This week was so meaningful and continued to strengthen my testimony in so many ways.
Tanya Sweet and her mom Shelley Sweet went to the temple on Saturday J and it was an incredible day! When we first got to the temple with them, I
could tell that they were nervous. As I
said a silent prayer for them, I received a strong feeling that everything
would be okay and it would be a great night. There were so many people doing
baptisms for the dead. The mission temple trip was huge! No matter the size, the spirit was felt so
strongly. I had the great opportunity to
work as a temple worker again and hand towels to people after baptisms. It was incredible to see those coming to the
temple for the first time and feeling the spirit so strong as they did special
work for their loved ones; their mothers, fathers, grandparents, cousins and so
forth. One thing that was really special
for me this time was that I was able to bring some of my own family names to
the temple--thanks to my little brother Carson.J I was talking to one of the recent converts
after the temple trip and she said, "After I did my mother's name, I was
able to be baptized for some German lady with a really long name..." I
looked at her, smiled and said, "That was one of my family names that
you got to do!" Telling her thank you and giving her a hug really touched
my heart. Tanya and Shelley had an incredible time doing their mom and
grandmother's names that night. I just
love the temple!
|Tanya & Shelley Sweet attend the temple|
We met with an INCREDIBLE lady named Tanya Baptie! I love her so much! She is a daughter of a member who was baptized when she was younger and became less-active BUT, she has been coming back to the gospel and is amazing. She is so excited to have sisters in the ward and wants us to start teaching her. She doesn't know if she needs to be re-baptized, we're just waiting for that information to come in. She quit smoking cold turkey last Sunday and still hasn't had a cigarette. She prays for strength everyday and when we showed her the church app for her phone and how you can listen to The Book of Mormon read aloud, she couldn't stop smiling and just threw her arms around us and gave us a giant hug. We are so excited to help her J When we were coming back after visiting with her, I said to Sister Mosquera, "She is really special..." and couldn't stop smiling myself.
Council was incredible! One powerful experience that I had was when we were
talking about prayer and the Atonement. We then had the opportunity to go into
a room inside the church as a companionship and say a prayer to Heavenly Father
together. This is an experience I will
never forget. We knelt down on the floor
together (like we do multiple times everyday) and Sister Mosquera said the
first prayer. She said the most sincere
prayer in the best English she possibly could... The spirit was so strong in
that little room. After I said the prayer, I looked at Sister Mosquera and she
was just in tears--reaching over, I put my arms around her and hugged her for a
minute. She understood every word of my prayer and I KNOW that it was
because of the spirit. What an incredible companionship bonding experience as
we talked with Heavenly Father in sincere prayer.
|All the "sisters" at zone council|
|For P day today, a member drove us to the mountain to visit|
Thomas S. Monson Camp....so happy to be in the mountains!
Overall... It was a great week. This past week I have been studying the Atonement. I love what David O. McKay said, "The purpose of the gospel is...to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature." I know that our purpose here in life is to progress! My study of the Atonement was amazing and I hope that as I share what I have learned, that the spirit will touch your heart and teach you something that you need at this time.
First: Putting off the natural man--I read from King Benjamin about "putting off the natural man and becoming a saint through the atonement of Christ" (Mosiah 3:19). Second: to make "good men better"--in other words, become more Christlike. As I studied this, I know that it will take a lifetime to understand, but as I learned more about the Atonement overall, it really helped me see that the Atonement is everything!
The Atonement is more than just a redeeming and cleansing power, but also a strengthening and enabling power! We know that Jesus Christ came and died for us, but we also need to recognize that it empowers us! The Atonement is for everyone J The word I have heard quite a bit on my mission that I never quite understood (and am still learning about) is grace. The bible dictionary puts it more simply than I ever could! "...through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of our their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means..." The only person that did anything ever alone is Jesus Christ. I know that we are never alone and that we truly are strengthened to do and be good and serve beyond what we would ever be able to do by ourselves.
Now...The Book of Mormon is truly our handbook of instructions while we are here on this earth, traveling the path from becoming good to better and to have our hearts changed. I LOVE the many, many examples I find in the scriptures of some of those I cherish and look up to in so many ways. For example, Nephi and his perspective of the Atonement truly transformed him--he knew, understood, and relied upon the enabling power of the Savior. After Nephi exhorted his brothers to have faith in the Lord, they bound him up with cords and were planning his destruction. Nephi prays and says, "O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound" (1 Nephi 7:17) He didn't pray ‘to get out of the situation and mess NOW' or to have his circumstances changed. Rather, he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances. I know that he prayed this way because he understood and had experienced the power of the Atonement in a special way. The bands didn't just magically fall, but rather he was blessed with personal strength beyond his own to break the cords that kept him tied. I know that as we pray like Nephi did, you will come to understand a new light that comes from the Atonement of Jesus Christ and it will touch your life--from good to better J
I love the scriptures with all of my heart and am SO grateful to learn more about the Atonement everyday. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he is why I am here. Love to all!
Until next time...