Saturday, September 27, 2014

Prayers Heard and Answered

Hey All!

Thank you for your example to me of keeping a current temple recommend, Mom. Crissy sent me some pictures from the surprise party. Looked like a blast. I'm glad it went off without a hitch! It's exciting to hear that the Ogden temple was rededicated this last week. Go to the temple often. Being in this mission has really made me appreciate how blessed we are in Utah to have so many temples nearby. The Saints in Newfoundland have to make great sacrifices and preparation to be able to go. Don't take those blessings for granted!

This week was filled with opportunities to learn and grow spiritually. We had a mission leadership council via Skype on Wednesday, a district meeting on Thursday, and the Newfoundland District Conference on Saturday and Sunday. President Leavitt and one of his counselors came to St. John's and his other counselor went to Corner Brook. Using Skype we were able to connect both ends of the island for our district conference. Pretty neat. The focus of the district conference was the work of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

With all of the talks and messages this week, I spent some time reflecting on my personal vision as a missionary. I had some highs and lows this week and the Spirit was able to teach me and lift me through all of it. Coming up on my year mark, it's humbling, to say the least, to reflect back on what I have accomplished the past year. Being away for a year from home, I sometimes feel very distant from my loved ones back home and wonder if what I am doing here really matters. I finally asked for a priesthood blessing this last week (after ignoring the prompting for a few days...) and my Heavenly Father gave me the peace and reminders that I needed. I have been reflecting on phrases from that blessing. I know that He hears and answers my prayers and knows the concerns and worries of my heart. I am grateful that I can ask and that He will answer, in His own time, in His own way. Aligning my will with His will is a process. It's something that I am still working on. I am grateful that He allows me to choose my path, and I know that following His light is the only way to travel this life safely. It doesn't mean that it won't be hard, but it does mean that it will be worth it. A lot of times that Light is just enough to illuminate my next step, but it is powerful enough to cast out the darkness, however dense it may seem.

Thank you for your love and sacrifice and prayers. This is the Lord's work and I am grateful to be an instrument in His hands.

Love you!

Sister Maren Renda

Love As The Savior

Thanks for sharing those things with me, Mom. I will definitely have to remember that story about standing at the door. That is what the Savior does. Too often I get stuck in this rut as a missionary, just feeling like this is what I do and not having the feeling behind it. That was a good reminder to me that I am called to represent the Lord Jesus Christ and to do the very things He would do if He were here. One of the greatest challenges in the time that we are living in is not allowing ourselves to be past feeling. Keeping our hearts soft is hard when there is so much evil in the world or when as a missionary or a disciple we face rejection each day. The Lord requires our hearts and that includes our ability to feel, to love, to have compassion as the Savior would. That's something I have been thinking about recently. That goes along with having a vision, too, like that sister missionary spoke about. True desire comes from the heart. Great talk to read about having a vision: "However Long and Hard the Road" by Elder Holland. You can find it on

We are still teaching Brendan. We met with him almost every day this past week. Every thing we share with him, he soaks up. He is excited for his baptism in October. His wife, Wanda, is supportive of him, but is a little hesitant of learning. In her own time, hopefully she too will want to know that Christ's Church has been restored.
I've started reading the Book of Mormon again to really study it. I'm highlighting according to each of the lessons in PMG. It's amazing how much the first few chapters of Nephi teach about the principles of the Restoration. 
I love you! Thanks for everything, Mom! I hope that you and Dad and David are receiving the blessings for me serving as well. As hard as it is to be a missionary, I know that it's worth it. The CES devotional last night by Elder Christofferson reminded me of that. Lose your life for His sake and you shall find it. 

Have a great week!
Sister Renda


Monday, September 8, 2014


Crissy sent me some pictures from the party.It looks like you all had a good time. I hope that Mom's recovery is going well. Thanks for the updates on everyone, including Grandpa Renda. I have been thinking about him and wasn't sure what progress had been made with his cancer. That's very exciting news about Kali! I'm sad I won't be there, but you will have to congratulate her for me. I was thinking about Nikki this last week and figured she must be coming home soon. Wow! Time sure flies! Way to invite the sisters over. I hope that their practice teaching brought the Spirit and that they will be able to find someone to teach soon.

This week was filled with miracles. I almost couldn't fall asleep one night this week because I was SO happy. The senior missionary couple in the branch finished their service and left this morning to make the long trek back to Utah. Their names are the Scheels. They are from Fruit Heights. Elder and Sister Priest are the new missionary couple. They are from Greenwood, Nova Scotia. I am excited to get to know them better and serve alongside them.
We had a surprise going away party for the Scheels this week. They were told it was an emergency preparedness fireside, but really it was some shocking good party for them instead. (A little Newfie lingo for ya).

Bear, the Newfoundland

I had a day this week that I felt rather discouraged, but I remembered Austin telling me that any time I felt that way as a missionary it was because Satan is trying to get me down so I don't accomplish what the Lord needs done that day. That proved to be true. We found some of the most prepared people that day. We set up appointments with them for later in the week. We contacted this couple at a secondhand store that we were looking to volunteer at. They were in the parking lot dropping off some items to donate when we got there. We stopped and chatted with them. Their names are Brendan and Wanda. They both grew up Christian but it wasn't until the past few years that they truly came to know Jesus Christ personally. We set up a lesson with them for the next day and when we arrived they weren't home. :( The day after we called them again and Brendan wanted to meet that night. He is thirsting after righteousness and felt good about meeting with us to hear our message. Last night we taught him again and invited him to be baptized in October. His response, "Yes. What do I have to do to prepare?" :D One of the most prepared people I have met on my mission.

I love being an instrument in the Lord's hands. Most often I don't realize that I am. In retrospect, I see how the Lord is painting this incredible picture and how everything miraculously fell into place. We just need to act on those small thoughts to do something good. Just do your best and leave the rest to Him.

I love you! Have a great week!

Sister Maren Renda