Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Dear family,
I have been so humbled this week, and I cannot begin to express how blessed I feel. I must firstly say how absolutely amazing conference was. How blessed we are to have a prophet, Thomas S. Monson, on the earth today. Sometimes I wonder if missionary work is supposed to build me up and make me stronger in the Lord or tear me down and make me doubt. Satan works hard on missionaries. But don't worry-of course it always ends good, right? ;)

This week we had our last official visit with Karen. She explained to us how so much of our doctrine she cannot believe in. She cannot believe in and accept the same Savior Jesus Christ that we do. We listened to her talk for probably a solid 20 minutes, going through doctrine after doctrine and discrediting it. I don't mean to say she was mean or anything. Karen is so kind and friendly. It was just a very open and frank discussion between all of us. And although I do have a testimony of this Church and of the restored gospel, it can be painful to hear someone who is kind and Christ-like, and who you have come to respect and care about, tear apart the very foundations of what you believe in. Heavenly Father sent me to this mission for a reason, and the longer I serve hear, the more I suspect that what I need to make me stronger is to confront human reasoning in the face and throw it out the window. My faith is getting a great 18 month work out! Although I had a peaceful feeling after we left Karen, it still haunts me to think about not being able to help her understand, and wondering why that is. If this is the one and only true church as we claim that it is, shouldn't this be just a little bit easier? On the contrary! I think that is part of the testimony that it really is the one and only true church. Satan will do anything and everything to keep people from it. During the 3rd session of Conference, I received thoughts and feelings that were balm to my troubled heart. It was during Elder Scott's talk that I began writing a quick note about covenants. I honestly can't really remember what his whole talk was about, because as I began writing, more thoughts came to me about why covenants are so important in our church and how this is a testimony to me of the truthfulness of this gospel. I would not want to worship and follow the Lord any other way than through keeping the sacred covenants I have made at baptism and in the temple. I believe in a God who holds true to covenants, and who expects us to become as He is through keeping our covenants and trusting in him. I know through so many testimony building spiritual experiences that this is Christ's true church restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. And although my witness may not be as powerful as I would like, there are 15 special witnesses of Jesus Christ on the earth today who bear witness of the testimony that Jesus Christ lives, that He loves every single one of us, and that His Church has been restored and all are invited to join and gain peace and eternal happiness from it.
There is one tender mercy that I would like to share with you from this week. We had 30 extra minutes to use up before we took our dinner break one day. We weren't sure where we should go, so we were driving down a street and Sister Margaritis just decided to drive to a family's house just for the heck of it. As we were driving, we saw a young man sitting on the side of the road on his skateboard. He looked sad and lonely. When we drove past again we felt like we should stop and talk to him, after some hesitation. We parked, got out of the car, and walked towards him. we weren't sure what to say so Sister Margaritis asked if he knew where a certain street was. he told us he wasn't from the area. Then I awkwardly asked what kind of skate board he had to keep the conversation going. (I don't know anything about skateboards). We ended up having a decent conversation with him about prayer and watching general conference. Then we kept walking down the street. We quickly realized we should have prayed with him. Something was telling us he needed it. Again we walked past him and awkwardly asked if we could say a prayer with him and he agreed. We asked if there was anything we could pray about for him. He looked kind of hesitant and asked "What do people usually say?" We told him anything that is important to you is important to Heavenly Father. People tell us all kinds of random things. He finally opened up and said we could pray that things would be better with him and his girlfriend, that they were having a rough time. We went ahead and said a prayer and said goodbye and told him things would get better. As we walked away, we felt that we undoubtedly were meant to be in that area at that time, talking to that young man. There is hardly a better feeling than knowing that you were where the Lord wanted you to be and you were able to help some
one. Seeing the way his demeanor changed touched me. I was so grateful that the Lord granted us that tender mercy, and that we could see how we were instruments in His hands.
Today is Sister Margaritis's birthday! It's going to be a great day! I have loved being her companion. Transfers are coming up in a week and I hope we can be together for at least one more transfer. I think we are at the point where we could have great progress together in the work! We are teaching together better and building some great relationships in this area. This week as we really strived to talk with everyone we saw, we received the blessings from it in being able to teach many lessons.
I love this gospel. I really do. I love being a missionary. I am surrounded by so many spiritual giants. The Washington Federal Way missionaries are wonderful! And we had interviews this week and I am always inspired by President and Sister Eaton.
Thank you for the emails this week. I will try to respond as much as I can, but know that I did read them! I love you all! Have a blessed week. And as President Uchtdorf talked about, sometimes it's ok to have doubts. But take them to the Lord and rely on the things you already know. He will strengthen you. "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."
So much love to all of you,
Sister Mecate

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