I have seen a direct correlation between coming to church(keeping the Sabbath day holy) and spiritual strength through revelation. This was our main focus for the people we were teaching this week.
Throughout the week Elder Adriano and I worked really hard on getting the people we were meeting to church. We were arranging rides, wake up calls, and even travelling across town to go pick them up. We were really prepared forand felt like we did everything in our power so that it would work out. We called them nights in advance and the night before to make sure everything was okay and if we could help in any other way. By the end of night it looked like we were about to have 12 new people come to church. We were so excited. We fell asleep feeling really good night. Then came.
We wake upmorning to do the wake up calls that they have asked for and their phones are either off, on silent, or they are just not waking up to the ring. We then said to ourselves, "They are probably busy getting ready." We leave to go pick up our friends and get to the door and stand there knocking and waiting for about 15 minutes and by that time it began to look apparent that they are not awake. We were sad of course but then thought, "Hey we have a lot more people we have to look forward to." So we go to church to be surprised with no one that we invited be there. We then started to call them and as they one by one answered they said something came up. Both Elder Adriano and I both were wondering why and how this was happening. We did not understand. Everything was set up perfectly and still it did not work. The ward members were excited to meet these people as well and as they asked us where they were they could sense the disappointment we were feeling. Immediately they began to comfort us and console us with compliments and words that personally really touched my heart. The Bishop later pulled us aside and told us of a similar experience he had on his mission. He was so kind and his words helped us to lift our heads and keep pressing forward. I am thankful for the kindness of those who spoke to us because it truly did strengthen us.
It was quite a frustrating experience for us but because of the ward members and their help we were able to be strengthened. I know that coming to church is a commandment that God has given us so we may draw closer to Him but I also know that church is here so we may strengthen our brothers and sisters. I love the ward I am serving in.
In times where we are going through trials it is easy to not go to church or to blame God for the things happening in our lives. We know that sometimes life is not as easy as we would like it to be but God has instituted, through His prophets, ways we can receive help and guidance. Church is one of those ways. Getting to know those at church is essential to experiencing these uplifting moments. How can we expect to help others or have others help us if we do not know them in the first place. It takes trust and care to open up to someone and to be the friend everyone is in need of. After we are baptised we take upon ourselves the name of Christ and also covenant with God to bear one another's burdens.
I challenge you this coming week, while at church, to reach out and let the spirit guide you to those who need the assistance only you can provide.
It has been 8 months while on my mission and I am really enjoying this time to do the Lords work. I hope to be growing in every aspect of life. I had a dream last night of the day I come home and it was really powerful to see the change I saw in myself on that day. I am working hard so that change may take place.
As many of you know Dalton should be getting his mission call this week or the next. I am so proud of him and his decision to serve. My official guesses for him are: Germany, Russia, or France. How cool would it be if he got called to the England London Mission?! The only place I hope he doesn't go to is the London South Mission (we call them the Lamanites). It is all a joke but what an exciting time for him.
I love you all and I hope you have a great week!! Talk to you soon.