We were able to see a woman, Sister Minzey, who hasn’t been to church in a while. She struggles with faith and second guesses herself and the whole time we have been with her, I just think, “She is like me”. It has been an interesting experience because I found myself testifying so strongly that she knows the things she has grown up with is true and that she has had those experiences in the past and she has to stop second guessing. As I reflected on that, I realized that it is all true for me. I know these things I am teaching are true and I have had experiences of my own that have taught me that. It was a nice reminder.
Thursday was a crazy day. So, first we had a Zone Service Day. All 29 of us missionaries in the Sarastoa Zone got together at one of the Habitat for Humanity home sites and did a
Garden Party. That is where we dig up the ground a little bit and lay sod so the yard can grow all pretty. We were there from 8am-12 and it was so tiring but SO FUN. Then, right after lunch, we had Zone Training Meeting. Yeah, we didn’t think that completely through. We put it the same day so the missionaries could save miles but that means everyone was in the bathrooms at the church to clean themselves off of dirt and sod.
However, Zone Training Meeting was great and all about Baptism and how important it is to really be prepared to make those covenants so that you can be prepared to make Temple covenants. As we were talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one of the missionaries said something I loved. He said, refering to Mosiah 26:22 which says, “…Come and be baptized unto repentance” that you need to be baptized unto a repentant life. You repent before you are baptized but baptism begins you on the journey of continued repentance. He also said you can’t follow the Gospel 80%. That effort counts as 0% because there was no real intent in the first place. I loved that. You need to be 100% willing to follow. All of you.
That same night, we were going to attend institute to try and get more involved with the YSA branch but the teacher never showed up. They were debating on if they should just go out to eat but then someone suggested the missionaries teach it. Why not? We ended up turning to the chapter and leading a discussion on coming unto Christ and it was so good.
Yeah, a lot happened on Thursday.
We had a miracle at the very end of the night on Saturday. We were trying to find a person whose address wasn’t complete so we had to knock the whole street. One of the doors we ended up knocking on was a couple that moved from Brazil. As we talked with them they shared some of their beliefs about the nature of God and they believe what we believe! It was so cool! We shared some of the Restoration and they want to learn more and come to church next week.
Sunday was a mixed day. We attend both Sarasota Ward and the YSA branch so we were at the church building for 11 hours but it was so good! The talks were amazing in both sacrament meetings. Here are some of my notes:
~The sacrament is just a piece of bread and a cup of water until you make and keep that covenant.
~We come to Sacrament to be clean
~ Don’t treat church like a job
~How important do you make the Lord feel with your sabbath day observance?
~Deep spiritual experiences are hard to forget: write them down and lean on them in times of need.
We also had great Relief Society lessons. In Sarasota ward it was on the talk, Blessings of Worship from Oct 2016 General Conference and how we need to know Who God is and once we do, our attitude changes. Then we decide Where He is on our priority list. When we understand Who He is, we develop that deep love, awe, reverence, honor and adoration for Him and then we are willing to give all of us to Him. Give Him your thoughts, talk, talents, time, and thanks.
In YSA we talked about the scripture 2 Peter 1:5-7 and it was such a good conversation about how all those attributes are connected. I encourage you all to read those verses this week and discover where you are in that process of becoming like Christ, beginning with Faith.
The last thing I want to mention was an experience during Gospel Doctrine (we combined) in YSA. This is what made it a mixed day. We were talking about Spiritual Gifts and the subject got on the topic of the leaders of the church, specifically the Prophets and Apostles and what Gifts of the Spirit they need to obtain to be able to fulfill the responsibilities given to them. One of the guys in the class started sharing his opinion and it quickly started getting on the edge of false doctrine. The
problem is, he started getting defensive when the teacher was trying to correct and I could feel the Spirit leaving. It was the worst feeling in the world. Eventually, we were able to move past and he talked more with the branch President to clear up some misunderstandings but it was a learning experience for me. I so strongly and distinctly could tell the Spirit wasn’t there for a while. I realized that I have taken for granted almost my whole life of having the Gift of the Holy Ghost; feeling that comfort and peace and content when i am striving to be obedient. I don’t ever want to feel that way again. It is such a precious gift to have the Spirit always with you. Why would you do anything to prevent that?