Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Dear Family!
First, let me apologize for my preaching of false doctrine in my last email! My dear friend Ridge was kind enough to send me an explanation worthy of being put in a gospel doctrine book about how we are saved only through Jesus Christ and not by our works. How silly I feel! One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Nephi 2 :3, where Lehi tells his son Jacob that it is by the "righteousness of our redeemer" that we are saved! It is only through Christ that we are saved! But He does expect us to keep our promises to Him and to give our best effort each day, through the process of faith and repentance. Anyways, my knowledge and understanding are not as deep as Ridge's, but I do know that it is through Christ that we are saved, and for that I am eternally grateful.
This has been a great week! I feel the Lord changing me. Little by little the Holy Ghost teaches me and changes my nature to draw closer to God than I ever have before. Still, this is a slow process. It is wonderful that we have eternity to grow! I am going to be so sad when transfers come, which is one week away. But I keep telling myself that it is all in the Lord's hands. Wherever He wants me to serve and for how long I serve there is truly His will, which is the best thing that could happen to me. We are expecting to have to let go of the second ward we were assigned to. I love the people there! It has been a blessing and a privilege to work with some of the less active families in the ward. One young man, Clay, has really made an impression on me. He has some really rough struggles that keep him from coming to church. We want so badly for him to come, but despite the feelings he has about God and about the scriptures and about prayer, he has a hard time turning his faith into action. It is so important for us to act on our faith and promptings we receive from the Holy Ghost! His Mom and Dad are wonderful. Mary, his Mom, works at the local Fred Meyer (grocery/clothes store) and we love visiting her there. His dad, Vince, is a crack up. He has a full on beard and hair down to the middle of his back. They are moving to California soon, and we are sad to see them go. But I am so happy to have had this chance to meet them. We are teaching a man named Allen, from Lebanon (I think that's a country, right?) This man is awesome! He has a wife and 2 kids, but we haven't me them yet, because they were on vacation. Allen has such a deep desire to learn. He wants to draw closer to God. He has been Greek Orthodox, Catholic, and Baptist. He has so many specific doctrinal questions. Even though I don't have all of the direct answers to his questions it makes me heart so full of joy to be teaching someone who has such a thirst for spiritual knowledge. I know that as I strive to be in tune with the Spirit, the Spirit will touch him and teach him the things he needs to know. With his cool accent, he reminds me of President Uchtdorf a little bit. Also, with all of his questions he reminds me a bit of dad before he joined the church. He really wanted to make sure it was true before he committed to anything, just like Allen does. I want so much for him to receive that witness. Oh, and a funny story about him. The other day Sis Margaritis and I were driving down the street and we saw a man walking his dog. I said, "That dog looks familiar. I wonder if we have met that man before." It turned out to be Allen! We turned the car around, jumped out, and talked to him for a few minutes. It was just one of those small, humorous blessings the Lord gives to us.
This week I also went on my first exchange! I was paired with Sister VanTenderen, who is companions with Sister Alder, my companion from the MTC! It was exciting to see her again! It was a really good experience. Sister VanT is really comfortable as a missionary. She has been out for 11 months. It was good for me to see that missionary work doesn't have to be so stressful in the way of talking to people who are not interested. Each week, I see myself become a little bit more accustomed to being a missionary. There have been moments where I just felt such a peace and contentment with my calling. I love that about the gospel. The Lord blesses us with peace, such a merciful gift, as we exercise faith in Him.
My time is up for this week. I love you all, SO SO SO SO much! Remind me to tell you about Cowboy Doy when I get home in about 16 months. You just have to hear the story in person. Have a great week!
Sister Mecate

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