HAPPY GENERAL CONFERENCE WEEKEND!!
Okay, I know General Conference is over now but wasn't it incredible!?! Ohh my goodness I learned soo much and feel soo inspired now. I feel so very blessed and full of love now too. How lucky are we!? To be members of the TRUE Church of our Savior, Jesus Christ... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Ohh it makes my heart feel soo full and warm. Like Elder Hales said,
"the world is moving farther away from the Lord"
and as Elder Packer said,
"we live amongst very prideful and disobedient people."
So how BLESSED are we!?! To have the truth, to only be moving closer to our Lord and associating with the Saints of the world who are humble, meek and obedient. What wonderful examples we have all around us in the church and how lucky are we to have the gospel so firmly rooted into our lives.. and if they're not firmly rooted, we have the guidelines on how to make them be. But this however, does not mean we are perfect. Which reminds me of what Elder Uchtdorf expressed in his incredible and powerful talk,
"members still make mistakes... the church is run through imperfect people.."
We are not perfect. Just because we have the truth and receive the profound blessings from the truth.. doesn't make us perfect. We're still human and like it's said, "the natural man is an enemy to God." However, we have the ability to aim for perfection, like our Savior and Father in Heaven are perfect and share the knowledge, blessings and truth we do have with others. I think it's also very important for us to let others know this and for them to know that although us as humans, members of the church aren't PERFECT.. the church and gospel are. And therefore, when there are faults found... it is from the people of the church.. not the church alone or doctrine of the gospel. The Doctrine is perfect. And like Russel M. Nelson stated,
"we cannot change His doctrine, it is not our doctrine to change."
The doctrine of the Gospel IS perfect and cannot be changed. It is of GOD, not us.
I found this to be very important for others to understand when Reina was a little bothered by a member in our ward, duringSchool, when she came to our church. This member is very loud, obnoxious and often disrespectful and so it put a bitter taste in her mouth about church that day... Well anyways, when she told us this in our next lesson with her, we made sure she knew that us as members are not perfect, however, that does not mean the gospel isn't and people don't always represent the church exactly how we want them to.
But, like Elder Uchtdorf said, "we need unique personalities and talents" in our church. We like having every type of people, our church is for EVERYONE. That is why Uchtdorf also kept saying,
"COME, JOIN WITH US."
We desire for all to come unto Christ and join with us. And it is our job as members to take responsibility in inviting these people, everyone. I love how President Monson stated with such power at the end of one of his talks,
"DO THE WORK OF THE LORD."
We hear these words frequently but hearing that sentence alone from the Prophet of God really hit me hard. We must do the work of the Lord!! Right now!!!! Like Brother Dube said, we must
"build the Kingdom of God, NOW!"
This is the time!!!
And like Elder Holland said in a talk from the past, "it's getting late." We must not wait.. but remember as Elder Ballard said, "we are hastening the work of Salvation... the Lord is hastening His work" ... and like Brother Nielson said, "the time is NOW for us to hasten the work" ... I took note of many of the times when the words, "hastening the work" were mentioned but the time is now!!!! Let's "serve with enthusiasm!" as Brother Nielson said as well. Ohh I love it so much. We are all missionaries as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!! We need to get to work, there are people waiting for us!!!!! We all, as Brother Dube also said, "must be anxiously engaged in a good cause" (D&C 58:26). Well, okay. So as a full-time missionary this has hit me ohhh so hard. I need to work even harder to bring all those I can unto our Savior, Jesus Christ. But let me tell you... this work isn't easy!!!
It isn't easy for many reasons but most of all, for me personally at least, it is tough EMOTIONALLY. I have such a strong testimony of the gospel and it is EVERYTHING to me so when people shut their doors in our faces, want nothing to do with us, won't answer their door when we could previously hear them talking inside... won't keep commitments, etc.. the list goes on... it is HARD on me!!! It simply breaks my heart. I truly FEEL for these people and have a sincere desire for them to know of the gospel's goodness and receive the blessings that come from the church. And sometimes, I feel like I must be doing something wrong. I wonder what more I could be doing... what I could be doing better, etc. I truly am constantly thinking this way. Because I just have such a desire to bring all the saints I can unto our Savior, Jesus Christ and Father in Heaven. Being on my mission has really humbled me and given me a greater ability to see my weaknesses... I don't know if I have ever felt so much this way in my entire life. And I have never earnestly seeked for my Saviors comfort, guidance, help and love as much as I have these past couple of months. Especially now, being out in the field. I am constantly praying to our Father in Heaven... if not out loud or on my knees, in my heart. Always.
