Thursday, October 9, 2014

Week 32

Hello everyone! I've decided to do my weekly update first before everything else in order to have time to include all the details!
Monday: P-day was great like always. For FHE we played human foosball, and our assistant branch mission leader nailed me right in the gut SUPER hard hahaha. He felt so bad, but it turned out to just be a small welt, so I'm okay :) 
Tuesday: We met with one of our investigators that didn't seem at first like he was totally committed to finding out the truth for himself. Here's the good part: when we asked if he had read from the Book of Mormon, he had read ALL OF 1ST NEPHI and loved it!! Cool, huh!? The Book of Mormon is so awesome! We read parts of Alma 32 with him, and he said he would read and pray and ask God if it was true!
Something cool that happened today: 
At the end of the night, I was just feeling sort of down/frustrated/some other crazy emotions, and I couldn't really figure out why I was feeling that way. For fear of my emotions coming off negatively to others, I went into my closet with my scriptures. I knelt and said a prayer, and then opened up to where I left off in Matthew. I read chapters 27 and 28 which is when Jesus is arrested and condemned, crucified, and buried in the tomb but rose three days later. These are some of the most intense scriptures for me: "Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him." In the words of modern-day Apostles and Prophets, "He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary's cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great, vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth." 
This next verse comes into my head, "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Jesus Christ not only endured physical death by being crucified, but he also bore the burdens of the world.
In Alma 7:11-12 it says, "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." Jesus Christ felt each of our "physicalpains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets andremorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us." 
I pondered these things as I sat in my closet, and a great peace came over me. Even though I had no idea what emotions I was feeling, Jesus Christ did, and He sent me His peace.
We had interviews with President today! It was AWESOME! I seriously love President Johnson. He cares so much about each missionary out here, and he works so hard to help us with everyone he's able to! We worked on our family history a little bit today, and it was awesome! I love learning about my family's history! It's such an amazing feeling to be connected with your ancestors. If you haven't already, make an account, and get to work!!!
We did service at the St. Andrews church downtown this morning. We cut up fruit and put the pies and cakes and plates. Yes, it was tempting. No, I didn't eat any. 
We taught someone about the Restoration today! Our views were a little bit different, but I received a witness during the lesson that God the Father and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are indeed three separate beings. They are one in purpose though--they all work "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." I am so grateful for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. The Heavens are not closed! They are far from closed! God continues to reach out to His children by calling prophets and apostles and guiding us though personal revelation.
We met with one of our investigators today and read 1 Nephi 10: 17-19. "And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God--and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come--I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men. For he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him. For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore the course of the Lord is one eternal round." Okay, sorry I'm quoting a whole bunch of scriptures, but they're just so dang good! Nephi desired to know if his Father Lehi was preaching a load of junk or if he was really speaking what the Lord would have him speak. Nephi puts forth a really important principle--THE MYSTERIES OF GOD CAN BE REVEALED TO US BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST IF WE DILIGENTLY SEEK. Pretty simple, huh? God lives and loves us!! There is such thing as absolute truth!!! You can know truth! "And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things." Whether you want to know if the Book of Mormon is true or if Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet or even an answer to a doctrinal question you have, the pattern is the same. Study it out, diligently seek and pray, and God will answer you by the power of the Holy Ghost. hahah I sound so passionate. It's true!!
I'm not even going to try to tell you what I learned at General Conference because that would just take way too long. All I know is that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the earth today, and the twelve apostles are special witnesses of Christ. The messages they presented were inspired of God, and we should read them as we do the words of prophets of old. I have learned much about what I can do better in my life. I'm so grateful for the Spirit who communicates to each of us what specific things we should take away from each talk. I hope all of you received answers to questions, spiritual witnesses, and new things to work on. I sure did! We had four investigators come to conference!!! It was SO awesome!!! They too received answers to their questions and guidance from the Holy Ghost.
Something funny:
Sister Zaugg was explaining to one of our investigators the Word of Wisdom, and when the topic of caffeine was brought up, she talked about how caffeine isn't explicitly stated in the Word of Wisdom, but we should just steer clear of anything that can become addictive. As she illustrated her point with a story, she said, "Whether or not you drink caffeine is a personal decision. Take *this person* for example. He drinks Bud Light, and that's his choice..........WAIT!!! I meant Red Bull! He drinks Red Bull!" hahahaha I laughed SO hard!  
Awesome Sabbath day. I received some answers to my questions I was pondering. Awesome awesome awesome General Conference. Pretty much the same as Saturday! SUCH a good day!!!
Well, that's it for this week! God be with you 'till we meet again!
Sister Sparks

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