February 3, 2014
I hope everyone’s week was good. It seems that my weeks are getting progressively more difficult and tiring. But such is missionary life! So I will start out with my study this morning.
I studied for the question “How can the gospel strengthen relationships and families?"
It’s obvious that the gospel strengthens families; that is encompassed in everything that we teach, but how and why? I started off in Preach My Gospel (PMG), on page 32 it says this: "The restored gospel blesses and helps husbands and wives, parents and children, as they strive to develop stronger relationships and spiritual strength in their families."
There are two words there that stuck out to me, helps and strive, when we are teaching people and talking to people on the street we are always testifying that the gospel blesses families. Sometimes, I assume that if you are a member of this true church you WILL, no matter what, have a stronger and happier family. Its amazing, I have read that same sentence in PMG so many times but until I actually focused my study, those important words never stuck out.
The gospel only HELPS us have strong family relationships, it does not guarantee. So, as with everything else in this Plan of Salvation, it requires work from us to receive this help. I looked up the word "strive" in the dictionary and I really liked the definition. It says:
"Make great efforts, especially to achieve or prevent something"
So I decided to put that definition in context:
The gospel will bless us and our families when we:
1) Put great effort in to developing stronger relationships
2) Put great effort in to spiritually strengthening our families.
Another thing came to me. The way that I realized that the gospel helps strengthen our relationships is by giving us a reason to have a strong relationship. That reason is Eternal Families!
Ok moving on. Another thing in PMG that I found was this quote "A home established on gospel principles will be a place of refuge and safety." This quote brought me to another question. "How do we establish a home on gospel principles?"
So I took this question to The Family: A Proclamation to the World and from the proclamation I found these points:
Parents are to rear their children in love and righteousness, teaching their children to love and serve, observe the commandments of God, and to be law abiding citizens. (that last point is something I would not have thought of)
It also says to base the home and family off of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
We know that God works in a specific way. We make a promise or work hard, and He blesses us. So when we strive to establish these elements into our families and relationships; we are promised with the blessing of strengthened family, peace, joy, a sense of belonging, the ability to resolve misunderstandings, dismiss contention and challenges, and healing broken relationships!
I think that is such a great promised blessing!
So that was my study this morning, I also found a few good scriptural examples of families and relationships that show we are blessed because of the knowledge of the gospel, if you want to look it up.
Alma 19: 8-13 An example of love between King Lamoni and his wife, the faith of his wife, and King Lamoni's desire and excitement to share his knowledge with his wife.
1 Nephi 5: 1-6 Despite Sariah’s frustration, sorrow, and lack of faith, Lehi doesn't argue and comforts her, showing the faith he has in his God.
John 19: 25-27 the perfect example of love, Christ makes sure that his mother will be taken care of.
Alright, so I hope that that brings some people insight and answers any personal questions that someone was having maybe. I will talk a little about our week now. So it didn’t start off too nice. We were supposed to have an appointment with Paul and he bailed, so that was fun. But FHE was good. We watched the movie The Lamb of God and that was really good to be reminded of my Savior and what he has done for me. Tuesday we visited the Watson's, we had two potential investigator lessons but they also fell through. To be honest, most of our week fell through, so you might be seeing a pattern. haha Tuesday we also had district meeting and it was really good. Our new district leader is a good teacher and I took a lot of good notes. We also tried by a former investigator and got another appointment set up with her for this week.
Wednesday we met with Brother McCafferty and we visited Fay in the nursing home. Then we also saw Sister Procter. Finally she is showing some progress! She asked us to start doing a Book of Mormon class type of teaching with her, because she said she doesn't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and she doesn't understand it. So we are taking it one chapter at a time. It was so much fun this week to really dive into 1 Nephi 1. I am excited to be doing this with her. Thursday we saw Sister Betty and most of our day fell through. But Sister Jacques and I had a really good weekly planning and companionship inventory. Sister Jacques and I have pretty different personalities and so sometimes we struggle, but we have found that when we really take time to talk over stuff and tell each other what they are doing well and what is bothering us we do alright. So sometimes our companionship inventories can be really long but I know that they are necessary for unity in our companionship.
Friday we visited with Sister Smith to see how she was doing with her progression to prepare her for church. Actually, Saturday night one of her friends passed away, and so I was thinking about it last night (she didn't come to church), that maybe we didn't have to give her that spiritual schedule to prepare her for church, but actually to prepare her for what was going to happen with her friend. I don’t know, but I sure hope all the reading and praying and things she did throughout the week helped when her friend died. After that we met with Christine and she is doing the young woman’s personal progress and she says that she can feel it helping. So that is really good! Then we met with Sister Irvine as a backup to an appointment with Agnes that fell through. It was really good, Sister Irvine showed us soooo many old, like super old photos. She is in her 80's and she showed us photos of her when she was 19! She had this dress that I was dying to have! Oh my goodness it was adorable, she said she will check to see if she still has it and give it to me if she does! But she is pretty sure she gave it away. But that was really good for us to do that with her because she is quite a stern woman and I think she really enjoyed showing us the photos and she actually said she enjoyed our visit and told us to come back. Usually she just pushes us out the door! haha. Then we had dinner at the McNally's. They are so nice, always feeding us! And we had a lesson with Paul. We really talked to him about the importance of church and how we are willing to help him get there, and the spirit was really strong. He brought up coming to church on his own and so after that we really felt like he was actually going to come to church this time. Well he didn't, and left us waiting at the bus stop again....it’s really really frustrating. We are supposed to have an appointment with him and we will see how it goes, we will probably be having a wee talk with him about how its rude that he keeps on standing us up, and how if he is not going to come, all he has to do is send us a text message. I am trying really hard to be calm about it! But I know that the spirit will not let me get angry with Paul. I am always fuming when we are alone and when he bails on us and even leading up to seeing him again, but the moment we are with him in a lesson the spirit is there and I can’t help but love him and I find myself being a lot nicer than I wanted to be, which is good.
Saturday, Marie from Hamilton came over to East Kilbride and took us out for lunch, it was good seeing her and she is doing really well! Her testimony is strong right now, and Victoria is doing better. Despite their mother-daughter difficulties they might be having at this time! But most of our day was finding and Sister Proctor was sick so we ended up giving her lesson Sunday night instead of our usual Saturday night. We also met with Brother Graham on Saturday as well. Then Sunday we had church and did a lot of finding, like besides Sister Proctor that is all we did! So that was my week, and this is a very long email! Sorry! Well I have got to run, but I hope all is well and thanks for all the prayers and love!