Monday, March 31, 2014

2/3/2014 Where's your Baby?

Hi Family!

First off: mom, how was your cruise? Dad, how is your work?
Jeremy how's lacrosse? Hannah, thanks for keeping me updated and let me know how your auditions go.
Paul, build anything cool lately?
Tom, what have you been writing, or playing or creating lately?
Will! I love you! how's school?
Here comes the monologue:

This week was really amazing.

This girl we have been teaching who brought herself and her mom to church made the decision on Saturday to be baptized next Saturday. Every lesson that we have with her is one of the coolest lessons of my life. The spirit is so strong. I can just feel that she is going to do so many great and important things in this life for herself for her family and for so many others. 
And we have been teaching her with the young women's president of our ward. She went through basically the same thing as Margarida and her mom Ligia who is returning to the church. When she was baptized, she had so many questions and doubts, nervousness of not being supported by her family, but even so, she knew that she had gotten an answer that first night that she prayed. So she to confirm her answer and the need to really be baptized she opened up her Book of Mormon expecting an answer and what she read was that she needed to go to church and be baptized. so, having not yet read the whole Book of Mormon, decided she needed to see if that was really an answer or just a coincidence and read the chapter headings of the chapters near there (which was the end of 2 Nephi, so clearly they talked about baptism). so then she didn't go to church. and she felt horrible about it. so when the elders called later that night, she just burst into tears and explained everything that happened and he told her that she hadn't read it, but he had and he could assure her that the whole book wasn't that way. that it talked about lots of other things. so she took that and tried again. put God to the test, trusting that He would answer her prayer. she opened the book again several more times and she never again in that experiment came across baptism or church, just like she asked of God. Child-like faith is what we need.
So then at the end of the lesson. Margarida was still feeling nervous, mostly because she didn't feel like she had the support of her mom. I was at a loss of what to do. so I prayed in my heart and asked God to show us what to do and say to help her continue to progress. and Maria José (the member) asked her mom, ligia, how she was feeling about baptism. and she answered that just before they had come in she had opened up the Book of Mormon and found her answer. that nothing that is good denies Christ and that baptism is the right answer for her daughter. So. Margarida is getting baptized on Saturday! and the best part was. God answers prayers. mine, margarida's. Maria José's yearly goal to bring more young women into the church. Ligia´s desire to know if God loves her. and Margarida's desire to be supported by her mother. God answered my prayer by giving Ligia the answer before she got there and by giving maria josé the inspired question in the right moment. 

Adelino got the priesthood on Sunday!

Also. we went to visit this lady Lidia who has recently come back to church and her daughter, Lara, had a question for us. how do you know what church is true? 
so we said, has God ever answered your prayers before? 
and she said yes! I asked which church was true, catholic or the one we've been going to and he told me to think about it. and I decided this one and I felt a peace in my heart and so its true. 
And I was like: well there you go. I'm really confused about your question.
Sometimes you do literally nothing. the spirit just teaches people. its really cool. 
So double baptism on Saturday.
The Lord is preparing people the world over. we just need to be ready for them. Trust that God is preparing them, not us. its not our work. its His. we are just here to do it. And if we really believe that people are being prepared, we can't stop and give up if we aren't finding them. we have to trust that God is using our labors for His purposes, even if He sees fit to make us wait to enjoy the fruits of our labors until a later date. but usually he doesn't. usually we can feel the greatest of his gifts here on earth. the gift of His spirit, His peace, and know that He is happy with us each and every day. 

I decided this morning that everyone in the world needs to have this talk given in the next sacrament meeting they attend.
The lord has asked us ALL to get started in this work. the prophets and apostles have asked us time and time again to share the gospel. and because it is always a soul stretching activity it always has new and different challenges. no person is the same and so the ways and means that we will use to talk about the gospel is never just the same. so it is natural that we get a little nervous about it, BUT! the prophets and apostles know that! They know our reasons and excuses and fears. They know that sometimes we don't like to hear it or listen to it because we feel we aren't capable. This is what Elder Ballard said about what we feel when we hear talks about missionary work:
Now, we know that no one likes feeling guilty. Perhaps you feel you may be asked to do unrealistic things in your relationships with friends or neighbors. With the help of the Lord, let me remove any fear you or any of our full-time missionaries may have in sharing the gospel with others.
If God really knows us He will never ask us to do something we can't do in just the way He wants. He will help us. 
Brothers and sisters, fear will be replaced with faith and confidence when members and the full-time missionaries kneel in prayer and ask the Lord to bless them with missionary opportunities. Then, we must demonstrate our faith and watch for opportunities to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ to our Heavenly Father’s children, and surely those opportunities will come. These opportunities will never require a forced or a contrived response. They will flow as a natural result of our love for our brothers and sisters. Just be positive, and those whom you speak with will feel your love. They will never forget that feeling, though the timing may not be right for them to embrace the gospel. That too may change in the future when their circumstances change.
He will help us!

I just want to copy and paste his whole talk here, but I will resist. Just know that God will help us is we make goals and take action in faith that God can do it even if we can't. 

You don’t have to be an outgoing person or an eloquent, persuasive teacher. If you have an abiding love and hope within you, the Lord has promised if you “lift up your voices unto this people [and] speak the thoughts that [He] shall put into your hearts, … you shall not be confounded before men;
“[And] it shall be given you … in the very moment, what ye shall say” (D&C 100:5–6).
Sorry. can't help it. but really. It hit me today, that our fear and our faith can't dwell together. not to say that if we feel fear we don't have faith. but if we don't want to feel fear anymore, because that's not fun, all we have to do is choose to strengthen our faith, but acting in faith, reading praying trusting. 
Well I love you guys!
Just keep swimming. 
Things are good. I love living on an island. especially in the winter. its super nice here. I almost never need a jacket. mostly I just use a sweater at night. jealous? :)
So I hope you guys are having a good time and making the most of everything. I hope Hannah is still writing stuff :) and that Jeremy and all the boys are studying and that you guys are grateful for the great blessing we have of understanding basic doctrine that the rest of the world struggles with. and for having a family that loves each other. 
And I don't know how to not just talk like a missionary 100% of the time. Sorry, but still, there are worse things, right?

email title: you know that awkward moment when you don't know if someone is pregnant, just had their baby, or just a little overweight? but at the same time, if someone is going to be having a baby and you are RS pres or a visiting teacher or something, that's probably important to know. so you can't just not ask. my comp decided you just ask 'where's your baby?' you're super weird, but at least their not offended.
ok. not funny. guess you had to be there. 

Also. my comp loves hot rod, so basically, we are always preaching the gospel or quoting movies and YouTube videos. odd combo. 

Well, I love you guys. Have a great week. and do good things this week!

Steph\Sister Lofgreen

No comments:

Post a Comment