Pages - Menu

Monday, September 15, 2014

My mission has been the sweetest, most sacred experience of my life. Words will never be able to explain it.

How exciting about our new stake presidency, they will be sooo good, and just what we all need! We had stake conference this past week and it was really good:) I had the opportunity to speak at it about how members and missionaries can work together to hasten the work and I talked about the 2 keys to success (that I have found while serving), which are first, Faith in Jesus Christ, and second, Working with members!!! The whole meeting was really good-we really do have such incredible members here in Western Australia, they have become some of my greatest hero's! This week has been sooo good because it has been veryyyy hard (haha). Satan has been working really hard on all those we teach and it's been one of the greatest tests of our faith- but I feel like I've learnt so much and grown a lot from it! This week will be another really good one as well, because we have a lot of really exiting lessons with our progressing investigators, as well as Bryan (recent convert from my first area)  is going through the temple for his endowments :) and to finish it off Matt is getting baptized!
It really is incredible how much Faith in Jesus Christ can effect the work. Just Friday, Matt experiences some of the most challenging trials of his life, having his family split up being one of them...we thought we had lost him cause he disappeared and we worried he might have fallen back into old habits...but that afternoon, and night we prayed out hearts out! The next morning for personal study I spent it on my knees with my scriptures...I studied Faith in Jesus Christ. I finished personal study and went back to my companion for companionship study...we sang, got on our knees for our opening prayer and then just into our prayer we got a call....Matt had finally come home. we immediately went to see heart just broke as we listened to how he felt, but it was made so whole as I listened to him bear his testimony! He shared in tears with us and also in the addiction class later that day, that he is NOT GOING BACKWARDS! He is determined to move forward because this is the closest he has even been to succeeding and he knows it's because of the Lord and His church. It was so sweet in He expressed how he really felt Satan working on him so much but that he was not going to let him bring him down, but rather "I will keep preparing for my baptism on the 20th". When he shared those things we knew our faithful  prayers had ad been answered and we just wept on our knees in prayers of gratitude!
One day this past week we went to see a returning less active man and upon our arrival he told us he had no food and hardly any money. we talked about a few things, and then said a prayer with him. as soon as we said "amen" the spirit opened my mouth and said, 'How are you going paying your tithing?". He went on to tell us he didn't have enough money to pay...we were able to teach him about the miracles and blessings that come as we do show Heavenly Father our love for him by paying an honest tithe. I was grateful the spirit had us ask that because as he pays, we KNOW things will work out for him and it will be much easier in the end- he agreed to start paying:)
Yesterday after stake conference I got to see 3 recent converts get the priesthood...sweetest experience ever!!! And a cool part was, a recent convert Bryan (who is going through the temple this week) was able to give the Melchizedek priesthood to someone else as well. It's just beautiful to see people progress and to see them work towards the potential heavenly Father sees them at. Adams blessing was one of the most incredible ones I've ever heard. he was told he will serve a mission. he will be a leader, and that he was strong in the premortal life. Ahhh,  I just cried! I love those we teach so dang much and it's just so special to be with them in those sacred moments!
Matt wasn't the only of our investigators to experience an extremely difficult's really interesting to see that Satan will do anything and everything to get us down, and to keep us from being near the Lord and the truth! But I love being a missionary, and listening to those who ache, as well as help guide them to their Father in Heaven who will bring comfort- I really do have the BEST calling!  Life truly is filled with various challenges, some harder than others, but they are here to build us and to turn us to the Lord. I really have found that when I am broken down the most, is when I am the strongest! I am so grateful for my Father in Heaven who does hear each and every one of our individual prayers and WILL send us the strength and the comfort we need. My mission has been the sweetest most sacred experience of my life. Words will never be able to explain it. Yes it's been hard, but i am so much stronger because of it! I trust the Lord and will forever and ever. Yes I am still a natural man, but my fears have greatly diminished because I have HIM on my side. I better understand my purpose on this earth, and how i can more fully keep my covenants! He is the reason I am who I am and I will boast in Him and His strength forever! I have never been happier! I love you guys so much and can't wait to be in the temple with you! (yes that will be the first thing we do:))
We are working so hard...literally exhausted every night,  and don't you worry, we aren't slowing down for anything- but please do keep praying for Matt, Les, and Kim! They all need your prayers! :) and us...:) your prayers mean a lot to us!
Love always,
Sister Ensign

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I am in the Lord's hands ............

Hey Sister Ensign is back.... :/

This past week I prayed, got in bed, and felt the spirit tell me to get on my knees and pray I did...I went into my changing room, and knelt to talk with my Heavenly Father...I wept, and wept and wept. I realized that the aching spot in the corner of heart was because I am honestly having the hardest time accepting the fact that my full time mission is coming to a close. It kills me...but then I felt this sweet peaceful feeling that I am in the Lord's hands and he will help me in the various stages of life I go through, I felt much more confident...still very bittersweet, but a lot more confident in the Lord and His plans for my life! As I re-dedicated my whole self to him I have felt greater strength and the spirit more abundantly! I love my Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ so much, and especially this sacred time they have give me to serve them!  I will be forever grateful!

