This week was fun. Monday night we had dinner and then a family home evening with Judy and the Diamonds. It was really cool. We taught about eternal marriage, temples and family history. It was really cool to be able to tell Judy that the gospel really does bless families and be able to explain and show her the results of our family and our extended family, too. It made me excited to see you all soon!
Tuesday morning I threw up and had to stay in the flat all day. I threw up after taking some maca powder and yellow dock (herbs to build iron), so I haven't taken it since. But, I got to rest and study about enduring to the end to prepare my training for district meeting. It was fun. I learned a lot. One of my favourite quotes comes from the Donaldson papers (I googled it - some training for the Nevada Las Vegas West mission). "What does the word 'endure mean? It means we white-knuckle it, 'I'm going to endure this', right? Wrong. The Hebrew words means to 'make everlasting and omnipotent'- to make you like God. Its a sanctifying process. Enduring to the end is one of the most sanctifying and exalting doctrines we have, and we think it's just 'hanging in there' "
Another quote from Stay by the Tree (Elder Kevin W Pearson of the Seventy, April 2015 Conference), "Enduring to the end is a hallmark of true discipleship and is essential for eternal life. But when trials and challenges come our way, we are often told to simply 'hang in there.' Let me be clear: to 'hang in there' is not a principle of the gospel. Enduring to the end means constantly coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him."
The Book of Mormon teaches the doctrine of enduring to the end so well. it really strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon.
It was a week of getting postponed..... but it was also a week of learning. Our investigator Michael was not home and not answering his phone. We are a bit worried about him.
It was also a week of following the Spirit. One night we went to an area not far from our flat and something didn't feel right so we moved on to the next stop by and it got even worse. This time someone answered the door, the twin sister of a less active. We had a great chat with her and found out that the neighborhood we had been working in, in the dark, wasn't the safest, so we know not to work there in the dark now. Oh, the blessings of the Spirit.
We also jumped on the bus one day and the Spirit just sat me down next to a lady and ended up having a lesson. Now most of the time here, I strongly believe that the hearts of the people here are very hard and it takes a lot for them to be ready to hear the gospel... so we do a lot of seed planting as we go. But, as we were talking, I ended up teaching about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. Then, I came to find out that her husband had passed away just 6 months ago. She mentioned how she had planned to walk down to the train station that morning and told me about what happened that made her take the bus, instead. I don't think it was by chance. That was really cool.
I know our job is to baptize and we try to help everyone we can make it there, but it makes me so happy that Heavenly Father trusts us to help those that aren't quite ready for the full message and we are able to plant seeds now that other missionaries will be able to harvest. As I keep working in the area, the words of a blessing I got on Thanksgiving keep coming back into my mind. It talked about how I would do a lot of good here in this area but that I would not see the results of it. Its kind of depressing but it helps me keep an eternal perspective. I am so thankful for it!!
I had a cool experience yesterday during the sacrament. I don't want to go too much into detail. but what stood out were the words 'always remember Him... have His spirit to be with them.' I am going to try to remember Him so much more. I took a look at the notes I took from Elder Holland and it was a great study. On a side note, I am so thankful for trials that I have gone through so that I could help a friend who is dealing with something similar. Ever since I had the blessing where it promised that I could see the hand of the Lord in my life more, I have, and I never want to go a day without looking for His hand. He really loves us and cares!!
My health is on the way up. I have less than two months left... yes, I know, Mom. I am reminded each day that I need to continue to do my best!
Just know I love you and am so grateful for the chance to be a missionary now and to become more.
Sister Ashley MacKay