Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Think about Abraham's Trial of Faith (July 8)

Hello!! Oh my goodness another amazing week has come and gone.I just feel like timing is just speeding by! Sometimes I just take a step back and think to myself, "How did I ever get so blessed?". I feel like my heart will explode it's just sooo full of love for all of these people. It's just amazing. I love all of these people soo much! It is amazing to see the Lord's work move forward and to see people's hearts changing. Nothing has brought me greater joy in my life than my mission :) We get transfer news this week and I REALLY REALLLYYYY don't want to get transferred!! But of course I'll go where the Lord wants me to go. It has been really cool though to see throughout my mission how the Lord has given me these "project" areas. Almost every area I have gone to has had zero work and no investigators, but with a lot of prayer and hard work the whole thing just completely turns around! It's so amazing to see!!

So I guess I should get on with this email and actually tell you what happened this week :) This week was yet again a week of miracles, but you know it may be possible that this week we have had the most miracles as of yet. I am just sooo grateful to see the Lord's hand in my life every day:)
So let's start at the beginning: Monday. We had a zone activity involving launching eggs. It was SUPER hot outside so we basically just ended up cooking eggs out on the parking lot haha the things missionaries do for fun :) Monday night was a really hard night. Probably one of the hardest nights I have had on my mission. I just felt discouraged and that it was my fault that the work wasn't progressing. That's an easy trap that satan can use on all of us to make us feel like we aren't good enough. It's easy to give in and believe that if some other missionary was there they would have more success. It was just really hard, but I prayed and went to bed, and then I woke up and it was a brand new day! You just have to pick yourself up when you feel down, don't allow yourself to dwell on those sad thoughts- move forward.
So Tuesday. Ah I loved Tuesday!! We had our first meeting with President and Sister Jenkins!! I love them sooooo much!! President Jenkins was a YSA stake President for 5 years so it was great talking with him and getting some of his advice :) It was just amazing to see how that mantle of leadership has been given to him. Also he kind of reminds me of uncle Jeff! Yayy family! But so back to the meeting, at the beginning one of the Elders gave a spiritual thought and the scripture he shared truly was an answer to my prayer for comfort and direction for my area. He shared D&C 112:10 aka my mission scripture! But then he went on and read verse 11 which for some reason I don't remember ever reading! Crazy because it's so good:
"I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren. Be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy love be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all who love my name".
Wow I love that scripture. And I love that the verse before it tells us to first be humble and to trust in the Lord. I know that He will do as the scripture says and will lead us by the hand and give us answers to our prayers. We need to pray that we may be filled with this love like it says in Moroni 7:41. Having that mind set just gave me so much more hope. I know that the Lord knows my heart and my desires to do good- as He does all of yours as well :) He will lead you by the hand and give you answers to your prayers- I can promise you that!

