Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Let thy Heart be Full of Thanks Unto God


This week has been wonderful! We finally hit our breakthrough here. I say it in every area. When you open an area, the first little bit is slow and then, all of a sudden, it just explodes! Heavenly Father has blessed us, but mostly He has blessed the people here. More and more people are learning about the gospel and are able to apply the atonement in their life. 

This week, Sister House and I gave a training on tracting using the Book of Mormon.  Many times people assume we are Jehovah's Witnesses because we don't start by talking about the Book of Mormon.  So we told everyone that if they will actually start with that then people will know who they are right away.  After the training we went tracting and decided to apply our own training.  We knocked on a woman's door and right away asked her if she knew about the Book of Mormon and she didn't know much about it but said she would like to learn more so we are going back to teach her this week. 

T is doing AMAZING! Her only obstacle is smoking, but she is working on overcoming it and has cut way down. We have not asked her to commit her to baptism or anything because we can tell she is not ready; however, she did tell us that she plans to get baptized. Her husband, A, who is a returning member will baptize her. They are both working on coming into the gospel and they are on fire! They even invited me to their sealing a year from her baptism.

Last week I told you that while out tracting we found many less active members who were not even in our ward's records.  One of them is Sister B. She is the sweetest lady from Snowflake, Arizona. She and her family have not been to church in a few years; she is so spiritual though and will need a little push, but she is ready to come back to church and to bring her family with her. She is amazing! They have a daughter who is eight and needs to be baptized, and a son who is almost 12, who will need the priesthood. She keeps texting us and tells us how grateful she is that we knocked on her door and found her.  One of the most spiritual experiences we had with Sister B was when we read 3 Nephi chapter 17 with her.  

I love in verse 6 when the Savior tells the people "My bowels are filled with compassion for you".  After speaking to the people He was going to leave and as He looked out at them and could see their eyes filled with tears, He knew they didn't want Him to leave yet.  So that's when He told them his bowels were filled with compassion for them; and as if He just didn't have the heart to leave them quite yet, He went ahead and stayed a little longer and asked for anyone who was sick or afflicted or just anyone who needed His comfort to walk forward so He could bless them and He told them "for I have compassion for you."  Wow!  Then He asked them to bring their children forth so He could bless them one by one.  What great acts of love and all because He loved these people so much.  He loved them so much that when He saw their faith He told them "Behold, my joy is full".  His joy was so full that He actually wept.  In verses 21 and 22 it says:

21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
22 And when he had done this he wept again;
I know that His love for us is just as strong as it was for them. The best verse in that chapter is probably verse 24:

And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.

I encourage everyone to read that chapter. It is amazing and is one of my favorites. You cannot and will not read it without feeling of our Savior's divine love for you. 

The scripture I am studying this week is Alma 37:37. 

37: Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day. 

I bolded the parts that most stand out to me, and will try to apply the three of them this week, and forever. Counseling with the Lord is what should happen every time we pray, though we don't always do it that way. So I am committing myself to "counsel" with the Lord rather than just speaking to him. To counsel with the Lord means that we are going to him for help; we must do so in faith. We need faith not just to have our prayer answered but we need to have faith that we will be able to accept the counsel we are given and act on it.  If we will act when we receive direction from Heavenly Father, he will give us even more guidance and pretty soon receiving personal revelation will become easier and we will recognize it when it happens. "He will direct thee for good." I love that. It basically explains itself, doesn't it? He will always direct us to do what is in our best interest. This is where faith comes in again.  Are we willing to accept and act upon what he tells us?  "Let they heart be full of thanks unto God." It is Thanksgiving week, so I want to really focus on being thankful for all my many blessings.  If we always show the Lord gratitude we will be happier and He will give us more. Gratitude is not just thanking Him for the good things; it is also not focusing on the negative aspects of our lives and asking "Why me?"  When we make a habit of complaining about our circumstances we lose the ability to truly have gratitude.  Count your blessings!  You will be amazed by how much happier it will make you feel.

We set up a tour of the church building this week for investigators and anyone else who wanted to come and see what our church looks like on the inside. Here are a few of the pictures of what we did.

This is what we set up to teach about the Plan of Salvation

This area was on the Book of Mormon and the Restoration

This is the missionary board we created.  We put our phone numbers in the top left corner (Mom, cover that up) and then we put pictures of our ward missionaries and where they are serving on the board and then just some information about missions. We also had the baptismal font filled with water so the investigators could see what it was like.

I love this work and this area! Thanks for all the support!

Love, Sister Park 

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