Hola mis queridos,
¿Cómo le va? Miss you! Every one of ya (most likely).
This week was great. Lots of….scheduling for the future. I feel like all I’m doing is planning. Trying to figure out the wedding date and then mission meetings and then all of church and working with other people’s schedules.
Man–there is a lot to plan for. A lot to make time for.
I don’t know what kind of luck Sister Fansler has with her, but we get fed all the time now. Our dinner calendar is FULL. It’s been neat to get to know the active members better–it’s helping me get a different/better feel for the ward and see what I can do to help it grow and be stronger. I have been LOVING the recent push for keeping the sabbath day holy. I love what….I forget who said it….but: “tell me what you do on the sabbath and I’ll tell you who your God is.” Something like that. Sundays on my mission seem to be the most exhausting days. We are at meetings all day and I’m stressing at who is coming and trying to get them to stay for all three hours. Translating sometimes leaves my brain fried (I don’t know why…). And then out seeing people and coming home exhausted as ever. Ha! But as I think about the sabbath day, and my personal devotion to it in my life, my mind is brought to those times when Dad would take us to the park and let us run around and play. How in middle school and high school I would miss my friends or the freedom of the television or the sports field–compelled to be obedient for fear of disappointing my parents and knowing in my brain that I wasn’t supposed to do those things, but my heart missing the point entirely. In college it seemed like, finally, I had the time I needed to take a nap and recover from my fun and full week of studying late and hiking mountains and visiting the creamery. And then in Israel it was a time for me to talk with my friends–a time to visit and to reflect and soak it in. And then, back at school it was a time to serve and to think and to honor. Finally to really serve God and send Him a sign.
I am having déjà vu (is that how you spell that..?) writing this. I believe I’ve written about this before….?
And now on my mission, I am exhausted. It is not a day of rest. It is a FULL day of, well, service. I won’t lie–I sometimes miss those naps or casual conversations or time to reflect on the Sabbath. But, now of all times is when I want to show Heavenly Father a very specific and true and good and positive sign–that I do love Him and want to serve Him. I want to see Him, and be with Him.
We had some great lessons this week. One in particular comes to mind–with Joanne. Yes, she’s still on the radar. We visited with her yesterday and she had EATEN up Alma 40-42–what we had given her last time to help her understand the Plan of Salvation. She read it five times or so and right when we came in we skipped the usual small talk and she said, “Alright, I have a lot of things that I need you to straighten out for me.” BUCKLE UP. She had her study notebook cracked open and was telling us the question and the verse and her understanding thus far. She had really been feasting. Feasting on the words of Christ. And when anyone feasts on the words of Christ, you know what happens? They tell you in the scriptures that you can speak with the tongue of angels and that the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. But what they don’t tell you is that YOU GET MORE HUNGRY. The milk and honey is without money and without price and WITHOUT END because we are and become more hungry for it as we sit down and feast. I saw that in Joanne. And little by little, the gospel is going from her head to her heart. We had a wonderful discussion about the resurrection, about life after death and eternal families. About hope and the atonement–about mercy and repentance and forgiveness.
I love the Plan of Salvation.
I love the Book of Mormon. It is the best tool we have as missionaries and members–it is everything! We’ve really been focusing on the Book of Mormon is every lesson we have, with every door we knock and testimony we give. The Book of Mormon. This is IT–it all rides on that book. And I know it is true. And we have seen such miracles because of it. Joanne is just one of them. Jessica and Oscar and Cristina are learning line upon line as they read and grow and just become more familiar with true doctrine. They are coming to know their Savior–to know who they were before and who they will be with His touch. I love that book. It teaches me about Christ. One lesson this week began with a declaration of imminent suicide, and ended with “I’ll be at church tomorrow and I’ll read 1 Nephi tonight.” Self-assigned! The Book of Mormon changes lives and shapes eternity, and only because it teaches and testifies of Jesus Christ. The True and Living God.
I so love Him.
It hit me, again, this week–this is what it is all about. This is life eternal–to KNOW God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. This really is it. To know God. To know Christ. We are better when we know them. We are happier and fuller, and life is richer and deeper and colorful and glorious.
We went to the Vanderbilt and the FDR museums today–so so cool!!! I wish we had more time at the FDR museum. I really do. If anyone ever goes to the Hudson Valley–check it out. I love FDR. I love his First Lady, Eleanor.
Have a great week! Today marks a year from when I stepped foot off the plane from Mexico and into New York and then into the Bronx. Where I had my first lesson–I still remember it.
And here we are.