This was a bit of an interesting and very long week. It feels like last p-day was two or three weeks ago. The week started out really hard but I was able to make a 180 degree change trying some of the possible Part member families in our branch. We knocked on a door and found out that the members had moved but we ended up talking to the very young military couple that lived there for over an hour. The wife grew up in a cult and her family got out when she was 13. She loves Christianity and has been wanting to find a church to go to. She had a really good family friend, who was an elderly gentlemen who was a member, when she was 13-16 who would bring her a copy of the ensign every month and told her about our church and his beliefs. Her parents forbid her from going to any church after their experience in the cult they had finally gotten out of, so she said reading the Ensigns was her "church" every week. She is now on date and is really excited to come to church. The more she talked to us and asked us questions about our beliefs the more excited she became. She is meant to be Mormon!. Sister Dean shared a quote with me from a successful swimmer when he was asked what the key was to his success. He said "I kick when I don't want to kick, I stroke when I don't want to stroke." I can't even count how many times I said it this week. It really helped to keep me going this week when I really wanted to stop. And because we kept going we had an awesome miracle last night. We were on a team up with Sister Medina
Even though this time on a mission is incredibly hard, and sometimes very overwhelming it is 100% worth it. There will be moments like last night when we found Jenni, and moments when you see someone you have worked with for a long time make it to baptism that make all of the hard times worth it. Life is the same way, some days, weeks, and even months or years will feel so hard and like the hardship will never end, but they will. Be of good cheer and as President Uchtdorf said last conference (paraphrased) "be grateful in your hardships and don't wait for the rainbow to thank God for the rain!" When we are going through trials we can often be like someone climbing a hill, we look down out our feet staring at all of the hard boulders and rocks that are in our path, we look ahead and see a long road ahead of us that filled with obstacles along our road. We know there will be a beautiful view when we get to the top but sometimes we wonder if it will really be worth the pain of climbing. As we climb we can either be angry and bitter at how hard the things in our path are to get over, or we can look at how beautiful the trees are around us and take note of how interesting some of the things we come across are even if it is something we have to figure out how to get over. We can take heart in knowing we can look back and share with others how amazing and massive that bolder we had to get over was and how it strengthen us! Then with out even knowing it we will break through the tree line and see a view that will take our breath away!
When we are in the middle of trials it feels like that is all we will ever know, but even when we feel like we have stopped moving we just have to keep going. As Carie Thompson likes to say, "keep turtle-ing upward". We are moving forward and closer to the top of our climb, even if it feels like we have stopped. And when we really do get stuck Christ is there to help us out of the mud, or over the rocks that are too big to climb. Take heart, he isn't there just when you need help with what you can't do on your own, he is there with you every single step, he walks and climbs beside you. He is always there talking to you and encouraging you to keep going. He has climbed this hill before and he knows the best route. He is our Savior and our Older Brother. He loves us more than we can imagine. This I know with all my heart in the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN!
Love you all
|Hills and Trees in Junction City|
|Are these sunsets for real?|