Sunday, July 8, 2012

Knowledge of the Savior

Dear Family and Friends, What a wonderful week! It was one of those weeks where I truly felt Heavenly Father teaching me some very important things that will assist me for the rest of my life and for the eternities. I have learned such an incredible amount on my mission. It has been such a profound, dense experience. I'm just so grateful for the blessing to live, and to learn, grow, and have experiences in the context of the gospel. First off.. Father, I would like to say congratulations on the banana growth! It's about time that banana tree gave us some fruit! Make sure to put some in the freezer for me. Very exciting, Dad :) Also, I just want to say Hi to Carla, and tell her I'm thinking about her and she's in my prayers :) I hope she finds the answers she needs and feels Heavenly Father's love. Lastly, I want to thank the friend who sent me a package this week with a large jug of jelly bellys. It has been an immensely entertaining gift for my companion and I, and the Czechs find them truly fascinating! Thank you! Well, the week was just full of wonders. Church last Sunday was just super. We have a young man preparing for baptism in a few weeks and he came to church for thesecond time. He's a pretty shy young man, but this Sunday he actually participated in class, and when he left, he came around and shook everybody's hand and left with the biggest smile on his face. It has been beautiful to see the gospel slowly bring light into his life, and confidence into the way he holds himself. I was also asked to translate for the young women during the third hour. The two teachers are two women from America, who are here with their families, as their husbands work for the embassy. Thus, I tried my best to translate, as half of the young women are from the states and half are Czech. It was so much fun to be back in young womens again - I just love how the church helps young women grow their relationships with Heavenly Father and be a light to those around them. I admire the young women here so very much. They have such high standards in surroundings where the standards have dropped so low. They are beautiful! This week we had the opportunity to go visit some less active members of the church. It was a blessing this week when we found someone who had come to a point in their life when they were actually willing to allow us back into their lives. We found an older man who stopped attending church several years ago. When we knocked on his door, he opened up and happily welcomed us inside. We taught him about the power of the atonement, and the opportunity we have each week to take the sacrament and remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, as well as the covenants we've made with our Father in Heaven. It's unfortunate that we often do not soften our hearts until the Lord brings us very low. This poor man is at a very sad point in his life, and all he desires right now is just a little bit of joy, just a good mood perhaps. I wish we could each better recognize the blessings of the gospel and the worth of holding onto it tight, before we drop into such situations of depression, discontent, and sadness. Can't you just imagine Heavenly Father sitting on high, hoping, wishing, and crying with us? He can see the grand picture, and He tries to reveal it to us, but often we close our eyes, and want to go our own way. The gospel, applied in our lives, is the way to true and lasting happiness. Sister Sears and I saw a good amount of suffering and confusion this week in the lives of many we encountered. It led me to think a lot about the concept of suffering in this life. I've been blessed with a very happy life, and for that I am grateful. But when people ask us all the time on the street, "Why is there so much suffering? How could God exist with all the bad that goes on around us?" I understand why they feel that way. There IS a lot. But through our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can find that peace now, and that HOPE that there is meaning and purpose to our mortal existence, and a great reward waiting for each of us. "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah..." (2 Nephi 2:8). It's so important that people have that knowledge of their Savior Jesus Christ, and even more, of his restored gospel! We try so hard to bring it to them!This week at our singing display, I went out to talk to people, and it was almost laughable how many times I got shut down in a matter of a minute. It's sad, but as a missionary, you really have to stay happy, so I just sort of laughed and kept opening my mouth. A minute later, however, I talked to a young man who was very interested. We ended up meeting with him that very night, and Sister Sears and I felt something very special from him. He is has been very obviously prepared by Heavenly Father to hear the message. I read these verses this morning, and they describe a bit about how I felt that day, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst they brethren...and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success. And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings,and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercis of the world--not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God. And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills...and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again. And we have suffered all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some" (Alma 26:27-30). My joy is full. And it is worth it. All my love, Sister Lucy Brimhall

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