Monday, June 30, 2014

hello beloved family! it has been yet another week. i can't believe how fast time is flying by it's ridiculous. can you believe that it's july already?? another half of a year has passed away. i feel like yesterday it was new years eve! this week was good. had a couple rough days and a couple more miracles!
first one that comes to mind:
so this week we set up an appointment to visit one of the less-active members of our ward. so we went and after i choked down this nasty drink thing that she gave me (i pride myself on my ability to eat things i do not want to) now that i think about it i really don't know how we got to talking about what we were talking about but i think we mentioned to her something about having district meeting that afternoon and we were talking about prayer and how to teach our investigators to pray and she just started talking about prayer and how before she got married (she is a return missionary) she prayed a lot and then after she got married she stopped praying and now that we were talking about it she realized that prayer has really helped her life and she knows that prayer is really important. i don't even remember what we really talked about but she expressed her gratitude that our language ability was good enough for us to talk to her and understand her feelings and that she had never talked about that to other foreign missionaries. so she wanted us to help her family with english so we told her we could come back that weekend and spend time with her family (they are all members) and the second visit was even better than the first! the wife and the youngest son have been coming to sacrament meeting for the past two weeks but they didn't come this week. so we thought maybe we would share something about why we go to church. we didn't even have to bring that up! we were practicing english with the kids and the dad was kind of helping us. he's super nice, went to byu didn't serve a mission though but is a great guy and really good at english i think. i'm not sure since he didn't speak more than two words but he understood everything that i was saying and was helping the kids speak back to me. anyway so all of the sudden he was like ask the missionaries why we need to go to church. he said that the other day his daughter asked him that and he was like the problem is i didn't know how to answer her. he said we used to go to church a lot but now they don't and he also doesn't know why we need to go to church. so i asked him when you used to go to church with your family every week, why did you go? and he thought for a second and said because I knew that Heavenly Father lived. and i said how did you come to know that? and he said i read the scriptures a lot. and he talked about how the missionaries impacted him and had a special spirit about them and he said i usually don't talk about this to people but because you can understand i'm telling you. you sisters have a special spirit about you. really you do. because i usually don't talk about this but your korean is good enough to understand and talk about it and i really like you. you two are special and have a really special spirit about you. i just at that moment had so much love for this brother and this family. not because he told me that our korean is great but because he could trust us enough to understand that he told us how he felt and about his experience. i wanted to help him so badly and help him understand and get the answer to his question so that he could lead his family in the gospel. we opened up to mosiah 18 and read where Christ instituted the sacrament and reminded them of the covenants they made. and we said that's why we go to church. because we make promises with the Savior at baptism and every week we renew our promises and remember our Savior and his sacrifice for us. I talked about how I didn't want to go on a mission ever in my life until I heard one sister missionary speak about how her investigator felt so clean after her baptism because of the atonement and I knew that the power of the Atonement is real. and I wanted people to experience that clean feeling. I wanted everyone to know about the miracle of the gospel. and that's why I am serving. And he said okay I understand. I know why we need to go to church. We talked about the importance of doing the small things--studying the scriptures, praying, and going to church. the more i think about it the more i realize that most often people don't go less-active because of some huge distrastrous event that happened. sometimes that is the case, but most often it's because people stop doing the little things. they think i'm too busy i can't read my scriptures. it's not that important anyway i go to church on sunday and study the scriptures then. then they think i don't have time to pray or i don't want to pray and they start to doubt that Heavenly Father even hears their prayers. and then they make the decision to skip sacrament meeting for whatever reason. and just like as you keep going to church it gets easier, as your keep not going to church it gets easier to not go. that's how the adversary gets us really easily. he starts with simple things and slowly breaks us down. he makes us view the church and the gospel as a burden instead of a blessing. if any of you ever feel that way. please read elder bednar's talk "bear up their burdens with ease" the Lord strengthens us to do the things we need even when it seems like a burden. I love this family so much and I pray that as we keep meeting and encouraging them to live according to the gospel they can feel my love for them and feel Heavenly Father's love for them.
serving here a not only a testimony builder but a testimony confirmer. for example. people here are not really big fans of our church. aka they think we are a cult. i don't know how that rumor got spread around but somehow it got started and so our church isn't that well liked. but it's okay because missionary work still goes on! anyway we met some missionaries from another church that were passing out some stuff on the street the other day and as soon as they saw what church we were from they got all serious and told us that they were sorry we were members of our church. they said that their heart felt sick and it was a shame that we went to this church and she hoped that she would see us in heaven and that she would pray for us. i just bit my tongue and said thank you and walked away because i was not having nice feelings at the moment. i just took a deep breath and then my companion started singing hymns to me because she could tell i was really mad. BUT reflecting on the situation: it just makes my testimony stronger. why? because i know that what I believe is true. and if i had to stand before God at any moment I would not be ashamed to be a missionary of this church. because it is His true church. it is His gospel. and I know that for sure. one hundred percent. and no one can tell me differently. i hope you all know it too!
I love you all so much. wish i could share more but time is lacking. sorry!!
Love you too much!
Sister Blickenstaff

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