HAUʻOLI LĀ ʻIPO!
Week 60 was a rocky roller coaster. I am reminded, time & time again that we need to have trials & hard times so that we can learn to embrace & more fully appreciate the good. Hard times help us grow, they help us love. Speaking of love, since it's Valentine's Day , (not one of my favorite holidays cause, it should be everyday ) anyways, since it's the month of love, I'm gonna change things up. Today, I wanna share with y'all, different examples, where I've seen the love of Christ in not just my life, but in the lives of the people here in Mansfield. Especially over the week. In case you forgot, Jesus loves you! Remember, he died because he loves you! He wants you to be happy. Don't be sad, be glad. Find reasons to laugh, find reasons to cry, find reasons to have joy & find reasons to love. Love him, because he first loved you!
|Some of the Youth we love!|
This first example comes from a boy name Rocky. He is an awesome kiddo that we got to meet last week, after not being able to get a hold of him for a while. We stopped by his home with our Bishop's wife, who is a teacher at Rocky's school. He absolutely adores her. On our way over to meet him, our Bishop's wife explained to us that Rocky has been struggling a little bit. It's just him & his mom & now he's growing up & maybe hanging out with the wrong crowd. When we knocked on his door & he opened it, his face was not the face that I was expecting. His eyes lit up & he was just filled with so much happiness & love. As we continued to talk, his mom said, "I was just about to contact y'all because Rocky has been asking for y'all to come & baptize him." Talk about perfect timing. The Lord's timing is so great. As we got to know them a little more, you could just feel the room begin to fill with so much love & happiness. This little 12 year old was a sweet example to me. The Lord's love can be shown even in the hardest situations.
Next short, but sweet example comes from Kenny. He's so awesome! We met with him & we prepared to teach him the law of chastity. A lesson that can be a little awkward. Anyways, during the lesson, he was just absorbing everything like a sponge. We read with him a part from the pamphlet that says, "regardless of what you have done in the past, great blessings will come if you repent & commit now to live the law of chastity." When he heard that, he looked at us & was filled with so much love. It was a perfect reminder that we have a loving Heavenly Father who gives us multiple chances to try again. How grateful am I for that.
Next short example comes from Brandon. Oh my gosh! He's the best! , Sister Eddington & I got to witness the most precious sight. After receiving his priesthood a few weeks ago, we got to see him prepare the sacrament. You could just see this light about him. When we talked to him after sacrament, he was filled with so much love. He couldn't stop saying how awesome that experience was. It was so great!
Next humbling example comes from Alex. We love him & his wife so very much! We got to go to the mission President Fireside with them last night. After the fireside, Alex & Wayne (our other investigator who also came) started talking. Next thing we hear is Alex baring testimony to Wayne of how he felt when he joined the church. He explained to Wayne that we call everyone "brother" & "sister" because we really are all brothers & sisters. Wayne never realized that until Alex explained it to him. It was a very powerful moment to see our recent convert, love, help & encourage our investigator as he takes a big leap of faith. Alex was filled with so much love. Funny part is, on our way home, I commended him for what he did & he said, "I was just talking." That's what it should be. We should just talk. Open our mouths cause we never know who might need to hear what we have to say.
Next & final example comes from Wayne. Long story short, he has been investigating since the 1980's. His first missionaries are now 50 years olds. The day of his lesson was a little bit crazy. I wasn't feeling good & Sister Eddington received a distracting letter & the both of us were praying for extra help from on high, & let me tell you, the Lord prepares you before you even know it. As we met with Wayne & as he was explaining to us some of his concerns & frustrations, I had a distinct prompting to set a date with him. Well, I told him "can we set a date with you?" & he said, "No! You think I've been asked that question before?" Then as he kept talking, I turned to Sister Edddington & said, "Sister, we need to set a date. Right now!" Meanwhile, from Sister Eddingtons point of view, she had been praying because, she too had a distinct impression to set a date with Wayne. So, as she was scrolling through her calendar, Wayne then said, "I've been really thinking about this. I've wanted to get baptized since last November, but things keep coming up & getting in the way. My son & grandson are only together on the 1st & 3rd saturdays of the month." At that very moment, Sister Eddington felt prompted to put his name down for , keeping in mind that she could always just move the date. Well, Wayne then went on to say, "I've even looked at , but the Stake family history activity is on that day." As soon as he said that, we both looked at each other & Sister Eddington showed him & explained to him what just happened. We explained to him that we would love to have a baptism in the evening & that this is coming directly from the Lord. We promised him that we would do everything & anything in our power to help him get there. , he officially made up his mind & told Bishop that he can now announce it over the pulpit. We still are asking everyone for extra prayers. This was a huge example to me of the love the he has for the Lord & for the love that Lord has for him. If we are faithful & have a desire to do the right, the Lord will make it possible.
Family & friends, this work is the Lord's work. I testify that as we continue to be obedient & try, even just a little bit, that the Lord truly will make up the difference. He is preparing people & we as missionaries are merely his hands, his tools, his instruments in his work. I'm honored to be part of such sacred work. I know that people struggle. Things happen. Life is unfair & things never go the way that we want it to go. People change, kids grow up, friends move away & loved ones die unexpectedly. Let's not forget that we have a loving Father in Heavenly & he has a plan. A plan called the Plan of Salvation, The Plan of Happiness (learn more on LDS.org). He wants us to be happy. I heard someone explain the difference between healing the body & healing the soul he said, "when we heal the body, it's always an inward effort, always paying attention to ourself. When we heal the soul turning inward doesn't work. When we want to heal the soul, we need to turn outward." It's my prayer that we each take some time to heal our souls by finding ways to lift those around us. Turn outward. I promise & I can testify that a greater light will shine & fill your broken hearts as you do so. You'll be filled with love. Not just for those whom you lift, but a greater love for our Savior will come. I love y'all!!! Have an amazing week gang make it a good one! Until next week my loves.
Hurrah for Israel!