Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Making progress

Hello again =)
The good news is I'm getting more settled here in CT and I'm getting to know the wards better. The work seems to be picking up. There is a lot I'm trying to focus on and naturally I'm getting fat again being in a car and having members feed us delicious sweets that I don't want to turn down =P
I've been having a hard time adjusting to a new companion and a new area, covering two wards, and trying to communicate clearly. I was feeling so overwhelmed. I actually started to realize how much I was struggling when I reread the conference talk Being Accepted By The Lord from the last General Conference. I recognized that I needed the Lord closer to me in my life. I needed to feel His love more abundantly.  That night I received a blessing from my district leader Elder Monteirth. It was so amazing to see the Lord's love manifest through one of His humble servants. The blessing was exactly what I needed! It's given me the counsel and comfort I need to press forward and stay focused on the task at hand.  I am so grateful for the priesthood on the earth today =)

This past Sunday was awesome because Matt Holland (Elder Holland's Son!!!) spoke in our singles ward (and the two family wards that meet in the Stamford building). His voice is very similar to his dad! It was unreal. Also he is pretty funny! He was a little more laid back then his dad but still very spiritual =)
He gave examples of three passages in the scriptures where the Savior healed people by telling them to arise. He talked a lot about RISING UP and being who the Lord wants us to be.
This included:
Education: developing our minds and our hands in a skill that we love. Seeking as much education as we can! Always seeking to become better and be able to share the gospel with those in our sphere of influence.
I know he shared a few other examples about ways in which the Lord wants us to Rise Up, but I am mixing it in my mind with the talk I read in the June Ensign about moving forward with faith. It is a marvelous talk about avoiding getting stuck in Round-a-bouts!
I recommend this talk to anyone that is hoping to move forward in their life =)

Saturday we were able to teach a few people. Some were less active members, others were people we met in the community, and one was an investigator the sisters just started working with before I came into the area. Sunday we had three investigators come to church! One was the investigator we visited the day before and she came to the New Canaan ward. The other two were Ines and Gilberte (French speaking from Africa) and they went to the family ward in Stamford.  I was excited about that =)

At some point I found another talk I LOVE from this months Ensign!

I recommend it to everyone!
Something I'd didn't fully understood before reading this talk is the concept about Aligning our Will with the Father when we pray,
"The Savior repeatedly commanded that we “must always pray unto the Father in [the Lord’s] name” (3 Nephi 18:19). When we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, it means “our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ. … We then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent his mind, but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart” (Bible Dictionary, “Prayer”). Prayers that follow this pattern represent vain hope, not faith.
Prayer is not a negotiation process. It is an alignment process. We don’t move God to our point of view. Prayer is less about changing our circumstances and more about changing us. It is about seeking His will and asking for His help to do what we need to do. When we align our will with Heavenly Father’s will, answers and spiritual power will flow more freely. Following this pattern allows us to pray with faith."
Monday was raining hard all day long! We met up with the Elders in the New Canaan family ward to discus and coordinate more about who is visiting who from the ward list. That night we went to Family Home Evening with the Young Singles Adults in Stamford. We had some investigators come, plus we were sharing the spiritual message. Our message had two parts to it! The first was discussing a scripture 2 Nephi 32:3 We asked the members what they have done to be able to effectively feast on the words of Christ. After the spiritual aspect of things Sis Ngosha and I did a rap about baptism to prepare the mood for the activity that night. The rap turned out decent. It was one I knew because Tristan used to sing it,  then when I came into the mission my trainer and I used to listen to it. Anyway Sister Ngosha forgot all the words so she just danced around while I sang solo. lol
For the activity they were having Hip Hop lessons from a guy in our ward who is a very talented dancer! It was so cool! I wished I was in normal clothes and able to dance more fully. I am definitely going to take hip hop classes when I'm home.
This has been a really fast week! I love you very much! I pray that you are doing well. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is very aware of you and me. He knows our needs and He is looking for ways to bless us as we draw near to Him. I know life is hard and often painful, but I also know that there is a greater purpose and cause for everything. If we will trust in the Lord and cry unto Him, and seek to do His will, we will feel tremendous peace. I am so thankful for this gospel. I am thankful for the way my character is being developed and tried as I serve the Lord.
In one of my favorite General Conference talks by  Richard G. Scott
"The Transforming Power of Faith and Character"  there are a few lines that ring true to my heart,

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.

Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow. 
Your faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His commandments will strengthen your character. Your character is a measure of what you are becoming. It is the evidence of how well you are using your time on earth in this period of mortal probation.

Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine, and obedience.
check out the whole talk- it's awesome! r?lang=eng
Sister Emily Johnson

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