So anyways, it was because of that experience that I am able to say more to you this sorry about the last few ones,  haha. This week has been incredible though! ...where to even start? :) Well earlier my companion and I were a bit worried about teaching our progressing investigators (who want to be baptised) about the Law of Chastity, because they are partners living together....but after studying HEAPS and being spiritually uplifted (especially after MLC),  we felt the power and authority of our calling in the need for us to "cry repentance". We got to Nick and Nhiari's house and felt so confident in the Lord. Initially you think, "Do I really have the right, to enter into someone else's home and tell them what God needs them to do, and ask them to start living the Law of Chastity, and leave behind their old ways?!?" But then I am always sweetly reminded that "I AM A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST" and so.... yes, I need to invite them in behalf of Him! As we taught the lesson the spirit was so strong (it honestly is one of my favourite lessons to teach, because it is so sacred) and Nhiari said she wanted to live it and felt it was right, but Nick doesn't think it's necessary...he luckily did commit to pray about it and ask God, and then committed to act upon the answer God gives him! Please pray for him that he will be willing to live the Law of Chastity with Nhiari!  :)

This week we got to go to the temple with Adam (recent convert) for his first time, and also with Jordan (a retuning less active who has come sooooo far!) It was soooo special:) Adam is progressing so well in the gospel! This past week we taught him the new member lesson, of tithing and he shared a really cool experience. He said since he has been baptised, he has been setting aside 10% of his money (keep in mind he is a uni student who also works, so he doesn't have an abundant stash of money like most young adults) and yet, as he has shown obedience and faith, he has seen the blessings in return! He said he is working less hours than he was in the summer, but somehow is able to save more money! He is so committed to the gospel and yesterday in church spoke about his conversion story! He said he now knows who he is, his potential, and what Heavenly Father needs him to do with his life. This week we feel it's time to teach about serving a full time mission, and commit him to fast about it this Sunday. We have talked about it here and there and he seems keen, but the big invitation is coming this week, pray for Adam:) He will make the greatest missionary!

Last experience I want to about a year ago when I started my mission, I became good friends with a YSA girl who was working on getting her temple recommend back, and her boyfriend was taught and baptised by the together, they were doing really good :)....well this past Sunday she came to my new ward and as I excitedly asked her how she was and if she was still preparing for a mission.  She said things aren't going good and she has had some setbacks and is really struggling.  AGH!!!!  The ONLY thing that came to my mind and heart, was to embrace her and tell her how much I loved her! As I did I told her how happy I was that she had come to church and that she should just keep moving forward by relying on Heavenly Father, I felt that our Heavenly Father probably feels the same way about us...when we mess up Satan says, "run, and hide, you can't talk to anyone, especially God about your sins" where as the Lord says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of my, for I am meed and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29-29). He invites us to come to him, to find rest and peace. This morning while reading in the Book of Mormon, this scripture touched me so much, Jacob speaking to the Nephites says, "and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate"...Christ is our only chance, and the only way. His way is the way to happiness. Eternal and lasting happiness! I am grateful for his mercy with each of us in our sins and weaknesses, he truly is quick to forgive when we are quick to repent! The atonement is the greatest gift we have ever been offered!

Well,  I love you guys and am so grateful you are all so strong in the gospel! There honestly is nothing else I would want more than to be with you guys for eternity! Thank you for your examples, you lift and inspire me daily!

love always,
Sister Ensign

Funny experience: We were at the train station contacting these two guys (probably late 20's), one from England and one from Scotland...well after telling these two atheist men about our loving Heavenly Father an committing them to read the pamphlets we left, they then said, "we need a hug bye", and went in for the kill...I ducked and tried to push them away,  haha,  but then my sweet companion nearly karate chopped them away ,hahaha , I was laughing so hard but she was just way freaked out;) we laughed about it really hard after......lesson learned: Don't contact drunk guys at the train stations at night,  haha. My sweet companion makes me laugh heaps!

Highlight(s) of the week:
Getting texts from Matt (baptismal date) who is so converted now! he shares his experiences of receiving answers from God, and feeling the spirit, and it's just the sweetest thing to read about! He is so grateful for the gospel! I can't tell you enough how much he has changed! he seriously has come from the absolute lowest of lows...amazing what the Atonement of Jesus Christ can do!
And second high light is seeing my companion grow! She has been really nervous to talk to people but has been working so hard at relying on the Lord and the spirit to know what to say, and I have been giving her a lot of opportunities to lead;) Yesterday as we would quickly pull over to talk to someone I would, "Go sis! you got this I'm right behind you!" and there was one time when she walked over quickly to this couple, looking confident as and contacted them sooo incredibly well! I love seeing the Lord strengthen others in their weaknesses, and I'm just grateful for my companions example to just bite the bullet and do what she knows she needs to while patiently waiting for greater strength and ability to come from the Lord! I love her!