Monday, August 11, 2014

I love this Gospel (11/8 email)

Hi everyone!

Have you read this month's Ensign yet? if not I invite you to start! I just love the Ensign! I guess cos it's one of the only things we're allowed to read, but I'm grateful for the restrictions because it has helped me to have a greater love for the scriptures and the words of the prophets. I just wanted to share with you something I read this morning from the article 'Becoming children of light'.

Thomas S. Monson has taught that in order to be strong “in a world which has moved so far from that which is spiritual,” we must develop strong testimonies. He has promised that “absolutely nothing in this world… will provide more comfort and happiness than a testimony of the truth.” And he has pleaded with us to consider the “countless individuals who have little or no testimony right now, those who could and would receive such a testimony if we would be willing to make the effort to share ours and to help them change.”
I just want to add my testimony to those words! It is so important for us to develop and strengthen our testimonies! These are the last days and things will continue to get worse in the world. Trials and difficulties will continue to come at us, but if we have strong testimonies we will be OK (Helaman 5:12). Once we have gained a testimony for ourselves we need to constantly nourish it so that it doesn't become weak. It's what we hear over and over in church but there's a reason why it always gets repeated. As missionaries we visit with a lot of people who for whatever reason have stopped coming to church. I would say about 8/10 of these people still have testimonies; they still believe. We get a lot of 'excuses'. I don't mean to offend anyone here but there are a lot of excuses for not coming to church and of course there are always exceptions... but in my opinion in most cases the reason why they stop coming is because they stop doing those things that nourish their testimony; Prayer and scripture study... probably the most common things talked about at church besides Jesus. And the reason why we always talk about it is because THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT! If we study our scriptures and pray sincerely every day we are showing God our commitment to him. We are acting on our faith and we are promised so much in return if we will just do our part. God loves us so much and wants to give us all that He has, but there are conditions. He can't just give everything to everyone it wouldn't be fair. If we can show God that we are willing to do these 2 seemingly simple (yet for some reason it's difficult!) things every day, that puts is in the best position to receive guidance and blessings from God. If you don't believe me, try it for yourself. I know it's true because I've seen it in my own life. God won't all of a sudden make everything easy for us, but he will help us.
We did a lot of tracting this week. Tracting isn't my favourite thing but sometimes you don't have many other options. And we did meet some nice people that said we can come back. Sister Madsen and I provided some training at Zone Meeting. They asked us to do it on family history. We were a bit overwhelmed because we didn't really have much knowledge or experience on the subject, but it was a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow. This happens a lot in the church. We are given assignments and callings and we feel that we are not the best ones for the job... and we're probably not! But it's a blessing from God, an opportunity to stretch ourselves and we end up being the one who gains the most from it!

We visited with Sister Calcott this week, a member in the ward, and she was feeling overwhelmed about a teaching assignment she had been given. Funnily enough it was also on family history! Coincidence? I think Heavenly Father had a hand in it and we will be meeting with her again and helping her with the assignment.

This week was full of member visits and service and I just LOVE helping others. I had a moment this week when I felt discouraged because we are not getting the best "numbers" at the moment. But then I looked back at the week and thought about all the people we have helped and my heart was filled with love. Serving other people really does fill you with love. I thought about the Saviour and what he did when he was on the earth... he was always helping others. So that made me feel better. There is always more we can do, but the best place to start is to serve and show love to those around us.
I hope you all are doing well and hope to hear from you soon.
xoxo Sister Riley

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