Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3, 2013

Dear family,
I love you! Oh, how my mind draws a blank when I sit down at the computer to write you. It's been a blessed week. We found two more people to teach.
We found Amy in a very unexpected way. It was 11 o'clock on a Saturday morning. We had planned to visit the Miller's, an inactive family in the ward, but they had asked that we call to set up a time because their schedules are so odd. So the night before in our planning we changed the plans to another address. When we entered the new address in our GPS, it didn't show up, so we picked one that popped up and it wasn't in our area. Then Sister Margarits picked the third address down that had popped up on the GPS, just to try it, because we didn't know where else to go. We arrived at the address and the people were outside, about to get in their car and leave, so we thought we would come back later. What was interesting is that the random address that we got from the GPS just happened to be in the same area that the Miller's lived. I had a thought in the back of my head that the Lord wanted us in that area for a reason. I asked Sister Margaritis is she had recently tracted the area and she said she had on one street but not on another, so we tracted that street. I was praying that Heavenly Father would help us find who needed to be found in that area if we were supposed to be there. The 2nd or 3rd door we knocked on a nice lady with a cute puppy answered the door. We had a discussion with her about her puppy and then about her church. She said she belongs to a Christian church but she is not very active. Sister Margaritis talked about how we have a living prophet on the earth today, and she was interested in that. Then I shared a scripture with her from the Book of Mormon, Helaman 5:8, about laying up a "treasure in heaven..which is eternal," and how we can do that by praying, reading scriptures, and cherishing our families. She really liked that and eagerly agreed to let us come back next Saturday and teach her more about our Church. What a kind and open heart she has! She gratefully thanked us for the book as we were walking away. The Lord helped us to find her that day. He made sure we were in the right place at the right time and that we said the right things. During our training that morning we had watched a video that talked about having a living prophet on the earth and Sister Margaritis remembered that and talked about it with Amy. The Lord set everything up so that we could find her and help her accept the message of the Restored Gospel. How often in life does the Lord provide opportunities for us and we are oblivious to it? I know there must be countless times where Heavenly Father has guided me to do something or to run into someone and I didn't even think to realize all that He did to set it up. It's amazing how He blesses us each and every day. I hope to be able to more easily recognize the hand of the Lord in my life, because He is always there to guide us and protect us, even when we don't realize it.
I just want to bare my testimony of the Sacrament. Each Sunday I am so grateful for the sacrament and the opportunity that I have to start over each week. This week I was especially overwhelmed with gratitude for my Savior. I was having a rough Sunday morning. I don't really remember why, but I do remember I was just in a grumpy mood and I was really getting down on myself. In my studies that morning I opened up to Alma 36 in the Book of Mormon, where Alma the younger is talking about his conversion story. As I read about this experience my heart was opened to the healing power of the Atonement. The hope and light of Jesus Christ allows us to forget all negativity and find a pure joy and happiness that comes only from Him. Here are the words of Alma as he describes his experience with the love of Christ.
"And it came to pass that as I was thus wracked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
Now as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy one me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain."
I LOVE this passage. Each of us can have this same experience each day if we just come unto Christ and repent. When I read this, I realized the joy of repentance and my heart was made light. I no longer felt the need to be upset at the thought of my own weaknesses. As missionaries, we have been called to invite people to repent. Repentance brings joy! Accepting Jesus Christ fully as our Savior brings unexpressible joy. I am so grateful for the Atonement, and this experience has helped me to have a greater conviction and desire to share the gift of repentance with others, as intimidating as it seems to me. During the sacrament each week we can be made totally new and clean, and we can be HAPPY!
The longer I spend with Sister Margaritis as my companion, the more I grow to love her. We survived another transfer and we get to be together for another 6 weeks! Yay! We have committed to each other and to the Lord that we are going to be more obedient, more diligent, and more committed to our callings. I feel very blessed to stay here in Maple Valley and to work with Sister Margaritis.
Mt. Rainier was amazing. Sister Walton and Sister Hurley took us. I love them both! It was a great day, but it was long, and it was a strange feeling to be on a mini vacation and then to come home and jump right back into work. I am grateful that we are kept busy on our missions. I will send pictures next week, because I am running out of time as usual.
Here are all of the people we are teaching: Karen, Nancy, Alyssa, Pauline and her Mom Sandra, Jim and Laura, Steve, and Amy. Pauline and Sandra came to Church this past Sunday! It was very exciting. They are both lovely. They both have a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. The lesson we had with them went so well, also, with Sister Santa Cruz there as fellowship. Neither one has agreed yet to be baptized, but as they search for the truth in their hearts I know they will be able to find it.
I love this gospel. I love Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for my many blessings, including all of you-especially all of you! Have a wonderful week. I love you!
Sister Mecate

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