So the keyboard that I am on right now has really stiff keys to press, so I might possibly get carpal tunnel from the email! Seriously my pinky already is in pain from writing Mum and Dad.
So to start off, I will share my study this morning! I am telling you, it was awesome!
So my question was how do I strengthen my faith?
I went on exchanges this week with Sister Kline, who is a STL, and we talked a lot about faith. She said that one time she was in an interview with President and said, "President I feel like I have faith, why isn’t anything happening, do I just need more?"
And President responded "Yes, Sister Kline, get more faith!" She then told me how she has been working on that and she has seen so many miracles this past couple of weeks and she said that she never ever wants to limit God because of HER lack of faith again. Well needless to say, with all the talking about faith in our exchange I have come to the conclusion that I just need more faith. But, how?
First I read Moroni 7:33-34 and this part of verse 33 really stuck out to me:
"...if ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me."
I have come to realize that there is a lot of words that I kind of know, but don’t really. So I looked up the definition of expedient and it said this:
1) advantageous (there was more to this but this is the only part that really matters)
2) means of achieving an end
This made me think about all the scriptures that have to do with faith but have a really important part that usually says something like "according to His will" I have come to realize that, at least in my position as a missionary, sometimes prayers may not be answered because we have a lack of faith, but also because it will not be advantageous to the Lords plan. So maybe we need to check what thing we are exerting our faith to get, and if its righteous then maybe just now it will not further Gods work. It doesn't mean it won’t later, but just right now everything has to be to the Lords advantage.
This made me think about God character, luckily for us we have a loving God who wants us to be happy, so often times he will send us tender mercies, no my lost earring won’t be advantageous to the Lords plan, but I had the faith that He could help my find it, and so He did! Tender Mercy.
In Stake Conference this weekend President Brown spoke and said this "Sacrifice is necessary in order for us to develop faith."
I went to the Bible Dictionary and read about Faith, I recommend this too everyone who reads this email, the section of faith in the Bible Dictionary is SO good!
Here are some good points it made:
Faith must be centered on Jesus Christ in order to produce Salvation.
The Lord has certain attributes that are purposefully there to make it easier for us to trust him. Some examples of these are love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, and power.
Faith is strengthened when we hear it! I loved this point, this lead me to ask a few questions of myself, and if anyone is feeling a lack of faith they should consider these questions too.
· Are we paying attention in Church?
· Do we listen or tune out during fast and testimony meetings?
· Do we attend and participate in all other auxiliary classes (Sunday school, relief society, priesthood)
· Do we read the scriptures diligently?
· Do we re-view the teachings of our modern day prophets and listen to their witnesses of Jesus Christ and testimonies of this Gospel?
· Are we listening to the witnesses of the spirit to us?
The Bible Dictionary also says that "strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ." This brings me back to what President Brown said. It is not easy to be obedient, that can be a sacrifice, and we HAVE to sacrifice to gain faith. If the commandments don’t feel like a sacrifice anymore start looking deeper. Pray and ask God what things you do are displeasing to Him. And fix it! Change the little minute things, (connecting with last week, maybe we should be a little kinder).
This next thing I studied is my favorite part. Jacob 4: 6-7
6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of aprophecy; and having all these bwitnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can ccommand in the dname of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our aweakness that we may know that it is by his bgrace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.
My thoughts on this scripture: Weakness is not a lack of faith. This makes me think of the scripture Ether 12:27, as we draw closer to God he shows us our weaknesses so that we may be humble, so that we may more fully trust Him! In many scriptures it says to exercise our faith. So I think about exercising and how you won’t gain muscle if don’t push past the trembling arms and the times of just pure struggle, pain, and sweat! The same applies in gaining greater faith. There will be times when we feel weak, we see our spiritual weakness, and we feel like we are not gaining anything, not moving forward but drowning! It’s in these times that we need to push harder than ever. God shows us our weaknesses when we come near him so that our weaknesses can be made into strengths. That has been what I have been going through, I am tired and feel weak in my faith right now, but instead of just giving in, I need to push harder!
So moral of this very long lesson, I am sorry for my peachiness today but I just loved my study today, here are 5 things to strengthen our faith.
- Obedience-Start with obeying the commandments, then look closer and refine!
- Learn who our Savior is
- Learn the word of God and HEAR others testimonies
- Ask yourself if what you are searching for or waiting for or working towards will further Gods plan, if not try adjusting your search, what will further the Lords work.
- Recognize and experience weakness and push past them.
So that was my study, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved talking about it.
Now for a quick rap up of my week, since my weeks are getting more and more boring to talk about! Haha I am kidding. This week as for investigators we visited Paul twice, and he once again said he was going to come to stake conference, but didn't. I still don’t know what we can do more about this, we will just have to take it as we can I guess; But both the lessons were really good and he is progressing. We also saw Scott (the 10 year old) that was a harder lesson, sometimes his mum and him don’t get a long and it makes for a hard lesson to feel the spirit in. We just had a quick drop by Agnes this week and set up another appointment. While on exchanges, Sister Jacques and Sister Ricks were able to visit Alison, a long time investigator, which was good because we haven’t been able to get in to contact with her. Since she let them come when I wasn't
there, I am possibly seeing a trend that maybe involves her not liking me! Oh well, we will continue to try, I haven’t done anything that I know of to offend her, so I don’t know. We will see. We have a set return appointment with her, so hopefully that one sticks.
As for the Carey family that we were so excited about last week, Donna was sick and their house was hectic so they didn’t let us in, but fingers crossed for this next Sunday. We had some really good finding times and got quite a few potential investigators and return appointments. So far none of them have stuck out the appointment but we still have a few this week. Including one really promising one with a guy named Kirk so hopefully that works out well!
We went on exchanges and right before them I got a cold, well still do. It’s a nasty cold though, all in my sinuses. But when you’re on exchanges you can’t really ask to spend some time home because it’s their area, their day plans, and you’re supposed to be learning from them, so I just kind of stuck it out, even though it was raining all day and we were soaked! Haha
We had Stake conference this weekend; Sister Jacques gave a great talk in it! I was so proud of her. Marie and Victoria came to the Saturday night session, so it was good to see them. We met with the normal less actives, Sister Procter, Christine, Sister Betty, and we were able to catch the Irvine’s. Things are going good with the less actives I guess, but I really wish there was faster progress. Sister Jacques and I will have to really think on how we can help speed the process on a bit and get these people back to church! All in all we have had a good week! I really enjoyed my exchange and we were really close to our number of lesson goals, and our joint teach lessons are going slowly up in numbers! So I feel proud of this week that’s for sure! Well I better go. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Get more faith!
P.S. The reason for the caption, it "snowed" a couple of times this week, and by snow I actually mean it “White Slushed”. Fun..... I miss Colorado snow!