Sister Sika and I sung the National Anthem this morning and I must say that I was feeling very happy to be an Aussie haha! You don't realise how much you love something until you are away from it!
We've made plans to get together as a district today to have a BBQ and go to the beach haha! We also have some tim tams and vegemite that we will share :P
The work has been slow this week, but some good things are happening! We have been meeting with Janet who joined the church in her teens but had her name removed from church records in her 20s. She still has a testimony and the spirit is so strong when we meet with her. I can honestly say that the lessons with her are the most powerful I've had on my mission, and by the end we're all crying! I just feel so strongly that this is her time and she will join the church again.
We visited Terry and Claire again, the Christians that we met tracting last week, and they were so happy to see us again! They love talking about Jesus, but when we tried to add to their beliefs with what we know to be true through modern revelation and the Book of Mormon, they politely rejected it. It's sad because if they would just open their hearts I know they would embrace it because this IS the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It's not the gospel of Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon is not a book made up by him. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and anyone who reads it can find that out for themselves. So we are a bit stuck on what to do with them, but I know that Heavenly Father will help us.
On Wednesday we went to a funeral of someone from the St Helens ward that I didn't get to meet, but by the things that were said, he seemed like a great man. Funerals are always sad, but there was a wonderful feeling in the church, a feeling of peace and a reassurance that we will be re-united with the ones we have lost. As I was sitting at the funeral, I started thinking about my funeral... not the nicest of thoughts I know but it just made me think... what will people say about me when I die? This man's friends and family had only the most wonderful things to say about him and I hope that I can live my life in a way that it will be the same for me. We never know when our time on earth will end, but if we live each day as if it were our last, I believe that we will truly be happy and get the most out of life. I know with all my heart that God lives. He has a plan for us. Part of that plan was that we would come to earth, to gain knowledge and experiences, so we can learn and grow and become better. I know that when we die our spirit goes back to the God who created us, and we can be with our loved ones forever. The reason why we don't like endings and goodbyes is because we are eternal beings!
In my study this morning I was reading in True to the Faith about Temples and I just wanted to share this with you:
"All we do in the church - our meetings and activities, our missionary efforts, the lessons we teach and the hymns we sing - should point us to the Saviour and the work we do in Holy Temples."
"Sometimes you may feel that you cannot think clearly because your mind is so burdened with problems and the many things clamouring for your attention. In the temple, the dust of these distractions can settle, the fog and haze can lift, and you can understand things that you have not understood before. You can find new ways to deal with the challenges you face."
I know that the Temple is the House of the Lord, and it should be our highest priority to go there as much as we can. I love that quote, because it is so true. The temple is the place where we will feel closest to God and we are promised that we will leave endowed with power from on high. God loves us so much. He has so many wonderful blessings prepared for us. I invite you to take a look at your life and your priorities. I know that as you put the Lord first, everything else will work out.
All my love, Sister Riley.
|Sister Sika and me on Australia Day|