I was so happy to come home to snowy little Amherst!! We have seen the sun this week so don't worry!! I keep telling myself that Spring is right around the corner, it's just that the corner is REALLY LONG AND WIDE ;)
Sister Renda and I get to travel to Dartmouth and attend a leadership session at the temple followed by another all day leadership meeting. This time it's going to be focused on "finding" and we are going to spend the whole day actually doing missionary work! That is exciting. Then we have General Conference which, as you know, is the BEST two days for a missionary, is Easter and we get to remember our Savior and His Resurrection PLUS Walter and Jeremy are getting baptized!!! They are so ready. Talk about a week "NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN"!! I am very grateful.
Walter is excited and nervous. His friend Melinda, who introduced him to the church has come back into full activity and is doing so well. Yesterday during fast and testimony meeting I heard Walter whisper to Melinda, "I could never get up there, oh no, how do they do that?" Sister Renda stood up and said that though she has been on her mission for almost 18 months she still gets nervous standing up in front of everyone to bear her testimony. I think we all do. This week I learned something I will never forget. Heavenly Father has provided us with the amazing gift of the Spirit or the "COMFORTER" (John ). However in order for us to access that power we have to go OUTSIDE of our comfort zone. I know that Heavenly Father can give us strength beyond our own - so don't be afraid to do something that scares you!! We had a profound lesson with Jeremy night. He was having a rough day and questioning a lot of things but not doubting. He still has dreams that he is doing the work for those who have passed on - he knows our message is true. But sometimes he feels that he is being torn down, broken up, and having to start ALL over. That is true, God knows what is best.
I have heard this quote a lot on my mission and I shared it with him. "Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace." -CS Lewis.
There were tears in his eyes when he realized that God was making him into something far greater than he could be on his own. He is looking forward to his baptism. We also got to teach the Gospel Doctrines class and the 3rd hour which was combined (for the 5th ). We taught about the tree of life. What a beautiful parallel to missionary work. We must share this precious fruit! We must beckon our friends and family members, even strangers to partake of something that is "most joyous to the soul" - the Gospel of Jesus Christ - the Love of God! Though we had very little time to prepare (they told us about it when we arrived at church) - both lessons turned out very well. Missionary life always keeps us on our toes :)
I hope all of you have had a chance to watch the Easter initiative video #BecauseOfHim. It is so profound. We have been telling nearly everyone we see about it. I am grateful for my Savior and how I have come to know Him over the last several months. I feel Him so close. I know that He lives. I know this because I have felt the gentle promptings of the Spirit leading me and helping me along. I know He lives because when I bear testimony of Him my heart seems to burn within me. I know He lives because I have read about His Resurrection and the precious moments He spent with His children on the American continent. I know He lives because when I pray I feel that He is right there..listening. I hope that you will take time this week to reflect on your knowledge of our Savior and how you came to know that He lives. If you do not yet know - I encourage you to find out. Because He does and that knowledge will change your life forever. The possibilities are endless because He lives!!
Happy 57th Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa! Thank you for your legacy of love and devotion. I love you!
Thank you for all of the letters and the constant prayers in my behalf. I love you all so very much!! Have a happy Easter.
Love, Sister G
|Grace and her Companions (body guards ;)|