Sunday, May 5, 2013

Asking Alms and Learning Lessons

Me and Sister Avila

Dear family,
I hope you have all had a great week!! Man it sounds like things have been pretty crazy over there! Know that you are all in my prayers. I know that everything will be ok and it will work out according to Gods will.
So, I am now in my new area! Which is funny because it is actually the area I was living in before, but they moved me so I am now no longer living in my area... again... if that makes sense haha One day I'll explain. It's funny because even though I was living with the Christensen's before I now see them far more often now that I am in their ward. Sister Christensen came out with us to a lesson and then we ate dinner with them last night. They are like my adopted parents :) So this new area- I love it! It is absolutely the most humble area I have served in yet and the people are just so prepared for the gospel! We find people to teach everywhere! The poverty and destitution is really sad. I have never met so many people that are completely hopeless and dependent upon others. I have no idea how these people are surviving! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has called me here to help these people. I am reminded of the story in Acts 3. Go read it! It's really good! But these people are just so helpless need more than money, clothes, and food. Those things will come and go, but the gospel is what calms our hearts and gives us the strength to change our lives. Here is the story:

 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
 2 And a certain man alame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an aalms.
 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have agive I thee: In the bname of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
 7 And he took him by the right hand, and alifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

I have had people straight out come and ask me for food and money, but I can't help them with that. I hardly have enough to get by on my own haha! But what we have to offer is of far greater worth. We have seen so many miracles these past few days. We are teaching so many sweet people and man I am sure learning a ton of life lessons. I see the consequences of choices and I see the type of life I want to live. I never want to have to get to the point where I feel hopeless, and I am so grateful for the guarantee of the gospel. Living the gospel brings blessings. It is literally a way of life- a pattern for happiness in this life and the next. 

So, on Saturday Tim got baptized! It was really funny because I just met him the day before haha but he is just the sweetest and he was sooo excited to get baptized :D The main reason why he wanted to get baptized was so that he can eventually be sealed to his wife for eternity- so sweet! The program was made up late Friday night and as we were leaving our shift at the visitors center we got a text asking if I would give the talk on the Holy Ghost. Oh boy. Not that I don't like giving talks or anything, but when was I possibly going to have time to write it!? We had a prep meeting at the VC early that morning and then the morning shift which we had to leave early to get to the baptism on time. I remembered what Papa had told me about his philosophy of preparing for talks and I just did a lot pf praying and studying. I know that the spirit really helped me with the talk as I literally had like 10 minutes to prepare. I love giving talks because I feel like you (the one giving the talk) are the one that learns the most. I have such a love for the Holy Ghost and I can honestly say that my appreciation for it has grown substantially on my mission. Everybody needs it! I hope that one day we can all come to fully understand the significance of this gift. 

It is heating up here in Mesa. Summer is coming! So I have decided that dry  heat feels like the inside of an oven. You know that feeling where your skin just feels like it is frying? That's what it feels like except you don't have a sunburn... it's interesting. The high today is supposed to be 101! It isn't even may yet! haha 

Anyways, I love you all so much! I got your letter Abby! haha thanks for the cute drawings lol you are so funny! AHHHHHH I can't believe Andrea Murray is married!!! Somebody send
me a picture of that girl and her hubby!! Sooo exciting! Keep up the good work with the YSA conference! I am sooo excited for you guys!! It is going to be amazing! What a cool experience you had going to Andrea's sealing. What a tender mercy! I love the temple so much because it just reminds me of what it's all about. It helps me get my priorities lined out and stay focused on what really matters- our relationship with God and Jesus Christ. When we are good with God then all things fall into place- we love others, we desire to serve others, we work hard, and we have the faith that everything that happens will be according to Gods will. I am soo excited for Christopher to go on his mission. I remember where he's at and it's a really hard and stressful time. His mind is probably spinning a million miles an hour as he is trying to comprehend how quickly his life will be turned around, he will be uprooted from all of his comforts and his family, and everything will seem to be the unknown. I just can't imagine what it would be like to be in his shoes right now. Keep him working on his papers - it's hard to do it on your own so try to help him as much as you can. He will feel so relieved once they are in. Satan really does work hard to distract in those prepping months - I know I definitely felt that! He tried so hard to discourage me - as you probably remember many long calls full of tears. Just love him, hug him, and support him. 

I can't believe Becca Winters is home!! That is so crazy!!! Hey also I sent you a letter for Sammy  could you get it to her? Thanks! you guys are the best!! I love you all sooo much and I know that there is so much good in store for all of you. We can have that hope for a better and brighter future because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We choose what lives we want to have. Choices matter, so make them wisely! Love you all sooo much!! I hope you have an amazing week!!!

Sister Hamstead xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo
ps Can't wait to skype with you guys on mothers day :D