One of our favorite regulars. Barbara Dodge. Gotta love her!
|Finding Nemo skit for the zone goal presentation. Can you guess who I am?|
Family and Friends,
It's been a very rewarding week! Again, it's simply amazing to see the process of conversion from knowing very little or nothing about the gospel to participating in sacred ordinances like blessing and passing the sacrament. Richard blessed the sacrament yesterday in Sacrament Meeting for the first time and you could just tell from the way he prayed that he understands the importance of it. He also started taking the sacrament to those who are unable to attend and I had to laugh as he described the experience. His companion apparently prepped him by saying, "It's no big deal, you'll do great!" and "See it's nothin." after the fact I think to make Richard feel more comfortable, but he didn't seem to like that choice of words very much. Later he emphatically said to us, "What does he mean it was nothing?!" He then explained his experience and how strongly he felt the spirit throughout the process and finished with, "That certainly wasn't nothing... That was something!" Angel also passed it for the first time and it was surreal (in the best way) to see him participating in that. I noticed too the reverence that Enrique demonstrated as he closed his eyes in silent prayer. I had a good view because Sister Schiel and I had the opportunity of speaking AND singing in church this week. Our ward mission leader spoke as well and I think we were able to get the ward more excited about missionary work and help to eliminate some of their their inhibitions. Richard and Angel both came to the family history library this week as well and Richard (not surprisingly) understands the importance of doing that great work as well. He picked up quick and the next thing we know he's enrolled in a course. How cool is he? Angel didn't have a lot of information on his family, but he ended up doing some indexing and loving it. I'm excited for both of them to do baptisms for the dead in the near future.
Enrique has been pretty sure about the answers he has received the last few weeks, but he had an experience this week that I guess you could say really did it for him. He had an interview for a job at Target (hallelujah) and everything was going well until they told him he'd need to pass a drug test. He had only been living the word of wisdom for about ten days and he knew that there was no way he would pass. As soon as he had that thought "something" told him to just take it and that everything would be ok. Long story short? He passed the test and got the job! When he told us the story he said that after that experience he knew that the church was true. I'll take it! I'm so grateful for a Father in Heaven that answers our prayers in a way that we can recognize the divinity in it.
I've had some great experiences with prayer recently myself. It's exciting when you feel like you have sort of a breakthrough with prayer and you receive that personal revelation. It's addicting almost, like I don't know if I need or will get another answer today but I want one! It feels so good, give me more! It's interesting because even if the answer pertains to a difficult situation or trial it's SO incredibly helpful because you feel comforted and know in that moment that although things aren't exactly easy, you are in the right place, on the right track, and experiencing what it is that you need to be experiencing. I think I used to have this false perception that if you're doing everything right and are where you need to be when you need to be there that you'll just be happy and everything will be peachy keen. I was reading in D&C 130 about how blessings are directly related to obedience and got to thinking about how blessed I really am. I know with all my heart that if I'm obedient I'll be blessed, but I'm coming to realize more all the time that I still need to learn how to recognize and fully embrace or enjoy those blessings and also that obedience does not eliminate trials. I have so many weaknesses, challenges, I could even go as far as saying issues, but what I'm learning is that those weaknesses that I have do not define me. It's how I respond to challenges and work on my weaknesses that defines me. Recently I've dealt with some challenges that I never expected I would on my mission. I'm sure we could all say that about some of the trials we are called to go through in this life. For weeks I cried out to the Lord in desperation asking why I was experiencing these feelings and also how I could make them go away! Finally, I changed my prayers to be I guess what you could call more humble and I talked to the Lord about what I was experiencing. I told him that I didn't understand why I needed to, but that I would if that's what he wanted me to do and I asked what he thought I should do. I received the answer that the reality is I do have some issues that I need to work through. Never what you want to hear right? But, what followed was a beautiful spiritual confirmation that I would be ok and that in time I would be grateful that I had them. Later I was reading about charity and how because He loved us, the Savior was willing to sacrifice everything. He was willing to suffer and to struggle. I thought about myself and how I have this great desire to love and then thought, how can I expect to have a perfect love without the struggle. It just isn't possible.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, but it also seems like it all makes so much sense when we're looking back.
Well, I guess I'm out of time, but as always I LOVE all of you. More now than ever before.
Sister Jenna Michele Davis