My faith has grown soo much and I truly feel more humbled than ever before. Which reminds me of how both Elder Scott and Elder Nelson mentioned Etherin their talks, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I know that if I continue to be humbled, have faith and seek after our loving and ever so merciful Savior, my weak things will be made strong. Like President Monson said, "only the Master knows the depths of our trials" and along with that I know that only the Master knows the depths of our desires, hearts, weaknesses, etc. Therefore, it is soo important we go to Him constantly, for EVERYTHING. I noticed that was very emphasized in General Conference as well, of course. That we must rely on the Savior for EVERYTHING... ALWAYS and remember that, as Brother Dyches stated in the Savior's own words.. "draw unto me and I'll draw unto you."
We must draw unto the Savior and when we do this he will draw unto us. So profound. We cannot do this alone. Therefore as Alma 26:12 states, (I found this last night in my scripture studying..) "Yea, I know I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." I am NOTHING without the Savior and I know that I will be given strength to do all things because of Him... my weaknesses WILL be made STRONG and I will witness many miracles, here on my mission in California... and because of this I will boast of my GOD and praise his name forever. Ohhh so amazing. And with this, I must remember to not get down on myself when I don't feel as though I am seeing as much success as I should be or that not everything is going as perfectly as I want it to be. I must continue to have FAITH, work my hardest and seek for my Savior's guidance. I also must be MEEK!!! Which was talked about A TON in General Conference as well. I love how often that was mentioned. I can remember it being brought up by Brother Soares, Brother Dube, President Monson...and I am sure many others as well.
And anyways, with doing and being these things.... there is NO reason for me to have fear!!! Which was also talked about a ton. Elder Ballard said, "remove ANY fear... quit having fear and PRAY.... make the decision to do what the Lord has asked us to do..." Even when people don't seem to be responding how I'd desire for them to... I must have no fear and remember that, as Elder Ballard also stated, "even when the timing isn't right, we never fail when we're on the Lord's errand and trying our best." That's all I can do... is try my VERY BEST!!!! And he also stated, "if we want to teach the gospel to more people, we must TALK to more people EVERY DAY!!" Which is EXACTLY what I've been trying to do.... every day I have been itching to talk to more and more people and at first I didn't want to be the annoying trainee that wants to tract all day, every day.
I kept mentioning it to Hermana Piggott and earlier this week one day I said, "I REALLY feel as though we should be tracting more." And we had tracted a little but spent most of our time just trying to visit other people, lots of the time having people not answer their doors... so I told her this and I did strongly feel this way. I have been praying constantly to know what we should do to get more investigators and people and I felt that this was the solution. Well anyways, right after I said this, Hermana Piggott stopped the car. We said a prayer... got out right there on a random street. And started tracting... well...... we set appointments with 3 HOUSES in a ROW!!! On that ONE street!!!! And we met THE nicest people!!!! All GOLDEN and finally people who I feel, really desired to know more and DESIRED for us to come back to teach them. One man, Jose, had started reading the Book of Mormon years ago too and ahhh I am so excited to teach them this week!!! And then the next day, we tracted for a few hours and had soo much success AGAIN!!!!!
So overall this past week we set up about 8-10 (I don't have my planner with me) new appointments with people we found just from tracting!!!!! Maybe this will lead to 8-10 new investigators!! Let's cross our fingers people. We NEED more investigators and progressing ones. Ohh we need them so badly. But so anyways, I know that my Father in Heaven listened to my prayers and led us to these people. I cannot wait to teach them all and help them come closer unto our Savior, Jesus Christ!! And also what I need to remember is that a lot of the time it is not in my control what these people do as well. I just have to try my best to teach them to my greatest ability, with the Savior and Holy Ghost's help and then it is up to their own personal agency. We all have our agency and with that, I have to respect their choices, desires, beliefs, etc. Like Elder Uchtdorf said, "we have to honor them like we want other to honor us." So anyways, that is very important for me to remember. But I am going to continue to do all I can to bring all those I can unto our Savior and remember to rely on Him always!!!!! And like President Monson said,
"PATIENCE IS REQUIRED."
I have to have patience with these people. And patience with myself.
Okay, well I know this has been all over the place and probably made zero sense hahaha but just know that I LOVED Conference, if you couldn't already tell.... and I am learning and growing every single day. I am also witnessing many many miracles and feel soo blessed to have the opportunity to be a full-time missionary. I love this work with all of my heart and feel so blessed to be apart of it. I TRULY COULD NOT BE HAPPIER!!!!!! Okay, well I have to go but I have so much more to say!!!! I'll tell you more next week haha. I have to tell you about lessons we've had, people we're teaching... people we've met, etc. But I have to go!!!! So GOD BE WITH YOU TILL (I WRITE) AGAIN!!!!!!! EXCLAMATION POINT!!!!!!! Hahahaha okay, adios mi familia!!! I hope everyone is doing well. Love you all sooo so much.Con mucho mucho amor, Hermana Barth
And let us remember, as President Monson stated in the Relief Society Broadcast and Elder Holland restated in Conference,
"God's love is there for you always whether you
deserve it or not"
and like Elder Eyring said, "there is not ONE of us He has not desired to save." I LOVE IT!!!!!!