Monday, August 24, 2015

Misisonary Work Sets Fire to The Ward

Dear Family & Friends,

It's been a humbling week for me. I've gained new perspectives, learned many things, and felt the Spirit lead and guide me daily. We gained three new investigators this week, which was super awesome! And each of these investigators were brought about by members. Honestly, missionaries and members working together is truly the key to success in missionary work. We could not get anywhere without members! And the Sherman Hill Ward is SO willing to help us always! A member told us at church that we've "set fire to this ward" because everyone is getting so excited and involved in missionary work haha. I'm excited too! We basically pleaded with the ladies in relief society yesterday for help with coming out to lessons with us, and we passed out a sign up sheet, and 12 of them wrote their names down with their number and specific days and times they'd be willing to come with us! Yay!

I've learned a lot about the Spirit this week. I'm always surprised at what more I'm always able to learn and feel from the Spirit. The Spirit is what teaches, guides, testifies, comforts, and gives us other good feelings, not us missionaries. We can't do any of that without the Spirit! The way we can get the Spirit is by being worthy of it, being willing to act on the promptings we receive, praying for it, studying, having a desire, and relying on it (not ourselves). The Spirit is honestly the true teacher. 

I've also learned so much about the role the Book of Mormon has in conversion. When we are teaching people, we need to get them hooked on the Book of Mormon! I've had some amazing spiritual experiences with certain verses throughout the BoM, and I can help them have those awesome experiences for themselves. The bottom line is, if you want to hear the word of God, you need to actually sit down and read it. This is literally God speaking to YOU. And daily scripture study is essential to our happiness and faith! So just do it! Like the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” Who wouldn't want that in their life every single day?

In our Zone Meeting last week, we talked about happiness. They said to ask ourselves, "How can I make today be the happiest day of my mission?" Being happy can be a hard thing to do all the time, honestly. But, I can only change me, and I can decide whether I want to be happy with what's going on, or not. I've also found that I am the happiest right after a lesson where the Spirit was there, in charge and guiding the lesson, and touching all of us present. I want to be happy, but sometimes it's just not that easy.

We had our Mission Tour on Friday with Elder Zeballos (of the Seventy) and Sister Zeballos!! It was so good! First of all, it was an awesome day because I saw Sister Martin!! And got to sit by her, like, all day! We were basically latched on to each other the entire time. I've missed her so much. And, I got to meet so many other Sisters! It was great! I'm not used to a lot of Sisters because there's just the two of us in our whole zone right now haha. I learned many, many things from the Mission Tour, but three things really stuck out to me. Sister Zeballos said, "You have had eternity to prepare for your mission, and you will have eternity to reflect on it. But, you only have a short time to live it." What a good perspective. Makes me want to give my all! Also, Elder Zeballos talked about reading the scriptures with investigators, and then what we should ask them after they've read it. First ask, "What did you learn?" But is this enough? No, we then should ask, "What did you feel?" Now, is this enough? No... It is then critical to ask, "What are you going to do about it?" Helping them recognize the Spirit when they are feeling it, and then committing them to take action and build their faith, is essential. Definitely something I need to work on. Another thing that hit me hard, was that Elder Zeballos talked about success. Success is not the number of people we baptize, or the number of lessons we have, or any other statistic. Success = Doing our very best. That's really something that I needed to hear. Alma 26:27. Also something that I truly needed, and now rely on. 

I'm so grateful for this gospel. I'm grateful for priesthood power, and awesome zone leaders who gave me a blessing this past week. It's real, it's true, and God loves us all individually. I love you all so much! Have a good one!!

Love, Sister Emilee Thomas 

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