Monday, November 10, 2014

This is my Life and my Light

One Hermana and two Sisters! (Our English speakers)
Hello again! Since I just talked to you a few days ago, I don't know how much I have to tell you...haha but I will tell you of some great miracles that we have been seeing!

I went on exchanges this last week with Sister Lambright and boy did we see some miracles! We were able to set two baptismal dates with investigators that we visited! President Mortensen has really been pushing us to be bold in extending commitments--making sure that baptism invitations are extended in the first and second lessons. He has challenged us to extend a baptismal commitment each day, and I know that we are going to see some remarkable miracles from it! We already are! It is such a privilege being able to work with the Sisters. I am learning so much from them that I hardly feel like I am teaching them anything! We did a companionship study with a companionship of Sisters in our zone and role played being bold in extending the baptismal invitation, and when we followed up with them we found out that they set 2 baptismal dates with their investigators! There are miracles everywhere! We had a conference call with President Mortensen, and he said that our mission right now is going to see more baptisms than we ever have! The Lord truly is hastening His work and I feel so privileged to be a part of it!

I feel like I have come to better understand my purpose as a missionary. It's something that in the MTC we stated every single day, and I say it every day on my mission, but for some reason it just really hit me this last week how important our purpose as missionaries truly is. As we have focused on our purpose, the whole energy of our mission has changed. The missionaries and members are more excited about the work, and the Lord is leading us to those who are prepared! I read Alma 26 this week and focused a lot on that excitement--that joy that comes from doing missionary work. IT IS INDESCRIBABLE! As I read Alma 26:26-37 I felt an overwhelming gratitude of my opportunity to be a missionary. I understand what they are talking about because I too, have experienced it. 
26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.
 27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

 28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
 29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.
 30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

 31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.
 32 For behold, they had rather sacrifice their lives than even to take the life of their enemy; and they have buried their weapons of war deep in the earth, because of their love towards their brethren.
 33 And now behold I say unto you, has there been so great love in all the land? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, there has not, even among the Nephites.
 34 For behold, they would take up arms against their brethren; they would not suffer themselves to be slain. But behold how many of these have laid down their lives; and we know that they have gone to their God, because of their love and of their hatred to sin.
 35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
 36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.
 37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.
I too have felt like I was ready to give up. I have been mocked and laughed at. I have felt depressed and insignificant. I have faced trials and afflictions. I have gone from house to house with the hope that someone would open their door and let us in. However, all of those frustrations, all of those trials, distractions, and discouragement pale in comparison to the joy that you feel when the Lord leads you to the one who is willing to listen, who is willing to change. And then, it is all worth it. The Lord and this work "is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo." That joy is complete, it is perfect, and it is all because of God. So, I will end with this scripture, Alma 28:14.
14 And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.
To all those who may be wondering, a mission is the most amazing thing in the entire world.
Con muchisimo amor,
Hermana Hoj 

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