Monday, March 9, 2015

The Character of Christ turns outward.

Hey there family!

     Well first off I just need to start with  little funny story that happened last Monday. It was all sunny outside and we have to clean our car every week. So we took it through the car wash, but the guy working there said that we aren't allowed to go through with a bike rack on the car and he needed the key because there is a lock on it to keep it there. So we gave him the key and the wrench and after about 10 minutes of him struggling and me holding up a whole line of cars sitting there he had me pull over and asked if I knew how to do it. Well I looked down at myself in a skirt and said "Well I have done it before but it has been a while." He proceeded to tell me that I was using the wrench wrong and tightening it instead of taking it off. After a couple minutes he walked away and I tried it the other way again and what do ya know? Sister Weeks in a skirt and using the wrench the right way got it off. :) YAY! I will try really hard to not be prideful. :)

     This week while we were tracting we met this cute little old man named Jim.  He was in his 90's and he answered the door. We tried to tell him who we were but his hearing was a little... off. We gave him a card to give to his daughter and he said where are y'all from again and I said, "We are from The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints. We are Mormons". He said, " WHAT? Mormons." Then again, " What? You're in mourning?" No no no we are MORMONS so here I am on the front porch screaming at this old man telling him that no sir I am not in mourning we are representatives of Jesus Christ. Still to no avail, so I just screamed "HAVE A GOOD DAY!" Smiled and waved. And then turned to Sister Castleton well the whole neighborhood knows the Mormons are here now. 

      I have been studying a talk called "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. He quotes Elder Maxwell saying "There would have been no Atonement except for the character of Christ." he points out some pretty interesting things defining character and how poignant that statement is. If we want to obtain salvation through the Savior looking to him and just relying on his grace is not enough we must have faith in his name, character and atonement. So what is character? He defines it as the sum of the moral and mental qualities which distinguish an individual or race; mental or moral constitution; moral qualities strongly developed or strikingly displayed. But he also says that "Perhaps the greatest indicator of character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us." It is revealed in the power to discern the suffering of others when we are suffering. The sadness of others, the hunger of others, discouragement and agony when we ourselves are being pressed upon by these same challenges. Do we have the ability to reach out and extend compassion and love to those who are suffering while we are burdened with our own struggles. While I was reading this talk a question came into my mind. What if Christ had not turned outward in times of crises and his struggling like Elder Maxwell says there would have been no Atonement. There would be no miracles nor an example to follow. But Christs character left a lasting impact to all. It is the tendency of the natural man to turn inward but "though the merits, mercy and grace of the Holy Messiah" (2 Nephi 2:8) he enables us to reach outward to go beyond ourselves, to overcome the struggles and challenges that will come day to day, and to earnestly plead with our advocate and Father in Heaven that we may be able to cultivate a Christlike character. I have the opportunity to have a front row seat of that change working in my life and the lives of so many others. We can all through faith in His sacrifice reach out to others and become even as he is. 

      There is a lady named Mary that we have been teaching, she was taught by sisters in the past but took a little break. She is amazing. She is one of the most Christlike people ever she does so much to try to help other people and she knows that what she is getting at her church right now is not fulfilling her and she said that many people she knows wear a brand of Christianity and do not truly try to be Christians. But her husband said you can go but I won't be going with you. He isn't against her doing it he just won't come. But she came to church today and she even commented in Relief Society!

     Angela is a recent convert in the ward and we are teaching her son Guillermo and his father Guillermo but mostly he is being taught my the Spanish Elders. But I have learned a lot of new Spanish words recently being around him. :) YAY. They are amazing they miracles that have been taking place in their lives in the past few weeks blows me away. It shows me how much God loves all of his children and if he wants something to happen he doesn't waste anytime for it. I love having a front row seat in the miracle theater. The best one of all. :)

     We have been witness to so many tender mercies and miracles in the lives of others and our own this week. God truly teaches me everyday of his love and compassion that he extends towards all. Being able to be an instrument in his hands brings the greatest joy of all. Through the hard and difficult times he is always there. To know God or Christ we must struggle. 

     I hope y'all have a great week. You are in my prayers!

Love you bye!

Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)

Our district before Elder Galvez went home and then we got combined with another district. 

 Us waiting for our ride to pick us up for church. :)

I may or may not have climbed inside the dryer this morning while doing my laundry... I'm still a kid at heart. :) And hey I still fit! Oh the memories.

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