|"I love pine trees!!"(:|
Robert and Kendra and Lexi. I love this family so much. Honestly I am so thankful that Heavenly Father allowed me to meet them, because it has deepened my conversion to the gospel. We had some awesome spiritual experiences with them this week. We had a family night with them on Monday and we taught the Word of Wisdom. They were all so willing to live it, and Robert has especially been working hard. He is so awesome! They all are. Lexi went to her grandparents this week, but she downloaded all the gospel pamphlets and said she's going to study them for the next time we see her. She's such an amazing girl, I love her a lot. We got to talk a lot about baptism and why it's important and how the gospel is all about continual progression. I'm so excited for her! Robert and Kendra both received a priesthood blessing from one of our great members, Brother Jones, to give them the strength to continue to work towards their goal of baptism. They came to church yesterday and we were so happy to see them there! We had a lesson with them last night on tithing and fasting and it went so great. The spirit was wonderful, and Sister Tilley came with us. We all bore our testimonies on the blessings of tithing and it was so sweet, Robert was like, "I'm thankful for tithing, because without it you both wouldn't be here!". So true(: As we talked about the spiritual power in fasting, we decided to all have a special fast together on Thursday to help them continue to receive the blessings and answers they are searching for. I know the Lord loves Robert and Kendra so much, I can feel that love every time we're with them. It's a blessing and a miracle to be able to know them and see them the way Heavenly Father does(:
We met with Elizabeth! Sister Deru, this adorable sister in our Ward, came with us. We talked about the importance of obedience and prayer. It was awesome, Elizabeth said that she's been praying every day to know if these things are true. I know as she continues to ask and then act on her faith, she'll get answers. I love the definition of prayer in the Bible Dictionary, "As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings,"
I know that is true. Heavenly Father loves and knows each and every one of us and has a desire to bless us, but He won't do it against our will. We have to have the faith to ask for those blessings, believing that they are real and accessible, and then we will receive "the highest of all blessings,"(: how cool is that?!? The Creator of all that is good is just waiting on us to come to Him. It really is that simple.
One night, I really felt like we should go and see our potential investigators Ryan and Zoey. So we went and knocked and set up a return appointment. Then I saw their neighbors door and felt like we should just knock there too. We did, and we met Amanda. She is so cute! She's really sweet and has such a good attitude about life. She let us in and we got to talking, and then her roommate Jake came downstairs. Turns out, he's a member of the YSA Ward here! We shared the Restoration with them, and as I told her about Joseph Smith's experience, the biggest smile came over her face. I asked her how she felt, and she said that hearing that gave her the chills! I love when people feel the spirit as we tell them about the Restoration. She has agreed to read and pray, and we'll be seeing her again this week! Heavenly Father is so awesome, I'm thankful for His continual guidance in this work(:
We've had a lot of interesting experiences regarding the latest standard that the Lord has set for same gender marriage/baptism. I want you all to know that I know Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's servant on the earth today. We have a living prophet, and he receives revelation for the world. I know that this revelation has come directly from a loving Heavenly Father. This gospel is centered on families, on helping them have peace and happiness. I know that God doesn't want contention between parents and children, between brother and sister, or between the different denominations of religionists. He wants us to love our neighbor, He wants us to serve each other. Christ iseveryone's Savior, not just the people who are living righteously. It isn't our job to judge, it is our duty to love fearlessly and unconditionally while still remaining steadfast in the truths of the gospel. My invitation to anyone who is struggling with this change is to watch Elder Christofferson's interview, read the letter from the First Presidency, and then pray. Pray and tell God exactly how you're feeling about it and ask Him if it's true. I promise you that He will speak peace to your heart. We are all in this together, I hope and pray that we remember this. Be kind, be gentle, be peaceable, and be like Jesus Christ(:
I had a really wonderful realization this week. I was reading in Mosiah 8:20 and it says, "O how marvelous are the works of the Lord, and how long doth he suffer with his people...,". I realized that Jesus Christ's Atonement really is infinite. When He suffered for our sins and afflictions in the Garden of Gethsemane, He felt all of our pain that we will ever feel. But right now, in this very moment, He feels my pain, my sadness, my everything. He feels it all with us again. What a huge expression of love. I know that He feels our happiness too(: and I want to help Him feel happy, which means that I have to be happy! It's so cool knowing that we are working together with the Savior to have peace and joy in our lives(:
I love you all so much. Thanks for all you do for me and for your prayers and letters. You are wonderful!
Love, Sister Allen