Monday, September 29, 2014

Charity Never Faileth

Joke of the day that we got to our phone this morning:
What did the buffalo say to his child when he left for university?
Hahahahahahaha. Too funny! Or at least I find it funny.. You know it doesn't take to much for me to laugh. I am not sure how we got jokes sent to our phone every day but it is the best.

Wow! This week has been FULL of great experiences and hard work. It has been a week that appears to be not as successful when you look at the numbers but boy, did I learn and grow a lot. I know that every trial we receive from the Lord is not a punishment but an opportunity for us to grow in ways we were not sure were possible.

First of all, this week I went on exchange with Sister Gaitau (pronounced night owl) who is from New Zealand. This was the first time ever in my mission that I have gotten to go on exchange with a new sister. Ever since the STLs told me about our exchanges I have been praying  that I could make this exchange memorable for Sister Gaitau. The first time a missionary does anything is monumental. It was such a privilege to be on exchange with Sister Gaitau. We had a lot of fun together. She is adjusting well to missionary life and did so well leading her area. Her biggest strength is her humility. I know she is going to grow so much on her mission because of how teachable she is.
Sister Gaitau and I saw so many miracles! The first night we were on exchange was after the Skills Workshop we had on Thursday. After eating tea we had about an hour and a half to make great things happen. There was not much luck stopping people on the street but I kept a prayer in my heart that the Lord would lead us to those that would receive us. We decided to knock a door and this 15/16 year old girl answered. She told us she was Methodist and I asked her the golden question ''have you ever wondered why there are no prophets on the earth today?'' and she said yes! These questions work! We taught her the restoration using the pamphlet and she seemed to be absorbing it all. Unfortunately, her mom came out in the hall towards the end and told us ''they'' weren't interested. Still a powerful moment thought. THEN we stopped this man sitting down across the street and we taught him a lesson using the pamphlet. He became a new investigator. With 15 minutes left til 9pm we stopped this girl walking her dog and because she told us she lost her mom 3 or so years ago we taught her the Plan of Salvation using that pamphlet. She also became a new investigator. What a power hour (and a half) of finding! That night we taught 3 lessons and found 2 new investigators. Wow! Talk about a first exchange :)
Our most progressing investigator at the moment would have to be Richard. We taught an amazing lesson with one of the members in the ward this past week. We were teaching the restoration using cups and Richard said he recognized the words ''repentance, salvation, baptism'' etc from what he has been reading in the Book of Mormon. It was music to my ears to hear that such a new investigator like Richard had READ the Book of Mormon without us having to persuade and pester him to like we do for most people. Miracle! He went to a baptism of a child in the ward that just turned 8 this week. I was away on exchange but from what I heard he really enjoyed it and felt the Spirit.
One of the biggest reasons I've had to refocus is the week of opposition that we had. It was full of appointments falling through, people not at their homes like they said they would be, and people not stopping on the streets. I know a lot of this opposition is from the adversary and I am not going to go down without a fight. Instead of giving up and submitting to defeat I have done the opposite and become more bold with people on the street and our investigators. For instance, Samilda. We decided to call by her since the day before she had fallen through on an appointment we had confirmed that morning and had put so much effort into getting a fellowshipper there. She told us she was not willing to change from being Catholic. I boldly testified to her that this church was true and that the priesthood power that was going to bind her family together forever was real. I know it is real because I have experienced it in the temple the day my family was sealed for time and all eternity. We committed her to pray to know if this church was true. She said she would. I am starting to let our investigators know how it is. No more time to be nice and soft. Their salvation is at stake!
A quick miracle I'd thought I share is about Jose, the preacher at the Nigerian church we went to over a month ago. He referred himself on and the Elders are now teaching him. The Lord works in mysterious ways...
The Chinese work here in Wrexham is starting to come alive again! We have been praying to find more Chinese and we went out and acted and found Chinese. One day after a few disappointments I had in my heart a scripture that came to mind:
''Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn‍ back, behold, the Lord comforted‍ us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience‍ thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success'' (Alma 26:27). This scripture had been communication from the Lord because not too long after having that scripture come to mind we ran into this Chinese man that moved to Wrexham 3 days before. He wants to meet with us and referred us to come teach his friends too! Oh, the Lord is just too great! I think the reason why our investigators from the summer are all of the sudden fizzling out is because the Lord wants us to focus more on the Chinese work. I know He has prepared away for the work to continue on here despite the great opposition.
A great lesson on Charity..
I was reminded a lot about the importance of charity this week. Missionary work is exhausting mentally, physically, and spiritually. When ever I feel drained spiritually it is hard for me to keep going. It is hard for me to continue finding because of the days people just won't stop and listen or act on this message from their Heavenly Father. At times I thought to myself: ''Why am I doing this? These people don't even appreciate what I am doing for them. These people aren't going to listen. What is the point?''
Thank goodness I have such an inspired companion that gave me a really great commitment this week for our companionship inventory. Simply study about charity, hope, and faith. I turned to the scriptures that next morning hoping to find what I need to learn at this moment. In 1 Corinthians 13:8 I read: ''Charity never faileth.'' I had lost vision of what was important-- to labor in the behalf of my brothers and sisters because of my charity for them. This is the reason why I will continue to press forward and declare the gospel despite the opposition and the tough week we had. I need to follow the example of my Saviour Jesus Christ; It was His charity towards us that did not fail Him in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross:
''Which suffering‍ caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not‍ drink the bitter cup, and shrink—Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished‍ my preparations unto the children of men.'' (Doctrine and Covenants 19: 18-19). 
''Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail'' ( Moroni 7:46)
If we do not have charity we will fail to help others. We will only think of ourselves and the discomfort we are in and we will want to quit when things get tough. On the other hand, if we are striving to do good things through charity, all things are possible and we will be able to accomplish this great task to bring others unto Christ.
Sister Jordan 

Really lame pictures this week haha. Sorry!
                     Our study desk. Can you guess which side is mine ;)

The wonderful flavors of crisps (aka chips) here in the UK. It was quite delicious

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