From: Mandy Elsmore
Date: February 10, 2013 11:49:32 PM CST
This week has been a bunch of highs and lows in the mission. We are finally seeing some of the fruits of our labors in the Ward, the Less Actives, and Investigators. They are starting to grow and progress, even if its just a little bit. Its exciting. Sunday, Sister Christensen and I witness the miracle of forgiveness as a Less Active, who has not come to church for over 6 years, came back and shook the hand of the member who offended them. All because of one experience when we found a name we never heard of and decided to go look for them. They felt like our coming to them, when no one, not even previous missionaries, decided to visit them. We felt the spirit as we taught them, and they said it was a answer to their prayers to feel loved, appreciated, and to gain the strengthen from the Lord to come back to church. The Spirit, Its Amazing! The Atonement is real. Christ is real! The love shared and felt in the ward as they welcomed back this missed member was sincere and touching.
We went to Temple Tour with a less active and her two children, who are crazy, but we love them. Made origami with them so they would calm down and their mom could concentrate on what was being said. After the tour, the next day at Church, they were happier. The kids, though still rowdy were happy to be at church rather than whining to go home. Sister, told us that she's inspired. She wants to come back completely. She wants to enter the Temple again. The last time she went in was in 2003. Right as she said this, the ward clerk walked by, she stopped him and asked if she could scheduled a appointment with the bishop for a temple recommend. The spirit at the Temple was strong, and its amazing what the spirit can do and touch peoples hearts after just one experience. Perhaps this is why strong spiritual experiences only come once in a while. It inspires us to change when we need to. We appreciate them more when they come because they are less frequent. I know the Lord gives us these experiences for our growth, benefit, and in the perfect time.
Also from these experiences, I'm learning the power and effect of the Holy Ghost in peoples lives. I'm learning that people not only have to know truth, but they have to feel it as well. The Scriptures show this in 3 Nephi 11:8-17. This is the story when Christ comes to the people in America after he was resurrected. At first the people don't know who he is, they just know he's some kind of great being or angel. They Christ Tells them his identity. The people fall down because they remember the words of the prophets. However, it is only after, each and everyone of them Felt Christ did they truly know. That they truly understood and praised the Lord and believed in Christ. In order to truly learn, to truly gain a testimony, and to be truly converted; we not only have to know and learn the doctrine, but also live it, to feel it, to experience it. To have a true testimony and knowledge of truth we have to feel it through the spirit that is is true. These feelings are the things that inspire people and last in the hearts and memories of people for the rest of their lives.
I'm continuing to try my best. Having patience for my companion and for myself. Just when I think there are no more problems, health wise, with Sister Christensen, another problem comes up. One she has not told me about before. I admire that she keeps pushing through everyday even with all her challenges.
I'm learning lots and excited to learn more. Thank you for the love and support! Love ya all!