SAN DIEGO — Happy Valentines Day! Hope you are having a good one!:)
I got the email from Dad about Mormon Battalion Day. That was cool:) I have to say my quote wasn't very profound- oops! Sometimes, I just run out of cool words to say! When you've been out so long, unfortunately the everyday miracles that happen fade into just everyday events. I am trying so hard to get my "greenie" perspective back, but it is hard work, I tell you! I guess that is something I will have to watch out for when I get home as well. Falling into that trap of seeing every day as another day, and forgetting that it is 24 more hours to become like the Savior and see his Atonement work in the world. What a miracle just that itself is!
I have a few random things I wanted to tell you about this week:
In our area, we have been struggling so much with finding new people to teach. We are teaching Oliver, who is getting baptized in March and that is pretty much it. But Heavenly Father has sent us so many less-actives to teach. I have found a new love for rescuing those that have lost their way a little bit. Oh, I wish I was better at that when I was at home!
Two of the people we are working with are preparing for missions now. It is so amazing to see the Atonement work! We were teaching Paul last week how to teach the Restoration. We had to help him learn Joseph's account of what happened with hand actions (that was pretty funny), and then committed him to have it completely memorized by the next time we saw him. We were meeting with him this week and asked him to teach us the Restoration, he got a "Pshhhh, that is so easy" look on his face and totally recited the whole thing! It was so great!
We were helping a member with the exact same thing just yesterday and as we were leaving his house, he told us about Whitney Houston passing away. As a tribute, Sister Kennington and I belted "I will always love you" on our way out to the car. Lesson 1 of being a missionary: you have to learn how to laugh and enjoy every second!
Speaking of Oliver, He is doing SO GREAT. He is so solid. He lives with a member who has really exotic pets. Last time we were there, they were showing us their parrots. The great big one hates girls and will bite you if you get to close. Yesterday when we were walking up to the house to teach him, the big parrot was on her perch on the front door. We started walking up and she jumped at us, (and you knowing how scared I am of birds) and I hid behind Sister Kennington like a little girl. So she, being the brave one, held up her bag over her head and ran to the door bell so we could get inside. It is those silly moments I wish I could take a snapshot of and send home to you.
We are also being trained on using CHAT. The church is trying to help us missionaries stop using "19th century techniques in a 21st century world", so they are training us on teaching lessons over the phone, texting, and online. We at the Visitors Center also are learning how to use the chat feature on mormon.org to chat online with people all over the world who have questions. Just yesterday as we were being trained, a man from Europe got on and told us about how hopeless he felt. His wife had just left him, he lost his job, and he was worried about his little daughter. We taught him about Jesus Christ and how His Gospel could lift and strenghten him. It was so amazing. We have another appointment set up. Technology can be such a blessing!
Sister Kennington and I been talking a lot about how Satan has such a tight grasp on the world today. There was an older gentlemen giving a talk on Sunday, and was talking about how marriage in the world is "till death do you part". Sister Kennington and I looked at each other, it was sad to see in her eyes, a reflection of what I was thinking and feeling inside — it may have been true that in the past, people were married "till death do you part", but Satan now has twisted the world so that they truly believe that they can be married forever without someone who holds the permission from God to do that.
Now as missionaries today, when we preach about families being together forever, they say I already have that. When we talk about Jesus Christ, they either believe that they are saved by grace alone, or they don't need Jesus Christ, they can do it on their own. Just yesterday, we had a former investigator look us in the eyes after he felt the Spirit with its full force testify of the reality of Christ, and still, he said, "I don't want Jesus in my life." It's really sad. Thats all I know what to say. The thing is, who is Satan to think he can win? Families CAN be together forever, the Gospel HAS been restored. Jesus Christ IS real. I know that more now than I ever have in my life.
I hope you all know how much I love you. I pray for you everyday. I wish I could talk individually with every single one of you, all of you who read this, and share with you the miracles I see every day, the testimony I have been given, and the truth I get to teach. It's real. You can do hard things. God loves you!