Boy, it sure feels like it has been forever since I wrote home. A lot has happened in that time period and needless to say, this past week has been a difficult one for me personally, but a great one for the work. My new companion and I have really put an emphasis on two things while finding - 1) using the Book of Mormon, because after all it contains the fulness of the gospel, and it truly is the keystone of our religion and 2) testifying to everyone. Anyone who has studied Preach My Gospel chapter 9 will know the emphasis put on this, and as we have implamented both of these ideas into our finding, as well as seeking the guidance of the spirit as we find, we have been able to touch more people, and gain a lot of potentials to try back, which is truly a blessing. As we testify, the Holy Ghost beares witness of what we say, and it gives people the opportunity to act on or reject our message, and it really has opened my eyes to the power that comes as a witness of truth is borne.
So we have spent a lot of time helping my new companion meet the members, our investigators, and as stated, finding. Yet once again I have found frustration with investigators not fulfilling committments. I just wish people could understand the importance of our message, because if they did every committment would be met without a doubt. That will be my focus this week as we teach - help everyone see how the restored gospel can be a blessing in their life and why accepting it as a part of their life is important.
I am really excited for the opportunites that we have been given this upcoming week to teach many people, and I have a firm hope that lives will be touched as we invite the Spirit into the lessons. One of the great things that I have realized is the principle stated in the beginning of Alma 32 - those who are humble, by circumstance or other means, are more willing to accept the gospel. I have seen some amazing reactions to the Book of Mormon as it has been an emphasis for us - those who are humble see how it really meets needs that they didn't even know they had. Gah, I just love the great opportunites afford me a missionary. Amazing.
Also, this past week has been a learning experience for me regarding the doctrine of grace. It is such a beautiful doctrine, and I feel like sometimes we are hesitant to discuss it because our beliefs regarding it are slightly different from the beliefs of others. The Bible Dictionary reads, "It is . . . through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means." As different trials have entered my life this past week, grace has been the crutch I have relied on to make it through them and to carry on the Lord's work. Grace truly is an "enabling power" that can help overcome whatever obstacles stand in our way, but it is only through faith in Christ and our sincere desires to serve Him that we are able to invite that grace into our lives. The instant I acknowledged a need for divine assistance, it was there in an instant, and it can be the same for all of God's children. Truly our Savior is waiting with open arms to help us in all things, but we must turn to him first. When we do, we will be able to "recieve strength and assistance" in all things because of His sacrifice. What a reasurring knowledge we have, which knowledge has come about because of the restored gospel. The Church is true, I promise!!