Let me explain the interesting title. Whenever a Russian wants to say a parting greeting, they tend to say "with" something. like "with Christmas" or "with God." It's like saying "Merry Christmas" or "God Bless You." Kind of like "God be with you"
Happy New Year, and I hope that everyone had a fantastic Christmas! It was incredible. The best time to be a missionary. The spirit of Christ was everywhere, and talking with my family on Skype just reminded me so strongly of why I am here on a mission! I want other people to have the opportunity to have an eternal family and experience the blessings of the temple.
Something that I learned this week was that the simple truths of the gospel really do carry the most power. I think over the past few weeks, I have actually been able to feel the power of the words that I am speaking in Russian. And, the best part is, that when I am speaking in Russian, that's when I feel the spirit the strongest. When I am sincerely listening and trying my best to understand what the person is saying and just praying that I will be able to say something that will help them feel the spirit or just feel the comfort of God's love. We were role-playing in district meeting and Elder Peterson was being a difficult investigator with a lot of questions, and I was freaking out a little bit inside because I wasn't sure what to say. Then I decided that I would be okay with a pause. I would pause for a minute, and sincerely think about what I should say to help. The next thing that I said was definitely inspired. I could feel the spirit putting words in my mouth. It's true, that if we give time for the spirit to work in us, we will receive help from our Father in Heaven.
Sometimes, it's really hard to see the Atonement working in the moment. When we feel like we aren't getting any better than we were before. But, I look back at where I was 6 months ago and it's honestly astonishing. I love this quote from General Conference:
"Please, my beloved brothers and sisters, we must stop comparing ourselves to others. We torture ourselves needlessly by competing and comparing. We falsely judge our self-worth by the things we do or don't have and by the opinions of others. If we must compare, let us compare how we were in the past to how we are today. And even to how we want to be in the future. The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please ask him sincerely what He thinks of you. He will love and correct, but never discourage us, that is satan's trick."
Scripture for the week Hebrews 12:1-3. Christ is the "author and the finisher" of our faith. I am working constantly every day to figure out what that phrase means for me. I would encourage all of you to study it out for yourself!
Have a great week! Love all of you,