Suffering Shame for His Name
Hello everyone! (It's a long one this time)
I've learned a lot this week about myself and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I've been getting to know and work with Sister Schrock, my new companion and I've learned so much from her already! We've been trying to make every minute count, work on talking to more people and praying before we go into a lesson.
There was a lot of opposition this week: sickness, investigators going out of town, and even rejection. One woman who was learning from the Elders in another part of Layton moved to our area and we set up an appointment with her. She was really friendly and let us in to talk a bit, and when we came back for the appointment she wasn't there. We stopped by last night to see if she was home and we could try to reschedule, but she opened the door and then slammed it in our faces.
We were feeling pretty down after that, and I said a prayer to help me not be so discouraged, and imagined how that is exactly how Christ feels every time someone rejects His sacrifice he made for them. Being a representative of Christ really has helped me appreciate Christ and feel the way He feels, whether it's with someone who rejects Him or accepts Him. I feel closer to Him, and want to keep becoming more and more like Him.
I love the scriptures, they always give me perspective and help when I need it. In Acts 5:41-42, after Peter and John are arrested and beaten, it says, "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." It amazed me that they rejoiced that they could suffer a tiny portion of what Christ suffered for us, for His sake, and made me feel more happy that I am counted worthy as well to suffer shame for his name.
Another scripture I love is 3 Nephi, that tells us to love our enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you. We taught a lesson on forgiveness, using President Uctdorf's talk "The Merciful Obtain Mercy" to a family who is struggling last night, and I learned a lot from them and from the Spirit as I taught them, about how Christ loves us so much He forgives everyone, and actually did pray, bless, serve, and love those that hated and hurt and eventually killed him. We aren't perfect, none of us are without sin, so we need to forgive and stop casting stones at others, because we need their forgiveness too.
Although we had quite a few instances where we were rudely rejected this week, we had miracles happen as well! We had people ask for lessons that weren't planned ahead of time, and people who never answer their doors answer and speak with us, and we planned for Zane and Nichole's baptisms coming up so everything is ready for them. The hard times really do help you appreciate the good times even more.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
January 13, 2014
Onward and Upward!
This week has been very eventful! We had an inspiring Zone Conference in Salt Lake City, and found out about transfers this morning. I'm getting a new companion tomorrow! Her name is Sister Shruck, and she will be my Senior companion. I've heard a lot of nice things about her, I'm excited to learn from someone new.
At Zone Conference, President Hansen taught us about the constant battle between the natural man and the saint, talked about in Mosiah. The battle never ends, it's constant for all of us, every day. We are always making choices that lead us closer to one side or the other. There is no middle ground, we can never be still, and our testimonies are never safe. The adversary doesn't sleep, and doesn't give up when you shut the door in his face the first time. He tries and tries again and again, your entire life. That is why we always have to be working on ourselves, increasing our conversion, reading our scriptures, saying our prayers, studying General Conference talks, and attending our meetings. There we can find strength daily to put on the armor of God and protect ourselves in this very real battle against the natural man.
Being a missionary has caused me to see this battle firsthand in the lives of those I come in contact with. It's never been more real to me, and I have every resolution and determination to not give up on anyone, because Heavenly Father loves them and won't give up on them either. As a representative of Christ, it is my responsibility and privilege to bring everyone I meet closer to Him, and leave them stronger in the fight.
We've seen miracles this week--Nicole talked to her parents again and they have finally agreed to her being baptized on! Things are looking upward for all the people we've been teaching. We cover many apartment complexes, and asked for special permission to start tracting there to find new people who have moved in. We have a saying in our mission that goes, "Improve every day, every week, every month, and every transfer". It's a bit overused but I'm excited for this new transfer with a new companion and for the work to keep going upward!