Friday, January 9, 2015

Every day is a new year (6/1/2015 email)

It's interesting what happens when a new year rolls in...even though the 1st of January is just another day, our thoughts are turned to self-improvement... setting goals and resolutions to make this new year better than the one before. While I'm all for that and am fan of setting goals at the start of the year myself, a YSA made a good point in his testimony yesterday. He said something along the lines of... "Every day is a new year because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ." The truth is we will probably (if we haven't already) fail at the goals we have set for this new year. But that doesn't mean we should give up and wait til next year to try again. Because of Jesus Christ, we can repent, we can pick ourselves up and start again tomorrow! How amazing is that!

I have felt the enabling power of the Atonement many times on my mission and I can testify to you how very real it is. Jesus Christ is our brother. He loves us more than anyone. He knows exactly what it feels like to fail, to be rejected, to be depressed, hopeless and utterly alone. Because he descended below all things He can lift us up. He can heal our broken hearts and fill us with love, peace, hope and happiness. Because I have felt this power for myself, it is my greatest desire to help others feel it. Too many of us are suffering more than we need to. Too many of us are burdened with a heavy load, carrying it all by ourselves. Jesus Christ suffered so we don't have to. He is waiting for us to ask Him to help us carry the load. Repentance is such a wonderful gift from God. We don't have to wait for a new year to have a "fresh start". We can repent today and start over and it is only when we repent that we have access to the power of the atonement.

My cold has pretty much gone, and we finally have appointments set for this week now that everyone is coming back to Manchester so things are looking up! Oxford road was so dead this past week! but we were still out there talking to everyone and we still found some great people to teach :) 

On Saturday we went tracting just to mix things up a bit! Oh tracting! I have to admit its not my favourite but it was fun to do it again! So the first door we knock is a muslim lady who says she is not interested, we ask her if she knows anyone else who might be interested and she tells us that the man who lives next door is christian and might be interested, so we knock his door... and then he knocks back...(thats a first!) so we knock again and he shouts at us asking who we are, we tell him we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints and he opens the door. He doesn't look happy. I think we were there for about 15 minutes and we hardly got a word in. He just lectured us about how we are deceived and how Joseph Smith was not a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is not scripture and many other things that weren't very nice. One of the few things I got to say was when he told us the Book of Mormon wasn't true, I asked him if he'd read it... He told us that he didn't need to read it to know its not true. That he had read about it and heard from people who have left our church that it isn't true... this is something that really bothers me... why is it when people look into our church they don't go to the true source? If it was anything else, like research for an assignment, you would go straight to the source to find things out... you wouldn't just take what someone tells you and believe that. There's a quote that I think is so fitting: "Studying the church through the eyes of its defectors, is like interviewing Judas to understand Jesus."

The only way to know if the Book of Mormon is true is to read it for yourself and then pray and ask God if it's true. It really doesn't matter what anyone else says! If you get an answer from God, then that's the truth! I know that God answers prayers. Sometimes it takes a while to recognise the answers but if you really want to know something, He will let you know, I can promise you that!

Well, that's all for now! Hope you all have a great week and share what you know to be true with those around you! :)

xoxo Sister Riley

Sister Gjikaj and me
Holding Josh Groban
Me playing guitar

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