Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"More Precious than Gold"

SAN DIEGO — I have literally no time this week to write. I had to print off your letters and will read them later. The Family History Center where we write is closed this week, so we have 22 sisters that have had to share 2 computers at the Battalion.

I will just have time to tell you about my week, and next week I will answer all your questions.

It has been a crazy week. Monday, Sister Kennington and I had to train the group leaders at the Mormon Battalion. As a sister missionary, it works a little differently than elders. There are four group leaders that take the sisters out and go on exchanges and have a group meeting at the Battalion each week. And we also are part of our districts in our areas as well (but we of course do not go on exchanges with the district leader as he is an elder). Then, Sister Kennington and I help train the group leaders and take them out in our area. It has been such a great experience to learn from these sweet sisters.

Elder Nelson visited the Mormon Battalion. We'll have Brittany
tell us about it next week.

I have also had a few funny stories this week as well. Sister Kennington and I were trying to find an address of a potential investigator. We walked into a guy that was walking down the street, so we stopped to talk with him. As we mentioned that we were missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he spluttered, "MORMONS ARE TAKING OVER HAWAII!!! They have one of them temple things there and everything!!!!"

Sister Kennington and I had to hold our tongues, trying not to burst out laughing. We soon realized that he was definitely drunk as he wobbled away, turning back to say, "and you know what? You girls are pretty!"

It was funny, yet really sad as well to see Heavenly Father's son so far away from Him. I can't even imagine how He feels when His precious children turn their backs on Him. It hurts my heart to think about it.

Yesterday was another funny. I don't know who has spread the rumor that people are nicer to missionaries in the rain — NOT TRUE! It was pouring rain (I called it a blustery day, and Sister Kennington totally laughed at me, Nick, I think you would appreciate that saying). Anyway, we ran up to a house and they opened the door and asked us what our special message to the world was. We explained that Heavenly Father loves us just as much as in the days of Adam and Moses, that He has once again reached out in love to call a prophet to lead and guide our church today.

All of a sudden we had a room full of people all talking at once telling us that they were prophets and all sorts of interesting things to say the least. The Spirit was not there at all. I have learned why Heavenly Father explains to us that the Spirit testifies of truth. I have seen that so much on my mission.

Two more things: I want to tell you about one of my investigators. Her name is Ashli. She came into the Mormon Battalion in August and wanted a copy of The Book of Mormon. I think I might have mentioned her. It was a miracle that we were able to contact her a few weeks ago. We have now been able to teach her about The Book of Mormon and Restoration. Mine and Sister Kennington's jaw dropped yesterday when she texted us that she was already at 1 Nephi 16. She was so excited to share a passage that stuck out to her that I want to share with you.

She was explaining how she started reading this and she just felt like Heavenly Father was talking to her....
And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto gall those who diligently seek him, as well in times of hold as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in

As Ashli — not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — told me that she felt that she knew this before, that it made sense and that she felt peace. I, too, could feel my Heavenly Father testifying that He knows each one of us. He knows what we need to hear, what we need to feel, and what we need to do to return to Him. I could almost feel His prescence in the room, almost see His face smiling at Ashley. I don't care what the world says. I don't care how hard satan tries to make us feel differently. God lives and He loves us more than we know. I wish I could take what I feel in my heart and let all of you reading this feel it as well. Heavenly Father loves you SOOOOO much!

K, I have literally 3 minutes to write you one more thing that stuck out to me today. Sister Kennington and I have to give the devotional on Thursday, so I have been reading out of my site guide for the Mormon Battalion, and I wanted to share with you an excerpt from it. I get to see everyday how much these men and women sacrificed for us, and I sometimes take it for granted. I hope this quote helps you get an essence of the love, the sacrifice and the charity that these people had. They truly knew who they were and what God expected of them.

"I have never seen that rich spot of earth since. Nor do I regret it, for there always has been a higher object before me than gold. We had covenanted to move together... we were in honor bound to move the next day. We did move, leaving that rich prospect without ever sticking a stake in the gulch. But abandoning it to those who might follow...people said, here is gold on the bedrock, gold on the hills, gold in the rills, gold everywhere, gold to spend, gold to lend, gold for all that will delve, and soon you can make an independent fortune. We could realize all that. Still duty called, our honor was at stake, we had covenanted with each other, there was a principle involved, for with us it was God and his Kingdom first, we had friends and relatives in the wilderness, yea, in an untried desert land, and who knew their condition? We did not. So it was duty before pleasure, before wealth and with this prompting, we rolled out and joined our comrades."

This quote is after the men found gold at Sutters Mill. Instead of staying, they knew they had made a covenant with Heavenly Father and that they had something more precious than gold. I just thought as I was reading this, how we really need to sort out our priorities. I have learned that a lot while being here. Heaven comes first. Nothing else is as important.

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