This week was a very great and a very hard one. We met a woman who had lost a baby, and many people who are ill, and a few that had loved ones killed or pass away. We found out that our investigators son was murdered. He was really out of it while we met with him, definitely in shock from hearing the news. We talked with him about the plan of salvation and in focusing on the greater plan than the one that we can see in front of us. He has such an incredible amount of faith! As we sat there talking to him he just continued on and on about how it was all in God’s hands and that he knew his son was in a better place. He talked about how we have to use all of the time that we have been given in the way that God wants us to. I couldn’t help but be reminded of my dream with Grandpa and how I had wanted just a little more time. It is amazing how when I should be the one teaching and giving comfort, the Holy Ghost is able to also teach and comfort me through my investigators.
Despite all the trials and things that he has been going through this week, he was finally able to make it to church! It was such an amazing day for him to come! The branch had 5 new baptisms, so he was able to witness them. During the baptismal program we sang I am a child of God. It brought me to tears to hear him singing the words to that song. As we have been teaching him, I have truly seen him change his life. This change has come as he has learned his role as a child of God. I know that we are all God’s children and that he loves each and every one of us. I know that he is aware of our individual situations and struggles, and he has provided us all a way to overcome them and to receive strength. This way is through our Savior Jesus Christ and His atonement. As we turn to our Savior with full purpose of heart believing that he can heal us, that he can give us comfort, that he can lighten our burdens- he will. I know this is true. Please, please, please turn to your Savior and allow him to save you. We cannot make it through this life full of sorrow and grief without His help. He has already taken these things upon him-so don’t try to do what has already been done. You can’t. Give it over to Him, all of it. As you do your life will be filled with happiness and peace. You will see God’s hand working in your life. He is there- let him stay.
Our investigator said something that I think is pretty powerful, and it is something that we should all strive to do. He said, “Keep heaven in your heart”. I encourage all of you to Keep heaven in your heart. Do this by allowing the Holy Ghost to dwell within you. Do this by turning to your Savior. Do this through reaching out to others in love. Just do it.
I love you all. Keep pressing forward in faith and Keep heaven in your heart.
Also, Cool thing. We helped serve a retirement luncheon at the Police Station last Monday. The police here are so cool, like they are our best friends here in Sunnyside. They do a lot of service for the community and they allow us to help out all the time. We met the city councilor and he wants us to come to city hall to be recognized for all of the service we give to the community. That will be so awesome for the church and for the mission!
We got some pictures together with him and some of the officers, but unfortunately they are not on my camera. I will try to get them from my companion and then send you some. He is a super tall black man and he has a really awesome pinstripe suit. You will love it.
Every day I see things that are really hard, and it just makes me so grateful for such amazing parents who raised me in the gospel and taught me the things I needed to know and do to be successful in this life and the next. You are wonderful and I love you so much.
We had an awesome experience at Olive Garden with a member. The waitress was really struggling. Sister Watkins and I told her thank you for all that she was doing and would smile every time she came to the table. By the end of lunch she brought us a box with a little note on it that said thank you for being so kind. She gave us a free dessert. She had been having such a hard day and had another table that was really ridiculing her, she wanted to do something nice for someone else to be able to get the negativity out and try to feel better. Sister Watkins then handed her a pass a- long card with a picture of Christ. She was about in tears. I know that she was really struggling and that a little kindness went a long way. Even when we are struggling, it is important to do as Christ did and to turn outwards. Look for ways to serve others and you will find happiness and comfort.
Anyways, I love you! Have a great week!