Monday, October 27, 2014

Seigneur, Mon Dieu

Valerie's baptism. She is wonderful. I love her so much and I am so happy for her. She's entered the gate and has lots of blessings ahead of her. God is good.
My people.
   Disclaimer-- This email is long and you'll all probably be bored and skim, so to save you the trouble just read the last paragraph. En te que (anyway in French)... Ho boy do I love you guys and all of your emails. You're all the coolest and I am super pumped to write to you today. But first, just a few little "get them outta dah way" type things... Dad and Mo, if I have used the card it is because I didn't have Canadian cash on me.  Second, transfers... I'm staying with Sister Ryser and we are still the STL's whoop whoop! I will answer questions asked in your emails in the next letter I write home. So DAH week:
   This week was just incredible. No doubts about it. God is good all the time. Oh man where do I even start? Remember how a few weeks ago I told you about a girl who just showed up for church and asked for a Book of Mormon and then called us the next day for us to see her? Well, turns out she had been baptized years ago, but stopped going to church and now wanted to come back. Her names is Elizabeth and she is just a tender soul. I love her and I hardly know her. Her desires to do good are outstanding and they just blow me away. She knows what's important and followed some pretty wise advice, which is, "ask the missionaries, they can help." So now we have the blessing to see her and just read the Book of Mormon with her and teach her what we know. She is a miracle, and I am so beyond the valley of the happy that I got to meet her. We had a ward council this week too, and it went well. Our ward is super sweet and just gets things done. Our bishop and ward mission leader are so awesome. They do so much for the work it is such a blessing to be able to work along side them. One thing though that I noticed, and I have learned and was wondering how it goes at home, is that sometimes the council gets a little caught up in the planning of events and doesn't focus on the people in our ward and their needs. I was just wondering how it was at home. This question might be for you, Dad, but it's super important that our councils are effective, and actually councils, so I just thought I'd ask how it was going there. Not that I can come and change it or anything, it's just that Heavenly Father is hastening the work of salvation. And if we are too stuck in our ruts (is that how you spell that?) and not willing to step up and go with Heavenly Father's pace, then we're going to have some problems. That means we might have to rethink how ward councils are going. But Utah always seemed to be with the game, so hopefully that is the case here. If not, it's ok, everything takes time. And we need patience. Right now we are working on getting everyone trained so that the work can move forward at a faster pace. I am so stoked to get home and contribute. There is just so much to be done in establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth, and it starts with individual members, so I am pumped to work at home too, now that I have a better idea of how I can help and how things should be going. Sorry, random tangent is over now.
   We had a fairly normal week this week (which means we made a lot of plans that didn't work out, taught some people and just rejoiced in the salvation of God). We didn't reach all of our goals, but I think we still worked hard. Our ward just launched our ward mission plan. Everyone is getting pretty excited to get started. One day it will be the member's work that the missionaries help with. But for now it's kind of a mix of both. But I love our ward mission plan because it is really helping people to get excited to just be involved and share the good news with their little friends and whatnot. One lady in our ward invited us over to dinner and we ate with her roommate and talked about the gospel. Which means we got some awesome Haitian food (ho boy I love it so much) and a new investigator (love that even more!). I don't know how interested she is right now though, which is tough because the member really wants this for her. But, I am a big believer in following the will of our Heavenly Father, so he'll help us know what to do, the member incluced. Just follow the spirit people, it's his job to guide us when we are worthy to have him with us, so let's just let him do his job and follow what he says. We had two other sweet meetings this week too. One was mission leadership council and the other was stake council. I just really love councils actually. I was reading a talk the other day about leadership, it was given in a priesthood session, I can't remember the name of it right now or who wrote it, but it was awesome, and it just talked about how wise and just awesome it was of Heavenly Father to give us councils. He used councils (council in Heaven.....)