Dear Family and Friends,
What a beautiful week we had! The weather has just been a friend of ours this last week. It was in the 30s every day! Some days, I didn't even wear a coat! And when I did, it was a lighter coat. It is weird how getting used to -30 temps can change a person. Yesterday there was a blizzard warning but we didn't even get a real bad blizzard, just a minor one. We went tracting in the blizzard for a few minutes...I actually don't know if that is a good idea but it didn't matter at the time and it doesn't matter now! One man answered the door and told us that "now wasn't a good time." So we asked if there would be a better time that we could come back. He said, "never," laughed and shut the door. The feisty side of me just stood there and attempted to give him the meanest look I could possibly bring to the surface until he shut the door, but really, when I saw my reflection in the window, I realized I just looked really sad, not scary. Those times are hard but Sister Richins is a trooper and she keeps me going.
Two new investigators
We have two new investigators, Steve and Debbie. They are wonderful! They are an older couple and they were so excited to tell us that we were the first Mormons to knock on their door. They are so intrigued by the Book of Mormon. We read a little from it and they are so excited to read it. They think what we teach is very interesting and they want to keep learning more. They find it hard to keep faith in God and Jesus Christ when they lose family members. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and that we know we can be with our families for all time AND eternity. I am grateful that God is so merciful and that the atonement can heal AND cleanse us. I love being able to bear my testimony of that and I do it every chance I get.
One of the joys of being in Fargo is visiting Julie and her cute kids! Julie is a recent convert and she is so much fun! It is awesome to go there at the end of the day and be with her and Zjulida and Ceazar! She is so faithful and is still so on fire with the gospel!
So Kelly is getting baptized this week! She and her five kids came to church yesterday and loved it once again! Her kids love primary and are so well behaved every week. Kelly is so excited to be baptized and we are excited for her!
Feeling the spirit through music
One of the things that brings me the most joy in life is music. Everyone knows that. Since I have been on my mission I have developed a new love of playing and singing hymns and special musical numbers. This week at zone conference I am doing a musical number and then again for Kelly's baptism. Music is such an amazing way to feel the spirit and that is a big part of why I have come to love it even more on my mission. J. Reuben Clark said, “We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer.” Loud worldly music actually has the opposite effect. If you want to feel the presence of Heavenly Father in your life, find good music to fill your days; not only on Sunday, but every day. It will help you to receive personal revelation, feel our Savior's love, and experience peace that only comes from the Holy Ghost.
Yesterday in Relief Society we learned about adversity. As the end of my mission is getting closer, I have been doing a lot of pondering and remembering. I love my mission and the times that have brought me the most joy have been the hardest times, the times when I have experienced the most adversity. I love tracting in -20 degree weather. Not because it feels good, because trust me it doesn't; and not because I am crazy, because I'm pretty sure I am not; I love tracting in -20 degree weather because it helps me feel even the tiniest glimpse of what the pioneers felt. I know that they wouldn't do what they did if the church was not true. I would not tract in -20 degrees in the wind if the gospel of Jesus Christ was not true. It brings me so much joy to be out there spreading the message even when people reject it because I know that I am at least making a difference, trying to bring the world Christ's truth. I love this gospel!
I knew there would be difficult times on my mission like extreme weather and other hardships; but I did not choose to serve a mission to have fun. If I wanted to have fun I would have moved somewhere exciting. Just like in life, we are here to have joy but joy is not always what we think it is. It's not just about following our dreams and making sure that we have a good time. True joy is felt when we experience challenges and trials and rise above them. True joy is when we give up the things we want in order to do what is right.
Alma 34: 32 says, "This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God."
That is why we are here. This isn't something that God ever intended us to take lightly, it is our purpose. It is why we are on this earth. One of the words I notice very frequently in the scriptures is the word "remember." It is easy to get caught up in worldly things and forget why we are here on earth in the first place. We must try to remember our purpose every single day.
"Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation... A foundation whereon if men build, they cannot fall."
Remember who you must build your foundation on and remember why you are here! Never forget! :)
I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Study the scriptures, say your prayers!
Love, Sister Park