This is a friendly announcement that Sister Orchard thinks it is
still Christmas. 0.0 save meeeeee! Hahahaha just kidding I love dis
Hello family and friends.
This is a friendly announcement that Sister Orchard thinks it is
still Christmas. 0.0 save meeeeee! Hahahaha just kidding I love dis
A quote from a wonderful recent convert family. Every time we visit with them they tell us almost every other sentence that [if we ever need anything] [we need sunscreen] [we want to come over] [we have a question] we can ask with all confidence. They're the cutest hahahaha.
A couple weeks ago one of the little primary kids in the ward was in a terrible accident. She broke so many bones and was in very serious condition for several days. Sister Orchard and I heard about it almost right away from ward members who were so concerned for her. It was an amazing thing to see the ward come together in praying and fasting. This weekend she came home from the hospital! So many miracles happened and she is recovering at home now. As soon as the ward knew that she was coming home the ward was over there. We got a call from the relief society president and then from the elders quorum president and we went with the relief society to clean the house and then the next day with the elders quorum to paint the outside of their house and their deck and to put in a ramp for her wheelchair. It was amazing. While we were working I just kept thinking how good God is. He listens to our prayers and does miracles for us. And that He loves little children.
22 Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.
I just have a little thought about that scripture. This is Jesus Christ right after His resurrection. He had just overcome spiritual and physical death. He was the first one to ever do that. That moment was the most important moment ever. But He didn't say anything like- "Look everyone, I'm resurrected and this is really cool. Look what I just did for you!" But He just pleaded with them. "Please come to me so that you can be saved." The whole purpose was to save us. When we with childlike faith and trust come unto Christ through repentance and covenants (and doing our best to keep them)- changing our life with His power and strength- we are saved. We are healed. And we are happy eternally.
I was on exchanges this week having a great time with Sister Hoth, feeling pretty happy and just enjoying missionary work. We knocked on a door and this little kid opens the door, probably 8 or 9. We've met him a couple of times and his parents are never home. But he looked happy to see us as he told us his mom wasn't home. We pulled out a pamphlet of the Restoration, it has a nice picture of the Savior on the front, and told him that Jesus loves him a lot and asked him to give the pamphlet to his mom. He took the pamphlet and smiled and said, "I'm gonna read this!!" I said, we'll look, it's in Spanish. And he says back all proud and excited, "that's okay-- I know how to read Spanish." It was adorable! I wonder if he read it.
We had a wonderful zone meeting on Thursday. We were reminded that this is the Lords work, that every soul is so precious, and that the field is white. There are people out there looking for the light and the hope and the happiness that this gospel can bring them. And it is Christ's mission to go and find them, to bring them in. He says "how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart." And as His disciple and representative- as imperfect and weak as I may be- I have the call to go out in His name and find and gather those souls who are seeking spiritual water for their spiritual thirst. I was so excited- "The Lord has promised miracles-- just wait,".
And so we went out with so much energy. Every time we saw the time we were sad because it seemed to be going so fast and there was so much to do, so many people to meet and find and help. We didn't find anyone that afternoon but we knew something good was going to happen. Whenever someone would turn us away or we'd be told there wasn't anyone who spoke Spanish around here we just prayed that we wouldn't give up and we wouldn't lose faith and we'd keep the spirit with us so that we could find the person God had prepared for us to find. And then after dinner one by one all of our appointments fell through. I was so bummed! I went to get back in the car and sister orchard just said maybe we should walk and try to visit a different family. So I grabbed my coat and we started walking.
A few houses down we saw a guy working in his truck, we went over and introduced ourselves. This guy was so friendly! (He also spoke Spanish and that was good.) and invited us inside. We sat with him and his wife and two little kids and his little daughter started asking us questions about God, who He is and where he lives. I'm gonna rant a little about sister orchard here-- she is SO good with kids. Oh my goodness. Just the way she answered that little girls questions. The spirit was so strong and then the dad started asking questions as well- especially about prayer. We told him about Joseph Smiths prayer and how God the Father and Jesus Christ came to earth to answer his prayer and make it possible for all of us to know that God loves us and has prepared a way for us to be with Him and our families eternally. I am so grateful that God heard Joseph's prayer, and that He heard mine and answered it with this beautiful family.
