Monday, October 17, 2016
I promise one day I will get caught up. I'm a month behind on my journal so I hope next transfer I will be able to catch up!
Our weeks have become pretty routine but we are still seeing miracles! (Sorry this kind of a long one, I just have a lot of things to say)
One of them happened on Tuesday! We went to see the J. family and they were all home!! We got to know them better and got to know the game of baseball better as well. They live and breathe baseball and are die hard Giants fans. They know every player and manager, the whole 9 yards. The Giants were having a game that night so they were anxious to watch the game. We ended up being at their house for like 3 hours...we were able to share a message about knowing that Christ will always be with us even when we feel lost. But the greatest thing we learned is that according to the J’s, if Jesus played a sport, it would be baseball! Haha they even convinced me to watch baseball when I get home!
Wednesday was Zone meeting where we focused on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The zone leaders also introduced some new guidelines set in by President Marston. One of them is companion only pday. This means we aren't allowed to go to the stake center to meet up with other missionaries on the third Monday of each month. We are to stay in our assigned proselyting areas as much as possible. We are also only to have district lunch and Zone lunch once a month. All these new rules are to help us save on miles. We are getting lots of new missionaries in the coming months and new car areas will need to be opened, so in order to get new cars, less miles need to be driven. It's pretty hard for us to stay down on miles because we go up to Foresthill, but we know these things are inspired and won't hinder our missionary work as we are obedient.
The rest of the meeting we focused on the miracle of the Restoration. We talked about 10 truths that were revealed in the first vision
1. God knows us by name-We have a Heavenly Father who loves us and always will.
2. God has a His own body and so does Christ- We are made in His image.
3. Satan is real and has real power.
4. God is better-The light of Christ will always overcome darkness.
5. God is constant-using the same wording "This is my beloved Son, hear Him."
6. God & Jesus Christ are two separate people.
7. God answers prayers.
8. No church on the earth had the fullness of the gospel-The Priesthood (authority to act in God’s name)
9. Joseph Smith - He was a prophet-through him the church was restored.
10. God still speaks to His children-modern revelation "If the Restoration did anything is shattered the age-old-myth that God has stopped speaking to His children." -Russell M. Nelson
I know that all of these are true! That God loves us so much that He restored His gospel back onto the earth, the same Gospel that Christ taught when He was on the earth. I know the Priesthood is real, it is the power and authority to act in God’s name. I have been the recipient of countless blessings and even miracles because of this authority.
They then had each companionship go into a room and record ourselves reciting the first vision. Boy was that powerful to hear yourself speak such a beautiful truth. They had a few missionaries share their recordings and their testimonies. The spirit was so strong. They invited us to go home and recorded ourselves again and this time bear our testimony after. I haven't had time yet, but I will send it soon so y'all can hear it.
After the meeting, Brother H., the stake high councilor over missionary work, came to speak to us. We talked about the importance of our ward and branch mission leaders. They are so important to the success of the work in an area! I've had AMAZING Ward missionary leaders (Shout out to Brother M. up in Redding 5th-best WML EVER!) and some not so good. And I can really see that when we are involved with the WML the work is dramatically better! So grateful for the leaders who sacrifice their time to help us and more importantly, help the Lord.
That night we had a lesson with J.! We started teaching the Plan of Salvation, we even made visuals for him to help him understand. He's quite shy and doesn't always openly ask questions, we have to be specific with him. The Plan of Salvation can easily become complicated, so we taught simply and made sure he understood. Asking questions is sooo important, because if we didn't we wouldn't have known that a lot of it didn't make sense to him. We and his parents were really able to help him understand what we could, but much of the plan is unseen or unknown yet. We don't remember living with God, but we know from scriptures and experiences that we did. So many things we have to take on faith. We invited him to pray about the Plan of Salvation and how it applies to him personally. Many times we see this whole big plan and can easily loose ourselves in it. Keep the eternal perspective, but focus in on the now! And then live it!!
Friday we had interviews with President Marston. He usually runs about 2 hours behind so we spent most our day at the church, good thing it was weekly planning day so we weren't bored!!
I am so grateful for Presidents care and inspiration. He loves each missionary individually. We talked about training, the area and a little bit of my future. For this round of interviews he asked each missionary to study an assigned chapter(s) of the Book of Mormon. Well I was assigned Jacob 5. At first I was hesitant and the task seemed daunting, but as I read and prayed for guidance I gained a better understanding of the allegory of the olive tree and a great perspective of His Plan. President Marston received a new copy of the Book of Mormon and as he interviewed each missionary, he highlighted verses we picked out and wrote our names in his book. I chose verses 71-72
71 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.
72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.
I love these verses because they teach us about diligence and how the Lord works with us. But also, that we must keep the commandments. Something that I continually wanting to improve is my diligence. I believe it is a strength of mine, but I can always improve there and these verses definitely helped me with that.
On Saturday we went on exchanges with Alta Sierra. Sister Dee stayed in Auburn, while I went with Sister De Leon & former comp, Sister Taylor. We had a blast!! We tracked in the rain, contacted less actives and visited a wonderful active lady in the evening.
Sunday was interesting. Before dinner we decided we would make some visits on the same street of our dinner. We ended up helping J., her mom is having surgery this week and was she was so grateful we drove up and offered service!
I know without a sliver of a doubt, that the message we share is true. That God loves us so much He restored His church back on the earth. We are His children and we are created in His image. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for every single one of us so we don't have to go through our sorrows and heart aches alone and that we can be forgiven of our sins. Christ was resurrected; He made it possible for all of us to one day live again, with perfect, healthy bodies. Not only that, we can be with our families forever.
How grateful I am for this gospel and I am even more grateful that for 18 months I have the privilege to wear my Saviors name, to represent Him and bring others closer to Him. I love my Savior and my God!
Be kind and follow Christ!
Sister Emily Gore