So, we have transfers tomorrow! I'm staying in Barrie with Sister Maas, and Sister Rasmussen will be going to Brantford with another sister! We're sad to separate. I love her!
First I just need to bear my testimony about the importance of church attendance!
I think one of the most important things we must never STOP doing is going to church. For many reasons:
-Our Sabbath day behaviour is a reflection of our love for our Heavenly Father!
-we should talk as families about what we learned at church
-people will dwindle in their testimonies if church attendance is not a priority
-we are able to share our testimonies and uplift others at church
-we get to renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament***
We all can devote 1 HOUR out of 168 HOURS of our week to the Lord by partaking of the sacrament. What a blessing!
"Everything in the church is so mom, dad, and the kids can be sealed together and be happy at home." -Elder David A. Bednar
So Brian and Rick are doing AWESOME. They both came to church yesterday, stayed for all their classes, made new friends, stayed for a priesthood ordination to see what it was like, and just FELT THE SPIRIT. They will be baptized soon.
Our Bishop gave a beautiful talk yesterday as well. Some things he said that I loved:
"It has nothing to do with time, it has everything to do with priority."
"If we don't teach our children, their peers and their teachers will."
"If you stand with God, the Almighty, why would you not have courage?"
Truth is spoken here! I love Barrie!
Last night, we had such a good, solid, wholesome, beautiful, spiritual, happy experience with a family last night at dinner whose son just got back from his mission. We talked about the blessings they've seen come to their family as he has served a mission. The spirit is real. I love talking about missionary work :)
Another night we had dinner with the Young Women's President and a member of the Bishopbric and their conversion story was amazing! Hearts can turn! Lives are changed! The Lord knows what He is doing, that is for sure.
We also helped paint a house, volunteered at Salvation Army, and pulled wallpaper off a wall. Fun!
We met with a family this week and shared a message about God's love and watched the Mormon Message, "Hope of God's Light" and it was such a cool experience for this semi/less-active family to share testimonies about God's love and how it's influenced each of their lives. The best was the youngest boy when he says, in the cutest little chipmunk voice and while putting his hand to his heart, "God loves everybody." Ahhhhh.
We also met with a less-active (who is like a famous singer here?) who feels like she has wanted to break up with her boyfriend but also doesn't and then decided the best decision would be to have him receive the missionary discussions. Yeah, we totally support that decision.
And we met with ANOTHER less-active woman who actually came to church on Sunday and stayed longer than she planned! She said, "It was because the Spirit took over." YES.
This week we had a BEAUTIFUL district meeting given by our dying District Leader. He decided to soap box on some powerful lessons he has learned while on his mission and then invited us to make our own lists. I'm excited.
I also read some POWERFUL talks this week! One called The Challenging and Testifying Missionary. After my companion and I read it, we went out, ditched our car and talked to EVERYONE and their dogs and just invited people to be baptized! We ended up meeting Easton, a SWEET guy who is super excited to learn about our special message! Miracles!
I also read another address given by Elder Holland when he was President at BYU. He spoke much about perseverance. I love what he said when he spoke about the story of how the Salt Lake Temple was built after much tribulation:
"Later that year the prestigious Scientific American (1892), referred to this majestic new edifice as a “monument to Mormon perseverance.” And so it was. Blood, toil, tears, and sweat. The best things are always worth finishing. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Most assuredly you are. As long and laborious as the effort may seem, please keep shaping and setting the stones that will make your accomplishment “a grand and imposing spectacle.” Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. Dream dreams and see visions. Work toward their realization. Wait patiently when you have no other choice. Lean on your sword and rest a while, but get up and fight again. Perhaps you will not see the full meaning of your effort in your own lifetime. But your children will, or your children’s children will, until finally you, with all of them, can give the Hosanna shout."
This is why we must press forward, endure to the end, be steadfast in Christ! We have dreamed dreams and seen visions and we cannot forget that we have. Because,
"As you wage such personal wars, obviously part of the strength to “hang in there” comes from some glimpse, however faint and fleeting, of what the victory can be."
I know these things are true. The Lord lives. And He loves us.