Thursday, July 31, 2014

Faith Precedes Miracles

Dear Family,                                                                                           June 9, 2014

This week has been great! And it is so funny cause there have been some pretty sad points, but we'll get to that!!!! :) This week was good, I realized a lot of things about myself and about God, and the plan that He has for each of us!!!

This all started on Tuesday as I was on an exchange in the Woodbridge 2nd ward (I just wanted to visit almost all my old wards this transfer ;) haha, but weird how that worked out).  Anyway, I was with Sister Simms and Sister Larson, and they are just super great!  But as I was studying in personal study, the Spirit was like "Sister Burningham, you need to do the 40 day fast again," and I'm like, “ya, I was planning on doing it my last transfer which is in 3 weeks, so ya, I'm good.”  And it was like "nope you need to do it now, and these are the things that you need to do/fast from."  It was great. So I’m doing the 40 day fast again, and already we are seeing the blessings!!!!  So my exchange was good, and that was great! :)  And then Wednesday.

Oh Wednesday.  It was a good day, we had Zone Training Meeting, and I gave a training on giving quality church tours!  So that was fun!  And then later we met with Carl, who dropped us :( He is still gonna read the Book of Mormon, but he doesn’t think it is true (but I think he does, I think he is just too afraid to pray and ask God).  But during our lesson I boldly testified and told Carl that this Church was true, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that he could know that too if he just asked.  It was a really powerful lesson, and both Sister Chua and I came out of it happy but also sad.  Happy because we know the Gospel is true.  God is real, this is His true church, we know that!  And just because Carl dropped us doesn't change the fact that we know that it is true.  And we were sad.  A few months ago, I might have been sad with the mentality of, "ah man, no more investigator, how are we gonna keep our lesson goal high... what are we going to do?" But on Wednesday I felt a different kind of heart break.  I felt the love that God has for Carl, and it broke my heart that at this moment in time he is denying the blessings of salvation.  and that made me so sad. And it gave me a greater desire to go and find more people, so that more and more will have the opportunity, to hear about the gospel sooner than later and to choose to follow God.

Life is hard.  The gospel is easy.  Though it seems hard at first. But as we turn to God, as we are obedient to his commandments, the blessings that we receive are FAR greater than any of the small things that we can experience now if we are semi obedient or not at all.  We are God's children.  He does love us.  And because of that He lets us choose for ourselves what we will do with our lives.  Which is great, but also a challenge.  I am so grateful for the gospel, for the peace it brings into my life,  there is no better feeling than the one I get each Sunday as I partake of the sacrament.  I am made clean, I am made whole and I am given strength.  Why wouldn't you want that?  I don’t have an answer to that question, so I'll keep sharing my testimony, boldly and without shame that the only way to find happiness is to follow Jesus Christ and live as He has asked us to. :) 

But, blessings come after hard moments.  Thursday we were able to teach a man named Gar, he's been taught for awhile, but because he travels he hasn’t been baptized yet (but he teaches primary already, this man is elect).  So we taught him, and hopefully by the end of this week he will have a baptism date!!!!

So, last Sunday our zone fasted for every companionship to set a baptism date with one of their investigators.  We thought it was going to be Gar, but it wasn't.  Our Chinese investigator Sister Pan now has a date for the 28th of June!!!!  So that was a miracle. I don’t know all the details of the story cause I was on another exchange when that happened!  But miracles!! Miracles happen every single day.  :)

That is one thing I really learned this week.  I learned a lot about miracles.  Everyday I pray, and I ask Heavenly Father to help us.  Help us find. Help us teach. Help us baptize so that more of our brothers and sisters can return home. Help us activate, help us retain.  Help us serve. Help us help the ward.  Help us in all things. I ask, what more can I do, what more can I give, cause I don’t have a lot of time, I don't, but I want to do all that I can before I leave.  So these have been the words that are in my heart all day long as I go through out my week, and this week I found an answer.  I was reading in Ether, and in Ether 12:16 it says "... Even all who wrought miracles wrought them by faith."  Faith.  I needed to have greater faith in God.  And in His promises, and I also needed to realize and continue to recognize the small miracles as well as the big ones.  Miracles happen every single day.  That is a fact of life, because when we are obedient the Lord immediately blesses us.  Always has and always will.  Some of those blessings or miracles are the changes in ourselves, we ourselves are miracles!  The sacrament is a miracle.  Being a missionary is a miracle, Sister Pan accepting baptism is a miracle.  Talking to Sister Hurst at choir is a miracle. Having a full dinner calendar is a miracle.  Feeling the spirit as you go out and teach, testify and just talk to people is a miracle.  Being dropped is a miracle, when there are two potentials sitting at the table next to you wondering what you are teaching about.  Life is a miracle!!!!

I know that life isn't always easy, but I do know that as we put our trust in God, as we turn ourselves over to Him, and say, ok, what do you want me to do? And then do it willingly, then we will see the miracles that enter into our lives.  I know that is true, because I've seen it, and I look forward to seeing it everyday for the next week, and then the next and then the next until my life on earth is over, and then I hope to see even more miracles after that!  So, I love miracles, and I hope you look for the miracles in your life this week as you go about your day-to-day lives! :) 

I love you all! I'll talk to you again real soon!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

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