Monday, March 16, 2015

A Week of Service!

This week was spotty with good weather!  It was super rainy on Saturday but the other days it was pretty nice which I am grateful for.

Oh, the rain!
Aah, the sun!
Anyways, this week was filled with a whole lot of service!  My companion and I have been trying to reach out to our members and build trust with them, and it has been working.  Everyone in our ward either has a newborn, or is pregnant.  In relief society we look more like a mothers lounge than a Sunday school class!

We helped 2 sisters in the ward, one who had a baby recently, and one who is about to have one.  Both needed help making freezer meals so that they don't have to worry about making dinners.  They got a ton of their recipes from Pinterest...oh how I miss pinterest. Ha!  I learned a lot though and think that maybe when I go back to school or am a mom I will do freezer meals!  Such a good idea.

Elder Oaks says,
"Our Savior gave Himself in unselfish service. He taught that each of us should follow
Him by denying our selves of selfish interests in order to serve others.
As a group, Latter day Saints are unique in following that teaching unique in the extent of their unselfish service."

We also helped an older single woman in our ward rearrange her trailer.  We turned her guest bedroom into a craft room, and a second one into her sewing room.  She has been collecting fabric, and crafting stuff and yarn for about 15's like a JoAnn Fabrics in there!  Crazy.  We spent a few good hours doing that and then left to head to our next appointment.
Wednesday was a little bit funky because our usual district Mtg. day had been moved to Friday.  So we went out and visited one of our investigators with a LA sister from our ward who was on exchanges with us.  Bruce is a 65 year old man, retired marine and lives alone.  His ex-wife was Mormon so it was a funny coincidence that we ran into him.  He is very responsive and feels the spirit really strongly.  Each time we see him and talk about a gospel principle he cries, ”I'm out of tissues now.  But that's okay!”  He was really interested in hearing about how our sins can be washed away, and our burdens lifted, and start over without feeling heavy.  "Through it all, the Savior offers us sustaining strength and support, and in His own time and way, He offers deliverance" says L. Whitney Clayton. We then shared a Book of Mormon scripture with him that reads, "I will … ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that … you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."  He loved that scripture and then asked for a book of Mormon so he could start reading it for himself.  We hope that we can continue to meet with him and strengthen him.  Because this gospel truly does bring so much happiness.  I ache when I hear people's sad stories and then don't accept the glad message we share.  The Savior, his church, is here on the earth today.  And I want everyone to feel what I feel by being a member!

But lessons don't always go as planned, or even happen.  On Thursday we had two appointments set up to go and see some of our investigators.  When we got there no one was home, or chose not to answer.  Sometimes that can be frustrating, but I need to remember that the Lord is preparing those who are ready and willing to listen.  We just have to keep moving forward and know that He is going before us.  "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

One great lesson we had this week that really touched me was with a lady in our ward who is a returned missionary, has a special needs son, and her husband is currently deployed.  We went to go visit her with our Relief society president, to check in and make sure she was doing okay.  We ended up talking about some of the struggles she had been facing, and the challenges she was going through.  We all cried and got emotional- I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained about the Atonement.  My testimony has grown on that subject and I can see how far reaching it truly is. This sweet sister testified of that as well, and it made me realize that none of us are exempt from this amazing gift. She had turned what could be seen as a hard life situation into that of a blessing.  She was using this experience with raising her son to not only help him and fulfill her divinely appointed call to be a mother, but to better herself and become more humble, meek and submissive to the Lord. 

A story is told of an encounter between the Prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. In the presence of a rather large group of brethren, the Prophet severely chastised Brother Brigham for some failing in his duty. Everyone, I suppose somewhat stunned, waited to see what Brigham’s response would be. After all, Brigham, who later became known as the Lion of the Lord, was no shrinking violet by any means. Brigham slowly rose to his feet, and in words that truly reflected his character and his humility, he simply bowed his head and said, “Joseph, what do you want me to do?” The story goes that sobbing, Joseph ran from the podium, threw his arms around Brigham, and said in effect, “You passed, Brother Brigham, you passed”.  In the kingdom of God, greatness begins with humility and submissiveness. These companion virtues are the first critical steps to opening the doors to the blessings of God and the power of the priesthood.

This week we also had a going away party for Brooke and Ryan.  They were my first converts and will always hold a special place in my heart!  I am so glad to have seen them progress through the gospel.  I feel privileged to be an instrument in the hand of the Lord :)

Sister Tuivai
I hope you are doing well and have a great week!
I love you so so much and hope you know that I have come to truly appreciate my mission.  I am so grateful for my Savior, the book of Mormon, and a modern day prophet.  As we do the little daily things to add to our testimonies, we will be filled with light and life.  I have found that to be TRUE for myself. :)

Lots of love!
Sister Mallory Golden

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