I am so blessed to be a missionary. Really. Words do not do it justice, and never will. I read Alma 26 this week (one of my all time favorites) and he says "my joy is full...my heart is brim with joy...I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." I'm just gonna ditto that one right there and leave it at that.
This week has been a week of realization for me in things that I need to do to be a better missionary, and what you wrote me about this week is exactly what it is that I am trying so hard to be better at. Opening your mouth, being bold, talking with everyone you see, etc. I'm telling you that it is so hard for me at times! I am not the most forward person in the world to say the least...haha but there are times when I see someone and think "I should give them a pass along card." or something along those lines and then I hesitate. Doubts and fears sink in and then it's too late. Fear is not from God, nor will it ever be! (Look at "Fear" in the Bible Dictionary) So I've just got to change my mindset and rather than saying "I should." start saying "I'm going to." My eyes began to water when you told me that in your prayers last night Tay prayed for me to not be afraid to be bold in sharing my testimony and I have tears running down my cheeks right this instant, because it is just what I needed. I am so lucky to have people who love and support me in all that I do. Even when you didn't even know that was exactly what I needed! In our weekly planning this week this is what I wrote down as my personal goals. Confidence. Do not be hesitant. Be BOLD. I am so blessed to have such a good family, such a good support system, and I want to thank you so much for your prayers and love. Now when I think about going up to someone to share this great message with them I'm going to have in the back of my head, "Your family is at home praying for you to do this too. You've got it. Be confident. Be bold." So thank you thank you thank you!
I want to share with you an experience I had this week from when I went on exchanges. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed, and I am so touched by it. I went on exchanges with Hermana Glauser this past week, and we visited an elderly couple in their ward. The wife is on bed rest from some illnesses in the past, so he is her caretaker to say the least, and the most dedicated one I have ever seen. I witnessed the most pure love ever. It truly was a Christ like love. It's a lot of work that he has to do to help her, and he does it with so so soooo much love. He had us sit by her bed and sing songs for her and the first one we sung was How Great Thou Art (or Grand Eres Tu in Spanish). He would sing with us too, and as he sung "Grande eres Tu" he motioned his hand towards her then picked up her hand and kissed it, then kissed her on the cheek. I just wanted to cry because I could truly see how much love he had for her and I couldn't help but think how much I want that in my own life. Then I realized that it is something that I already have all around me. From my family and friends, but most importantly from my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I am loved with a perfect and infinite love that I can't even begin to comprehend. I am loved regardless of the weaknesses that I have and the mistakes that I so often make. I am not expected to be perfect, I am just expected to do all I can. And what should be the motivation for me to do so? You've got it. LOVE. That is the reason that I am on a mission right now. I am trying to help others feel the love that Jesus Christ has for them. And the most incredible thing ever is that as a representative of Jesus Christ we have the opportunity to feel the love that He has for the people we teach and serve. We want nothing more than for them to believe in the things that we have to tell them because we know how much it means to Him. That is the reason that it is so important for me to be bold, to be confident, and to open my mouth. I am doing it out of love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and for the desire I have to help others recognize that. Yeah, let me tell you there are times where I feel inadequate to every situation that is put in front of me, and there are more times than I can count where I don't know the answer to someone's question. So what do I do? I rely on the Lord. I go to Him, I ask him my questions, I pour out my feelings of inadequacy to Him--and every single time, WITHOUT FAIL, I am overcome with His love. He lets me know that it's okay for me not to know everything, it's okay that I make mistakes. The thing that is important is that I am trying. Then He has a marvelous way of showing me what I need to do to find my answers--and yet again I am reminded of the love that He has for me. It's all about the love.
I'm going to close with some wise words from Moroni because he says it so perfectly! (Moroni 8:16)
"Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear."
Always remember that, and when an opportunity to share the gospel comes into view grasp it with both hands and have confidence that the Lord will help you, because I can promise you that He will.
And remember how much I love YOU!! LOVE YOU ALL!!!! (and...Happy Valentine's Day!)
xoxo, Hermana Hoj