Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 26, 2013

My dear Family,
Another week has passed, and I am coming up on my 3 month mark. Crazy! Sister Margaritis and I are being so blessed here in Maple Valley. We have 6 or 7 solid investigators. It is amazing to see how the work has changed just from when I got here. We had no investigators to begin with! The many blessings we have received inspire me to want to be a better missionary. Heavenly father is allowing me the privilege of teaching these people, and I do so many things wrong. The only way missionary work can progress at all is if it is turned over to His hands. That is all we can do in life to find peace and happiness, do our best and trust in the Lord that He will provide what we seem to be unable to produce on our own.
We were able to teach Karen this week. She is so busy that her appointments are usually 2 weeks apart. She is one of the most inspired and inspiring people I have ever met. She grew up Catholic but is now working at a Presbyterian church. (I'm not sure how much I told you about her before). Her beliefs about life and about God are a melting pot of what she has learned in both churches and what she has personally come up with herself by studying the works of people like C.S. Lewis. The Spirit truly guides her and has molded her into a truly Christ-like individual. In this last visit we planned to teach her the 2nd half of the Plan of Salvation (from the Spirit world to the degrees of glory) and through her own inspired thinking she began asking us what happens to each of us from different faiths after we die. I was truly touched by her sensitivity to the Spirit and her pure desires to learn more about God. I love Karen, I just love her! One of my favorite things so far has been being able to sit and discuss with her true doctrines, doctrines that can bring us happiness and peace as we exercise our faith and believe that they are true.
Yesterday in church our lesson was based on a talk by Elder Holland from the last conference, "Lord, I Believe." Sister Atwood talked about how the Lord does not ask us to focus on HOW much faith we have but to focus on claiming the faith that we do have. It's not really about striving to "gain more faith" in hard times. It's about exercising the faith that we have already gained. Gaining more faith will follow naturally as we rely on what we already have. This concept is phenomenal! As humans trying to "gain faith" is not an easy task, but reflecting on our lives and realizing what the Lord has already blessed us with is strengthening and encouraging. He loves us, and He will not leave us. Each day we need faith, sometimes for something as small as not losing our temper or smiling at someone when we haven't had the best day. If we are constantly trying to remember what our Savior did for us and what that actually means, the limits on what we can do and who we can become start to  disappear. This lesson is a hard one fro me to learn. Each day I start over in trying to gain this mindset, but each day I am little stronger knowing I made it through the last one with the Lord's help!
Last Tuesday we had a wonderful district meeting. I can't even remember exactly what we talked about. I think it was about listening and baring testimony. But the best part was the end. Our district leader's companion, Elder Brown, performed a solo for our closing hymn. He sang the first verse of Choose the Right and then everyone was supposed to join in on the last 2 verses. I was in the back playing the piano, so I was able to watch and play from the back of the room. Elder Brown sang a wonderful solo, not exactly hitting all the notes, but singing from his heart. At the beginning of the second verse, Elder Voraceck jumped up and started singing with him at the front, while everyone else started singing too. One by one they all stood up and sang as a district while I played in the back. I was trying not to be distracted as I played, but I wanted to watch them. It just filled my heart will admiration at Elder Voraceck's humble love. He is one of the most outstanding, kind , and considerate people I have ever met. Each elder (and my companion) is wonderful and I am so grateful for our district and for the opportunity that we have to gather each week and to learn and strengthen each other. God is helping us all in this great work. Being a missionary is a great privilege that I cannot believe I have! I never really thought I would be on a mission, but it is so wonderful!
Each of us is blessed to be here on this earth. There are so many wonderful opportunities in store for us. Gather as friends, as family, and as members of the Church. As we look fro ways to strengthen each other, we are strengthened in the process. I love you all and miss you!
Sister Mecate
P.S.-We get to go see Mt. Rainier today with Sister Walton today!

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