I can't believe another week has flown by. Time is going by way too fast! It is crazy! Yesterday I walked into church and it felt like i had been transferred to a completely different area… our ward doubled in size in a week with all the students coming back! I didn't know hardly anyone! It was so weird cuz I've just been so comfortable with the ward and the people there and knew everybody… and it all just changed so fast! Haha but its pretty exciting there are tons more people coming into town for school which means the work will start to pick up again! This week has been so great and very humbling. I have learned a lot!
We met with Tanna this week who is Less active and has been working on getting her life back in order. We were having a lesson with her and she stopped us all the sudden and was like "Why did you guys decide to go on a mission?!" haha so we both told our little stories and by the time we were finished she had tears in her eyes cuz she had no idea they changed the age last october and she just said that if none of that would have happened and if we wouldn't have decided to serve missions that she wouldn't be where she is right now. She wouldn't be working on coming back to church and she would still be lost and unhappy. She went on to tell us how church has started to become her safe place and that she has never been happier since when we started to come over and help her. Since we have been meeting with her she has felt more comfortable getting involved in activities, she has made tons of friends in the ward, she is praying and reading her scriptures and she has been so blessed because of all the good she is doing. She has this job where she has to work almost every sunday and it is a bad environment surrounded by people that don't hold the standards we have in the church and it is an environment that provides a lot of temptation for her so she has been praying and doing what she can to live a better and stronger life and she just got a new job this week where she will never have to work on sundays. I know that because of her faith and obedience that the Lord has blessed her and I know that Sister Walker and I are here in Charlottesville so we could help Tanna and support and encourage her and I am so grateful for the decision we have both made to serve cuz there are people out here who need us… who need the church. This church offers so much for people and it offers nothing but happiness and blessings if we are all willing to be obedient to what our father in heaven has asked of us…. and if we are willing to be an example of what we believe and open our mouths to share the gospel.
I know that there are so many people out there being prepared to hear the gospel and i know how important it is that we share it and leave behind all feelings of inadequacy and fear. We, as members and missionaries are all apart of the same team. The Lord is our coach and manager. He is calling out the plays to help us know what direction we need to take in our lives or even who we need to talk to that is being prepared to hear the gospel. He will tell us what to do, what to say, and where we need to go as long as we are willing to act on what he tells us. The Lord needs us all to be an active part of His team, He needs us all to be starters…. not warming up the bench. He needs us to be strong and not let the opposing team (satan and his followers) to score. He is relying on us to push hard and carry out the plays that he calls out. We are here on earth to help our friends receive the restored gospel.. and it is game time! With Satan on the opposing team and all the temptations that are thrown at us in the world… the game is close. We can't let him win by discouraging us and making us feel inadequate. Elder Holland said that we need those who are on the team to stay on it and to stop dribbling out of bounds just when we are needed to get in the game and play our hearts out. I know how important this work is. and i know how important it is that we are all active players on the Lords team. He needs us to suit up and get out there sharing and living the gospel.
I'm so grateful more and more everyday to be a missionary. I can't even tell you how much i learn each week i really wish i could just tell you all every lesson i learn. But if anything i am learning so much from this area and especially the ward. As i was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday i was just looking around at all of them… and just amazed at how strong they all are and how proud i was for all of them to be there and worthily partaking of the sacrament. I was blessed enough to grow up in the gospel surrounded by friends who had the gospel in their lives. Then i look at all these people in my ward and i'm just amazed at how few of friends they have that are members and yet they remain so strong. They know what they believe. They know this church is true and they stand for it no matter what. I have never seen such great member missionaries especially in a young single adult ward where most everyone that age is still trying to figure so much out…. and yeah they still are figuring a lot out but they aren't wavering on the gospel… it is something they know to be true and something they know needs to be shared. I don't even know all of them but the spirit i felt yesterday and even the unity between all of them was amazing. They teach me so much! I love serving around them, they are all my good friends and we just strengthen and uplift one another in ways i never thought possible with people that are my same age. It is amazing! This work is amazing! The Lord loves us all and i can feel and see just a sliver of that love that he has for the investigators i teach and even the ward. I know he knows each and every one of you and everything you are going through. He is there waiting to uplift you and carry you through whatever hard thing your going through. I promise he is there. I have never felt his hand so powerfully in my life before than i have these past 4 months. He is aware of each and every one of us and loves us all beyond comprehension! I wouldn't trade these experiences i am having for anything. It is the best thing i could have done in my life and for my life.
I love you all soooo much! Thanks for everything!! Have a great week!!