Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March 24, 2014

Dear Family,
Oh my, it's been an interesting week! First let me just tell you about how excited I am for the changes being made in our stake! No tracting and more member work is so exciting! Both Bishop Pike and Brother Hinton and Bishop Fuller and Brother Nelson are so excited to get us into the members' homes. It's going to be a more pleasant experience all around-not as many doors slammed in our faces and more time spent with the members-love it!
So, on Saturday we had an opportunity to spend some time with a wonderful Samoan family! We saw them outside earlier in the day and talked with them and they invited us back to eat later in the day. They sure know how to BBQ! We spent an hour and a half eating awesome food and trying to talk to as many people about the gospel as we could! It was a great combo. Samoans really seem to like to laugh and cheer and at one point one of the aunts started cheering for having missionaries at the party. They are wonderful people! We quite enjoyed our time there. Also, one of our friends from the laundromat where LaChelle works was there and we were able to talk with her. We haven't seen her in a long time, but she is still looking for a church. We invited her to ours, of course! We hope to teach her soon. What I might have once said was a coincidence I now can promise is evidence of the Lord's hand in our lives. He is so aware of each of His children and He will lead us to where we need to be.
In church yesterday Brother Brady gave an absolute wonderful talk on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and not allowing discouragement to weaken our faith. Satan uses whatever he can to weaken us, discouragement being one of his greatest tools, I think. What stood out to me most in his talk was a poem he shared at the end. It was about a little boy who was running a race. He fell once in the race and felt awful. He saw his dad's face in the crowd, and then got up and kept going. He fell again and the same thing happened. He fell a third time and he really felt like a loser, but then he remembered his dad's face and he wanted to please him so he got up once more. Even though he came in last place, the crowd cheered loudly for him. He met his dad at the end and felt like he had failed him, but his dad taught him that winning didn't mean finishing first. The last line of the poem says "All we have to do to win is rise each time you fall." The same goes for us and our Heavenly Father. He doesn't measure our success by how fast we run or how successful we are by man's standards. He only cares that we get up each time we fall, no matter how many times we do. As we exercise our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ we will have a desire to repent, or to get up each time we fall in the race of life. And at the finish line that's what Heavenly Father will count. We must not become discouraged with our imperfections or with the imperfections of others. As long as our focus is on the Savior, we will be happy. He will help us, and we will see miracles. I want my focus to be on being accepted of the Lord, not by man. Although, I believe that when our focus is on the Lord, people tend to be drawn to that. It kind of reminds me of the story "You are Special." Do you remember what Panchanelo felt at the beginning of the story as he sought to obtain stars from the other wooden people? He was always unhappy and he never felt like he was special. But when he began to care about what Eli the carpenter thought, a new light and appreciation for himself came into his life. He began to understand who he was, and that made all the difference. Do not forget who you are and how much your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you! I must remember this too! And then imagine the joy we will have when we are able to share this knowledge with others. Nothing can compare!
Conference is coming up! It's like a missionary's equivalent to a movie marathon! 10 hours of listening to the words of the prophet, apostles, and church leaders is 10 hours of bliss. I am reminded every day of how blessed we are to have a prophet on the earth who God's mouthpiece to us. If we heed his counsel, President Thomas S. Monson, we will not go astray.
I know Jesus is the Christ and this is His church. And I know that I love my family thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much! Have a wonderful week. And pray about who you can invite to watch conference. Heavenly Father puts us in people's lives for a reason! :)

Sister Mecate

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