I still can’t believe I’m down to one transfer. But I’m really happy with how it turned out! I will be finishing my mission here in Sunland with Sister Hobbs! Although part of me was really hoping that there could be an obscure possibility of me going back to Chinese work, I feel like I still have a lot to do here in Sunland so I’m grateful that I can have six more weeks here! And I feel like I still have so much to learn from Sister Hobbs so I’m grateful I can have six more weeks with her as well!
We had Zone Conference this past week and it was probably my favorite Zone Conference during my mission. Gotta save the best for last! It was the perfect balance of being called and chastened to repentance but then having that added amount of love afterwards. The assistants said something that I really liked:
“The best day of my life was the day I gave up something I loved for a God I love more.” No amount of sacrifice is too much when it comes down to showing our love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. During the whole Zone Conference, the Spirit told me many things I need to sacrifice. There’s always more we can do! There’s always more that we can give!
President Villanueva talked about opposition in all things. Some points I really liked was that our lives were not supposed to be consistently filled with blessings and happy days. There will be opposition in all things, in all areas (mission-speaking). But we can’t get discouraged because that is giving the ball to the other team. Satan is working just as hard to make us stop the hastening of the work. We just gotta keep relying on the Atonement because it applies to EVERY aspect of the work and keep on pushing through. This brought me a lot of comfort because this past transfer has definitely tested our faith and diligence. But like it says in Doctrine and Covenants 122:7, “all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for THY GOOD.”
So I’ve been trying to be a lot better with relying on the promptings of the Spirit to know what to do and say. This past week, we had a really experience where we got to see firsthand the guidance of the Liahona! On Wednesday, all of our lessons fell through so we went to go finding. We had plans, but we decided that we wanted to specifically know which people we should visit. So we started our praying excursion. We prayed and two people came into our heads so we went to visit them. No one home. We prayed again and the same name popped into our heads so we went to visit that lady. No one home. You could guess we were pretty discouraged. Why were we being prompted to visit people that weren’t home? Then a thought came into my head that God prompts us to go and find people, even if they’re not home so He can see if He can trust us. Eventually, he’ll lead us to someone who is home just in time for us to find them. We prayed to know who to visit and a name came into my head. We started walking there, I felt prompted to visit a former. Miracle #1: the apartment door was locked, but someone let us in! Miracle #2: the former was home! She told us she had just gotten home. PERFECT timing. If we went earlier and hadn’t gone to all the empty houses, we would’ve missed her. God knows what He’s doing. She was telling us how she’s open to learning and how she needs to make time for this. She said she looks at us missionaries and feels peace and she wanted that peace. We got to testify to her about the blessings of the gospel and how she can have that peace all the time. She’s super excited to meet with us again!
Speaking of peace, at Zone Conference, the Alhambra sisters told me that they went to go visit a less active who said that she remembered me! They told me her name and I couldn’t recall who she was until they started describing more about her. I had only visited her once and that was almost exactly a year ago, but she remembered who I was. She couldn’t remember my name, but the sisters said that what she could remember was that I was from Chicago and the peaceful feeling I gave her when we visited her. She gave them a framed picture of the Los Angeles temple to give to me. When I heard that, I felt so grateful. It was another reminder to me that we really do have the power to influence many around us, even if it doesn’t seem like it. And it was a reminder to me of the importance of always having the Spirit with you because people notice it. That was a tender mercy 🙂
We’ve been seeing more success with member-missionary work here! The Family Mission Plans are doing great and we are still having really good experiences with going on splits with members of each auxiliary every week. And here’s a cool story in regards with member-missionary work. Last week, we felt prompted to visit a former family that the Bishop’s wife referred to missionaries a while ago. We were able to meet them and do a Family Home Evening with them. We told Sister Pinkston (Bishop’s wife) about it and she was surprised that we even got in the house, let alone, have an FHE. Then, she told us that that success led to her having the prompting to give the mom a Book of Mormon and a For Strength of Youth Pamphlet. So for FHE tonight, the Pinkstons are highlighting some scriptures in the Book of Mormon and then they’re giving it to the family! We were super stoked to hear that! That’s some good teamwork right there.
I know that this gospel is true and I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ’s church on the earth. It has the proper priesthood authority and a prophet who receives revelation from God. Because of that, it is a church run by Jesus Christ, not by man. I am so grateful for having a living prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson. I am grateful for the restored gospel and the fullness of it. I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I did not see it firsthand, but the Holy Ghost has confirmed to me, especially as I study and recite the First Vision, that it did happen.
I love you all very very much!