Monday, July 31, 2017

now have we not reason to rejoice?

Sundays for me are stressful. Sundays are my favorite day of the week. But for the last several weeks, I've caught myself saying Sundays are the hardest. They are. There is so so so much to worry about. Sundays in the missionary life are our Game Days. Sundays are the point that the past several days lead up to. There are so many things to worry about on Sundays. Fortunately, I have an amazing President Johnson who a few weeks ago asked me to 100% focus on myself during sacrament meeting. To focus on making that sacred moment sacred to me. This Sunday started off more stressful than ever. It felt like I was just running around everywhere helping members and LAs and Investigators to go where they needed to go and get what they needed and get the attention they really need. But anyways, I decided when 13:00 hit... that it is my time. I'm done stressing. So I did. I tried to focus on me. This Sunday turned out to be really special. Not only did I have a sacred sacrament experience, but we also had the most successful Sunday this area's had since it split a couple years ago. Us Elders were so happy.

This area and the work we have done here is something I really do have pride in. For some reason I get really hard on myself and feel like my influence isn't really doing anything. But reading the missionary favorite Alma 26 saturday night, I felt of God's love. I read verse 31 which reads:

31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? say unto you, Nay, they are manyyea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.

The whole chapter touched me. But this verse didn't hit me until Sunday. This Sunday I felt God's love for all of these people I have been able to influence. I saw all of these amazing people together at the church smiling and loving each other and building upon one another's Faith. Yesterday I was able to feel what 'the fruits of our labors' means. We are seeing so much good here. God is working here in Minburi.

What amazes me though with all going on is that I do nothing. I see so much good happening but I literally do nothing. I work, try to give my all, talk to people, try to have a good attitude, and do see good outcomes. But all of the effects, I know aren't even me. I can understand why missionaries say it and I used to always think it was so cliche. But its real. God does everything. He's just giving us an opportunity to work and feel good about ourselves haha. All glory be to God, for I am nothing. Yet, he makes me feel of importance and uses me for my own good.

35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all powerall wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
36 Now if this is boastingeven so will boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in strange land; yea, say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in strange land.
37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every peoplewhatsoever 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 will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.
We taught Sister เลาะห์ the other day and she is just so fun to teach. She was baptized about 2 months ago. She reminds me so much of my mom, because of the way she talks and looks, but also mainly because of how much she loves everyone and serves everyone. We read one of my favorite chapters ever, Ether 12. Every time I read this I get so much new good out of it. This time we had a really neat conversation on the steps of conversion. 
1. Have Faith
2. Experience Miracles
3. Share your witness
Miracles are real. They happen all the time. The purpose of Miracles is for our benefit and because of our Faith, yes. But more than that, Miracles are for the intent of our witness to the Savior as we bear testimony of Him. Miracles give us more assurance that it is real. Miracles should turn us into a bearer of truth. We should be sharing these experiences with other's to convince them that God lives and He does watch and bless us. He is always ready to receive us and make us better.
16 Therefore, let us gloryyea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercyand of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, say unto you, cannot say the smallest part which feel.
I am nothing on my own, got to get that message home.
I love you s'much 💙
amazing day