Ok I need to move on now, so Wednesday. Wednesday was sooo fun! We had vc in the morning and then in the afternoon we went by a list of people that Bishop had given us on Monday. NOBODY WAS HOME. haha I mean it was the day before the 4th of July so I guess a lot of people were out of town. So one fun thing about serving in YSA is that you never ever have a dull day haha for dinner the Elders Quorum presidency signed up to feed us dinner and they took us to a restaurant called Organ Stop.
Finishing our dinner at Organ Stop
Craziest most random restaurant I have ever been to. If you ever make it out to Mesa you have to go haha! SO what it is is this big pizza place and there's this big stage and a giant organ that comes up from the ground and it like spins around while the guy is playing it! haha Also they had dancing cat puppets and the theme was Christmas in July. I felt like I was in Disney World! So that was dinner and it was fun. Then after we went out with one of our ward missionaries to go on visits before our lesson that night with our investigator, Isaac. And again NOBODY was home! But it was so fun just going out and talking to people on the streets. We got to do some service for some people and ya it was good. Then at 8 we went over and met up with Mark- our ward mission leader- at Isaac's house for our lesson. OH MY GOSH that lesson was amazing. The spirit was so strong as we taught Isaac the plan of Salvation. The whole time he just kept saying "Thank you!" and "You just answered my question!". It is just so amazing to teach these people who have been prepared by the Lord. Sister Pickett invited Isaac to be baptized and he said yes that he really wanted to :) My little baby greeny made me soo proud! She's a natural! But at the end we invited Isaac to say the closing prayer. He was still a little nervous about it so I offered to say a prayer first as an example. After he said an amazing beautiful prayer that just made me want to cry!! He said something like this, "Thank you so much for sending the sisters to me and for helping me to be home that day when they came by"... some other good stuff..."I really want to do this right this time, so please help me". Can you see why my heart is just sooo full?! I feel like Alma after he was reunited with the sons of Mosiah and he just like passes out because he is so happy. I'm almost there haha So to make Wednesday EVEN better when we were doing our nightly planning we got a call from Hermana Noble at the VC. She told us she had a referral for us!! Yayyyy!! So a guy and a girl went into the vc that night. The girl was a member and the guy was a co-worker that wanted to learn about the church. So Hermana Noble took them around and taught James (investigators name) the restoration. At the end she invited him to be baptized and he said he would love to!! Miracles happen. James just moved into the area 3 months ago and has since been searching for his purpose. Hermana Noble gave him a Book of Mormon to read and when we called him the next day he said he had already read the intro, the testimonies, and the first few chapters. Wow.Alright there is just sooo much more, but if I ever want to finish this email in time I gotta move on to Thursday haha.
Two Georgia Peaches
So Thursday: HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!! We had district meeting and then VC. Holy cow the vc was DEAD. But it was nice to be able to sit and meditate. The spirit in the vc is just so strong. Being on temple grounds every day is just such a blessing! 
So before I move onto Friday I want to share a little something I learned in my personal study this day. I was reading in Romans and thinking a lot about faith. I was contemplating over the trials of this past transfer and how interesting it is that it's so easy to be full of faith and hope when things are going your way- when you can physically see the evidences of the Lord. But what about when things aren't going your way? What about when life gets hard and you feel like your prayers aren't being answered or that your efforts are being wasted? Well in Romans 4 Paul is teaching the people about this exact principle. He teaches them about Abraham and says starting in verse 18: 
"18 Who against hope believed in ahope, that he might become the father of many bnations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy cseed be.19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years aold, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He astaggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had apromised, he was able also to perform.22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.".
Think about Abrahams trial of faith- that would be really hard to believe that the Lord was really going to pull through for you- especially when it gets down to the last minute, but I can promise you that as we "stagger not at the promise of God", but are strong in the faith that we truly can have that hope that everything will work out for our good. :)
Friday: Day of miracles. Again. Ok we met a lot of people on this day but I only have time to tell you about one. Her name is Shelby. We met Shelby when we were out with a member trying to contact former investigators. Shelby happened to live at the address of one- isn't that interesting how that works out... So we knocked on the door and immediately Shelby was just so warm and friendly. She invited us in and said she had lots of questions about our religion. We took some time to answer some of her questions and found out that she was an atheist. However, she said she was open and that she would like to believe there is a God. We testified to her that God not only exists, but He is so aware of us and is involved in all aspects of our lives. We testified to her of the Book of Mormon and that as she comes to read this book and prays about it that she will feel the love her Father in heaven has for her. At the end she said an amazing closing prayer. In her prayer she said that she had been lonely and discouraged, but since we had met with her she now had hope. She said also that she believes that God is there and that she wants to come to know Him better. I love this gospel. The thing about it is that it's for everyone- it solves every concern, answers every question, and calms every fear. All we have to do is tell people about it! Oh my gosh family there were sooo many more miracles this day that I wish I had time to tell you about, but we are going to skip Saturday and move onto Sunday.
Me with my babies at the VC

Sunday: Wow. We had vc in the morning and our first shift was the teaching center (online proselyting). Well we didn't have any investigators to call that early so we just left our lines open to take calls for the church and The first call I got I was pretty sure it was a prank. The guy comes on and says, "Hi Kelsey! I was just wondering, does your church have a rule against wearing blue shirts to church?"... what... I told him no and asked him why he asked that. He told me that he had gone to church today for his first time and nobody had talked to him- he assumed it was because he had worn a blue shirt. awwwww poor guy!!!! I felt sooo bad for him and tried to explain how the men typically wear white shirts yadda yadda, but I was more curious about how he had even managed to get to church, or had even thought to go to an LDS church in particular. So he told me his story. So first of all his name is Will and he lives in Louisiana. He grew up with little to no religion in his life and as he has gotten older he has found himself wondering what his purpose is. So one day he went on google and typed in what is my purpose. That led him to He read lots of the articles and testimonies and loved everything. He then got on chat and asked some missionaries where the nearest church building to him would be. They gave him the address and then sent him off on his own. Ughhhh no bueno. They didn't even get his contact info!! But that's ok. So I talked with him a bit more about his beliefs and asked him if he had ever read from The Book of Mormon. He said ya that he saw an add for it online and he had already downloaded the app on his phone. I then asked him if he was able to read any of it and he said he was on like chapter 3 or something. Then I asked him if he felt like he understood what the Book of Mormon was all about- thinking I could go over the intro with him and his response was oh yeah the introduction really cleared that up for me. Wow. So I asked him if he wanted to meet with missionaries and of course he said yes! I just feel so blessed to be able to see how Heavenly Father prepares His children. He loves all of us and He wants ALL of us to make it back to Him. The fact that I get to witness these miracles every day is just so humbling. So we finally got to go to all of church for the first time this whole transfer!! Our vc schedule has been crazy. But I just love church :) It was soo sweet because all of the members that went out with us this past week got up and shared their experiences with the ward. It's just amazing to see the faith of the members grow!! I love the Gable ward and I don't want to leave!! We got to meet James yesterday!! He is soo sweet!! He is a Texas boy and just sincerely wants to know the truth. It just warms my heart :) He went to church with his member friend, but next week he will go to Gable ward.

Anyways family I am just so blessed. My faith and trust in the Lord has definitely been tried this transfer, but I can say without a doubt that it has only made me stronger. I love this gospel, I know that it's true. I know that people can change. I know that this is the Lord's work. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. When times get tough I think of Him. I love Him and I want Him to know that I would do anything and everything for Him- as I would for all of you :)

I love you all sooo much! Sorry this email is forever long haha!
Sister Hamstead