Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

Dear Family,
God is good. I remember my dear sweet roommate Mikayla singing those lyrics, and they have been running through my head for the last couple of weeks. I am overwhelmed at the love and joy that God would offer us despite our being so undeserving. (at least for me!) It's funny how being on a mission, my weaknesses have been made more apparent to me than ever before, yet I have found more joy than I have before. Every blessing seems more tender and every trial seems more of a blessing!
This weekend was out Stake Conference. Was it yours too? The Saturday night adult session was amazing. Each person that spoke, spoke from their heart and bore testimony with power. One woman that I especially appreciated talked about how she has to have control in her life to be comfortable. She struggles when she feels she is not in control. She talked about an experience where a storm was raging. The road was blocked by tree branches, her daughter was crying in the car sick (they were on their way to the ER), her son was miles away at school, and her husband was miles away at work. She felt she had no control whatsoever in that moment.She got out of her car, because traffic had stopped and everyone else was getting out and she wanted to know what was going on. She said as she stood there realizing she had no control over what was going on and what might happen to her family, she realized there was one thing she did have control over-her faith and testimony in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes in life we feel a storm is raging, big or small, and we think we have no control over anything. The mission is definitely that way-I hardly have control of things! But even in that moment with dark clouds over head and a blocked road way, she felt peace, because she trusted in her Savior and new that as long as she believed in Him and held true to that knowledge, everything would be ok. This same understanding is beginning to grow within me. As I rely wholly on my Savior, my joy radiates from the inside out, and not the other way around. I still have an eternity of learning ahead of me, as we all do, but we can have the peace of Jesus Christ with us every step of the way.
Surprisingly, we haven't struggled to find people to teach-we have 9 investigators! But we do struggle in helping them understand how important it is to keep their commitments. I feel like Heavenly Father is teaching me step by step. First, I had to get over the fear of "finding" people. Now, I need to get over my fear of being bold. Anyways, there have been some wonderful things happening here. We are teaching an old couple, Jim and Laura. They weren't necessarily "interested," but we had been visiting them and sharing scriptures and decided we just needed to start teaching them the doctrine of our Church. We have had two lessons and they both have been mostly question and answer sessions. Jim is curious about what happens after we die. He believes our bodies will just become resurrected again, but that our spirits won't be "floating around" somewhere in the in between time. I'm not sue where he thinks we go. He had questions about why we do temple work for those who have passed on. He exclaimed,"We can't even escape you Mormons when we are dead!" And I said,"Ya, because it's true, Jim!" He just laughed. He can be pretty skeptical, but he has a soft heart.
We had a lesson with Nancy this week, too. We just kind of did a recap of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and why it is so important for her to gain her own testimony of it. I re-invited her to be baptized, explaining that if she worked towards the goal of baptism, God would be able to speak more clearly to her (kind of like when I was deciding to go on a mission and I had to take action before I got an answer). She agreed with that part, but then we tried to commit her to a date and she felt that was too much pressure. Anyways, the moral of the story is, Nancy is a wonderful person and I am so grateful that we get to teach her. She is such a good mom and she has a lot of faith in her Savior Jesus Christ. Our lessons with her are always enjoyable.
I don't remember if I told you about our friend John. He lives in our apartment complex and we see him walking his dog, Bandit, outside often. He served in Iraq for a year, and we found out from one of his friends that he is struggling from that experience. I don't know how to describe John except that he is just a good guy. He is maybe 45 and he lives alone with Bandit. I think he is trying to recover from his experience at war. Sister Margaritis met him before I got here and he "wasn't interested" in the gospel at the time. I have been wanting to teach him since I got here. He just needs hope in his life! We prayed a few weeks ago that John would start asking us questions about the gospel. And the other day...he did! Well he actually just started asking us questions about our missions and why we decided to come on a mission. It would have been a good opportunity to give him an article I had been carrying around for weeks, wanting to give it to him. But I chickened out. But then the next day I gave it to him, but before I did I made him promise that he would read it. It's the one called "The Hope of God's Light" by President Uchtdorf. I just hope and pray that it will touch his heart and that he will want to come to know the love of His Savior Jesus Christ. It is that love and peace that brings us the greatest joy in life.

I love you all. I hope school is going well for everyone. Remember how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you. Have a wonderful week!
Sister Mecate

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