Monday, July 13, 2015

Enduring to the End!

Working on a Farm
My week wasn't that good.  In fact, it was probably a little harder than my average week goes.  We had appointments set up with members to go out on visits and some of them forgot or cancelled.  Investigators we went to go see either weren't home or said it actually wasn't a good time.  People cancelled right before we were supposed to see them.  3 people who said they would be at church were no shows.  One investigator who came said it was nice...but she would be returning to her church.  And on top of all of this it is hot, humid and my hair is unruly.
So I was pretty down as you can imagine.  I was reflecting in sacrament meeting as to why we have to go through these tough times even when we work so hard for a good outcome.  I had been praying so hard for this lesson with an investigator and she cold turkey discontinued our meetings. I had been studying so diligently for a lady who had a few questions on a certain topic and when we went to go teach her she said to come back later.  I was pretty frustrated!  But then I read a talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf and in it I found a gem of a quote.  Something I needed, "We acknowledge that your path will at times be difficult.  But I give you this promise in the name of the Lord: rise up and follow in the footsteps of our Redeemer and Savior, and one day you will look back and be filled with eternal gratitude that you chose to trust the Atonement and its power to lift you up and give you strength."  POWERFUL.

"Enduring to the end is a hallmark of true discipleship and is essential to eternal life.  But when trials and challenges come our way, we are often told to simply 'hang in there'.  Let me be clear, to 'hang in there' is not a principle of the gospel.  Enduring to the end means constantly coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him.  If enduring to the end is essential to eternal life, why do we struggle to be faithful? We struggle when we are caught between competing priorities.  Casual obedience and lukewarm commitment weaken faith.  Enduring to the end requires total commitments to the Savior and to our covenants."  (See 2 Nephi 31:20)  I loved this by Elder Pearson.  Just like Christ's original apostles, sacrifice, hard work, and dedication was required of them.  The disciples realized that their service to Christ was their all.  Whole soul.  And Christ knew that their faith could best be gauged by obedience and untiring service.  As a missionary, these two things apply to me as well.

One of the 'fruits of our labors' we have seen come to pass is building wonderful relationships with a few of our inactive and less-active families and sisters.  It has been GREAT!  The work we do also covers bringing back lost sheep, not just going out and finding new ones.  So one family of just a mom and two girls has learned to love us and is always so excited when we come over.  They have such a special place in my heart! I have so many quotes from that sister- she is so funny and SO southern.  One thing I am grateful for that has come from my mission is learning to love everyone.  I have made friends with so many people I wouldn't have back home because they weren't in my usual 'friend group' (so dumb but true).  The Savior really does have love for everyone...and when we learn to love him, we love others around us.  It is amazing.

Something I have noticed- the Lord speaks to me through Hymns.  When I pray I usually have a random line of a hymn run through my head.  It is so neat!!!
I was having a hard time with the change that is going on back home with friends, loved ones, etc, and was praying really hard for help to be okay with that.  Then suddenly the lyrics, "All is well, All is well..." start going through my brain.  I think I need to start studying hymns, because that is one way the Savior answers me!

I know that as we go through challenging times, we grow and learn.  The Savior never said it would be easy.  He only said it would be worth it.
And that is my testimony.
The Smiths

My little buddy that we're teaching

<3 Sister Golden :)

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