Monday, March 3, 2014

Spirit of Elijah

I can't remember everything I've written to y'all that's happened to me, but one very important thing I think I've neglected to write about is that I ate cow tongue from a taco truck a couple weeks ago. It's actually quite delicious, and made for a great, very cheap taco.

We got stuck in the mud last Tuesday and had a little miracle because a family stopped to help push us out right before it got dark and started dumping buckets. On Tuesdays, we also volunteer for a food pantry and I'm the official freezer packer because I can fit everything in the freezers better than others. I think it's a skill I picked up from watching dad pack the car for trips all growing up.

We had some exciting appointments this week. We had dinner with a nonmember family husband, wife, and 2 year old (the husband is actually studying to be a minister) and we had a great time with them. We taught them about Family Home Evening, and then had FHE with them. We had a wonderful discussion about the role of Christ in our life, our favorite passages of scripture in the Bible and Book of Mormon, and some other great topics. They are just the greatest people and wanted to give us a little taste of home because they know we're far away. We played dominion with them and just talked about God. It was wonderful! I hope we can continue to learn from each other.

We had another great lesson with another wonderful woman. We had our Ward Mission Leader's wife come with us, and she was just able to really see the needs this woman had as we were teaching her and connect and testify so much more powerfully than we were able to do. You members are so great! The missionaries need your help in this great work, whether it be teaching lessons, finding, fellowshipping... you do so much :)
This week we had Zone Conference where we got to listen to our mission President had been inspired to teach us. He talked specifically about the spirit of Elijah and how important it is in missionary work. When the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, the first thing he told him about was the Book of Mormon. The second thing he talked about was the prophecies in Malachi of Elijah turning the hearts of the children to their fathers. In missionary work the Book of Mormon is our most important tool, but Family History should be our second. There's a really amazing quote that was shared, " So often we think of our responsibility to do something for those who have gone before. We need to understand that probably one of the most important benefits of preserving our heritage is what is does for us today. If we want our problems to be solved, one of the surest ways of doing that is to search for our past, for therein we receive strength, guidance, and understanding. All of you here today are giving an added eternal dimension to your lives as you learn and study the past. We can receive strength and help from those who have gone on before. To raise our families today, we need to do family research and genealogy." (Elder John H. Goberg, Quorum of the Seventy).

We also talked about how important unity is in our ward, and the things we as missionaries can do to help increase unity (because it's a 2 way street). We also got some advice from Stake Presidents in the area on how we could be more unified and gain greater trust from the members. Some of the things they said were, "Live as representatives of Jesus Christ, people are always watching." "Members must see you as men and women of God. They need to feel the Spirit when you speak and when you are around them." "Bear witness of Christ frequently and let members know of your love for the Lord." So I've been trying to do more of that lately. I think that advice applies to missionaries, but it also applies to all members who are trying to bring others closer to Christ.

This morning I was reading in Alma 31, starting in verse 26 where Alma is praying for those he's teaching and serving with. He prays for comfort, strength, patience, wisdom and for all those he serves with individually, as well as the people they're trying to teach. It was a good lesson for me to remember the importance and powerful effect of prayers. The last verse says, "And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith." 

Don't underestimate the power of prayer and the power of your example. The Lord can do miracles with you as you ask Him for it and as you're willing to sacrifice in His service. Love you lots!


Sister Andreason

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