" Salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith, even unto the end of his life. If ye do this ye shall always rejoice and be filled with the love of God and always retain a remission of your sins: and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you..." Mosiah 4:6, 12.
SAN DIEGO — This week Heavenly Father answered my prayers. I asked him to help me understand the Christ-like attribute of diligence more clearly.
He gave me ample opportunities to practice! A few days ago, I was in the urgent care with one of the sisters from 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. Two and a half hours later, I was up and doing morning exercise. If you don’t already know this, sleep is a precious commodity in missionary work.
And missionary work is just that — WORK!
Put those two together, and I was one sleepy missionary. I felt like I was trying to stay awake after taking an Ambien or something! As I was reading about diligence earlier in the week in Preach My Gospel, one line stuck out to me: "Continue until you have done all you can, even when you are tired."
Those words kept flashing across my mind as my eyes would droop in tours or lessons, but Heavenly Father helped me continue to be steady, consistent and energetic in His work. His promise came true that, "when you are diligent, you find joy and satisfaction in your work."
I have found a lot of joy this week in the work. I want to tell you about the miracle of the Avocado Ward starting to transform.
If whoever is reading this knows anything about my Dad and Mom, they are very very organized, and very hard working. In fact they are so organized that we have an alphabetical and numerical system to organize the collection of DVD's in our home. Also, family vacations would usually consist of a planned out calendar of our itinerary that Dad would email to us before we would leave on vacation. I bet you can imagine I picked up on a few of those characteristics.
I have found that the phrase, "God is a God of order" is essential in our quest to become like Him. In the Avocado Ward, we have been working so hard these past three weeks to get organized and gain the trust of the members. We have visited every member of the ward council and have plans on how we can work together in missionary work. We are teaching the ward members how to invite their friends to activities and church. And we have reorganized our reporting in ward council so the members can better understand our efforts in their ward.
Just those simple things have transformed the spirit here. We were able to have 18 lessons this week with only 4 half days in our area (A full time missionary needs to get 20, so we were very blessed)! We are now teaching three part-member families, and Tracy and Amber have a baptism date for July 28th! And hopefully by next week, Sean (a different family) will have a date too. I'll keep you posted (Dad, you asked about Peter- he is a YSA, so we had to pass him off, but I'll let you know if I find anything else out about him).
I just want you to know my testimony of this work. There has been a transformation of what has been happening since I last wrote. Just look back and see the letters! It is the power of Heaven plain and simple. No one can claim that just literally a few weeks ago, this ward didn’t trust missionaries, they didn’t like missionary work, and we had no investigators to teach. Heavenly Father has sent us an army of angels to help us in this work, and because of that, we are seeing an explosion of miracles.
There is rain falling on the scorched earth of Avocado — the rich soil that comes from burnt earth is sprouting fruit! I can’t wait to update you next week.