Monday, October 28, 2013

Doubt your Doubts before you doubt your Faith - Oct 21

Dearest family,

Hello! I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of your love and support. This last week was just another amazing week out here in Mesa, Arizona. The miracles never cease! So last Monday we went over to some missionaries place and watched Ephraim's Rescue. It was sooo good! You should all watch it!! As we were driving to our dinner/home evening appointment for that night I noticed this one guy walking down the road. Something (the spirit) told me that I should pull over and talk to him. Well I kept driving and told myself that if we got to the appointment early then I would turn around and go talk to him. So we get there and of course we are early and so we turn around and go back up to where this guy was walking. We pull over a block ahead and walk down to meet him. We said hi and introduced ourselves. He told us his name and mentioned that he had only briefly talked with missionaries before. I asked him what his personal beliefs are and he told me that he has a problem with Christianity because he believes that man has changed things and the Bible has been changed so he doesn't really know what to believe. I then briefly taught him about the apostasy and restoration. His face just completely lit up and I told him that the Book of Mormon is evidence of this restoration. I asked him if he would like one and he said yes and that he would love to study it! It was also pretty cool that there turned out to be a restoration pamphlet inside of that particular Book of Mormon :) I invited him to start with reading the introduction of the Book of Mormon and invited him to read and study about the restoration. I then got his info and sent it off to Sister Gordon and Sister Finau- they are over the ysas in our area. It was just such a cool experience that goes to show that we need to listen to the promptings of the spirit. I could have easily just dismissed that thought and gone on to our appointment, but because I went back I was able to help that guy. Miracle!

So it is crazy white washing 2 big wards when you are in the vc for 6 hours and also have a total of 4 hours of study every day. It is really hard to balance everything and get things done! We are relying a lot on prayer and just trying to follow the spirit in order to know where we need to go and when. Our time is so precious and I feel like it is just slipping away from me!

Now another miracle. We were trying to go and visit some potential investigators and felt that we needed to go and see this one couple in particular (probably because our ward mission leader was very adamant about it haha!). So we go to the house and no one is there. Lame. He told us that the husband works at the golf course just across the street and that we should try checking at the club house. We went up to the door and  it was closed. Nooo! We felt pretty defeated and were sad to report back to our ward mission leader. Just as I was getting into the car I saw a man in a golf cart drive up to the club house. The one thing our ward mission leader had told us he knew about this man was that he was black- well this man was white so I knew it wasn't him, but for some reason I felt we should go and try. Earlier that day I had been on exchanges in the VC with sister Weedman. She had told me a story about how sometimes the spirit prompts us to do things that seem odd, but if we just do it then we will understand why after. So I thought to myself.. hmm this is kind of an odd thing to do.. I'll do it! So we get back out of the car and go back up to the club house. I think sister T was pretty confused. I didn't really know what we were going to say, but I just took a breath and knocked on the door. The man answered it right away and we asked for the man we were looking for. His answer surprised me. He said it was him!! So our ward mission leader gave us some faulty info... haha! I was so grateful that I listened to that prompting from the spirit! We would have missed him! Family I want to invite all of you this week to pray for the strength and courage to follow the spirit. I can promise you that you will see miracles!- and who doesn't want to see more of those? :) If a thought comes to your mind please don't just dismiss it- do it! You can save yourself a whole lot of grief!

Oh my goodness so we had interviews with President Jenkins this week and OF COURSE I got lost and ended up getting there about 45 minutes late. Yeah I totally threw off his schedule! woops! haha Having these interviews always reminds me of the precious fathers interviews I had with Papa. Papa, don't stop doing those. They are so important! Ask the kids what they are learning, what they are studying. Set goals with them and find out what their dreams are. There is something special about having that one on one time with the Priesthood leader of your home. I know they had a great impact on me and the kids need them even more than ever.

We did some service for a family on Saturday. We painted pantry shelves! I just like to imagine that I am helping you all out with your projects every time I get to serve the members :)

Ok so I skipped a ton, but I just want to tell you the miracles of Sunday. I have said it before and I will say it again- Sunday's truly are a special day.

So I had been given a little card from some sisters a few months back from Michael Morton telling me about a fireside he was going to be giving on October 20th and he said that he really wanted me to come. He even called President Jenkins and asked him if I could be there. So the rules for those kinds of things are that you have to bring an investigator. Well in our area we didn't have any, but that wasn't going to stop me! We got to work and prayed that Heavenly Father would help us to get to the fireside. It's just amazing the way the Lord works! One of our potential investigators showed up to church and he said he would come and his cousin (who is a member) said she would drive all of us! So that happened in one ward and in the other a part member family showed up and after church we talked with them and they agreed to meet with us! They are in the process of moving down here from Scottsdale, so we are going to have to be kinda patient on that one, but none the less I know that was a miracle! Heavenly Father answers prayers.

So yesterday at the VC Sister T showed me that she had brought her call letter on her mission with her. She had shrunk it down really cute and had it laminated. It was soo cute! It was so nice to read that again and it brought a tear to my eye! I think the first time I read it I had just been so overwhelmed that none of it really sunk in. But one thing really stuck out to me this time that I read it,

 "As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other affairs, the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the Restoration and of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.". 

I want to tell you that my testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ has grown on my mission. I know without any doubts that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. It doesn't matter what people way, what dirt they dig, what irrelevant questions they may ask (and believe me I've heard just about every possible thing out there!) nothing can shake my testimony. I know this gospel is true because I have lived it. I see the blessings and happiness it brings to me. If there were ever a time that you feel doubts coming into your mind and heart I just want you to refer all of them back to the restoration. Simply ask yourself, "Did Joseph Smith see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, or did he make it ALL up?". You may wonder how you can know this for yourself- read the Book of Mormon. This is the convincing evidence of Joseph Smith's divine call to be a Prophet of these latter days. 

The fireside Michael spoke at only added to the testimony I already had. I can't even tell you how wonderful it was to see one of your recent converts up there teaching the congregation about how they came to know that this gospel is true. Family, Michael is Jewish and I want to tell you that the more you learn about the Jewish faith the more you will know that this church is true. I want to invite you all to have a family home evening on this. There are 2 articles I want to invite you to read from Jan. 2000 ensign. They are called: "Mounting evidence of the Book of Mormon" and "The golden plates and the feast of trumpets". It was so sweet to see Michael's excitement as he shared his findings with everyone in attendance. 

You can know these things are true for yourself. That is the greatest part of this gospel. Everyone can know, everyone can experience the happiness and richness of life that comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ's church has been restored on the earth today. The Priesthood has been restored- this is so key! We need this to make it back to our Heavenly Father. Always remember to take
President Uchtodorfs advice to "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith". There will be hard times, there will be times where it may seem like giving up is the easier thing to do, but just like running in a race you just have to push through those hard times. It is so much harder to keep your pace once you slow down and begin to walk. Don't stop, don't give up, when you feel like slowing down push harder. Lean on my faith if you need to. 
I am grateful for the happiness and fulfillment that this gospel has blessed me with. 
I love you all and I am so grateful that we can be together forever. 

Keep the faith!
Love eternally,
Sister Hamstead