Thursday, October 16, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving (Canadian)

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!
We are celebrating Thanksgiving today at Brother and Sister Young's home. We attended a community Thanksgiving sunrise service this morning. It was good to get to know some people in the community and enjoy the beauty of the area we live in. Yesterday was rainy and overcast, but this morning was beautiful.

As I was studying this morning, I found this scripture:

"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."
Alma 26:37

I am grateful for the blessing of the restored gospel in my life, for the knowledge of my Savior and my Heavenly Father. 

Karen and Nolan are excited for their baptism. Karen is so anxious to learn all of the commandments and live them so she can receive the blessings. Brendan is back in town for a week and we were able to meet with him on Friday. While he was in Labrador, he read 1 Nephi twice and lived the Word of Wisdom! He met a member of the branch there and was able to talk to him a bit. Amazing!

Good things are happening in Bay Roberts and the Lord is hastening His work. I was reading Jacob 5 this morning and reflecting on the precious branch in Bay Roberts that the Lord has placed here for a purpose. He wants it to bring forth fruit and I am excited to be a part of that.

Have a great week!

Sister Maren Renda

PS Pictures are from the sunrise service this morning, a hike that Sister Pizzey, Sister Comfort and I went on last week in Brigus, and a sign that we found at a church in Carbonear.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

General Conference Miracles

Hi all,
I don't even know where to begin with this past week. Heavenly Father is truly hastening His work and it is so humbling to be a part of it! This past week was filled with miracles and it was a great testimony builder for me that the Lord blesses those who are obedient and continue in the faith, especially when it is tried. Ether 12:6 is so true! We "receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

To start off, Wednesday we had a zone training in St. John's. Afterwards, we set out to contact a media referral (probably the second media referral I have received my whole mission!) that we received for a woman named Diane out in Dildo, about 30 minutes from Bay Roberts. The day before we had set up the appointment, but when we arrived in Dildo we could not find her house. (No one has house numbers out here, so it makes finding people an adventure!) The address we had for her was on the main road and we kept talking to different people who had differing opinions of what the main road in Dildo was. We couldn't get a hold of her and kept driving and walking around trying to find her house. Finally she responded and couldn't give us very good directions to her house. We were about to give up and head home, but stopped to fill up our truck with gas before driving back. Miraculously, a woman at the gas station knew where Diane lived and gave us directions. Still a little frustrated, we made it to her house, where she had been waiting outside for probably 20 to 30 minutes for us to arrive. The miracles continued as she told us about how she had found a pass along card in her house randomly one day (but told us she had never met missionaries before) and felt to call the number on the back. She had been going through a hard time but since she called that number, she felt peace. We taught her about a living prophet and apostles, which she was really excited about, and then taught how Jesus Christ was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. She didn't know that, and we invited her to be baptized. Her response was powerful. She said, "I love the Lord, so I should keep His commandments." Both Sister Comfort and I left that lesson feeling so humbled and so grateful for the Lord's guidance. He knows each of  us personally and He knew what Diane needed that night. Sometimes we just have to persevere in faith!

Wednesday we also received a referral from an excommunicated member, who has a powerful testimony of the gospel.  He had been talking to his new neighbor about the Church and she was very interested in learning more. Her name is Karen. She is a single mom with an 11 year old son named Nolan.They just moved here from Ontario because her mom was moving back here to retire. Karen comes from a long line of preachers and her grandfather introduced the Pentecostal religion to Newfoundland. She has searched many different churches and religions, but never felt satisfied with any of them. When she moved to Newfoundland with her son, she decided she would go back to her roots and go to the Pentecostal church but still didn't feel very happy with it. Our first lesson with her was powerful! She knew that what we were teaching was true and we invited her to baptized on November 1. She is SO prepared and the Lord needs her in the Bay Roberts branch right now. With that, Satan is also very aware of the good she will do and he has been working hard on her through every means possible. She told us on Saturday that she didn't want to continue looking into this anymore and felt she should stay with her church. We prayed hard that night with faith that she would come back when the time was right. On Sunday, halfway through the last session of General Conference, she and her son walked into the chapel! Sister Comfort and I were so happy!!! Every single talk she listened to that night answered the concerns and questions she had. She told us that she had been talking to her neighbor again that night and he had told her she needed to go to conference. She prayed for a sign, told the Lord that she would go to conference but that He would need to tell her there if she should look into this more. The talks that night could not have been more perfect for her. That was direct revelation from Heavenly Father to His servants to meet the needs of a humble seeker of truth. She is so excited to join the Church and wants to be involved in it now. 

The Lord is preparing His children and we need to find them. There are people all around us who are searching. Open your mouth with love and He will fill it. Being an instrument in the hands of the Lord is the most rewarding experience! There is no reason to fear what man may think. Jesus Christ lives and this is His Church. He is preparing the world for His second coming. We must be committed to Him and His work. That is the ONLY way to peace in this life and in the life to come. As Lynn G. Robbins said on Saturday, "Which way do you face?"    

I love you all! The Lord is aware of each of us. Never doubt that. Continue in faith, even when things are dark or confusing. The light will come and it will be glorious. Loved President Uchtdorf's talk! Hold tight to the rod and never let go. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Sister Maren Renda

Christ is the reason!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Women's Conference

I'm excited for General Conference this week, and I'm going to attempt making your cinnamon rolls to take to people in the branch and the area. Wish me luck! I didn't know that about speakers in General Conference speaking in their native language! That will be so neat. I loved the Women's Broadcast this last weekend. We watched it with President and Sister Priest. The messages about temple covenants and God's love were very powerful. As I have been reading the Book of Mormon, I have been focusing on the Lord's covenants and promises. It's so true that one of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to "show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever." (Title page of the Book of Mormon) It's a good reminder for me personally that the Lord sees the big picture and He is doing the small and simple things each day in our lives to accomplish His work.

Transfers were this last week. We spent a few days in St. John's with Sister Mangelson while she waited for her new companion to arrive. Other than that, not much to report on. There are four sets of sisters on the island again: one in St. John's, one in Conception Bay South, one in Corner Brook, and one in Bay Roberts. Sister Pizzey is currently visiting each area for the last couple weeks of her mission to train the sisters. We'll have an opportunity to work with her later this week.

Brendan will be back from Labrador this week and we are excited to start teaching him again and see how far he got in the Book of Mormon while he was gone. 

I love you and hope you have a great week! Enjoy that cinnamon roll for me. :)

Sister Maren Renda