Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Decent Week of Work. . .

Okay y'all, it was a pretty decent week.

First of all--I need to apologize because in my last email, I didn't finish the story about Molly! After being semi-bold with her, Molly still was hesitant and said she wasn't ready yet. So that's frustrating. We don't really know where to go with her...she's one tough nut to crack.

Our investigator Paulina (16) is GETTING BAPTIZED ON JUNE 25TH!!!!!! We had an awesome church tour where SHE told US that she was ready and everything just lined up so perfectly! Seriously, she is so solid. She's been going to early-morning seminary and stuff for the last week and came to church yesterday, and just everything is awesome. Awesome.

We also were able to go to the temple this week and I think I almost cried. Actually I did cry when I saw my pal Sister Fuller from Snellville working there--what a happy reunion. :) Anyway...I started taking this tiny journal into the temple with me to write my thoughts in while I'm in the celestial room and it has been amazing. The thing that stood out to me the most this time around was just how much God's plan allows us to have JOY and fulfill the measure of our creation. Man, the word JOY just popped out so much, it was nuts. :) Next time you go, count how many times you hear the word "joy" in the session, and pay particular attention to the context! You'll leave feeling THAT much better. I could go a lot deeper into what i actually learned, but I'm sure that would just bore you and I don't really have the time for it haha. 

Faith did not get baptized this past weekend. I'm still not even sure what happened. The morning of the baptism, I got a call from the AP's saying that it had been cancelled and that was the end of it. Man, that was a really long day. However, I was blessed with a really special experience following the phone call. Faith is something else--to quote Sister Howell, "she really lives up to her name". She is one of those who has truly, truly been prepared by the Lord for the gospel, and for me to find out she wasn't going to be baptized was pretty darn hard because i know how ready she is. After the call, the tears started to flow and as I sat there feeling sorry for myself, the Spirit whispered to me that I needed to just get down on my knees and pray. But I didn't really know what I needed to say. As i knelt down, I started to pray for Heavenly Father to help Faith feel peace, and for the Snellville Sisters to be alright because I was sure Sister Howell was feeling pretty lousy as well. It was a really simple prayer, but immediately afterward, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace and humility wash over me and I knew that it was all going to work out and that God had a bigger plan for her. The enabling power of the Atonement is a beautiful thing. :)
That morning, i had a super awesome personal study about this that continued to bring me peace. Here's the sweetened-condensed version:

Last Monday, my dear friend Brother Davis from home sent me an email that prepared me for what was coming-- "Whenever you're about to do something amazing in life, especially regarding your relationship with Heavenly Father, Satan will try to stick his grubby little hands in your business and mess things up.
"HOW TRUE THIS IS. I've seen it way too much in just these 8 months!
Some examples:
-Joseph Smith in the sacred grove: JSH 1:15
-Moses  after he spoke with the Savior: Moses 1:12
-Jesus Christ himself after his 40 day fast: Matthew 4:1-10
No matter what though, in each of these cases, Satan's antics were defeated by relying on the Savior and His Atonement. 

Some of my favorite scriptures were brought to memory as i read this--
D&C 123:17 "...Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, and then may we stand still with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God and for his arm to be revealed. "
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer-i have overcome the world."

When we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ JOYFULLY, and do all things in our power, we are able to see how His hand was in our lives during those difficult times when Satan was trying to win, and understand that it is only through the Savior that we have already WON and have peace! Satan is doing all that he can to keep this work from progressing. Much like Joseph Smith, "the adversary is aware that we are destined to prove disturbers and annoyers of his kingdom. Else, why would the powers of darkness combine against us?" (JSH 1:20). Satan has already lost the war--so why should we be sad when one thing doesn't go right?

I promise you that as you rely on the enabling power of the Atonement, and "do all things that lie in your power" when trials come, you will find that our Heavenly Father wants nothing more for you than to succeed--all you need to do is accept the Atonement by living the gospel (having faith, repenting, keeping your covenants and JOYFULLY enduring to the end through your obedience to the commandments). Turn your life over to God and "have JOY therein!"

"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, life their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends and pour out peace." 
-Pres. Ezra Taft Benson

I think that's enough for today. :)
remember that God loves ya lots.

Sister Lawson

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