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Monday, February 23, 2015

Faith unchallenged remains unchanged

Hey there family!

     It has been a really interesting week to say the least. haha. Well hold on for the ride and I'll tell you all about it.

      First of all... guess what!!!?????????? We reached our goal to get 10 lessons with investigators with members present! YAY! It has been an interesting week and Satan worked so hard on many people and in the end we ended up having about 13 or 14 cancellations.... But we got the goal. All because Heavenly Father is so merciful, it was a test of faith and diligence but it happened. I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!! I can hardly contain it all. :) And then our district leader called last night and said I am so proud of you sisters you got 10 now your goal for next week is 20 right?.... I don't need that much stress. 

      And one day this week in only warmed up to about 19 degrees so then I wanted to cry but we made it through. :) Cold weather better be on it's way out. humph. And I am eternally grateful that I am not in a bike area right now.
  
      Well here is my funny story for the day.... This morning we were doing our grocery shopping and I was looking for some frozen peaches to put in my smoothies. Well then all of a sudden someone appeared right next to me and I gasped and turned and was confused and then realized it was one of the elders -  our district leader to be precise. He was in normal clothes and didn't have his tag on and I said "what the.... you look normal!" He startled me and then I realized how funny it all was. (and I also realized that is how I will feel when I see people later in life and they look normal. They are unrecognizable for a second haha)  And then he proceeded to tell us that he lost his companion somewhere in Walmart and if we found him to let him know! hahahahah. I'm dying. Oh elders..... He said he forgot his tag. We then ran into his companion that he lost a couple minutes later both trying unsuccessfully to find each other. One is from Guatemala and the other from Brazil. The one from Brazil barely speaks English but he walked up to us and said I lost my companion.... ay ay ay. Missionary Problem #537: That awkward moment when you can't find your companion and find yourself in a panic and then realize they are super close to you. haha. That wasn't the case for the elders but they were frantically running around trying to find each other. hahahaha

      This week I was thinking about a quote that one of my companions and I would say all the time as we were pressing forward through the trials. I have no idea who it is by but it is "Faith unchallenged remains unchanged." Well I have felt that a lot we all do as we go throughout life. But to strengthen our faith we have to do things that require faith. I can testify to that, every time I feel like I have had to do something really challenging or jump into what seems like darkness. I look back and could do it all over again if I had to because  my faith is greater. I was reading in Mosiah 23 and 24 this week and it fit perfectly. I love these chapters! In 23:21 It says: "Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people yeah he trieth their patience and their faith." Before it talks about how the people are prospering and doing well they aren't lifted up in the pride of their hearts yet the Lord still sees fit to try their patience and faith. The people were scared at first but Alma says that they "hushed their fears and began to cry unto the Lord" and then in the next chapter in 24 he says: 
13. And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease,and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again,saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.
     I have literally felt this week the Lord easing the burdens so I could hardly feel them. And the Lord says clearly he does this that we may strengthen our faith and be a witness for him. I know that the Savior does visit us in our afflictions he eases our burdens and he loves us. Because of his strength our load is light and we can carry what we have easily. And the people who are going through intense difficulties and are told that they aren't even allowed to pray and pour out their hearts to God and they "Submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord." They don't complain or place blame they forget themselves and their faith is strengthened. It was a great lesson to me once again, what is my reaction when faced with adversity? Faith unchallenged remains unchanged. I just wanted to end with one more quote from Elder Klebingat he says "When these trials come, the adversary’s minions begin broadcasting that you did something wrong, that this is a punishment, a sign that Heavenly Father does not love you. Ignore that! Instead, try to force a smile, gaze heavenward, and say, “I understand,Lord. I know what this is. A time to prove myself, isn't it?” Then partner with Him to endure well to the end. Spiritual confidence increases when you accept that“often trials and tribulations are allowed to come into your life because of what you are doing right”

      This week for a couple of our lessons we went on splits. I went with one of the Laurels named Courtney and we taught a lesson to Dakota who is our investigator Debbie's daughter. She is 13 and has quite a bit of attitude but she loved the lesson. And told her Mom afterwards. She told me in the lesson that she wants to be baptized! Debbie is so close to getting baptized she really loves the church.

      And last we had a lesson with Tom. He is a neighbor to the Wrights in the Milton ward and so we had a lesson at their house. It was great!  Sister Wright bore her testimony about the Book of Mormon and the miracles she has seen come into her life because of the Gospel and the Savior. He said that he sits in church and he feels that this is the place for me. Now... we just need to get his wife on board she isn't against it but doesn't really have a desire to learn. We are praying that her heart will be softened.

      Well I think that is all for this week. I hope you have a great week filled with lots of happiness and tender mercies. You are in my prayers!

Love you bye!
Love Sister Weeks (Rachel) 

Tried Baklava and it was fabulous!

"Just wanted you to know we love having your missionary in our ward. She is doing a great work and loved by the members of the Milton ward. It's super cold here right now in Atlanta, snow and ice but they are warm and happy. Good job mama your daughter is amazing!" by Sister Erickson.  Thanks for the photo!  Love members that send me pictures.

I got the privilege of trying my first fresh mango. It was SOO good. I know what Pops is thinking. Eww a headache. :) (Ken thinks that mangos taste like a headache and avoids them)

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