Monday, February 16, 2015

New Beginnings

February 2, 2015

Transfers went well! I made it safely to Amherst and I love it! Sometimes I forget how different the culture of each province is. It's fun to be back in Nova Scotia! Amherst is a cute little town. It's bigger than Bay Roberts. Average attendance at church on Sunday is around 20. Yesterday due to the snowstorms, we had 9 at church and that includes 4 missionaries, us and the senior couple, the Lockharts. He is serving as branch president. They leave the end of February. Though we were small in numbers, the Spirit was so strong! There is a great feeling in the branch and I am so excited for the transfer ahead!

Sister Gochnour is from Holladay. She is so great! She has great joy and love in the work, and I am so excited to be serving with her. She has reminded me the past few days of the great joy that comes from being a missionary. We have a couple of investigators right now and we are hoping to see them progress towards baptism.

It has been frigid since I got here. Thank goodness for all of those tights you sent me. I'm going to have to wear all of them to keep warm! Haha. I bought some new boots a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping my other ones would survive another winter, but the zipper broke on the first day we had a big snowstorm in Bay Roberts. What are the chances? I didn't get to go to the temple this time around. We flew into Halifax around midnight Wednesday night and I got on the transfer van Thursday morning at 6 to drive to Moncton. Amherst is on the border of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The missionaries in my zone are the French areas of New Brunswick, us and everyone on PEI. Sister Gochnour and I are STLs and all of the sisters are on PEI. Should be an adventure. I haven't heard back from President Leavitt yet. I'll let you know when I do.

This week I am filled with gratitude for trials. Looking back on my time as a missionary, I know that the Lord has allowed me to go through difficult things because He loves me. Every trial is an evidence of His love and His desire for me to be perfected in Him. If we allow ourselves to wallow in despair and suffering, we miss out on the great opportunities for the Lord to heal us and for us to get to know Him better. We just have to take a step back from the pain we feel and quickly our vision expands to an eternal perspective. There is something more and something greater in store because of the refinement we receive during our fiery furnaces. 

This quote came to mind this week as I have been thinking and reflecting. It's by Elaine S. Dalton:

"You are young women of great faith. You brought your faith with you when you came to the earth. Alma teaches us that in the premortal realms you exhibited 'exceeding faith and good works.' You fought with your faith and testimony to defend the plan that was presented by God. You knew the plan was good, and you knew that the Savior would do what He said He would do--because you knew Him! You stood with Him, and you were eager for your opportunity to come to earth. You knew what was going to be required of you. You knew it would be difficult, and yet you were confident not only that you could accomplish your divine mission but that you could make a difference."

What comfort I receive from knowing that I stood with the Savior before I came here. I can do it again. I know He lives and that this is His Church. He will always be there to uplift and strengthen us because this life was not meant to be easy.

I love you!

Sister Renda

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