July 2012- January 2014

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

IMG_0064[1].JPGMerry Christmas Y'all!

Huzzah for snow! It happened. Snow really happened! It might be a white Christmas after all!

I was laughing with my companion at all of the emotions we experienced this week. It was somewhat of a roller coaster. My companion was sick so that meant cabin fever. I went crazy being held up in the house for days. Especially as a missionary because there is only so much you can do indoors to fulfill your purpose. I know sometimes it is required to slow down and take care of yourself, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was fine and healthy and I couldn’t do anything about it and our area really needs work done. And then I had to learn that hard lesson that it really is not all about me. Then I started to look at the bright side, I discovered that I had the opportunity to have some really neat studies that helped me strengthen my testimony in the Savior, and His gospel.

We’ve met some really awesome people that…… are leaving for the holidays. So we have some really solid people to visit in 5 weeks. Ha!  Last night was an amazing night. We met three new people who are so prepared to hear the gospel. Our first new friend was taught by some missionaries in New Mexico and has moved home for the holidays. He was raised heavily involved in another church, and his father is a minister there. He talked to us about how hard it is going to be to leave what he has been taught in the past. We explained to him that he will only build on his faith, not leave it all behind. He found a General Conference talk by Elder Eyring. In that, he talks about President Hinckley’s experience with a new convert from China who was moving home. President Hinckley asked him what kind of trials he would have to face now that he is a member of the church. The young man told him that he would probably be disowned by his family, and all opportunities would be taken away from him. President Hinckley said, “Are you willing to make that kind of sacrifice?” the young man responded, “It’s true isn’t it?” Our friend told us that he has been thinking a lot about this experience and is preparing himself to be baptized. Man. God really does prepare people for us to teach.

We also sat down with another fellow. He is dating a member of our ward and he called us up to meet with him. He has met with missionaries in the past so in my little optimistic mind, I thought…. “He got his answer that the church is true and he really wants to learn more!” Well…. Turns out that was not the case. He is in fact an atheist and told us that he has never been happier. He grew up trying to have a relationship with God and said he never got answers to his prayers. My companion and I were shocked. Then he proceeded to ask us a series of intense questions all aimed at understanding why we could believe in God. It was a unique experience to say the least. We learned that his Book of Mormon hero is Nehor. Really, what do you say to that? I have spent a lot of time thinking about this experience. There has to be a bigger underlying reason why he questioned God in the first place. I have been studying a lot out of the Book of Mormon about how Alma talked to Nehor. I feel like this isn’t going to be the last time I encounter a situation like that. In the end we just basically bore our testimonies of the gospel and how it can bring everlasting happiness. Because having no hope, faith or an understanding of your divine potential, where is the happiness in that? Life has no purpose. You know, growing up I remember my family, parents and teachers always telling me that prayer and scripture study is “your armor” as you live your day to day life. I really understand this a whole lot more. Satan is going to throw his “fiery darts” at you. The only protection you have is the scriptures, prayer and your testimony.

To be honest, we’ve met with a lot of interesting people here that have really made me think about charity; having that pure love of Christ for everyone. Whether a person attacks your beliefs or a complete stranger screams at you for no reason. This week has been a good week for me to practice charity. 

Love, Sister Luke

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