Monday, November 17, 2014

We caught snow flakes on our tongues...

Hi to my favorite people on the planet.

This week it snowed which actually made me really happy. The first snowfall brought us many miracles. 

First i got a surprise late birthday package from Heidi and Tessa (Reinemer) and Katie (Nydegger) with some of my favorite things so that was a great start. 

Then simply being in the snow brought back some happy memories, it felt like Christmas time again which always makes me giddy. As we went to work..we entered the negative degrees. Luckily I learned much from last winter and pretty much have the whole layering thing down so the cold really doesn't bother me (too too much...) 

All day I walked around with my tongue out, looking up into the beautiful sky watching the snowflakes fall so gently onto the ground. None of them landed on my tongue but it was still fun to try..We were looking for a former investigator who kind of just disappeared a few months ago and the sisters who were here really wanted us to find him. We went to his house and knocked on the door. No one was home. We got back into the car, trying to figure out exactly where we needed to be next, when we saw a man pulling things out of a nearby car. We hadn't even noticed him before. We sat in the warmth of our car wondering if we should get out again and talk to him. Of course we did..We asked "hi. we are looking for Troy?" He said. "yes that is me." Sister Coleman and I looked at each other - so excited. We asked him if he would be willing to meet with us again and he agreed. So we taught him at the the Tim Horton's (it's kind of like Starbucks but way better) down the road - he is so sincere, we shared with him the articles of faith card and he told us that he believed all of them. He knows that he needs to be baptized and we are looking forward to meeting with him again tomorrow!! That was another snowy day miracle. 

I wish all of you could come and meet the amazing people in the Amherst branch - the feeling of love in that little chapel is undeniable. Each of them, despite their individual trials and weaknesses, has something unique and important to offer. It truly is like a little family. 

Sister Coleman and I were privileged to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday. I spoke about repentance and forgiveness. I talked about the prodigal son (Luke 15) and how beautifully the Savior illustrates these two principles in this parable. He truly is a master teacher. The younger son who went to a foreign land and wasted away all that he had recognized that he had sinned, he was starving and he needed help from his father. So as soon as he humbled himself and returned, intending to apologize and be a servant to his father, he was welcomed home with open arms. His father RAN to him and kissed him. He gave him the "fatted calf" and so quickly forgave him. He said to the other, less forgiving son, "he was dead and is yet alive, lost and is found!" That is a testimony to me. We are all in need of forgiveness. Like Elder Christofferson said in conference, "Christ did not to save indiscriminately but to offer repentance." 

We all have the privilege and responsibility to repent and we must remember that Christ is so willing to forgive us. I don't think we always comprehend that, He died to grant us forgiveness for our weaknesses and sins. When one of us loses our way, Christ is the good shepherd who will leave the ninety and nine to find us. Then "when he hath found [us] he layeth [us] on his shoulders rejoicing" and carries us back to the fold. Our Heavenly Father rejoices when we humble ourselves and repent. He grants us freedom from the burden our our guilt and shame. He forgives us. 

I am so grateful for every day that I can strive to be more kind and forgiving or more humble and repentant. I am grateful to know that we can be welcomed home with open arms as we strive to live the higher law each and every day. I am grateful that we have charge over our brothers and sisters here on earth to lay them on our shoulders and carry them HOME. I am so grateful for our perfect example and Savior Jesus Christ.
I love all of you. And I hope you have an unforgettable week.
Love, Sister G

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