Monday, July 7, 2014

The Strength to Endure

I am so grateful for this week.  I was given countless opportunities to grow, learn, and change.  When you pray for patience… I promise you will be put into situation where you can practice it.  I feel grateful for the changes the Lord has helped and allowed me to make in my mission, but I don`t want to settle with the changes I've seen up until now…I know there are still many things my Heavenly Father wants to see me do in this time.  This week starts my last transfer.  I was asked to send President Zobrist ten goals for my last transfer and ten for when I get home. (TRONKASO!) I had some cool experiences this week as I prayed to ask God what I should be focusing on for these last moments of my mission.  As I asked my Father in Heaven for help, waited, and listened, He truly answered. I've thought a lot about that quote that dad loves, “Where much is given, much is expected.”  How blessed I have been in my life…and how willing I am to use my talents in the building up of this kingdom.

This week I was studying I came across a conference talk from last October by Elder Richard J. Maynes called “The Strength to Endure”.  It talks about our conversion to the gospel, and how we can prepare for the trials we face. At the end of the talk he says, “The race that is set before us on this earth is an endurance race filled with obstacles. The obstacles in this race are the challenges we wake up to each morning. We are here on earth to run the race, to exercise our moral agency, and to choose between right and wrong. In order to honorably and successfully finish the race and return to our Heavenly Father, we will need to pay the price of dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline. We need to get into spiritual shape. We need to develop spiritual stamina. We need strong testimonies that will lead to true conversion, and as a result we will find within ourselves the inner peace and strength needed to endure whatever challenges we may face.”  Well…I’m here to tell you that conversion never has been, and never will be easy.  Do you really want it bad enough? How important is your exaltation to you? How much do you truly love God? I have seen innumerable amounts of people suffer on my mission and before my mission as well because when obstacles or problems arose…they were not spiritually prepared.

As Hermana Weller and I truly took a step back, and thought about the work we are doing here…we were filled with the desires to get out, work harder, help more people, and turn to God for guidance in all we do.  We had a great week being guided by the spirit as we taught and visited with the people we know here in Chivay.

This week I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish.  I don`t know if I can fully express how much I love the Book of Mormon…and even more so I Spanish.  As I have read it I have truly felt the power of my missionary calling, and the gift of tongues. I know without a doubt in my mind it is “the most correct of any book on earth.”

Monday in the middle of the night I woke up sick, and I was in bed all day on Tuesday which was such a bummer! It was Elder Boyd`s birthday, and when the elders came in the morning to bring me sprite and pills I was still a little sleepy from being up all night.  I broke down crying and told Elder Boyd how sorry I was that I was sick on his birthday…yikes.

Wednesday for mutual we had a music night. We taught all the youth how to direct music, and the importance of GOOD music in their lives.  We decided to plan a special musical number with all the youth (about 8 kids) since they were all there.  We told them that if they didntt show up to church we would make them sing a solo the next week.  All but one showed up…lucky guy, huh?

On Friday night we had a branch activity where everyone brought their favorite meal to share.  We made pancakes and brownies…huge hit! We had about 25 people show up.

Yesterday church was awesome! We hit a new record in sacrament meeting with 36 people.  Two members who AREN`T missionaries gave talks, and 12 kids showed up to primary class. The 3rd hour the four of us missionaries got all the young men and their parents together to have a little chat.  We received two phone calls this week from crying mothers worried about their sons.  We whipped them into shape. Haha.

Well…sorry for the longest letter ever. I love you all. I know that I`m doing the Lords work, and I can`t wait to see what my last transfer holds for me.


Hermana Carli Stone

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