Mom I am so excited that you are having a taco truck at your party - you will always be young at heart (just one of the teenagers) and I LOVE IT!!! Take lots of pictures!! And 50 is not that old :) especially when you think about eternity...
School is out - SO FUN!! Just soak up the sun and eat island flavor for me. The ninth grade party looked like SO much fun and I bet jake looked totally cute with whitish pink hair. I will print out these stories you sent me mom and read them this week so thank you. Tell grandma Happy Birthday last week for me (i will send her something) and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU AND JAKE AND HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO DAD!! AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CAMILLE B. AND NANA - love you both so much!!
So many fun, happy things going on - wow!
Training is great and hard and funny. Not too different from normal missionary stuff..you just get to learn more and have a few more responsibilities which is always good. So i have loved it - Sister Drew is totally a people person and has been learning quickly. We laugh a lot and are working hard. This week it rained and I pulled puffy out AGAIN but today is warm and the beginning of the week was HOT so yeah the weather is just weird and unpredictable from one minute to the next.
We found an investigator!! His name is Ben and he is from the Philippines. He is SO sweet and SO prepared. We chose a street to knock but when we got there, we discovered that there were no houses on the street......(that is not the first time that has happened) so we said a prayer and were led to Ben's house!! He works at McDonald's :) and has a strong faith in God and a strong desire to do what is right. He said the sweetest prayer at the end of the lesson. I know that we were lead there by the Spirit and I am truly grateful. Sadly, his visa is about to expire and they have not renewed it for him yet so he may be forced to return to his home in the Philippines but he really wants to stay here so we have been praying for him. Hopefully we can get an update this week!
This week I have pondered a lot about the simpleness of this Gospel. Of the message we share. It is so simple but so complete and I LOVE IT.
God loves us unconditionally (1 John 4:7-9 - God is Love) so He wants us to be successful in this life and return to live in His presence. His whole purpose is to grant us eternal life (Moses) SO He prepared a plan for us to make that possible. He gave us our families and the scriptures and Prophets to guide us along the way. And told us that ALL we have to do is be OBEDIENT - that's it!! BUT we are human so we make mistakes and God knew that would be the case so He gave us a Savior! To make up the difference. Christ's Atonement frees us from the burden of sin and gives us the strength and faith necessary to overcome our trials. That's just it. We make covenants along the way, we pray to know which direction to take. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry. And we help our friends find the path until finally we make it HOME! And live happily ever after. Oh how I love the plan. I love simplicity. I love the church. It is Christ church and it had been restored.
In Mosiah chapter 2 King Benjamin tells us that we must give all the thanks that we can render to our God who has given us EVERYTHING!! And still if we serve him all the days of our lives it will not be enough. But verse 22 "ALL that he requires of you is to keep the commandments, and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye would prosper in the land. And he never doth vary from that which he hath said, therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you."
So that is what I want to be better at - testifying simply of this simple but incredibly powerful message. And I want to remember this simple plan when life becomes crazy and distracting. When I feel like I am caught up in my weaknesses or mistakes. I want to share a part of my journal entry with you - from last night - i said....
Sometimes it's hard to come home from a long night of knocking, rejection and unsuccessful former and potential finding because you have to wonder why? Why didn't we meet someone tonight who wants to come closer to Christ..someone who will simply experiment upon our words? I was so sure we were going to find that person that the Lord is preparing here. I fasted today - for them. We were exactly obedient. Church was a beautiful, uplifting experience. We did service (sang hymns at a nursing home :)), we prayed, and I thought my faith was sufficient. I tried to listen to the promptings of the Spirit and ACT, we knocked on the last door atand still...NOTHING. Nobody would hear us out so I'm wondering WHY? What is Heavenly Father trying to tell me? What lesson does He want me to learn? BECAUSE I WAS SO SURE. I HAD FAITH. Two words came to my mind immediately. Patience and faith. You can never be too patient and you can never have too much faith. That's what He wants me to know. I must be patient..and I must increase my faith still - find out if it can withstand the test of time. If it remains unshaken on the long, disappointing nights, if i will continue to trust in the Lord and His timing. So i can't give up. Like it says in the last paragraph of the Fellowship of the Unashamed - I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until He returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He stops me. And when He comes to get His own He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.
SO I'm going to KEEP THE FAITH!
Have a better week than last. Laugh at yourself and be a member missionary. I love you.
Love always, GG
PS: Random things - that I will mention briefly..Sister Drew got stung by a bee this week so now we literally sprint away each time we see one. We knocked on a disabled mans door, he called us inside, his dog escaped, he asked us to chase it down, we ran after it and it started SPRINTING away, we had to corner it, try to feed it grass and practically tackle it to bring the stinking dog home..in our skirts (Sister Drew threw her bag) it was so funny. We met a man who sadly has fallen away from the church because "we billed him for starving" (bless those missionaries hearts they didn't explain fast offerings well enough). I have an ingrown toenail but it's ok - i have been brushing up on "missionary medicine" AND our branch mission leader is amazing but he is afraid of germs and won't shake our hands. He told us this week "Spread the Gospel, not disease!!" Oh happy day. BYE BYE FOR NOW