Monday, July 21, 2014

Adventure Is Out There

Hi Everyone,
Quite the week. I sent you a few pictures. The tandem bike belongs to Rachel and Jason Murchison, the recent convert family in the ward. They were having a yard sale and Sister C and I had a good time trying to figure out how to work the bike.
The picture in front of the water and trees is out in Easton. There is a large Amish community in Aroostook County, and quite a few of them live in Easton. It's always fun to see them riding down the street in their horse and buggy. They shop at Walmart frequently. Go figure. Sister C and I spent an evening tracting out there in Easton and couldn't help but be blown away by the peace and beauty of the area. The work continues and adventure accompanies it.

Brandy's baptism is scheduled for this Saturday! We are very excited for her. I'll be sure to send pictures. She's learned so much over the past couple months and I feel like I have made a friend for eternity. She is from New Hampshire originally, but moved up here about a year or two ago. She works as a CNA at the hospital. I am very excited for her to enter the waters of baptism and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. When we told her she would be able to pick who baptizes and confirms her, she wanted to ask someone who had never done it before, to give them an opportunity to learn and grow as well. Wow. I'm grateful for the blessing it has been to teach her. 
I am so grateful for the people that I have met as a missionary. I feel that they have blessed my life in ways that I can't explain. As I get to know the members and really take the time to talk to people we meet each day, I learn so much from them and their examples. It just solidifies my testimony that God is aware of us but it is usually through another person that He meets our needs. Spencer W. Kimball said something like that. 
Have a great week! Keep your eyes open for opportunities to serve and be an instrument in the Lord's hands. Those chances are all around us and if we aren't looking, it's very easy to miss them.
Love you!

Good Things Are Happening in Presque Isle

Hiya Mom!

Good things are happening in Presque Isle. We have a few investigators that we are helping to prepare for baptism. We are hoping Brandy will be ready for her date on July 26, but we will see how things go over the next week and a half. We really want her to feel ready before that date. There's a lot to cover with her still, but she is showing real growth and progress which is the most important thing.

We set another baptismal date with another investigator for the end of August. Her big struggle has been quitting smoking. Her husband smokes as well, so that makes it hard to quit. She came to church yesterday, and her husband read from the Book of Mormon with us last week when we visited her! Slowly but surely good things will happen with that family.

Sam found out that he will be able to come to church starting the middle of August!!! WAHOO!!! Someone else will be taking the Sunday shift at his work, so he can come to church. He is praying about a baptismal date for the end of August. He feels peace and comfort as he prays and reads the Book of Mormon each day. We taught him about the Word of Wisdom a week or two ago. He said the only thing he would have to give up is coffee, and as of a week prior to us even teaching him about the Word of Wisdom, he had stopped drinking coffee! He made a commitment to stop drinking it because he knew it was bad for him. Talk about prepared. There are great things ahead for Sam.  

We are also meeting with a less active family in Fort Fairfield. I love them SO much and just want them to have the happiness of the gospel in their home. We are trying to help them see the vision that the gospel gives us as individuals and families. It's not just about dos and don'ts. It's about happiness. We had dinner with them on Saturday and they told us they have started doing family home evening and personal scripture study again!!! YES! One step at a time. :)

I know that this gospel is true. I know that the Savior lives and loves me. We had a powerful zone training last week that turned out to be very focused on God's love. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and that I am His daughter. My most prized possession is this knowledge. When Christ becomes the center of my life, I feel peace and stability, whatever may come my way. In preparation for zone training last week, we were asked to write a talk about charity. I read a talk from October 2013 General Conference called "Drawing Closer to God" by Elder Vinson that reminded me how much Heavenly Father and the Savior loves me.  A lot of times when I think about charity, I think about how I need to develop it, but as I prepared for this talk, I felt the Savior's pure love for me. That love enables me to become better and reach higher. It helps me to know that everything is going to be okay.

Have a great week! I love you!

Sister Maren Renda

Love is always in season,
and Christ is the reason.