Wow! Hearing about how well everyone is doing, especially Hunter and Sammy just loving Collie so much! That makes me so happy! And hearing Hunter is almost finishing the Book of Mormon again:) That has me sitting here with tears...that Book is so powerful and I'm so grateful just like you mum, that Hunter has responded to the Lord's call to serve, and is preparing so well! I love our family so much:)
I love that you said how the gospel is just not about doing the things on the check list...but becoming a most Christ like person. During comp. study we talked about why we came out and how the Lord led us here...and just as you were telling me about how important it is that we "become" I am reminded of how much Heavenly Father has changed my companion, but ESPECIALLY ME as we have served. He is here to mold us. Sometimes in ways that we don't like, but that's why we are here. is to learn, to change, and to become more like the Savior. We are reading the New Testament as a mission right now. And oh my goodness. My love for the Savior has grown so much and I am so grateful for his perfect example! He has taught me so much, and I still have so much improvement, but I'm also so grateful to see how he has helped me become like him in certain areas. The past few weeks I've learned a lot about relying on the Lord to give me inspiration to help everyone I am surrounded by (especially as sister training leader). The Lord cares so much about us and so he wants to give us ways to help strengthen others around us, he is just waiting for us to ask!
Well speaking of the New Testament, this morning I read about when Lazarus had died, and the Savior found out. In John 11:33 and 35 we read how the Savior "groaned" and "wept" and in verse 36 it says, "Then said the Jews, behold how he [Jesus] loved him [Lazarus]"...As I thought about this I was sweetly reminded that that is how the Savior feels about each of us. he loves us sooo much. He weeps with us when we do. He hurts when we do. But with that, he knows the perfect remedy and he gives it freely if we turn to him. I saw this this week on Friday. My spirit needed a lift and while on exchanges with Sister Kim (from Korea- yes that's a little tender mercy #Nicolle) we started with companion study and began to study the atonement. As I read about it I began to feel the power of the atonement immediately work within me and start to help me. Immediately after we finished readying I said to Sister Kim, "Allana needs this!" Long story short we prepared a lesson and went for a surprise visit to see Allana. Allana is the 20yr old Brazilian who is literally my sister and best friend, I love her so much! She has gained great faith over the past 2 months but still doubts it like crazy. she believes in God but is questioning whether or not she believes in Jesus Christ...well the atonement has helped bother Sister Kim and I so much that we had to go share a message PURELY about our Savior Jesus Christ with her. WE went to her house where the other 2 Brazilians were, but we asked if we could just speak with her alone in her room. We went into her tiny little room, sat on her bed, and had one oft he most powerful lessons I've been a part of my whole mission. We read 3Nephi 11 and had her think about what it will be like to see the Savior again. Sister Kim and I shared our personal experiences of coming to know Christ and we were all just crying, the spirit was SO STRONG! (I shared my experience of when I was at Quest and we reenacted 3nephy 11 and the Stake President was dressed as the Savior, and came down from the hill to touch each of our hands). By the end of this lesson she believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior! It was the most special thing to witness the spirit touching her heart and teaching her. She asked, "do you have a bracelet I could have to remember this?" (like what she was learning) and it was cool cause that day I found a really cute infinity bracelet on the ground, and didn't know why but picked it up. I gave it to her and she wears it everyday! I told her to remember that choices now effect eternity and that the Love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us is infinite! At the end she knelt down with us next to her bed and offered the most sincere and heart felt prayer. She let Heavenly Father know of all her concerns, (which was hard to listen to her say at first, but I knew it was necessary) and then it was the most remarkable thing...it was as if the Lord began to speak through her, because in her prayer she all of a sudden said "when I am baptized, all my questions will go away"...........words cannot describe.........after we finished we helped her recognize her answers and they came to clearly that I will have to read you my journal entry when I get home because there was so much evidence that I don't have time to list it. but i felt so privileged to be apart of that! It was so special, and I came to know my Savior Jesus Christ even more as we taught Allana about him. Allana is praying about what date to get baptized on so PLEASE PRAY FOR HER....daily if you can! She really needs it! She is someone who is so special to me and she NEEDS the gospel!
There are so many other miracles that have come this week but my love for the Lord has grown even more. I have spent lots of time on my knees with my notepad near by, receiving much revelation from our loving Heavenly Father and I'm just so grateful for him and his direction. I would be so lost without the gospel and without prayer! Heavenly Father has blessed us so much recently and I'm doing my best to be more and more grateful for what I do have! My companion has been really sick and so last night (after the sweetest miracles from working hard and fasting) my comp. went to bed early and I had permission to call recent converts...oh.my.goodness! Nothing is better than hearing how well they are all doing!!!!:) It made me want to cry! It's so cute too, cause when I call I just say, "hello!" and then there is a pause and then..."Sister Ensign?!?!?!" haha , I love the people on my mission so much, and they have become my best friends and family for eternity! Yashar has the Melchizedek priesthood and is getting his patriarchal blessing soon, and him and Saeid go to the temple every week, when I called Akram at the end of our phone call, the home teachers had just come over, Sam is taking her OWN family names to the temple, the Coyle's are praying everyday and working on the scripture study as a family AND brother Coyle is getting ready to baptize Ethan (the 7yr old) AND they have shared the gospel with another family friend who should be getting baptized soon. Parvoneh and Karim are pregnant!!!!! and Vickie still loves church with her cute little son even though her husband doesn't come yet (she sings Lewis her son hymns as he falls asleep in her cute little Chinese accent!). Those are just the ones that I was able to talk to but it was so good to hear how awesome they are all doing! SOOOO MANY good things happening within the lives of those who live the gospel! Great things lie ahead if we are obedient and faithful to the covenants we have made! I am so grateful for my covenants and so grateful for the chance i have to see others on their road to make more covenants with Heavenly Father!
Love you guys so much! Seriously, the things you told me today are just what I needed and were taught by the spirit! You amaze me! I love you to the moon and back!