So fun thing for this week was that we went on exchanges but for some reason the two of us just went to little rock with the other two and it was great. We learned a lot about setting goals and dates with our investigators. And especially about having charity for them. We went to district meeting with Elder Diaz and he talked about applying the gospel to their goals. The gospel is really so applicable and it's fun to live the gospel in harmony with the things we want to do. Does that make sense? Charity is the theme of this week.
After the district meeting we wanted to go somewhere that we could only go in little rock. I decided I wanted bbq so we just picked a random one and thank heavens we picked the right one!! IT WAS SO GOOD. Sim's BBQ. They have this sauce that is to die for. I ordered a pulled pork sandwich :) the funniest though was sister ponce ordered a rib sandwich and she asked the very southern waitress if she could put slaw on the sandwich. .... "Slaw on a rib sandwich?.. We not gonna ruin our ribs like that." Hahahaha done learned our lesson! So funny. But seriously the best little hole in the wall.
We had a great regional conference on Sunday. Something really interesting is that nothing they said was new. The analogy of one percent off course/standing too close to the edge is not a good idea. The prodigal son. Keep the Sabbath Day Holy. Follow the prophet. Don't compare yourself. Keep a worthy temple recommend. Work in unity. Especially keeping the Sabbath Day holy is not a new concept ... that stuff is in Exodus! That's an old commandment! And yet thousands of years later it is still not being kept. It's just more worth it to show the Lord you give Him one day than to not! :) Lots and lots of blessings in store for us when we keep the commandments.
Which is partly where the theme of charity comes in. This week we have talked to a surprisingly large amount of people about charity. It is also my Christ-like attribute for the month so that was cool to see it pop up so much this week. I often feel kind of frustrated because it seems that charity is something so unattainable for me. To have the PURE LOVE of Christ is kind of a big deal and it's not something that can just happen. It comes through prayer and great desire and more prayer. But I was reading my Preach My Gospel again about it and it totally changed my perspective. Still, it is something that I don't think one can be perfect at and it is still something I need to pray for everyday. The first part of the section in PMG mentions Matthew 22:36-39 "Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Then in the second paragraph it says "When you are filled with charity, you obey God's commandments and do all you can to serve others and help them receive the restored gospel." Obedience + service. Love God + love your neighbor. = charity!! I think I have been so caught up in the service and love your neighbor part that I disregarded the love for God and keeping His commandments. When we have charity, we are loyal to our Heavenly Father. Obedience blesses us and those around us. Maybe this is old news to most people but my mind was a little bit blown!! I love it. I feel like it is much more attainable and tangible when it is put as obedience and service. I can always do better at being more obedient and genuinely serving more. Ahhhhh. Charity is the pure love of Christ!! (Also 1 Nephi 19:9, Ether 12:33-34, Alma 7:11-13, Luke 7:12-15 are all awesome examples of Christ's compassion and how charity is a power. It's the reason for the Atonement-why and how!)
We were trying to find more ways to find new people to teach that wouldn't take months and is more effective than knocking doors. In PMG one of the ideas is to teach members the Restoration and invite them to share the gospel. So we started doing that yesterday and it was awesome!! We have been using the (super great) pamphlet and going through the points and noticing how the restoration has blessed their family, and the gospel in general. Then we invite them to pray about someone they can bring to their home for a dinner, FHE, snacks, whatever, that would let us teach them a little bit about the gospel and help them to have the same blessings that these families have. It's so cool. I am so excited for the area to grow more and more! (Also it's nice because it's something we can do with Spanish and English families.) It's interesting that with both of the families that we did this with, the priesthood and authority was something that we talked a lot about. Without it, there is no church, no order, no blessings or healing. It's the way that God blesses us and keeps us organized and happy. It's really such a cool blessing to have worthy priesthood holders presiding in this part of Arkansas. They both mentioned how hard it is to be without the priesthood at times. I know the authority comes from God, and I have been so blessed because of it! And it's only found in Christ's true restored church. :)
This morning we went driving up to Mount Nebo where it was 28 degrees and pretty much the air was just a giant ice cube. Haha it was so cold. But it was really neat to see the "country side" as they call it from that view in the winter. The Smith's (ward mission leaders) are so cute and they drove us around and gave us all the details of the park and we got cute pictures and got back in the car! Haha we are so well taken care of here it's so awesome.
|On Top of Mt. Nebo with the Smith's|
|Cheesy souvenirs I would buy for you if I had money.|
Also we "helped" some of the Spanish sisters make tamales for their sale. Holy Hannah. They had all of the pork and chicken and flour stuff all ready to go by the time we got there and it took us an hour and a half to just fill the corn stuff. It's such a long preparation!! But it was so fun. We weren't much help because we didn't know what in the world was going on and our Spanish brains were off because it was early. But I love tamales. :)
|"Helping" make tamales|
I am so so so grateful for President Monson! He has really been urging us to keep the Sabbath Day holy. For whatever reason, we need to prepare for it now so that whatever is about to happen won't shake our testimonies. I know that he is guiding the church under the direction of Jesus Christ! He cannot lead us astray. Really truly.
I love you all. I love being a missionary. Have a good week!