Family and friends,
First of all Congratulations to my sister Jenny on getting her mission call to Minneapolis Minnesota, speaking Spanish! I knew you were going stateside Spanish speaking, I called it! Also happy birthday to her later this week! It's weird that we will be separate on our birthday for the first time in our lives on Sunday, but that's okay!
It was a great week here in Centreville, Virginia! We've been able to use one of the mission cars the last few days, so we've been able to get a lot done. It's temporary, but we've put it to good use! Got to visit a lot of people this last week! I'm trying my best to try to remember everyone, but it's hard to remember everyone's names when I'm meeting so many people in a short period of time. But I'll get them down with some more time.
I'm continually impressed by the diversity here. One day I'll be eating papuses (not sure how that's spelled) from El Salvador and the next day I'll be eating a dish called plov, from Russia. When we knock on someone's door we never know who we're going to find. One door will be a devout 65 year old Muslim from Afghanistan, and the next will be two college aged guys that just moved here from Canada (one was Asian and the other was Indian, yet they're Canadian). Its really
interesting how no two homes are the same in any way!
We got to teach the Amy and her kids again. We decided to read through a chapter in the Book of Mormon with them and discuss it. We read through 1st Nephi chapter 8, explaining to them Lehi's vision of the tree of life. It was the perfect lesson for them because Kadija (Amy's 8 yr old daughter) just learned about that at church a couple weeks ago. She was super awesome in the lesson and was able to answer all our questions about what everything represents in Lehi's dream (the iron rod being the word of God, the tree of life being the love of God and Jesus Christ, the mist of darkness being temptations from the devil). We related this story to Amy and her family. Amy represents Lehi, because she cares for her kids and wants them to grow up knowing the word of God and to live their lives centered around it. In 1st Nephi 8 verse 12, Lehi states: "as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit."
|Here's some of the languages that we have copies of |
The Book of Mormon of in our apartment. We have access to pretty much any language if we need it!
speakers were saying. It was cool to see Amy teaching her mother as she translated from English to Krio. We were trying to get them a Book of Mormon in that language, but accidentally got a Creole one, not Krio, but we'll get the correct one this week! We are going to visit them a few times this week to cover a few more doctrines and commandments to prepare them for the covenant of baptism. Amy has a brother named Sahid who just moved into the Centreville 2nd ward (were
in the 1st ward), and he and his kids are also investigating the church. This small family has such a wide sphere of influence, I can wait to see how hints pan out!
We've been able to teach a few other people this week. We taught one lady named Jade, a single mother with two kids that has recently become interested in the church. We taught her a simple lesson about faith, using Alma chapter 32 and explained that we can begin to develop faith through prayer, scripture study, and attending church. She had a few questions for us at the beginning of our discussion that we weren't really able to answer but as we taught and bore testimony of the simple truths of the gospel, the Spirit was super strong in the room! After we concluded our thoughts, she said "woah, that was powerful." After that, I realized the best way for people to feel the Spirit testify of truth through us is for us to bear testimony of the simple truths of the gospel. I told her that we aren't perfect teachers, and that we don't know everything, but we do know that this gospel is true and that it can bless our lives. We testified of some
core beliefs: that God knows us and He loves us, and because He loves us, he has provided a plan for us to return to Him. And that when we try our best to live His gospel, he rejoices in our decisions. We explained that we can grow closer to Him and to our families when we strive to live the teachings of Jesus Christ as we continue to develop our faith. None of us are ever going to have "a perfect knowledge" of the gospel, but we can continue to learn and grow throughout our
lives. She felt the spirit through the simple truths of the restored gospel!
Church on Sunday was great! The members are so excited and willing to preach the gospel. We are able to get members join in on lessons with us multiple nights a week which is awesome!
This last week I decide to spend some time studying the Christlike attribute of charity. Here's a few things I learned from my studying.
Moroni chapter 7 teaches:
"46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure."
To be able to develop charity, we have to desire to have it and can pray to God to help us develop it. We can develop charity as we love and serve others and try our best to see everyone as God sees them. We are all sons and daughters of God, and we should try our best not to judge others, but to see them as
our brothers and sisters. In verse 48, Moroni shows us that as we develop charity and love for everyone, we will be more like the Savior when He comes again. We can be doing so many great things in our lives, but if we are lacking charity, we "are nothing, for charity never faileth." There are so many ways we can better develop charity, and ultimately I think it comes down to the small and simple things we can do better each day. The way we think about others, the way we act around others, and the way we speak towards others can demonstrate our levels of charity. If we always try to have charity in our minds, we won't fail in becoming more and more like the Savior. Developing charity is a lifelong process, it won't happen all at once. But we need to make sure we are doing the best we can, everyday, to develop that love for others.
As I've tried to focus on charity this week, trying to view everyone as God does, I've felt so much happiness as I've been preaching Jesus Christ's gospel to the people here. I know that if we remember to always work on developing this love, we can grow closer to our families and friends, and become more like our savior Jesus Christ.
Hope you all have a great week! Love you all,
I don't even remember how many cars we shoveled out of the snow, but it was a great workout for us. These are the 6 of us missionaries that live in the same apartment complex.