Monday, August 4, 2014

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

I've heard a lot about that movie (Heaven is For Real). Usually members tell us about it and tell us that we need to see it because much of it aligns with our doctrine. Pretty interesting! Thanks for sharing what you learned in the scriptures with me, Mom! That's so neat, and I feel the same way. It's crazy how much has changed since I left. So many people getting married. I can't believe that Braden will be back in 7 weeks. Didn't he just leave? I bet Sherrie is so excited to see him again. Yup, I know Liann Bratt from Oakcrest. Her name was French Fry. That's exciting for her!

This week was a week of miracles. I feel so grateful for the blessings and experiences that the Lord has granted me, especially serving here in Presque Isle. We had another baptism this weekend. Actually two baptisms: a child of record and a convert. The convert baptism was a woman who the Elders taught. Her name is Gayle. She had a wonderful experience and is excited to continue learning and growing.

Brandy is awesome! We visited her on Monday night and she spent the whole lesson teaching us what she had learned in the Book of Mormon. She felt prompted to start reading it from the beginning again, and she understood so much more this time! The gift of the Holy Ghost is real! He teaches us truth and helps us to understand the scriptures. The ward is having a temple trip this weekend and she is hoping to go.

Sam, who we have been teaching since May, accepted a baptismal date this week! He has been praying about it for a few weeks and this past Monday, he told us that it feels right and that he wants to be baptized on August 30. WAHOO!!! Sister Christensen and I are so excited for him. It's been amazing to see his progress over the past few months.

Tuesday, we had a change in our plans and decided to stop by a referral we received from a member. We've tried a couple times to contact her, but she was never home. This time, we just happened to catch her at home. She's been talking to her friend about the church, and without us sharing much with her at all, she felt the Spirit really strongly and has a strong desire to learn more about the Church. We're excited to start teaching her.

Saturday, the Lord blessed us with so many tender mercies. It was an ornery day for me, and looking back, it was probably because Satan wanted to keep us from doing what the Lord needed us to do. We were out talking to people on Main Street when someone pulled over and started talking to us. We met him a few weeks ago, and when he saw us walking down the street, he pulled over to tell us about a friend of his that we could contact. It was a reminder that God is mindful of all of us and will provide ways for us to be successful in His work.

Later that night, we went knocking and met a woman from New Jersey who moved up here to give her son a better life. She met missionaries back in the spring when she lived in a different town, but couldn't meet with them because she had to move suddenly. She is an amazing woman considering all that she's experienced in her life. We asked her about her belief about Jesus Christ and she became very emotional. She told us that He is the Son of God, that He put us before Himself, that He suffered so that we could be individuals, and that He is here to help us come to know His Father the way that He knows His Father. It was so powerful. She has a very personal relationship with the Savior and I am so excited for her to receive the restored gospel. Another moment that strengthened my testimony that God answers our prayers and that He will guide us to those who are prepared.

Church yesterday was incredible. One of the recent converts in the ward blessed the sacrament for the first time. His name is Sie and he was baptized in February. I couldn't help but smile and feel so happy the whole meeting. Sie is evidence to me that we cannot judge who is ready for the gospel. He is covered in tattoos and piercings and before he met the missionaries, he didn't believe in God. He took the missionaries challenge to fast and pray, and he got an answer that God is real. His life hasn't been the same since then. He loves the Book of Mormon and isn't afraid to let his faith show. I was so happy for him yesterday.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It has the power to change us! I am so grateful for the humbling opportunity to see the Atonement working in the lives of those around me and in my own life as well. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. The greatest goal in my life is to deepen my love for my Father in Heaven and His Son and for those around me. Love is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ, just as President Monson said last conference.

I love you and hope that you have a great week! 

Sister mare

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