Monday, July 14, 2014

The Will of God

My dearest & loveliest family!!

How are you all!? How was Father's Day!? I hope it was a wonderful day
and that our dearest dad was greatly recognized and appreciated for
all that he has done and continues to do for us, his family and
everyone he comes into contact with. Dad, I love you so much!! I
thought about you all of yesterday too!! During Sacrament Meeting us 6
missionaries, the 4 sisters and 2 elders sang a musical number to "Oh
my Father" and it was beautiful! I thought about you and my dear
Heavenly Father the entire time and at times it made my eyes well up
with tears. I couldn't have felt more blessed or happy. I have the
most incredible two fathers a girl could ask for!!

President Weston said today in his email to us missionaries:

"Yesterday was a wonderful day to honor our fathers and those men in
our life who have blessed us. We are grateful for our fathers,
grandfathers, and so many men who have helped us to have high
expectations of ourselves. We are most grateful for our Heavenly

I couldn't agree more. My own father and grandfathers have influenced
and impacted my life ohh soo much as well with many other men in my
life. Including future fathers!! And I am so grateful for everyone of
them and of course most importantly, our perfect Father who is in
Heaven. Amazing. I also love how he said they have helped us have
"high expectations of ourselves." What a blessing that is for me to
recognize this in my own life. I feel soo grateful for everyone,
especially my very own dad & Father in Heaven, who continually help me
have high expectations for myself and also always help me see & work
towards my potential. I am ohh so thankful. Also, dad... I hope you
got my package!!!!! I love you!!!!

Okay, so for this week. I don't know exactly what to say! It has been
a crazy week!! So let's see... I think I will put my random thoughts
into bullet points. Haha sorry if it's all over the place.

1. Our investigator Luis is progressing a ton and wants to be
baptized! Which is a miracle because he has had a crazy, rough past.
But he has such faith and such a strong desire to change so it's very
humbling & sweet to watch. However, he is on probation so he couldn't
get baptized for a year... So we are going to try our best to keep
motivating him to change and help him convert more and more so he can
be prepared very well when that time comes.
2. We had another wonderful lesson with the Vargas family! Beatriz &
Antonio are so darling and are starting to progress!! They truly are
so sweet and also have such a sincere desire to learn so we are
expecting many miracles to happen with them! More updates to come.
3. We taught Pedro Fung this past week and we are trying to figure
this situation out. He is still very stuck on his Buddhism/Catholic
beliefs however his beliefs on both contradict each other and he
admitted he doesn't really believe/support many of the Catholic
beliefs and he doesn't really know a ton about Buddhism but his wife
is committed to being Catholic, as of now, so he said he doesn't want
to change that. We'll see. It's hard to work with people who don't
have a desire to change but at the same time he has an open mind....
we'll see.
4. We didn't get any new investigators this week because we had a lot
going on and didn't see as much success in that department but we are
fully dedicating ourselves this upcoming week to finding new people!!
We need them desperately.
5. A lot of our less-actives are still progressing & changing a ton.
Including a young 14 year old named Maria. When we first started
visiting her she was super snobby and wanted nothing to do with the
church. Well, we've become friends with her... I love her to death..
even her sassy comments & faces hahaha... and she now enjoys our
company a lot, wants us to come over all the time and has been taking
our lessons more seriously. Including the fact that she said she will
start reading from the Book of Mormon and will pray every night!! She
is changing drastically and I love it so much. She is in Southern Cali
for the next few weeks though so we will have more updates in the
6. We have a darling 13 year old YW in our branch named Giselle who
loves working with us sister missionaries. She always asks if she can
come teach with us so we've had her come out with us 2 days now and it
has been great! She loves tracting & visiting less-actives &
investigators and whenever she shares comments and/or her testimony it
is always so pure & sweet. She brings a great spirit to the work and
we love having her company! She also helped us make rolo cookies at
the church the other day during lunch to go deliver to people! So fun.
7. Our Punjab neighbor Sahil came to church with us yesterday!! He has
been asking to come and we kept telling him it was all in Spanish, in
which he barely knows English, but he still wanted to come with us and
he did! And although he didn't understand a thing, he loved it! A lot
of members thought he was Hispanic too haha so they kept talking to
him and he would get a little red and smile and say, "¿Hola, como
está? Dónde trabaja?" Haha what he learned from work. I love it. So
fun. Hermana Hughes spoke too so that was super fun. Also, for lunch
the other day we went over and said hi to him & his mom and she made
us a huge Indian feast!! She is so darling!! And the food was pretty
good! He also was telling us tons about the Indian culture and about
their Gods & everything. Krishna and what not. Pretty cool! I want to
go to India way bad one day!!! Also, like I have mentioned before...
there are Punjab's everywhere here and the other day one, with his
turban and all, started bowing to us and thanking us while we walked
by and he said, "MORMONS!" And we know how to say hi now in Punjabi
haha so he loved that.
8. We had trainer/trainee this week and unfortunately they split the
mission into two meetings so I didn't get to see Hermana Piggott....
soo sad. But I saw Hermana Richards and it made me sooo happy!!!! I
seriously love that girl more than I can say and I cannot wait to hang
out with her all the time after the mission. She is seriously the
coolest and I admire & look up to her so much. She really is so
awesome and just has the greatest personality. She is also so gorgeous
and just overalls the best person ever!! I love her! Also, cool
story... her mom served in Northern Cali and around these areas and so
recently her mom told her to look up someone who lives near Chico...
her mom baptized this man and long story short... she was going on an
exchange to Chico with Hermana Lee and Hermana Lee found the man and
he either is a Bishop or was a Bishop and anyways... they set up a
dinner and so when Hermana Richards got to Chico she met and had
dinner with one of her mom's converts!!! How amazing!?!? She said he
showed her tons of pictures too and it was overall a very special &
emotional get together. Wow, how cool. I was almost brought to tears
hearing her talk about it. Sooo incredible!!!! But yeah
trainer/trainee was amazing, of course, and it was also the last time
we got to see President Weston!! Ahh killed me. I was so sad. But he
said to me, "I will see you soon!!" and him and a Sister Weston said
goodbye as if they weren't leaving (I think they're in denial) haha
but I am so sad that was the last time I got to see & hear from him as
my mission president!!!!! I love that man soooo much. I cannot even
explain it. I know I will see him tons when I get home but I just
can't believe my time with him on the mission is already through.
Also, mom & dad... He emailed me today and gave me the information for
their homecoming:

