Thursday, January 29, 2015

Voted Off the Island

"In the Lord's service the path is not always easy. It often requires sacrifices, and we will likely experience adversity. But in serving Him, we discover that His hand is truly over us. ... The Lord expects us to be as faithful, as devoted, as courageous as those who went before us. They were called to give their lives for the gospel. We are called to live our lives for the same purpose."
-Elder Robert D. Hales

I know you are all anxiously awaiting transfer news...I have been voted off the Rock and am headed for Amherst, Nova Scotia. My new companion will be Sister Gochnour. I don't know much about her, but I am looking forward to working with her! 

As always, it is sad to leave an area. I feel so blessed for the time I have spent here in Bay Roberts. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and love for the people here last week. Naturally when that happens, the Lord tells you it is time to move on. :)

Attached are some pictures from adventures in Bay Roberts.
The group photo is from Gosse's Manor and my friends there.
Sister Mangelson, Elder Hunt, and Elder Walker...goobers that I've had to deal with the past few months. ;)

Have a wonderful week! 
Love is always in season, and Christ is the Reason!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"She Hath Wrought a Good Work"

Sorry to hear you are all sick! That is no fun! There's definitely something going around here as well, but I am healthy. Multivitamins, Vitamin C and exercise does an immune system well. :) How is your foot doing? Is it all recovered now? I got your package for my birthday! Thanks for the lotion and soap!

I feel a great sense of gratitude today for the blessing it is to be a missionary. One of the zone leaders taught me a powerful lesson this week. He referenced the story in the New Testament of Mary of Bethany anointing Christ's head and feet and wiping His feet with her hair and taught that my mission is my opportunity to be like Mary. That image stayed with me and the next day during my studies I read the different accounts of this story in the New Testament. Piecing the story together from John 12:1-3 and Mark 14:3-9, I imagined kneeling at the Savior's feet as Mary and wiping His feet with my hair. What love and reverence this faithful woman had for her Savior! The disciples watched and some of them said she wasted the oil (spikenard, one of the most expensive ointments or oils) which could have been sold and the money given to the poor. They told her that her sacrifice was not worth it. 

In return the Savior said, "Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel is preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her."

Though the world may mock at the sacrifices we make to follow the Savior, He is grateful for our sacrifices. 

This story of Mary reminds me of the last verse of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief: 

"Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake and my poor name he named,
'Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall they memorial be. 
Fear not, thou didst them unto me."

Our service to others is how we show our love for our Savior and those small acts of kindness will be a memorial of our devotion and faith. 

I hope you have a great week! Love you! Transfers are coming quickly again. Sunday is transfer letter day. 

Have a great week!

Sister Renda

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Missionary Commission

Hi Dad!

Good to hear you are still teaching Sunday school. Those Bible videos are amazing! One day I just want to have a Bible video marathon. Sister Mangelson and I were saying this week that we want the Church to make Book of Mormon videos with the same actor for Jesus from the Bible videos. I'm reading Jesus the Christ right now and I am always blown away by how much I don't know about the Savior's life. Sister Mangelson and I have been talking about how important it is that we know the Savior so that we can represent Him. 
Each day we recite Our Commission: "I am called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my master, and He has chosen me to represent Him, to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. My voice is His voice. My acts are His acts. My doctrine is His doctrine. My commission is to do what He wants done, to say what He wants said, to be a living, modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter-day work. How great is my calling!" It's so important that I take that to heart.
There was an incredible worldwide devotional last night for young adults. Everyone should watch it! The message was the culmination of so many thoughts and ideas and conversations that I have had over the past transfer or so. Brother Ridd spoke on real intent and living life with purpose. David, especially, should watch it. How is he doing by the way? Is the Altima still kicking?
This week we prayed to know where we should go after providing service at a local thrift store. The thought came to go to a neighboring town and I started driving, still not really sure where we should go specifically. As I drove I felt to turn down the main road, thinking this would be our destination but then kept driving. I turned down another street that I felt good about and then told the Lord, "Okay, now I need a place to park." We kept driving and the houses became more spaced out. I spotted a car and felt I should park behind it. We got out and knocked on the door, to meet a woman who just rented the house that day and was only there for a short amount of time to get the heat turned on. She said she would be interested in listening to our message as she is going through some big life changes right now, but didn't have time then. We offered to shovel her porch and driveway. She left while we were still shoveling and as we continued, I knew that the Lord had directed us to her home. I don't know much about that woman, but I know that God is aware of her. I hope that the small act of service we provided her lightened her load. 
As Sister Mangelson and I talked about that experience later, we both felt that the most important thing we can ever do is love God and love others. When that love is our motive, everything else will fall into place. I've been thinking about my own motives and intentions. Why do I do the things I do? Is it because I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior? Do I have an eye single to the glory of God? If I don't, my seemingly good acts won't profit me any good. I must do the right things for the right reasons. 
In our Relief Society lesson yesterday, I learned something new about charity. I always thought about it as the pure love of Christ, the love that Christ has, that we all need to be striving to be filled with that same type of love for others. It hit me that charity can also be the pure love of Christ or the pure love for Christ. Christ lived the first great commandment. He loved God. If we truly have the pure love of Christ, then we will love God and Jesus Christ. They will be our priority and our focus. That love for Them will lead us to love all of those around us because we will see the great love that They have for each and every one of us. 
Loving God with an eye single to His glory means that we will do anything to help Him bring His children back to Him. 

