-We had zone activity day which consisted of some Japanese games. In one of the games you play rock paper scissors and then the winner gets to hit the loser with a pool noodle. Pretty awesome.
-We also are working with our members on sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon on social media to allow the Book of Mormon to speak for its self!
-We went and did service for a woman. Her husband is dying of cancer and she's pretty old so she needs help with a lot but it gave us an opportunity to reach out to her and we shared some parts of the Plan of Salvation. I was sitting there sharing while Sister Anderson was watering the plants. It was fun.
-We had a lesson about who God is. We also read 2 Nephi 32. (She pointed out the fact that she was listening to an ABBA song about angels the whole way there on repeat) We discussed how we can receive answers and about what baptism is. It was really great and i know i felt the spirit and i pray that she felt it to. This was the perfect chapter for our investigator. Sister Anderson was so spirit led in choosing that chapter!!!
-We went and helped out at the farmer's market and we helped clean up the market. (we recieved a 20 pound squash, a grocery bag full of grapes, and the most glorious loaf of bread)
-There was one day where we felt like we needed to move going to Russian class from 6 pm to 1 pm for what we thought was just a random reason. (you'll need to know that for later) but our morning consisted of us tearing up our arms and ankles by tearing out hundreds of blackberry bushes. My legs are scratched up like crazy. I didn't wear long pants because I don't think sometimes. I had felt like I needed to wear my Russian tag that day...for no particular reason. Psyche! I met a man from Ukraine at service and we talked for a while and he even asked where our church is. It was awesome But fast forward to that night at 7:30. Sister Anderson had to pee. We decided to stop by a member's house and ask to use their bathroom. We were in our most populated neighborhood of members but we were going through the names of people that lived near by and decided to drive up a neighborhood to a different member. We knocked and the wife was home. She was kind enough to let us use her bathroom. We got into a discussion with her about her hard past. (I'm not going to get into details because the story is not mine to share) Her testimony of the ability of the Atonement to literally change everything bad in our lives into something good is one of the strongest that I have ever heard. As we sat and heard her story and heard her bare witness of the truth of the blessings that God gives us in return I knew that that was exactly where we needed to be. The spirit was so strong and as she finished she stopped and said "Sisters, I just want you to know that 15 minutes before you knocked on my door something horrible from my past popped up and I was all home alone and prayed for God to send me peace." No it was not a new investigator or a baptism. But it was God, our Heavenly Father, reaching out to one of his daughters through us.
- We went to a baptism of a girl in our ward and got to talk with some members and non members there which was nice.
-Our investigator came to a member missionary fireside, and it was awesome!
-We met a man with whom we discussed how the Book of Mormon, and how it brings us closer to Christ. He was pretty argumentative, and I usually will not try to argue too much in those situations. Sometimes, missionaries will just let the person bully and walk away. Which is fine. However, in that moment, I felt a strong prompting to stand up boldly for what I believe. I bore testimony, and the spirit was really strong. He said that he would keep an open mind and took a Book of Mormon. He may decide not to read but we left knowing we left it all on the field. People cannot take away our testimony or deny it. Sister Anderson and I thought that these scriptures from the book of Alma best describe the situation:
3 But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith.
4 Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.
18 Now Alma did not grant unto him the office of beinghigh priest over the church, but he retained the office of high priest unto himself; but he delivered the judgment-seat unto Nephihah.
19 And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he mightpreach the word of God unto them, to stir them up inremembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.
Another thing I was thinking about this week.....
15% concentrated power of will
100% reason to remember the name
In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin tells us: "I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which He shall call you." No matter the different pleasurable or painful or suffocating or illuminating experiences of this life, no matter the percentage of happiness versus the percentage of sorrow, we are always 100% responsible to remember the name of the Lord that will always be written in our hearts. This week I was reminded that baptism is a time when we receive light and make a promise with God. D&C 50:24 says: "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." One way that we receive light is through receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost at baptism. Receiving more light comes when we "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ" [2 Nephi 31:20]. If we consider the course of a day, including all of the ups and downs, different emotions, and choices that are made, it's easy to see that steadfastness in Christ is constantly being threatened by opposing forces. Remembering the name takes skill, luck, power of will, pleasure, pain... Heavenly Father wants to know if we are all in with a willing heart and mind to follow Christ no matter what. "To be tested, we must have the agency to choose between alternatives. To provide alternatives on which to exercise our agency, we must have opposition."
Along with our agency there is responsibility. Lynn G. Robbins calls agency and responsibility a "doctrinal pair." He also says, "When Satan is successful in dividing doctrinal pairs, he begins to wreak havoc upon mankind. It is one of his most cunning strategies to keep people from growing in the light." Everyone seems to want their own free-will. Our human soul not only desires to survive, but to be free. However, as Spirit [the cartoon horse] would say, "with freedom comes responsibility." In the Spirit movie, they're put into a difficult situation where Spirit is on a mission to stop the men from overtaking his homeland. Because he wants to be free, and he wants his family to be free, he's willing to fight for what is right. This is where the disconnect occurs in the world today. Everyone wants freedom, but there's a difference between recognizing the results of our actions and making excuses when something bad happens. "When Satan tempts a person to avoid responsibility, that person subtly surrenders their agency because that person is no longer in control or acting." Slowly but surely, we are actually being led down to prison instead of happiness. Wickedness never was happiness.
Yes I did reference some worldly things in this email, but don't worry, I'm still as cut off from all of it as I have been my entire mission.
Love you all! Sorry for the novel.