Monday, November 24, 2014

I am a Missionary for my Friend, Jesus Christ in the Colorado Fort Collins Mission

When I received my mission call

Well, this is it. I will be released as a missionary tomorrow. I will no longer be a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ distinguished by a black name tag. This name tag has held so much meaning to me throughout my entire time as a missionary. I know that I will have the opportunity to further the Lord's work just in a different way. As a member missionary!

My first day in the Denver Colorado Mission
My last weeks in the Fort Collins Colorado Mission

This week was SO GOOD! I could not have asked for a better last week as a full-time missionary!
Monday: We met with a somewhat less-active family and taught them the doctrine of Christ! It was so fun and great! They have a daughter who is 7 and her dad asked her why we get baptized. It was so cool to see her answer and struggle with the question but then understand it at the end! Then they invited us over to dinner for Wednesday, SWEET!! We also got to see L, a recent convert and answer questions she has found while reading the Book of Mormon, so that was great! We also got to meet with another less-active who recently was divorced. I know that the gospel will help us, especially in times of need. It is so hard to see people struggling and yet they don't realize that it would be easier to handle if they just turned to our Heavenly Father!

Tuesday: WE GOT 2 NEW INVESTIGATORS!!! Ok, this was a MIRACLE!! We received a referral from a member a couple weeks ago and we were able to set up an appointment with C and A for Tuesday night! It was one of the best first lessons I have had with someone in awhile time! So we show up and C (the mom) lets us in right away! Then we meet the dad, and the brother, and A (who is 10 years old). They were so polite and just very courteous, it was AWESOME!!! And they had a Christmas tree already up (which was like icing on the cake for me, I love Christmas, and Christmas trees)! The brother couldn't join us due to homework and the dad stayed briefly until he had to run off to a meeting :( But WOW, Heavenly Father is preparing this family through the youngest person... the 10 year old daughter). She had so many deep questions and was just searching for truth! They have gone to different churches and looked into different religions. They told us how they stepped out of one and the different views they had. A's questions were gearing towards the Plan of Salvation so we taught her that. A started off with, "Ok who is God? Does He live in heaven? Where is heaven?" It was the CUTEST thing, and also she really wanted to know! After we explained it, while answering her questions throughout she said that this was the happiest religion she has heard about yet! YES IT IS!! It just melted my heart! I love how Jesus Christ can hasten this work through children. They said they were going to come to at least Sacrament meeting on Sunday, WWWOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!! We also heart attacked a recent convert for her birthday! She is from Canada and was feeling a little homesick so it was great that we could do that for her! I LOVE her and her husband!

Wednesday: We had an awesome lesson with C (a recent convert). She is FANTASTIC! Oh, it was her birthday the day before :) She teaches me so much when we visit her! Dinner at the D’s was so great! I was able to talk to her about how she joined the church, it was so cool! I love how Heavenly Father really does have a hand in our lives and guides us to the truth multiple times but let's us use our agency! I know that it does bless our lives and that when we are converted (and continue on conversion process) our lives will change!

Thursday: I had the chance to go to the TEMPLE with President and Sister Brown! It was fantastic! I love being able to go to the temple! It really is the House of the Lord! I know that by making and keeping covenants we are able to return home to our Father in Heaven! I know that the Holy Ghost is real and testifies of truth! I was able to feel the Spirit in the temple and I know that it is where we all need to strive to go! We were able to help a lady in our ward make origami flowers for the Windsor building open house that is in a couple of weeks! It was so nice to help her out because she has to make a LOT of them, and it was a fun service project! We got to meet with S that night! I LOVE S! She is such a cute Young Woman! She has struggled a lot in the past and is coming out of it, it's fantastic to see her!

Friday: D... HE IS AWESOME!!! It is a blessing to work with him! He told us that he hasn't gone out to drink in a while and when his friend invites him, D tells his friend that is won't come and is going to spend time with his family, AAAHHHHHHH!!! It's the best! And he later told us that he is lowering the nicotine level in his vaporizer thingy... YES!!!!!! I am so excited for him to one day get baptized! He knows he needs to and he knows this is true! At first he was like people are brainwashed... but we then were able to talk about testimonies and recognizing the Spirit. He told us that he feels the Spirit when we come over. That was SO COOL to hear! I love teaching D and will miss him and his family.
Saturday: We stopped and talked to this sweet lady walking her dog, I love street contacting and will miss it! We had the chance to visit a family whose mother is really sick and can't get to church. The Young Woman daughter and her father played some hymns for us while we sang, it was so sweet! We got to teach V again which was super cool! She is just such a sweet spirit.