The best part was afterwards we stopped by a church building quickly and someone gave us cheesecake. I was pretty happy haha. Too many good things all at once xD.
We had a Spanish conference for all of the Spanish speaking missionaries and that was a tender mercy because I got to see all of my companions and friends from the mission. I've been so blessed with the people I have served with on my mission. Its getting crazy because a lot of them are pretty close to going home already. Where does the time go? Too fast. That's where. There's also a lot of really cool things happening to the Spanish program. We are going to be working with several couples missionaries who will help us to find fellowships and work with stake leaders so that we get more referrals and so that when we find a new investigator we have a fellowship to help us get a second and third and fourth lesson with them. That would be nice. The Lord is hastening the work- "For behold, the field is white already to harvest; and it is the eleventh hour." I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for calling me to teach the people I have taught and know the people I have met and love the people I love- and so grateful that He is helping me to learn Spanish so that's all possible. His is a perfect and beautiful plan :)
I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I think one of the best ways I have come to know Him is through prayer. Of course when we pray we talk to Heavenly Father, but it's always through faith in Christ, and it's always through His mercy that they are answered, and that we can feel of our Fathers love. When I pray sincerely I find that I am more resolved to follow Christ and I have greater love for Him. It is His strength that helps me overcome trials and discouragement and find joy and hope. I know He lives!
I hope you all can feel the arm of the Savior around your shoulders this week. He's waiting to help and lift and bless. He's the best.
Sister Orchard: LOOK A LLAMA!
Me: a what?!
Sister Orchard: A LLAMA!!
Me: A what?!?
Sister Orchard: A LLAMMAA.
It was another fun week here in North Ogden. God is so good and I feel so blessed to be here as His missionary.
We taught Itzel again this week! It was amazing because she already has a love for the Book of Mormon. We talked about faith and how the Book of Mormon is such an incredible blessing from our Heavenly Father. Quick story: The day we found her was a day after a car accident she was in. When we met her she told us about the accident and we were able to explain what a priesthood blessing is and we had some men from the ward come and bless her to recover. We didn't find her home until just last week. This week she told us her point of view of that story and she told us how that morning she had prayed for safety and protection during the day – and then she was in that accident! She was staying at home to recover from minor head and back injuries when we knocked on her door. She bore her testimony to us that she knows this is something that God wants for her and her family. He allowed her to be in that accident so He could show her that He heard her prayers and would protect her, and then sent us to give her family the guidance and direction that they need to stay spiritually safe and happy. She knows we were sent by God and is seeing blessings from His hand. I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who wants our happiness and well-being so much that He has done everything for us – He sent us Jesus Christ!
Another family we are working with is doing pretty well in reading the Book of Mormon. One of the kids told us that one of the blessings he has seen from reading the Book of Mormon every day is that learning in school is actually easier for him. He can see the little things that God is doing to help him out. Melvin is the older son and he was so excited to tell us last night that he is really loving the Book of Mormon as well. We asked him what chapter he was in and he said really happily – "Genesis!". We said we were proud of him. At least he is reading something!
I remember being in Young Womens and working on Personal Progress. One of the values I kind of avoided was Good Works. Not sure why, but I left almost all of those for the end. As I did my 10 hour project for that working with Grandma in New Outlook Therapy I found a real love for service. And here on my mission I am learning even more how much I love it. There is such a great sense of peace and satisfaction that comes from going about doing good. It's really simple but I don't think there is a better way to find love for others or feel close to the Savior. As I learn more about His example I just love Him more and learn that His way of living is the best way to live. A few hours after a short service project we met a man who was really put out with the church. He accused us of not being Christian, that Christians serve others and that he didn't see any of the members around him being very service minded. We read a verse from the Book of Mormon with him about how when we are serving others we are serving God and that is such a great reason to serve others. He thought about that for a second and then got realllll nice and gave us water and orange juice and pears. (They are the most delicious pears 0.0).
He then told me I should get my liver checked out. That was weird. Door contacts in Ogden never disappoint hahaha.
