Monday, April 29, 2013

"Did you say Jesus Christ?... Come in!"

Friends and Family!
Shout out to all of those who wrote me this week, i loved getting your letters! Thank you!
It seems like i was just e-mailing, haha i guess because i kind of was! our p-day got changed to monday this week, because transfers are on friday! I can't believe that i have already been here for a transfer. time FLIES on the mission. it seems like one big blur of time. crazy. can't wait to find out what will happen/if there will be any changes. i will let you know next week!
This week was really great. i love being a missionary. even on the days that are "unsuccessful", i still love it. Serving the Lord is the best! I found this quote this week by Ezra Taft Benson and wanted to share it with you all:
"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature."
I know that only through Jesus Christ can we be changed, and that the savior has that power to literally change us. This week i saw so many people change because of their reliance on the atonement, and it has changed me. It has been incredible.
On Wednesday we planned out our whole day, and seriously we did not have one minute that was not planned out to be visiting people. It was the craziest-planned day that i have had yet while being in Nebraska, so i was so excited to start the day. We had 6 lessons planned with some less actives along with our investigators. Anyway, long story short, 4 out of the 6 lessons we planned cancelled on us. boo. that has never happened and so i guess the Lord was telling me it was time to experience what "real" mission life is like! but, it was incredible how even though so many of our lessons were cancelled, the Lord truly led us to where we needed to be. I really learned that this is not our work at ALL. it is solely the Lord's work. Even though we had planned out this "awesome" day, haha that is not what the Lord had in store for our day. Even though we did not do what we planned, and at the time it was super discouraging, it was amazing because at the end of the day, we had found 2 new investigators. The Lord, and only He, knew that we didnt need to teach our other investigators. He needed us to find these people.
Thursday we had a training for all the trainers/trainees in the mission. We got to go to Lincoln, which is such a cool city. I hope i get to serve there. President Weston gave the training, and the spirit was so strong the entire time. I have such a desire to be a better missionary and to devote every thought and action to the Lord. When the meeting was finishing up and the AP's were concluding the meeting, they said "and now we would like to have sister peterson come bear her testimony, and then we will close". So, i got to bear my testimony in front of 50 or so of the missionaries, and man was it humbling. But, the Lord knew that i needed to have that opportunity. and i love bearing my testimony of Christ, so no complaints :)
After the training, sister whittaker and i headed back to our area. I had this really strong prompting that we should visit a referral that we had received from church head quarters. Two girls named Sara and Angela had requested a Joy to the World DVD, so we were supposed to go drop it off at their house. We drove over there, and i knocked on the door. A man answered, and i said that are missionaries from the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints, and we were looking for angela and sara. the man told us that angela wasnt there but that sara was. He goes and gets sara, and then comes back and starts telling us how he was about to leave to go to the gym and so what did we need. haha i love how rude people are to missionaries. anyway, haha i said, well, we are representatives of Jesus Christ. he instantly cut me off and said, "did you say Jesus Christ? Come on in!" He let us right into his house and started telling us that he has been looking for a church to go to for 30 years. He asked us where and when church was, and when we could come teach him. haha!! that NEVER happens! i think sister whittaker and i were both speechless and stunned, because i dont even remember what we talked to him about, but we are teaching him this week! The Lord is SO good to us. His name is Brian, and is incredible. i cant wait to see what happens with him!
On Friday, we taught Troy's friend Amanda. She is INCREDIBLE. she really opened up to us and told us how her mother passed away and how she has been bitter and angry at God ever since. We taught her about the plan of salvation, and taught her about how Heavenly Father loves each of us. We were all in tears, it was amazing. We asked her to pray, and she said that she would. The prayer that she said (which was the first prayer she has said in years) was hands down the most amazing experience/prayer i have ever heard. This is what she said "God, thank you so much for having the sisters come teach me about you today. i miss you. Amen". She said it with such sincerity that i couldnt help but weep after we left the lesson. the Lord loves each of us so much, and all we have to do is ask him and talk to him in order to feel His love. It makes me cry even just thinking about it. It's these types of moments on the mission that make every moment worth it.
I had a really neat experience happen this week with Sister Whittaker that i wanted to tell you all about. So, i dont know if you remember, but when i was in the MTC i was really struggling one day and prayed to feel of God's love. Instantly as i said Amen, the words "Fear not i am with thee, oh be not dismayed. for i am thy God and will still give thee aid.." came into my head. it was a huge answer to prayer and an incredible experience that i will never forget. This week, Sister Whittaker found out some news about her younger brother that was really hard for her. She told me that the night after she found out, she was praying and really couldnt say anything but just cry. Instantly, right after she prayed for peace and comfort from Heavenly Father, the words "Fear not i am with thee, oh be not dismayed. for i am thy God and will still give thee aid" came immediately into her head. I hadnt told her about my experience in the MTC when she shared this with me.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord knows us, and loves us all individually, and EXACTLY the same. There is no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father answers the prayers of His children. Hearing sister whittakers experience was seriously life changing for me, because I know now that God lives. I know that He does. There is NO coincidence that she had the exact same experience as me, and it is because there IS a God.
I am so thankful that i am here, and that i get to be a part of the Lord's work. It is so humbling and most days, actually all days, i feel inadequate to be here. But i am so grateful that the Lord has blessed me and sent me to Nebraska, and am trying every single day to become better.
Thank you for your prayers. Prayer is real. If you havent prayed in a while, get on your knees and pray right now. Heavenly Father will answer your prayers. Trust me.
i love you all.
Sister Lauren

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