Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy 4th of July!


My heart is full.  I have learned so much.  The difficulties of this transfer remain...I keep thinking it will get easier, but it hasn't gotten easier.  I think I'm finally getting used to the fact that it's not going to get easier, but I've just got to figure out how to make it through.  What has changed is the way I read the scriptures, the way I pray, and the way I work.  I realize I'm making this sound very ideal and like I've totally got this..well that's not true either. haha.  It's a struggle!  But seriously I am reading the scriptures more and in a better way. As I pray, I know I am having a conversation with my Father in Heaven.  It just feels different.  Do you want to know how long I have needed this to happen?  The Lord answered my prayers in an unexpected way.  President Petersen came out with this challenge a while ago for us to memorize two scriptures for each principle in the lessons in PMG and do every personal and companionship study idea in the whole book.  When we complete it, we receive this cool iron rod thing and a liahona.  Well I started to memorize scriptures a couple transfers ago, but then I got Satan bombed.  I know, I know, that's the time that I need to memorize scriptures the most.  But I didn't.  Well I was talking to some elders in my district the other day, and they inspired me to pick it back up again.  Now here's the challenge.  I only have one transfer to do it.  That's 84 scriptures and 209 activities .  But I'm sick of not finishing stuff, so I'm going to do it.

Another way my prayers have been answered:  President called me this last week and invited me to the mission council.  This is a meeting for the zone leaders and sister trainer leaders from all over the mission.  It was unexpected because I've never been to one of these meetings before.  I got really excited though because I knew Sister Tumanuvao would be there.  One of the hardest things about being transferred to Glenwood is that I can't see her anymore.  When I told her that I would be attending she said, "I just got teary eyed. The Lord answered my prayer. I prayed that we would be able to see each other one more time before I go home".  I cannot express the love I have for Sister Tumanuvao.  Something President Petersen has taught me is the nature of eternal things. I have reflected this past week upon the most sacred and deep feelings of love I have experienced on my mission. They are so precious to me. They are feelings that Satan cannot take away from me, no matter how much he tries to deceive. Sister Tumanuvao gave me a sweet letter and a picture we had taken together. As I pondered upon the love I have for her, the Lord taught me something so profound. I have been praying my whole mission to understand the atonement in some way, to know my Savior Jesus Christ. Something clicked for me- I now feel and understand more than ever why I am here. Charity is the pure love of Christ. I never imagined that Heavenly Father could teach me about His son in this way-to bless me with such a love for her. This is what the atonement of Jesus Christ is. All along I had been praying to understand and what I didn't realize is that He answered me by helping my love for others to grow. It is now overflowing. I have been blessed to be able to feel and exhibit that love. I know it is real and I know it comes from him. This is what I have been praying for. I know His love is real because I couldn't have this love on my own. I want to do everything in my power for Sister Tumanuvao, my family, and my dear investigators and converts to be able to give them what they need. Christ has this love for every person. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." I am here to help people gain eternal life-which is to know of this pure and all consuming love. That evening I had one of the most powerful revelatory experiences I've had in my life. 

One mighty miracle I saw this week is the change that has taken place in our investigator Alan. He is a man Sister Gladden and I taught last year when I was in the area. He wasn't very interested at that time. When we came back to visit him this year, we started talking to him about the Book of Mormon. His wife is a returning member, and has been discussing with him about the Book of Mormon. It is especially interesting to him because he is Native American. In our lesson with him this week, his comments were evidence of the change that is working in him-a change wrought by the Spirit of the Lord. He said that since we had been visiting him, he began to pray more, and truly desire to know God. We felt inspired to share with him the story of Aaron teaching the father of King Lamoni. This story came alive as we helped Alan liken the scriptures to himself. At the end of the lesson, he had a stronger desire to pray and read. He wept at the pains of the sins he had committed and the fact that he was living far away from God. He wept for his loved ones that had passed away. I never realized how much love I had for Alan and his wife Linda until I came back to Glenwood. So badly I want for him to know the reality of repentance and that through the gospel, his life can change. So badly I want for him to experience the pure love Christ can give him.

This fourth of July was way better than last year, luckily.  I had a great day.  The best part of the day was when I met this lady named Virginia at a bbq.  We were talking about how we are missionaries and how I'm from Utah and all that stuff, and she said that she remembered a couple from Utah that came to Glenwood a few years ago.  Sister Hawthorn helped her remember that it was the Roundys.  The spirit touched me as I listened to her talk about how wonderful the Roundys were, how Sister Roundy taught her ways to fold napkins, and Brother Roundy fixed roofs for people.  I felt so happy to see the powerful effect they had upon the people here.  Virginia said "well I'm not mormon, but I really loved that couple.  I wanted them to come to my house and to be my friend".  Sister Hawthorn said that many people still remember the Roundys for what they did and who they were.  Her eyes filled with tears as she expressed her love for them and how they helped her and Howard.  What a wonderful experience.  I'm grateful for the example that the Roundy family has been to me throughout my life.  Uncle Kelly's parents have truly blessed generations by their faithful service.  Sister Hawthorn said she was coming to Utah this Christmas because her daughter lives in Payson.  I invited her to come visit my family and to meet Elder and Sister Roundy's son, my uncle Kelly.  :)  I am SO stoked.  She loved the idea.  Can we set two more places at our dinner table around Christmas time? :)

I love you all.  Have a wonderful week.

love sister wilde

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