I hope everyone is doing awesome! Moses Lake has been
There have definitely been more tests of faith this week, but each one has helped to strengthen my faith in ways that I never thought would be possible. We've been having a hard time finding people to teach, and after teaching them once, getting in contact with them again. On Monday we didn't find anyone new, Tuesday was the same. Everybody we talked to was either disinterested or unwilling to talk further. Well finally Tuesday night we were stopping by some less actives, and some old potentials in a small section of our area, and could not find anyone. We got back in our car and it was like 8:45, too early to go in for the night. So we headed to another part of our area and knocked 1 door. A single mom with seven kids answered!! Seven!! It was crazy. When we mentioned that the Gospel helps and blesses the family she seemed like a weight lifted from her. It was really cool to see, the hardest part has been getting back in contact with her. With seven kids she works all day. I can't wait to talk with her again.
On Wednesday we also got the chance to teach Refugio y Marisol again. They are super awesome and with this lesson we had a member come along that was also Marisol's supervisor at work. Marisol seems really interested and willing to try. Having her supervisor there helped a lot with getting someone to connect to and the member had some super great ideas about finding time to read and pray. It was a good lesson but Refugio is being difficult. He just seems disinterested and he's holding both of them back. They didn't come to church which was too bad, but we had some other investigators come.
Those other investigators were Nicolasa's brother and daughter. We taught them again this week and invited the whole family to attend church. It was super to awesome to see them walk in. They were my first investigators to come to church. Javier, the brother, is a Catholic, and during the sacrament meeting seemed really interested in what was being said. The talk that really caught his attention was on the Plan of Salvation. He seemed extremely focused. It was awesome. We're going to talk to them again this week and see how they liked church.
So on Saturday I got to go on my first exchange. I went with Elder Jensen, one of the Zone Leaders to his area while Elder Wilkey, the other ZL, went with my companion to speak Spanish. The Zone Leaders are English speaking. Anyways I went to Othello to do some potentials finding for the YSA ward. It was super awesome and I really love Elder Jensen. We sang Christmas songs the whole day and had an awesome time. While in Othello we taught one of their investigators named Brianna. She's been struggling a lot lately so we helped her to create a plan on how she is going to better her life. It was a really interesting lesson and an awesome teaching technique. That night we also helped a family create a family mission plan. We started with a prayer and then talked with each of them about a specific person. It was super fun and I got the chance to kinda lead it. It was super fun and awesome to see how a family can get excited for missionary work.
So now for the reason for my email Subject. I read this awesome talk this week and it's definitely one everyone should and can read. It's called Lessons from Liberty Jail by Elder Holland. My favorite quote from it is "Indeed, you can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experiences with the Lord in the most miserable experiences of your life—in the worst settings, while enduring the most painful injustices, when facing the most insurmountable odds and opposition you have ever faced." I thought this was really cool. We often go through those hard times in our lives and we think that God has abandoned us or that we are no longer receiving help, but as Elder Holland said, and I can add my testimony to this those hard times are when God is the closest. Joseph Smith suffered so much while in Liberty Jail, yet he came to know God so much more personally, and for him this time was a temple-like experience. So I challenge everyone to that when a difficult moment arises or you find yourself unsure. Don't ever give up!! God is right there beside you. Pray, ask for strength, and it will come. Then you will look back on that experience with fondness, not because it was easy, but because you became so much closer to the Lord and had a temple-like experience. I know this to be true. The same happened to me when Terik died last year. I felt completely and utterly alone, abandoned and forgotten, but because instead of turning away I turned to God, I had an amazing experience. Is it still hard? Of course, but now I look back to that and I know that because of that experience I am so much stronger. Never give up.
I love you all.
Washington Yakima Mission