".... You can let your parents know that Sister Weston and I will be
speaking on July 13th in the Murray 12th Ward located at 363 East Vine
Street, Murray, Utah 84107. The sacrament meeting starts at 1pm.
Sister Weston and I love you so very much!"

I am so jealous you get to go!!! Mom, if possible... you should take a
recorder and record it for me!!! Haha I am not kidding. I cherish and
soak in every word that man says. I know his homecoming will be
incredible. And I am sure soo many RM's from our mission will be there
too!! Soo fun!!!!! I am so happy I live so close to the Weston's at
home too. I will be seeing them a lot and President said we will have
tons of reunions! It will be amazing!
9. We found out that the JW who was trying to bash us is one of the
recent convert's ex-husband!!!! I almost fell over when I found out.
But we absolutely love the recent convert and her kids. Her name is
Lola, she is only 28 and has a 14 year old. Sad story with that one.
But she is hilarious, has a very fun and young spirited personality
and she always stares at me hahaha. She says she likes my eyes and so
when we're teaching her or at church, I often catch her just staring
at me and then she'll smile and say something. Sounds creepy hahaha
but you have to know her. She is sooo funny and like nobody I've ever
met. Also, her 14 year old Kayleen is so awesome and I love her lots.
Also, Emilce her 11 year old is so darling. She latches on to me like
a leech whenever we're with them but I love her so much and love this
family. We're also helping them paint their house this week so I can't
wait!! I just still cannot get over the fact that she was married to
the JW who disliked us so much haha. Crazy. That's Emilce and their
little brother Adrian's dad.
10. Funny story... one night this past week I woke up to myself
speaking out loud, super loud actually, and speaking pure
jibberish!!!! I was sooo confused when I caught myself and what made
it even funnier was Hermana Hughes started talking after I finished
and she started rambling about Jesus Christ, etc.... we we're sleep
talking to each other!!!! Hahaha sooo hilarious!! When I realized what
was happening I chuckled to myself and then went back to sleep. So
11. Great news!! This past week I got a darling letter with pictures
from Hermana Howe!!!! I miss & love that girl so much!!! And I also
got an amazing letter from my angel Yamara!!!! It was seriously the
cutest letter I have ever received and she sent me a drawing she did
for me as well.... I literally couldn't stop smiling!!! And I have
read the letter over & over. She is so amazing!!!!! I honestly
couldn't be more proud of that girl and she is still as strong as
ever. I love her sooo much and I was thinking about it and even if I
came on my mission solely to see her be converted and baptized and see
how the gospel has completely changed & uplifted her life.... I would
call my mission a success. I love her and cannot wait for you all to
meet her!! Also, Abs... she told me she is sending you a letter so
watch for it!!! Haha she is so cute!!!!!
12. This past week we didn't study "knowledge" like we were going to
because Hermana Hughes needed to write her talk and we want to study
it together... we're doing it this week... but so along with studying
my Book of Mormon I studied & read some other things including "our
search for happiness" by Elder Ballard.... wow. It was a quick read, I
read it during personal study one morning but I recommend everyone to
read it!!!!! He wrote it to help those outside the church get a true
"understanding" for us members of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints but I think it is incredible for us members to read
as well. You should all read it when you have a little bit of time and
tell me what you think!!!! I felt sooo inspired and uplifted after
reading it!!!!!