We had a really interesting lesson with a couple named Olivia and Jose. They are the most interesting people, and they've been through a lot. They didn't want to speak spanish with us so we had to teach in English. Let me tell you – teaching in english is SO HARD. #spanishprobs. Anyways I felt all over the place, but we did our best. And the miraculous part was that the spirit was there. They felt it. Over and over again the Lord is teaching me that He can do amazing miraculous things with small and simple things, sincere and tryingreallyhard things. His grace is sufficient :)
We had a tender mercy this week when we went to visit one of the member families of the ward (a really really great one that I love a lot) to follow up with them about some referrals. As we pulled up they were putting the last of their suitcases in the car. They moved to Roy this weekend. That night! When I asked them why they said that their boss/landlord had them work on Sundays so they couldn't go to church, and Saturdays, so they couldn't work in the Temple. So they quit!! They have so much faith. They went to the ward in Roy and while they were there someone offered them a place to live. They still don't have jobs, but they know that God will prepare a way. Like Nephi when we have the guts to keep the commandments, the Lord will always always always prepare a way for us to do that.
The new Hallelujah Easter videos came out. My favorite one is the Hallelujah chorus with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and 1000+ virtual choir. I just feel gratitude for my Savior each time I watch. I need grace. Without Christ I would be completely lost. Because of Jesus Christ and His infinite love and grace He can give me lasting peace. He can help me to be better. Heavenly Father will not allow the smallest sin to enter into His presence. With Jesus Christ I can be changed and made new and clean and happy. That is the miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, through it we are not just forgiven, but we are changed. And I love Him for that.
I love you!
So this week Sister Orchard and I started watching the biography of
President Thomas S Monson. I also learned a lot about the amazing blessing it is to have a living prophet. God is a God of truth, and truth doesn't change. But because we are human we have a hard time keeping it straight. Christ prepared a path back to Heavenly Father, and prophets are the lights that mark the path. I know we have a living prophet! This was a tender mercy because this week we've had quite a few lessons where that testimony has been super important. God is good like that. He knows what kind of strength we will need in order to face the challenges only He knows we will have. He gives us everything that we will need in order to prepare ourselves. When we choose to use those resources with faith the weakness we have are strengthen by Jesus Christ.
We taught a beautiful lady named Maritza who, when she opened the
door, told us she has wanted to go to church for quite some time now.
We taught her the restoration and helped her recognize the spirit and
invited her to be baptized. There isn't a better feeling than inviting
someone to follow Jesus Christ by being baptized. Being able to point
the way to the gates of heaven and help someone get there is a job I
know I don't have the ability to do. But Christ does, and I have been
called to participate in that incredible work and so there is a way!
Christ prepared the way. We have been given a law we can't live- to be
perfect. But because of Jesus Christ we have a law we CAN live- the
gospel of Jesus Christ. The moment we fall to our knees and then get
up to keep trying with faith is the moment the power and grace of
Jesus Christ kicks in and helps us get on our feet and do the things
we can't do alone.
We found a lady named Rebecca. MIRACLE. We knocked on her door and
waited. And then we knocked again and waited. We knocked one more time
and then as we were about to leave she opened the door and told us she
was about to go to bed but had this huge feeling that she needed to go
downstairs and answer the door. We taught her the restoration and she
said she wants to know if these things are true. She said she would be
baptized if it was. (Best feeling!) and that she would go to church if
she could get her house clean in time. So guess what we will be doing
this Saturday! Hopefully.
Sincerity is a thing. We can act and work and live and do everything
we possibly can. But if we don't do it with sincerity it doesn't do
anything for us. If we don't expect God to help us or answer our
prayers, then even if we do all the right things we won't find the
answer or the help. But when we act with the small and simple seeds of
FAITH we have- maybe deep down inside of us- the Savior does
everything He can to show us His arm and His strength and His love.
14 But now I tell it unto you, and ye are blessed, not because of your
iniquity, neither your hearts of unbelief; for verily some of you are
guilty before me, but I will be merciful unto your weakness.
15 Therefore, be ye strong from henceforth; fear not, for the kingdom is yours.
Don't be afraid to do what God wants you to do! Be strong and
faithful- Christ's mercy in infinite and our weaknesses are only
HAVE AN AMAZING WEEK!!!
Emily Ogden was called to serve as a missionary for