Monday, April 13, 2015

What I have learned......It was ALL worth it!

Hey there family!

     These past couple of days have been a whirlwind and crazy. We have done lots of missionary work and met with our investigators and born our testimony a lot. Many stories, laughs, adventures, hard times, spiritual moments. The works.

    Today I want to try and share with you some of things that I have learned  over the last 18 months and that have meant so much to me as I have had the opportunity to be a representative of our Savior Jesus Christ.

1. "Be kind regarding human frailty. Your own as well as those around you" We often preach to others about the grace and mercy of the Lord and then we think that it doesn't fully apply to us. So be patient kind and forgiving.

2. Those times when all we can think about is how weak and imperfect we are. All the times we have messed up or sinned or didn't try as hard as we should have. Beg the Lord to change you and remember "acknowledge and face your weaknesses but don't be immobilized by them because some of them will be your companions until you depart this mortal existence." It wasn't until Peter denied Christ and went back to fishing that he realized what the Savior wanted and expected of him. Even the best fall down sometimes, so get up brush yourself off and keep going. 

3. LAUGH. Don't ever become a lifeless walking breathing Mormon robot. This is the gospel of happiness and we are to live it fully. The counsel Joseph Smith gave to the early saints states it perfectly.  D&C 123:17  "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we standstill, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." Cheerfully is part of the commandment and what God expects of us. If you can laugh at it you can live with it. Just laugh. When you are quoting the first vision and you get thumped in the head by a bulky child's light up shoe - laugh. When you fall down rain saturated stairs and your dress flies up or the wind just makes a tent out of it - laugh. When it is hard, people tell you "they don't care what you have to say" you're tired, you are forced to start swatting roaches with a fly swatter there are so many, the unexpected happens - JUST LAUGH.

4. Nature's characters and hearts can be changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In  Alma 5: 12-14 it states:
 12. And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true.
 13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers,and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved.
 14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? 
     Isn't the greatest miracle of all the changing of a human heart?  Isn't that worth whatever it takes on our part to see if that will happen? We know that the Lord won't force anyone to be what they don't want to be but we also know that he can and will soften hearts and change things." It is the greatest miracle of all. It doesn't matter to God who we were but who we are and who we are becoming."

5. Love is the answer to every problem and is the catalyst to change. Preach my Gospel says "people will not likely change unless invited to do so" Love invites them to do so. God loves us unconditionally and we change with his help. In returned he asks that we follow the first and second commandments. To love him and love others. There is a reason Christ asked Peter 3 times if he loved him. That love is forever and eternal. It changes us - it is what creates true, devoted, converted, disciples of the Lord. 

6. Live in the now. Love where you are and learn from it. Don't wish for the past, yearn for the future or better circumstances. God knows where you are and has placed you there. He needs us where we are but if we are to help him we have to have a willing heart and a willing mind. Don't wish it away. Became a force for good wherever you are. Be a creator of circumstances instead of a creature of circumstances. 

7. I love and appreciate my parents and grandparents. Family is everything - it is eternal and a God-given gift. I have recognized how much they have taught me through words and example. A mothers quiet example of selfless Christ-like service. Pops example of a worthy priesthood holder, good fashion sense and love. Both who are always there to talk and listen endlessly and offer advice. Gramsy and Gramps diligently attending the temple weekly showing their love for the Savior and an understanding of the covenants they have made. As well as my siblings and Melissa who is pretty much my sister. Your example, kindness, love, prayers and letters mean the world to me. As well as everyone else who took the time to write and pray for me.

8. An emphasis on simply just going misses the mark. Too often we focus of going on a mission, going to church and going to the temple. Simply just going misses the mark. Instead we must focus on truly becoming letting the Lord change and mold us (Jeremiah 18:1-6) We are all in the hands of the divine potter. We must actually become a disciple of Jesus Christ worshiping, renewing our covenants and keeping them in our heart continually. 

9. "Get really really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly." and "Accept trials set backs and surprises as part of your mortal experience." Elder Jorg Klebingat. He says it well. 

