Friday, January 10, 2014

January 7, 2014

Dear Family,
First, I must tell you of my complete excitement at NOT being transferred. Wahoo! I love both of these wards so much and I love being with Sister Kirschner, so my heart is full of gratitude to the Lord and to President Eaton for allowing me to stay another transfer. I will be in Maple Valley for at least half of my mission! What a wonderful place! SO many amazing things are happening here. I'm not sure yet all the things I want to tell you!
On Monday we had a church tour with Anthony. It was great. He got there about an hour late, but he came! The whole church tour was fine, but at the end it was the best. We talked about the Restoration as we looked at a picture of Joseph Smith and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. Brother Summerhays bore a powerful testimony of the restoration. I think it was a powerful moment for Anthony. But then we went into the chapel and it was even more powerful. The Spirit was there. We all walked in and sat in the pews for a few minutes and Sister Kirschner and I talked about later how we felt a little awkward at the silence, but Anthony was really feeling the Spirit. We talked about church and the sacrament, and then asked if he had any questions. He responded, "I'm just enjoying sitting in the silence." It was apparent that he could tell the difference with the strong Spirit that was in that room. It was so peaceful, like the temple, where you don't want to have to leave to go back out into the busy world. It was even better, because Anthony is a tall black guy that wears basketball shorts and a ball cap and he really likes to talk. He is so awesome!  We could see how his demeanor changed in the chapel. I love seeing how the gospel, and the Spirit, touch people of all different kinds of personalities.
Sister Kirschner and I have really been experiencing blessings as we follow promptings.
Yesterday we had the choice of tracting down a street with lots of cars or one with only a few cars. I really felt like we should go down the one with fewer cars, even though that would mean less people likely to answer the door. We ended up finding a man who said he would read a part of the Book of Mormon and would pray and ask God that night if it were true! It was a tender mercy to us, and to him, even if he doesn't quite know it yet. Then we found Larry when we went looking for someone else named Dustin. Sister Kirschner felt like we should start at a certain house and Larry ended up walking out. We had a long conversation with him about religion. He loves the Mormons he said! He is a very active Catholic, though. We ended up leaving him with a Book of Mormon and explaining how it contains a fulness of the doctrine of Jesus Christ and how the Bible even talks about the Stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph coming together. He seemed pretty interested in looking at it and he also said he might come on a church tour. He said his son plays baseball, too. Sister Kirschner talked about playing softball and I talked about how Dad was Catholic, played baseball, went to BYU, and then read the Book of Mormon and converted! Larry is a really neat and honest guy. We are definitely going back. Later that night we were in a neighborhood around 7:30 to visit someone and we ended up knocking on a former investigator's door instead and meeting Linda, who at first didn't want to talk, but then opened up and said she could really use some peace in her life right now. When we prayed with her, she said she got goosebumps, and we explained that the Holy Spirit can sometimes communicate with us like that, and through feelings of peace. We are going back on Friday. We have just seen some wonderful things happen as we follow specific promptings of the Spirit.
On Sunday our lesson in Gospel Principles was on the family. I felt a great gratitude throughout that lesson for both of my parents who raised their family on a strong gospel foundation. I have such wonderful amazing parents, and I couldn't have asked for a greater gift from them than the gospel! You have both developed strong testimonies and conviction from your faith and diligence in following the Savior. The faith you have both exercised will bless generations to come with the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love that the Church gives us guides and teachings from Jesus Christ on which we can build our foundation so "that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock (Our Redeemer) upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." The gospel is great! And with Jesus Christ we will never fall. If it's in the scriptures, it's from God, and if it's from God, it's true!
I'm about out of time. I love you all! Have a great week! Remember, you're New Year's resolutions will be a lot more successful if you involve your Savior. He's so willing to help!
Sister Mecate

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