! They are so effective if they are done right. Anyway, we had the mission leadership council and just talked about problems and concerns we've seen in the mission right now and with the missionaries. We then decided what traingings would need to be given so that we can help fix these problems and concerns. I better understand the scriptures that talk about Heavenly Father being a God of order. I think you can find one in Doctrine and Covenants section 118 or 119 or something, the one wear it says "establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting.... a house of order." Being organized and ordered in what we do just makes us so much more efficient. I love order and organization so much more now! It makes me want to clean my room or something. Now I'm gettin crazy, what has this place done with me? Anyway, that's why I really liked the mission leadership council, because we talked about the problems, found a solution, delegated responsibility and made assingments to go forward in trainings in order to fix the problems, and after we will report back. You know what we were doing there? Following the Christ Centered Leadership Model. Pretty much I think we should just use that model in all that we do. Then we'd really always get things done. If you don't know what that is maybe I can explain one day. It just makes me so gitty and excited I don't know if you want me to keep talking about it right now. Oh man, you learn the greatest things on the mission. The trick now is to actually use it once your home. I pray I can be better once I'm finished here. Stake council was yesterday and it was amazing too. This time it was just with the zone leaders, our mission  president, the stake president, the stake mission leader, and us. So it was a lot more personal and we could all be a lot more personal and counsel better together. The church is just made up of a bunch of people who are trying their best and just giving a lot. I am so thankful that I have the blessing to be apart of all of this work. And to help in meetings like this. I don't think I'll ever get the same opportunity again. We just try to help focus on the needs of others and do more to help to progression of the work. It's a blessing, and I feel humbled to be trusted. I have to do better.
   Ok, now the highlight of the week. There was a baptism on Saturday!! It was a lady who we taught with the elders. Her name is Valerie, and she is so important to our Heavenly Father, like each of us, that I have truly felt honored to even know her, let alone help teach her about the gospel. Holy cow. From the first time I met her I just knew there was something different about her. Heavenly Father cares about her so much, and I can see that in how much others care about her, including me. It is crazy how much love I have for these people we have only known for a short time. The elders had been teaching her for awhile, and we started helping throughout the past month or so. It was so amazing to see baptized finally. The spirit was really strong at the service. She just is small and quiet and has dealt with her trials well. I really can't explain how amazing she is. When I see people be baptiezed these days I just cry. I don't realize how important it is. It's a saving ordinance!!!!!!! We need it! So when I get the privilege to see someone make that decision to come unto our Savior, I am just so happy for them. In between the actual baptism and the second half of the program we sang some hymns to keep the spirit there and wait for Valerie to change and rejoin us. We sang a bunch of good ones, but when we sang Seigneur, Mon Dieu (How Great Thou Art), I was just blown away by the spirit. I am not sure if I'm right, but I think that is one that was sung at Chandler Webb's funeral. I'm not 100% sure if it was, but whenever I sing it I think of him. Anyway, we started to sing it and I was thinking about Chandler and how I could be upset with Heavenly Father for taking him early, or for all the trials that we have to face in this life. But then, after seeing the baptism I realized that Heavenly Father really makes it simple for us. Everything we go through here is just for our learning and experience. We know what we are supposed to do. We've been told, so we have no need to worry about what happens in this life. Have faith in our Savior. Repent when you make a mistake, be humble enough to say your sorry, then have faith that our Heavenly Father will forgive you. Have faith in yourself and in the fact that you CAN be better. Be baptized or take the sacrament each week if you've already been baptized. Recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost, or remain worthy to have him with you if you've already receieved the gift. Then endure to the end. Or rather, just keep following our Savior's example. It will never make you worse off. Just do that! It really is black and white. Yeah we have hard times, but look at Valerie. I know you don't know her, I don't know her that well, but believe me she has been through a lot. Then just seeing her be baptized and make that change and start over was incredible. We can do that each week with the sacrament too. I just cried while we sang because Heavenly Father is so merciful. No matter what has happened. He just wants us to come back to him. And I just realized again that the gospel of Jesus Christ, the doctrine of our Savior, is the only way back to true and eternal happiness. It's true! And if you don't know that for yourself, find it out. If you do it with a sincere heart and real intent you'll find your answer. And then: "When Chirst shall come, with shouts of acclamation, and take {us} home, what joy shall fill {our hearts}. And {we} shall bow, in humble adoration and there proclaim, My God how great thou art!" Family, I know without a doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth today. It's the only one with the power to act in our Savior's name. Following my Savior has changed my life, let it change yours too. Read the Book of Mormon, it has all the answers. I promise you it does. If you're struggling, hang on, Heavenly Father and our Savior truly are here for you. I love you, as they do. I can't wait to hear from you again next week. Stay anchored in the faith!!
Written with love from your daughter, sister and friend,

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