Well, first things first, transfers are this week and I know what is happening…drum roll please…I am leaving! But, wait. There’s more! I will be training as well! AHHH! So, that means we will be whitewashing, sort of. We are taking over the area for the sisters in Sarasota, which is the area just north of Venice, so it is not too far but still will be a big change and adjustment for me. So, I predict that I will finish this sisters training as well as my mission in Sarasota, seeing as I have two transfers left. Sister Hunt will be staying so at least she will be close by but I will miss her a bunch. I am still a Sister Training Leader so I feel bad for my new companion. The day after transfers, I will need to go to a meeting with the Stake Presidency that night and then the day after that, I will be driving up to Tampa with my STL companion for Missionary Leadership Council. But, it’s okay. That happened to me when I came out and I was fine…sort of.
We had a really fun mutual activity this past week. We taught the Young Women about doing missionary work on social media and they loved it. I didn’t realize how much amazing stuff what out there to share. You can go all over Mormon.org and share videos and such as well as LDS.org and share articles, quotes, pictures, videos, music, and so much more. They even have a Youth site on LDS.org that I wish I knew about and went on when I was younger. I have two invitations to everyone. First, find the mormon message called Staying Spiritually Fit and figure out what you need to do to be spiritually prepared when trials come. Second, share something you like about the gospel on social media this week, whether it be any of the options I listed above and whether it be on twitter, facebook, snapchat, instagram or whatever you use these days. It’s a small thing to do but it has a ripple effect and I promise that if you do it, someone will respond positively to it and ask about it.
Now, onto the miracle for the week: As you all may know, one of my struggles has been recognizing how the Spirit prompts me. Well, last Monday night, we were heading to one area to go finding and Sister Hunt thought that one of our potential investigators was in that area and suggested we see her. She lives in the opposite direction so that caused us to stop and figure out if we needed to go to her area or continue with the plans we made. We prayed about it and neither of us had a particular feeling or urge to go one or the other but I was super unsure. Sister Hunt told me that I needed to trust that I could recognize the Spirit guiding me so she said we would head the other direction and in the next 5-10 minutes, I would have to decide if that was right or to turn around. As we started, a few minutes later, I kept being drawn back so we turned around and went in the original direction we had intended to go. As we biked into the neighborhood, I felt we should go farther in than we have. We got to a street and it felt right so we turned and as we passed shoot off streets, it was so strange but cool because I would look at one street and just have this unsettled feeling but when we got to one, I felt almost a tug. We started knocking and found two people in a row that were open to learning more, one of which let us in and we taught the Restoration. It was amazing. The Spirit is really subtle and soft but He guides us.
I have been learning a little more about repentance this week in my studies and it has been really cool. I found a great Q&A: questions and answers section of the April 1995 New Era that answers the question: I’ve noticed that I’m always repenting for the same things. How do you now when you’re truly sorry and you won’t do it again?
It was interesting because I think of the scripture in D&C 82:7 which says, ” And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.”
I used to have a hard time understanding this because God promises He will remember our sins no more if we repent and so I thought, if I make another mistake, He will remember my sins? I thought He wouldn’t! But, I have realized that true repentance is not about “hey, forget I did that so I don’t have to be embarrassed anymore” it is about turning from that desire to do what the natural man wants and to turn toward the desire to do what God wants. In that Q&A section, it says, “It is time to turn to the Lord and ask for his help in changing your heart and having the strength to stick with your resolve.” If we repeat that same sin over and over, we haven’t fully repented because we know that, “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins– behold, he will confess and forsake them.” (D&C 58:43) To forsake means we need to leave it behind, never to turn back. We don’t vacation from our den of sin, expecting to return. We depart from sin, never to go back. We look forward to the destination of peace, joy, and eternal life. Which would you rather have?
The article also had an answer to the question from a missionary that was serving at the time. He said, “The essence of repentance is a change of mind. When we repent by changing our behavior while our mind remains unchanged we will always feel the guilt withing us. Sincere repentance should always be accompanied by fervent prayer and fasting, which gives us the desire for a change of mind to do good continually.”
I would also say a change of heart and desire. That is what I want out of my mission and out of my life: to have my heart and desires change. I have changed so many behaviors and I do feel that my mind has changed on many aspects as well as my desire but I want the full change. To always give my heart. I know that our Heavenly Father wants us to do this because He loves us. He wants what is best for us and He knows that giving our hearts and desires to Him will make us the most happy. And who doesn’t want to be happy? I know that I will need to hold onto this knowledge as I face this new experience of transfer training but it takes the pressure off because He can do so much more through me than I could ever try to do on my own.
I love you all and remember…
Fight the Good Fight!
by the way, this is my new address:
4170 Taggart Cay South #305
Sarasota, FL, 34233
p.s. mom, I know you will like the name of my new street address… 🙂