From: Mandy Elsmore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: July 15, 2013 2:02:20 AM CDT
This week has been eventful.
22 less actives came to church on Sunday! YAY!!!!!!! It was such a Happy day. Sister Dowe and I were freaking out as each and everyone of them entered into the church building. So proud that many of them gained the courage to come back to church, act on their faith and desire to be closer to God, and partake of the sacrament. I hope they all had a spiritual experience. There were so many people in sacrament meeting, there was not enough seats. Parents where holding children on their laps, and we were all swished together (Fillipinos are SO good at putting as many people as they can into a small space. Houses, tricycles, jeepneys, cars, or in this case benches. :D HA HA HA!)
Went to the MTC for a tour with the Ward Missionaries, Less Actives, Recent Converts, and a couple of our investigators. Found out that 200 people will be coming into the MTC here from all over the world this week. O.o about 15 years ago the Largest amount of missionaries here was 65! The work is truly hastening. :D
Question for Parents (or people with experience with kids):
How do you gain a spiritual experience still while going to church with crazy, yet loveable kids?
What made you still go to church even though its hard with young ones?
This has been an issue with many of the Less Actives and Investigators we teach...
So they have these bicycles here with a side car which one of our investigators has one. So, after a dinner appointment at a members home with them, I asked if I could try it. They said sure, so I petaled Sister Christensen, Miliza, and Jenny for about a quarter to a half a mile... I think... not sure... usually it talks about 20 minutes for us to walk that path, so whatever that means. Anyway, it was super AWESOME! Got out investigators to open up to us a bit more, and I did my bit of service for the day. Also got to feel that wonderful sensation where your legs feel like jello again. Its been too long. ^_^
One of our Part Member Families that we have been teaching has pretty much become the modern day version of the story of Job. On Friday we went over there and Brother (not a member) was having a mental break down. He has been so sick he can't work. His asawa (live in partner and less active) and baby have also been on and off with illnesses, they have been evicted from their home, they have been rejected from all the family and friends that they know. They have no idea where they are going to go. He told us he was tired of all these trials. He can't deal with this anymore... We taught about trials and why we have them. That we can gain comfort, help, and guidance from the Lord in times of sorrow. We bore testimony that with Christ, even in our darkest hour, we can still have peace. That God loved him, we just have to let him help us in our time of need. Brother wept... I have never seen someone cry so hard...The spirit was so strong in that house, no one could deny it. Brother bore his testimony of the savior and calmed down afterward...
However, On Sunday, his asawa came to church alone with her 10 month year old child. You could tell she had been crying. We asked what was wrong and where was her asawa? She said he had left them. They had a fight and he took all his stuff and abandoned them. O.o
The ward here took action. The relief society presidency and the bishop made arrangements to help her get back to family. Its amazing what a ward can do for someone when they all band together. The comfort, love, and service they gave to this woman was amazing.
I've had many thoughts about this experience... Before, it was hard for me to understand how someone could just get up and leave their spouse. I understand now more...
Not to say what this man did was justified in his actions. No one should ever abuse and/or get up and leave because of fear, doubt, and anger. But, when these feelings overwhelm and person, it leads to such actions. People become consumed in their own problems then forget that the people they are hurting are the ones they should be turning to. To support one another and overcome trials together, rather than destroying what should be precious to them.
Also, I have been thinking how inspired and important the Family Proclamation and the Law of Chastity are. That a family, unified through marriage and gospel principles, no matter what challenges come, are more better prepared to stand together, endure, and overcome. As they depend on the Lord, they learn to become more unified, firm, loving, trusting in each other. Its hard of course, but its definitely a better life. Not of sorrow or pain, but one of peace and personal satisfaction.
I'm very grateful for being blessed to live in a family with a foundation of gospel principles. I've been very spoiled in this life... Hopefully, I can help others to gain the peace and joy of the gospel in their own lives. :)
Love ya'll! Praying for ya'll. Tell your families how much you appreciate and love them. :)
Sister Elsmore ^_^