Hello! March 17, 2014
First off, congrats PHS for being 10 time state champs! I am grateful that I was able to be a part of that, at that time in my life!!!
This week has been a really great one! I wasn't sure what to expect at the beginning with 3 exchanges and Mission Leadership Council, but it really was a great week and full of miracles!
Our first miracle is Ardell, we met with him on Tuesday, and taught him the restoration. And right before we taught him he was like "oh, after we talked last week I looked up your church online” (my mind was like "oh great, he found some anti stuff.... this is going to be fun), but instead he goes, “and I found this book, and wanted to know if it was the right one.” He had downloaded the Book of Mormon to his phone, and he had already started to read it! Before we even taught him, is elect? I would certainly say YES!!!! :) Anyway, so that was reall, really great!
My days are all running together, but it really was a good week. So we are now teaching Ardell, and he came to church and loved it! Also, we started teaching a couple, Christine and Miles, who are great, and hopefully we will be able to help them progress!
We had Mission Leadership Council and talked about finding, and Joyce Tan came again and we reviewed windows, and my faith has been renewed in them! :) Also, because of an exchange I was able to attend the temple again this week, I actually went to a Samoan session, so it was fun to wear headphones. But really, I was so grateful for the opportunity to be in the temple again. I really do love it there! The Spirit was so strong as I sat in the celestial room. I never wanted to leave. But it did help me feel refreshed and full of the Spirit.
So this week was a great one, things are starting to happen as we continue to work hard. But something is also changing inside of me, and it has been for the past couple of weeks. Just the things I've experienced, the things that I have learned and felt, all have been helping me learn and grow. See, I loved being a missionary, but now I LOVE being a missionary. I love this gospel, and something finally has clicked in my brain. And I have a greater sense of urgency. I know how to be a missionary, I've been doing it for quite some time now. Now, I feel as though I myself am being more converted. And here are some of the things that I have been doing that I feel have helped that.
I've been reading Preach My Gospel, a chapter every week. I read several chapters from the Book of Mormon each day. I try to read one chapter from the New Testament everyday as well. I am more engaged in all the lessons that I am in. I pray for charity, so that I can have greater love for all of God's children.
I feel the Spirit more. I really do. I feel as though the little things (especially reading) have made the biggest difference. I am a missionary, do I have spare time? No. So when do I read? At lunch after I've eaten, or at night after planning and after I've written in my journal. I feel as though as I have made myself be more focused on the words of God, that I think less about going home, I think more about what I can do right now to be a better missionary. But not only a better missionary, but also a better person.
I was telling Sister Hurst the other day, that I don’t know what changes people will see in me when I go home, because many of them have been/are internal, things that I did before my mission that I didn't really like, but I am changing, and in that way, I will be different. And I think it will be evident in my choices. And no, I didn't come on a mission so that people could see that I changed, I came on a mission because the Atonement of Jesus Christ had healed me, and cleansed me, and I wanted (and still want to) give that to all I can. Because that is the greatest gift that we can invite someone to have. Will all receive it, sadly no. But, I go out every day and invite others to come unto Jesus Christ, by inviting them to exercise faith in Him, and in His atonement, to repent, to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and then to endure to the end. This is the great message that we have to take to all who will listen, what a calling, what an honor. It is hard. It is scary. But it is true. It is powerful. It is full of hope. It is full of promises. And I know that. I know that as I live it every single day. I am not perfect. Not even close. But, I pray everyday that God will forgive me, and help me when I fall short. And He does. I have felt the Enabling power of the Atonement this week. There is no way that I would have been able to go through it (being with 4 different companions throughout the week) Without His help. It is in Him that I get strength, and it is in Him that all these miracles we see are possible. He is the source of my joy! :) I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly father! And for a Savior who atoned for me! I am so grateful that our family is eternal, and that this time apart is but a small moment when compared to eternity!!!
I have a quote that I want to end with "When we become truly converted to Jesus Christ, committed to Him, an interesting thing happens: our attention turns to the welfare of our fellowman, and the way we treat others becomes increasingly filled with patience, kindness, a gentle acceptance and a desire to play a positive role in their lives. This is the beginning of true conversion." I don't know who said that, but I know that it is true. Because I have seen how I react and what I do in situations that previously I would have reacted differently. I am so grateful for this gospel, and for Jesus Christ whose atonement makes it possible for us to change if we want to!
I love you all! I hope you have a great week!!!
Sister Taylor Burningham
P.S. It was 90 degrees in Laguna Beach yesterday! Hello…summer?
Have a good week! You are in my prayers!