a prophet called to restore His church in this last dispensation before His coming again. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know the church is true. I know we are led by a living prophet today named Thomas S. Monson. "After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to PREACH MY GOSPEL." -President Joseph Smith
I love you, I love this work, I love this ward here (they do so much for us!), and I love preaching the gospel! :) hope you all have a wonderful week!
btw those pics were adorable! And Cherise has such long hair! What?! I loved that pic! give the children lots of hugs and kisses from me please :) I miss them like crazy! Also, it's funny you mention Great grandma because I was writing in my journal today and as I put the date January 14, 2013, I wrote "I feel like I missed someone's birthday..." HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREAT GRANDMA DODDS! :)
Talk to you next week :) love you all! Thanks for all the support! You have no idea how much it helps.