Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 35

Simone* was confirmed a member of the Church yesterday! Brother Lee was able to do it in Korean for her. I asked her how she felt and she said she couldn't explain it in Korean, let alone in English. She is so sweet!

Jeanette* was baptized last night! It was such a sweet and simple service. We asked the missionaries to wear pink because is her favorite color. When she came out of the font she was just beaming, and gave everyone watching an ear-to-ear grin. She cannot wait to be called Sister Jeanette! It is so sweet to see certain members of the ward wrapping their arms around her and taking her in. She has two really amazing ward members who are so loving to her. They are doing those things that really matter, and making her feel so loved.

We had some super hot days this week, but this weekend has been windy and rainy! There have been tree branches lining the streets. There have been a couple uprooted trees as well. It's crazy. It's not that stormy, but it looks like we had a couple mini tornadoes! The power has been out for a lot of people!

We had a fun lesson with Val on Saturday! She made us crepes and smoothies and we read the Book of Mormon with her. She has a baptismal date, and Luis's birthday (Luis has been a member for about 2.5 months or so) is this Wednesday. We decided to keep it a secret, and we are having a surprise birthday party for him, and Val's present is going to be baptismal clothes for them to wear. We announced the surprise party in the Filipino Sunday school class, and members offered to make Filipino food to bring. We're so excited!
It was a great week to be a missionary!

I was reading in Alma 9, and one of the verses was talking about misery and woe. We feel stuck in a state of misery and woe when we do not have the gospel, because Jesus Christ is the source of all hope.

I was thinking about a friend's funeral, and him and his family were not members of the church. They were all distraught and in so much pain. The preacher at the service didn't know him or his family, and talked about condemnation. There was no talk about salvation or eternal life, but that this was the end for him. It was really sad! When we don't have hope, we are in a rut filled with woe and misery.

 In Alma 9:15, it says, "Nevertheless I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for them in the day of judgment than for you, if ye remain in your sins, yea, and even more tolerable for them in this life than for you, except ye repent." Without the gospel, the Lamanites are in the state of misery and endless woe, not knowing or having faith in Christ, but at the same time, the Nephites were worse off having had the truth, and knowingly disobeying. The state of the Nephites as they sin is much worse than a state of misery and endless woe, because they had a knowledge of the truth.

One of the synonyms to Joy was obedience in the Guide for Studying the Scriptures. We came to Earth to be as happy as Heavenly Father was, and we have to be obedient to achieve that happiness. As we are obedient to the commandments, and make and keep sacred covenants, then we are blessed and feel joy. The Lord promises the Lamanites (the non-covenanted people) throughout the Book of Mormon mercy and prolonged days, and that they will be brought to believe in his word, brought the gospel, and brought to Salvation (Alma 9:16), while the Nephites (the covenanted people) are promised destruction and damnation if they do not keep their covenants and the commandments. Not because God wants to punish them, but because he wants us to attain everlasting joy, and at the same time has to satisfy justice. It is up to us if we will choose to accept and apply the Atonement, or not.

I love the description of the joy Alma felt in Alma 29:16: "my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy." I have definitely been able to feel that kind of joy before, which has come by helping other people understand these principles of the gospel, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love that it is just one big cycle of happiness and joy if we do what we are asked!

And that joy is not just available to me because I am a missionary, but to anyone who will make sacrifices to help others come closer to Christ!

"All men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been." -- Alma 9:28

Hermana Lewis




Family scripture study!

At Josh Santana's farewell party a little over a week ago

Snack break somewhere in the middle of 8 hours of church

One of the cutest dogs ever!

Savannah* and Harmony*! (2 of Mae*s kids)

Lesson crew before ESL!
Grace* (RC), Sister Cobb, Simone* (RC), Sister Cendreda, Me, Luis (RC)


Crepes and Smoothies!

Jeanette's Baptism!

Elder Petersen, Sister Cobb, Jeanette, Sister Cendreda, Brother Stancliffe, Me, Elder Smith

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