Friday, September 11, 2015

Angels, Investigators, and Cook Park

-I found my middle name! Got a piece
of my grandmas in Oregon!

Sister A and I in the actual Cook Park 
and our "white stallion" in the background
I have been dreading writing this email because there is SO MUCH to update you all on. First off, the zoo was fantastic! Sister A and I saw some great miracles this week from our finding efforts the week before. When we tracted two Saturdays ago, the last door we knocked on we kind of were sick of tracting and gave them our card and ran off for dinner. From the moment the family closed the door I knew we should have set up an appointment to come back but I didn't know how to go about it. I just pushed that prompting aside and we left. Finally after being pestered by the Spirit for a few days, I told Sister A that we had to go back. Then we almost died.. crazy story but all you need to know is that I could have been dead except an angel literally steered around us in the car. 5 minutes after this incident, we knocked on the door and walked away with a new investigator. Then 15 minutes later we had our SECOND investigator. This second investigator is golden. She told us that she has always wanted to be Mormon and sometimes she watches general conference on for fun. She is 28, just married, and completely AWESOME!

So that is the Angels, and investigators part.. now here is Cook Park:
On Thursday, after a super fun dinner with our Ward Mission Leader and his family, we recieved a text from the Cook Park Elders which we immediately dismissed (Elder Jacobson and Smith who are our really good friends).. and underneath that we had two texts from President.You know things are pretty serious when President texts. Turns out that a missionary broke his leg and another missionary is sick or something and so they took the Elders from Cook Park and WE HAVE COOK PARK NOW. We had a week and a half of one ward bliss and now it is time to go back to work. (: We weren't sure if we were ecstatic or overwhelmed by this. But it has been great and they have some of the best investigators and family! Bonus: we get 10 hours of church again!! Speaking of church...

"You have to share a testimony to gain a testimony." -Brigham Young

Fast Sunday was yesterday and during the testimony meeting I felt impressed to talk about testimonies. As Bishop Glazier said yesterday, "my testimony is fragile." I think we can all agree that our testimonies are fragile and we must do all that we can to nourish them and keep them in one piece.

 I like what it says in True to the Faith about testimonies:
"Having obtained a testimony, you have a duty to nurture it throughout your life. Your happiness in this life and throughout eternity depends largely on whether you are 'valiant in the testimony of Jesus.' The quest for a testimony begins with a righteous, sincere desire."

In the words of my father, "It is easy to teach someone a correct principle.  But unless they put effort forth the effort of studying, praying, pondering, and obeying it, it is difficult to gain a testimony that will change there lives." He also likened it to being spoon fed the gospel. If you are just being told what to believe, your testimony will only go so far before you begin to break under the weight of Satan's forces. And you better believe that he is working harder and harder on us all these days. We are powerful children of God with more potential than we might realize at this moment.

It goes on to say that it is through the quiet influence of the Holy Ghost that testimonies come and through experiences your testimony will grow. What I want to focus on is "your testimony will increase when you share it." Do not wait for your testimony to be fully developed before you share it. Part of a testimony's development comes when it is shared. In fact, you will find that when you give what you have of your testimony, it will be returned to you-- with increase."

Don't wait to share your testimony with others. You have one for a reason! Don't be ashamed of it and hide it away. It is powerful and amazing, as well as fragile. Tenderly take care of it. "Your testimony will be most powerful when it is expressed as a brief, heartfelt conviction about the Savior, His teachings, and the Restoration." -True to the Faith I know that personally I was always very active in the church and I thought I was doing pretty good, but it wasn't until I came here on my mission and put my whole heart into this work that I realized I wasn't doing quite enough. I wasn't actively doing my best to learn, to grow, and to nourish my testimony. I might have been doing what I was supposed to but I wasn't doing it effectively. I was allowing myself to be spoon fed the Gospel. I listened and I did believe but I wasn't applying. My mission has changed that all. It has changed me. And it has only been 2 months...

You don't have to serve a full time mission to gain a strong testimony. Turn your hearts and souls to Christ. Move full speed ahead as you search the scriptures, actively look for missionary
opportunities and ways to serve others, do what He would do. Start in the home, then work to the rest of your home. Nourish what you have and gain more.

I love you all! Have a great day!

-Sister Waite

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