Also, I want to share with you something President Weston shared with
us missionaries in his email this morning.....

The Savior taught “I came into the world to do the will of my Father.”
(3 Ne 27:13) All that we really have to offer our loving Heavenly
Father is our complete will and submission to Him.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell in the October 1995 General Conference taught us
the following: “So many of us are kept from eventual consecration
because we mistakenly think that, somehow, by letting our will be
swallowed up in the will of God, we lose our individuality (see Mosiah
15:7). What we are really worried about, of course, is not giving up
self, but selfish things—like our roles, our time, our preeminence,
and our possessions. No wonder we are instructed by the Savior to lose
ourselves (see Luke 9:24). He is only asking us to lose the old self
in order to find the new self. It is not a question of one’s losing
identity but of finding his true identity! Ironically, so many people
already lose themselves anyway in their consuming hobbies and
preoccupations but with far, far lesser things. Ever observant, in
both the first and second estates, consecrated Jesus always knew in
which direction He faced: He consistently emulated His Father: “The
Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for
what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John
5:19), for “I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from
the beginning” (3 Ne. 11:11).” (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, October 1995
General Conference, “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father”)

As we reflect upon our desire to submit our will to our perfect and
loving Heavenly Father, the following teachings of Alma ring true:
•    “[H]ave you spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his
image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in
your hearts?” (Alma 5:14);
•    “Do you look forward with an eye of faith;” (Alma 5:15);
•    “[C]an you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your
countenances?” (Alma 5:19);
•    Have ye “experienced a change of heart”? (Alma 5:26)

And for us missionaries he said this but I think it applies to everyone:

"May we continue to be servants of the Lord who are lead by the Spirit
and work hard all day, because of our love for Him and His children.
Please have strong prayers to help you achieve your goals and to seek
to understand how to help your investigators progress to the
ordinances of baptism and confirmation and ultimately to the temple.
Remember, that (1) faith in Jesus Christ is the power; (2) obedience
is the price; (3) love is our motive; (4) the spirit is the key; (5)
Jesus Christ is the reason; and (6) joy is the reward. This work is
wonderful and we will be tested, but as we submit our will to our
Heavenly Father He will bless us."

I absolutely love this and was actually pondering over the same
subject this morning. I was thinking about our loving Heavenly Father,
reading that book by Elder Ballard along with studying my scriptures
has helped me feel an even deeper & greater appreciation & love for
Him... and I was pondering over how the more love I feel from & for
Him, the more I truly desire to submit and align my will with His. The
more I want to do all I can to please Him and make Him proud and the
more I want to live with & be in His sweet presence again one day. Our
investigator Luis said during our lesson the other day that after this
life he wants to, "Satisfy God and make Him feel proud and respected."
Don't we all want that??? And by aligning our will with His we can and
will do that. Incredible. I hope we can all work a little bit each day
on that. I know I am trying my best to. Also, I love those 6 points
President Weston mentioned. We must remember those each day. Also, in
Zone Meeting the Zone Leaders mentioned something that was spoken at
our last Zone Conference with President Weston...

"The only things that Heavenly Father does not have yet is our mind &
heart. We must accept God's will, align our will with His and give
ourselves completely to Him."

God, our Heavenly King, is our loving, caring, comforting and perfect
Heavenly Father.... just patiently waiting for us to come to Him, pray
to Him and waiting simply to bless us and have us return home to
Him!!!! Shouldn't we be able to, and not only that... shouldn't we
want to give those things, our heart & mind... our will... completely
to Him!?! For He is the only one who can give us eternal peace,
complete joy and happiness. I know I do!!! And I will continually work
on it for the rest of my life.

"The natural man is an enemy to God" .... let's give ourselves to God,
not the natural man!!!

Haha sorry for all of my rambling.

I love you all sooooo much!!!!!

Have a wonderful Monday & week my lovelies!!!!

Con amor y un gran abrazo,

Hermana Barth

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