10. Jesus Christ is my Savior and best friend. This hasn't been easy. But worth it in every bit. By going through these trials and struggling I have come to know Him. By participating in this work I have been able to see in a VERY small part some of the path that he walked. It will never be easy but we can find joy and it will always be worth it. Our afflictions are swallowed up in the joy of Christ and I look back and see all the times he has carried me, comforted me and how he always loves me. I am unworthy of that love but he does it anyway. He lives. Words cannot describe the depth and magnitude of my feelings but I love him with all my heart. One day every tongue will confess that he is the Savior of us all. 

     No matter how hard I try, words just can't describe what I have learned in Georgia. How much I love these southern people. The fire burning in my heart for the work of the Lord, this mission that has shaped the new me. This is the greatest work to ever be on this earth it is not hapless nor hopeless, it is the work of the Almighty God and "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing..." Words just can't do it justice. To steal the words of Ammon (Alma 26:16) "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

Love you bye!

Love Sister Weeks

Rachel, Sister Castleton, and an investigator

(Well I have to say I will miss our weekly letters and the blessing that come from having a missionary in the service of the Lord.  She has been a  great missionary and a wonderful example to all of us.  We all look forward to giving her a big hug.  We are very proud of what she has done and who she has become.)

Her Homecoming will be Sunday, April 19th.  Our church begins at 12:30 but we end with Sacrament meeting that starts at 2:20 pm.  The church is located at 2200 Miller Avenue in Burley Idaho.  We will be eating after at the house.

Monday, April 6, 2015

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ

Hey there family!

     Well here is the update for the week in the life of your very own Sister Weeks here in Georgia where they don't actually have peaches that much.... so there goes the Sister Weeks Georgia peach. haha too funny. The secret is out! Well this week was fantastic because of course , it was General Conference. It was amazing. General Conference for me is like opening presents. Except even more exciting than that. 

     Well this week we had some pretty amazing miracles with our investigators and their hearts softening. God is so good in the miracles that he shows us. Our investigator, Mary, talked about how she likes what she is hearing.  She  just wants peace in making her decision, because when she gets baptized she wants to keep that promise forever. It was such a good thing to hear. She really just gets it.  I love to look at her and see how she changes and the questions that she has and her willingness to align her will with Gods will. In church last Sunday we had a lesson on Priesthood blessings and she asked us if she would be able to get one to help her make her decision. Like I said, she really just gets it. 

     Also Debbie this week told us that she knows that the church is true. That The Book of Mormon is true and that..... SHE WANTS TO GET BAPTIZED. It will be in a few months that she is looking at because she really wants her daughter to be baptized with her and she feels that that is a good time table. It is amazing how far she has come in just 6 short months - from being Jewish and not even believing in Christ to accepting him into her life and believing his Gospel is true. If that isn't a testament that he changes hearts and lives and that this is his gospel I don't know what is.

      Easter Conference weekend was absolutely splendid. I LOVED conference like a mentioned. I don't know if I had a favorite talk. There were so many different ones that answered the questions that I had.

      This week I have been thinking a lot about how we live a life of converted discipleship. There were many talks that spoke to me about that. Our mission scripture is 3 Nephi 5:13 and it says "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare his word among his people that they might have everlasting life." I was thinking a lot during conference and this week about what that really means. President asks us to repeat it every morning together as a companionship at 9:59. The Lord doesn't require that we serve a lot for a little bit and never do anything else but to keep on trying no matter how many times we get knocked down. I love that one of the talks said "a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying." We have to recognize that others are trying too. It is something that I try to remind myself of. 

     The Atonement and hope that I testify of to people daily is available to all. No matter what circumstance they are in. I think that sometimes we are hardest on ourselves and sometimes the people that are close to us. But we need to extend the same grace and mercy that we preach of to all no matter who they are. Forgive and forget for ourselves. God does and so should we. We should never forget the miracles and signs that we witness.   I love that one talk said to pray for our spiritual eyes to be opened to the mercy and miracles that are all around us. And then lastly I love  when Elder Pearson said "enduring to the end is constantly coming unto Christ and being perfected in him." We must let the Saviors Atonement envelop and follow ALL  of us wherever we go. Love and then accept the grace that is so freely given. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. He has called me to help his children. And He IS the Son of God. That little verse has so many eternal truths. 

     Well I think that is all for this week. I hope y'all have a great week. You are in my prayers. Remember the Savior in all that you do and reach out and help others in need.

Love you bye!

Love Sister Weeks 

Angela sent me these pictures during the week of the special days