Friday, February 6, 2015

Week 53 Arizona

So...dis week...  Tuesday was one of the best days of my mission. We worked so hard. We skipped lunch and went out tracting with a member. We felt the spirit so strong as we shared the "He is the gift" video. It was so weird because the people just didn't seem interested. But after watching the video, they wanted us to come back. The church knows how to get the message out. We had the best Facebook hour ever. I started talking to one of my old Ward mission leaders from Phoenix about online Proselyting and sharing the video. He loved it. By Sunday, all of the young men in his Ward added me and my companion on Facebook and we are now teaching all of them how to spread the gospel using social media.       
     Saturday we contacted a man named Carlos who just started saying really mean stuff about the church and the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. He truly believes that we are not all children of Heavenly Father. That made me so sad. He believes that only those who accept God can be His children, but I just want to testify that this is not true. God created all of us, therefore He is the Father to all of us. How can He not love everyone on the face of the earth? It just didn't make sense to me. I felt the Spirit strongly as my companion and I testified of the truthfulness of this gospel. No one can fight against your testimony, that's why it's such a powerful tool. That night we had the Ward Christmas party and there was a great turn out. After all this time in the Rio Salado Ward we are finally gaining member trust and making friends. We ate dinner and just enjoyed the Christmas environment.     Sacrament meeting was great. 
      It was fast and testimony meeting. I went in fasting for our investigators and the family of a fellow missionary who's sister is struggling. The other sisters had a baptism on Saturday of a youth, Marcy, she is 17 years old. She was confirmed in sacrament meeting and her less active father (who is now returning to activity because of his daughter) was able to participate in thecircle and exercise his priesthood. It was a very spiritual confirmation. We can always be examples to others around us even if weare young. Children can be examples to their parents and shouldn't bescared to do so. Instead of the young men passing the sacrament, the members of the Melchizedek passed and blessed it. It was so special because there are so many converts in this Ward who have never passed the sacrament because they were baptized when they were older. It was amazing to see these fathers pass the sacrament. Aisha Moss then had a musical number. She played silent night on the violin. She is astudent at ASU getting her PhD in violin. It was amazing. The Spirit filled the room as the humble members of the congregation shared their testimonies. An 8 year old boy, Hector, got up and shared his testimony about the second article of faith and went up and recited it in front of everyone. He then went on to talk about our responsibility to make good decisions and we are responsible for our own sins. I had a big smile on my face as he testified about the plan of salvation. He was fulfilling scripture, from the mouth of babes we will hear marvelous things. Marcy's less active mother then bore her testimony about the plan that God has for each of us and the spirit that the missionaries bring into the homes of others. Think about the power of home and visiting teachers. They go in a companionship and preach the gospel to the members of the ward. They can bring that same spirit into the homes of those who they teach. If home and visiting teaching was at 100% in each Ward, think of how spiritually fortified each individual family would be. 
     I really hope that you watched the Christas devotional because it was so good. My favorite part was when Elder Christofferson talked about the condescension of God and how, in a way, we also condescended because we were spirits living with our Heavenly Father and then we came down to earth to receive a body. 
      This morning, I woke up with a bit of anxiety.. This is my last week with Hermana Smuin (she goes home next Tuesday.) It's a really hard thing to come to terms with. I've found so much peace and strength in the scriptures and through prayer. Some nights I kneel by my bedside much later than 10:30 just really talking with my Heavenly Father. Isn't it interesting how strong our relationship gets with Him while we are passing through trials? As humans, I've seen that sometimes it's hard to maintain that good relationship with our Father because we don't turn to him as we should when life is more peaceful. 
     So... Have you watched the He is the Gift video yet? If not repent! Ifyou have, have you shared it on Facebook yet? How has the nativity thing been going? Next week I'll send you a picture of our nativity. Oh yeah I have a link to send you...this is something that would be really cool to have. 
Love y'all.Sister Raynor

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