Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Emily sent us the following email on Monday, April 7, 2014:

Hey familia!

Nothing changed with our companionship this last transfer.  We've all got at least one more transfer in Arleta!

General Conference weekend is always really nice because you can get the social nourishment that you crave and just go without.  I got to talk with some of my favorite people from my last district and that was really nice!  We will have 3 new elders in our district and I'm hoping some of my friends can come fill these spots!  They are taking pacoima back and giving it to an elders companionship which will be good. 

We are being given a chance to grow.  We are having no success and almost no investigators.  We talk to many people and even though our contacting has improved, we aren't seeing the fruits yet.  I feel like we have to build up a history of working really hard before God can bless us with any success.  Because of my companion's health problems and such, it hasn't felt like we've done much missionary work lately and so there is no way that God can let us have success until we prove ourselves for a while and start deserving it.  I'm trying to not be discouraged. 

I know that God calls prophets and apostles.  True seekers of truth should be searching for the church that most resembles the church that Jesus Christ established.  It seems only clear to me that this is the Church of Jesus Christ.  There are no other churches on the earth that even kind-of follow the commandments.  Something that is very true of the population we teach in California is that they like to have their own version of God (like was said in one of the talks).  They like to assign him  characteristics that they would like him to have.  We have talked to a lot of people that have no interest in religion and don't want to change to live the commandments and they don't seem to care that this is the only way to return to Heavenly Father. 

I liked in conference how they said that people chose to follow this gospel once before and we should have faith that they will choose it again. 

I liked the analogy about how the load gave the truck the traction that it needed to get out of the snow. 

My favorite talk was President Monson's about loving people and telling them and showing them.  It's easy to look over things like that when we are happy or when our lives are easy.  It's easy to take that advice and have it leave your mind quickly because it's something we feel like we know.  We need to treat it more like the valued and profound conclusion that it is.  We need to notice ourselves doing things differently and let this talk change us.  I feel like I've been learning a lot of things lately, but they have more to do with treating people than with teaching strategies.  One of the biggest things is to love these hermanas I am with as much as I love Skibby and try to treat them that way.  For instance, I love them and care about them, but I know if they were Skibby I would take a more active role in helping them with individual projects or helping them develop skills, I would listen more carefully to their stories, I would let their troubles be my troubles and be able to offer them advice that I'd thought about in my spare time.  It was said that "he who is found possessed of charity at the last day, it shall be well with him." 

I noticed that they talked about the power of scripture study and family home evening.  Please do this.  I love you guys and I want our family to have this strength and protection.  Something that I've noticed helps me when I really want to make a change like this (like study differently or be more diligent or set inspired goals) is write down the plan and then pray to Heavenly Father and make it a covenant with him.  Promise him that you are going to be different and tell him what you are going to do.  It's powerful.

I liked how much they talked about commandments.  Keeping commandments is powerful.  Being obedient isn't being submissive or weak, it is being full of faith.  I have noticed that keeping the commandments is the difference between the Nephites and the Lamanites.  

Ok, I love you guys!  I'll hopefully hear from you sometime!

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