Sunday: My last Sunday as a missionary :( I thought it would be hard, and that I would just bawl my eyes out, nope! Heavenly Father helped me out with that one! Instead of being sad He replaced it with such a strong Spirit! I just felt so much joy during sacrament meeting! It was the BEST THING EVER! I know that my mission is about to end, but my life as a disciple of Christ is beginning. I know that taking the sacrament really is a renewal for the soul! The rest of the day went so well! I loved being in mission prep and being an example for the youth! We role played but it was super fun. At the end our Ward Mission Leader asked Elder B to stand up and give a bad example of how we are the message, and give a door approach. He just stared at his feet and shuffled around, looking bummed that he needed to share the gospel. I wouldn't want to listen to him and neither did the youth. Then I got to stand up and show them how smiling and being excited really makes a difference. As we stand confidently, we will sound confident and our word choice changes. I got to talk to a Young Man and just say, "Hi, I am Sister Smith. I'm a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves you! There is a plan for you! I know that you can read the Book of Mormon and as you do you will come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. Will you read the Book of Mormon?" He said yes! Even though this was a role play, it felt so good! The Young Men afterward said, "WOAH!" We are the message! As people pass all around us they will be able to tell that we have something different! We have the Holy Ghost! I know we do and as we present ourselves with dignity, having confidence in who we are, miracles will happen! People will want to know why we are so happy and excited! It is because we know that Christ lives and that the church He established while He was on the earth has been restored again!

This week was a fantastic week! I am sad to finish my full-time missionary service, but adventures lie ahead! I just wanted to leave you with my testimony!

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Friend. I know that through Him everything is possible. There have been a couple of occasions on my mission where I have felt completely and utterly alone. I now know that I am never alone. Jesus Christ is always by my side. It is just up to me to recognize that He is always there for me. I have felt of His love wrapped around me. He loves me. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of each and every one of us and wants us to be happy, but to also improve. He really has blessed my life! I know that He knows exactly who I am, and what I am going through. I know that He knows of those that I am around. He loves them. I know that the people I pass on the street are also His children, making them my brothers and sisters. I am grateful for the knowledge I have of my loving Father in Heaven. I know that prayer works. I know that as I pray, I will be able to feel of His love more and understand what He would have me learn step by step. I know that as I pray and then read the Book of Mormon answers are given. Or better yet, I am able to recognize the answers our Father is giving me. I know that the Spirit really works through our thoughts and hearts. The Holy Ghost has brought things to my mind to teach or to say that have helped change lives. I am more sensitive to those thoughts now than I was before. Sometimes I might wonder if it is just a thought, or really from God. As I act on those thoughts, I will know. Every good thing comes from God, just like it states in Moroni 7:13, "But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." I know that the Holy Ghost really can work through us as we are living worthily. I haven't been the most consecrated missionary at times, but when I have, I have felt the presence of the Holy Ghost more in my life. I am so grateful for the opportunity it has been to work on striving to feel the Spirit more. I know that I will still be able to feel the influence of the Spirit once I return home from my mission. The Book of Mormon is real and true. There really is a special spirit and power that comes from the Book of Mormon. This is only possible because it is the word of God. I know that it brings me much comfort and joy as I really study it, and let it change my life. I know that when I am down or even happy and excited, I can turn to this glorious book and feel of the love our Father in Heaven and Savior have for me! I know that it is true based on how I feel when I read it. Not every time is a mind blowing, huge spiritual experience, and that is my fault. You get out what you put in to it. I know that when I study hard, and put my mind to it, with help from on high, my faith will increase! I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that the Plan of Salvation is true. I know that this is a plan of mercy! Heavenly Father has given us multiple chances to return to live with Him, but this time in the Celestial Kingdom. He loves all of us and wants us to return to live with Him. As a father, it must break His heart every time one of us does something that turns us away from Him. Through Christ I know that we will keep having those chances to turn back to our Father and continually reach out to His arms that are always extended. There are many aspects of the Atonement that bless my life. I love the phrasing in Alma 7:11-12. He is there for us much more than just repentance (although that is huge and I am blessed countless times because of it). Christ performed the Atonement for us to always be there for us. He knows what it is like because He has been there before. We can put our burdens on to Him. I am still working on grasping that concept, but I believe that it is true. We will have to work through things and learn as we go through trials, but He is right there with us and for us, rooting us on. It is always easier to take on a burden when you have gone through it before. I realized in a small way how the Atonement works when I was struggling part way through my mission. As I struggled, prayed for charity, leaned on the Lord, fasted and read the Book of Mormon, it all worked out in the end. When I saw someone struggling later on in her mission, I willingly jumped at the chance to be with her again. Knowing that it was hard, I knew I could do it again. I feel like this is like our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He has already taken on the burdens of our lives, and hurts when He sees us struggling. It helps us and Him when we look to Him for support and comfort. I know that He is always there. I take comfort in knowing that our Father is always there, we just need to turn to Him in prayer. This gospel is true. I continue to know it is true as I strive to live it. The Holy Ghost has confirmed to me that this is true many times throughout my life and my mission. The peace I feel confirms to me that this is true and from God. I know that He loves me and you!

I love you all! Thank you for everything! I promise you as a representative of Jesus Christ that peace will come as you seek Him! Come Unto Christ, and be perfected in Him! I know that we can all do this, and as we do, we will be blessed!

Sister Smith

My email will be starting tomorrow.

1 comment:

Dave Pettey said...

That was an amazing epistle! Thanks for sharing your testimony and spirit with all of us who are fortunate to read this!