I hope you have a great week! Remember that Christ is the reason, and love is always in season.

Love you!
Sister Renda 

Birthday Celebrations!

 (We realized there is a possibility that Maren could be home the second week of March. That is so soon. We have been missing her lately and are excited that she might be home sooner than we thought.)

Hello mudder! (That is how Newfies say mother) 

Thanks for the birthday wishes. We're having lunch with the Priests today, and I am making a fazookie. Mmmm. :)
Thanks for sending another entry from your journal. Those are definitely things that I have thought about as well. I was thinking about it yesterday, just reflecting on some experiences I have had this past week while knocking. It's interesting how I feel the Spirit more when I am talking with some people than with others. Your comment about how sometimes our contacts aren't ready for that powerful Spirit makes a lot of sense. A few different people invited us in over the past week, most of them because it was freezing outside and they invited us in to get warm. We had different gospel conversations with each of them, none of them willing to learn more. I recognized the Spirit's presence each time I bore testimony. It's interesting how at some doors, I could say the same thing, but I would not feel the Spirit as strongly. Perhaps it's the condition of my own heart in those situations, but I feel that the condition of that individual's heart has a bearing on how fully the Spirit will be present as well. 
With the start of a new year, it hit me how soon my mission will be over. Now more than ever, I need to be committed to the Lord's work. There is much for the Lord to teach me over the next few months, to prepare me for the work ahead in my life. 
I am so grateful for the knowledge of the restored gospel, for the perspective it gives me. We are so blessed to have it! We should be the happiest people on the earth, for we know that God is our Father, that Jesus is the Christ, and that the path to happiness and peace is marked clearly. I may not know everything, but I know that God loves me. Simple truths, simple acts make all the difference and are the means by which great things come to pass. 

I hope you have a great week! Love you!

Sister Maren Renda

A Great Week


Thanks for the email, Mom. It was what I needed to hear today, so thank you for sharing it with me. It's always good to know that someone else has experienced the same things you are going through. This last week I tried harder to focus on the Savior and felt the Spirit more than I have in awhile. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, for His infinite love and compassion. It was wonderful to spend Christmas focusing on the Savior. Like you said, the most important thing is that I share His love with others. It was great to talk with you all on Christmas. It's crazy to think that the next time I see you all will be in person! 

We had a district meeting on Christmas Eve. I shared our tree of life tradition for the doctrinal discussion. As I get older and think more about that tradition and study the symbolism of Lehi's vision and Nephi's interpretation, I am so grateful for the impact of that family tradition in my life. Like Elder Bednar said last conference, "The greatest manifestation of God's love for His children is the mortal ministry, atoning sacrifice, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fruit on the tree can be considered a symbol of the blessings of the Savior's Atonement. Lehi's instant response to partaking of the fruit of the tree and experiencing great joy was an increased desire to share with and serve his family. Thus, as he turned to Christ, he also turned outward in love and service."

 I know that each time I experience the Atonement working in my life, I feel a greater desire to share it with those around me. There are so many who need to experience the peace and joy that come from following the Savior Jesus Christ! I know that the Lord is preparing His children to receive this glad message. He has promised: "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88)

We taught J and T again this week. We asked T about reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. She said that she has never felt more grounded in her life. After she prayed about the Book of Mormon, she felt a stronger desire read it, whereas before sleep or other things would seem more important. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers every prayer. His answers are always in His timing and in His way. I am excited for her to continue to read and pray each day! Tracey and I have the same birthday, so we decided we are going to celebrate together next week. :D

Love you! Have a great week! Remember Christ is the reason. And I will do my best to remember that too. :)

Sister Renda