Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"God is aware of us"

SAN DIEGO — I hope you are all doing well! Thank you for the updates. It is always so good to hear how you all are doing. Every time you share your experiences with me, my testimony grows. 

I guess I better tell you about my CRAZY week! First of all, transfers were last Wednesday. Sister Nelson got transferred and I got a new companion: Sister Kennington! She is from Layton, Utah and is SO AWESOME!

We went on exchanges all the time with each other, and have already been good friends these past months I have been here. I am so excited to have her in our area!

For transfers, President Clayton comes to the Battalion and announces them there. The other missionaries have transferred at the Mission Valley Stake Center. After he announced everything, we were singing the closing hymn and all of a sudden I got tapped on my shoulder by President to come out in the hall. Oh my goodness, let me just tell you, having your mission president tap you on the shoulder to follow him is not the most pleasant experience as a missionary- SCARY!

President asked Sister Kennington and I to be the training sisters over the Battalion. What a humbling experience, let me tell you. I am so glad that Heavenly Father makes weak things become strong: He has a lot of work to do on me that is for sure!

An amazing thing that comes with that responsibility is an even deeper feeling of charity. I didn't know I was capable of loving so much, but Heavenly Father has sure helped me stretch my heart even more. It is so funny how He answers prayers. I have spent many many hours on my knees begging Him to help me with my faith, with my charity, and with my trust in Him. I am so grateful that I get to work harder on developing those qualities in myself!

Here is a little update on the area:

I have been seeing how much Heavenly Father wants all of His children all over the world to hear about the Gospel. Right now we are teaching two people: one girl named Tao Tao, who is from China and one guy named Ali, who is from Iran.

Neither one of them have any idea about who their Savior Jesus Christ is at all, which has been a humbling experience to be able to focus an entire lesson on how much the Savior loves each one of us, how he gave his whole life to serve, to love, to lift each one of us. There is a sacred spirit that enters the room when we talk about the Savior. I would not expect anything less, for He is the life and light of the world. Even though people despised Him — and still do — even though people mocked Him, and still do, even though people turned away from Him, and still do, He loved them all and He loves us all. I know it. I can't see Him. I can't hear Him. But there is no one and nothing in this world that cannot tell me that He does not live, for I have felt his Spirit touch my soul. I have felt his hands lift my burdens. And I have been encircled by the arms of His love.

I have seen so many miracles and so many instances this week that have shown me that God is aware of us. Sister Nelson and I have been trying to get a hold of Ashli, a girl who came to the Mormon Battalion Historic Site and wanted to learn more since August. Every time we try and contact her, her dad answers and to say the least, does not like us at all.

Last night, Sister Kennington stopped by and she answered the door. We sat in her living room talking to her about the Book of Mormon, about how God is aware of her and loves her. I watched her face light up as her spirit remembered (even though she didn't realize it) where she came from. She had the light of Christ shimmering from her eyes, and I knew there were angels in the room, helping her remember that she is a daughter of God, a princess of a King, and that He wants her back.

We also taught a guy named Keith, who was standing on the street corner in front of the institute building and one of the members invited him inside for pizza. He told them he didn't want pizza, but he went in anyway and immediately asked how he could learn more. The elders were able to teach him a little bit and then they passed him to us since he is in our area. Heavenly Father was aware of him — he helped him get to that street corner, he inspired that boy to invite him in, and he is helping us teach him how to return to Him. God does love us. He does care. I know it. I know it with all my heart.

You kept mentioning the holidays in your letters. Something so weird here in California, I keep forgetting Thanksgiving is next week! It is kind of hard to think that Christmas is coming when it is sunny and 75 degrees all year long! I have some questions for all of you:

Nick: How is your job doing? What kinds of things do you do?

Juli: How do you like the new house? How are the girly bugs? How are you?

Chris: How is school going? What meds are you learning about? do you have the hospital rotation yet?

Hannah: Are you still TA'ing? How is teaching going?

Sara: How was San Diego? I saw Bobby's family! So fun! How are clinicals? Any fun stories?

Mom: How are your kiddos at school? Crazy this year or pretty good? How has it been with Marv and Jackies daughter? What about sister Rosenburg?

Pops: How was the football game in the snow? How is the center coming along? Have you decided if you are going to Finland?

Grandma and Grandpa Morgan: How are you doing? Has it been snowing in Idaho too? I ate a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie the other day- definitely not as good as grandma morgans, but a good reminder of you!

Grandma and Grandpa Newman: How is working at the temple? I met someone that works at the Jordan river temple, but I can't remember their names.

Time is up! So sorry, but I have to go. I love you all. I hope you know that. Have a wonderful week and please don't forget who you are. I hope you don't take my letters as sounding preachy. Heavenly Father has just helped me see the world so differently. We are His. He wants us back. Let's help all of us return together!

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