Hello Family and Friends!!
I hope that it has been a wonderful week for you in all the many parts of the world where you are! It has been another fabulous week here in the California Fresno Mission for me. I wanted to share this great quote with you that our mission President sent out this week:
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” - Thomas Jefferson
That is so true. Throughout my mission I've still struggled with different things, all minor and petty but nonetheless things that cause me emotional turmoil from time to time...But this week while I studied I felt like I really should look at the purification challenge again. I have never actually attempted this activity before (a type of fast from things for 40 days). I always resented the idea of the purification challenge feeling like it was more rules that someone else would be putting on me, more do's and don'ts upon the very long list that already exists. Then as I am fasting on Sunday the thought hits me to take out the resource binder and read about the purification challenge. I thought to myself now that is just dumb. Yet, the thought didn't leave as I flipped through my mission study journal notes. When suddenly I came across notes from a blessing I received in Hanford. Listed among the words of comfort, caution, and encouragement I was promised that I would be rewarded for my faith and my desires. This struck me at the core. I thought to myself I still struggle with desire... Just like in the talk of the 4th missionary I do what I know I am supposed to do, I am mostly obedient, but in the end I still want to do what I want to do. I have not let myself become changed by my mission yet. Sure I am going through the motions and I am doing good things but in the end when I stand before my Savior and Heavenly Father what rewards will I have for my desires? With this in mind I took out the resource binder, still somewhat begrudgingly. I read through the Purification Challenge and was like mkay that is great, but I don't think that'll help me at all. The Spirit directed me to write down the things that poked at my spirit. I resisted this idea. Again the Holy Ghost directed that I should write the list of things I knew I could improve on to serve as a more faithful missionary. Finally I took out my pen and started jotting down a list, but as I did so I told myself it was only a list and that I wasn't committed to actually doing any thing I wrote down just yet. After I finished the first list of ten things that pertained to missionary service there were five more things that came to mind about health habits and so I also wrote them down. I looked at the list and knew they were all things I COULD do, and that I was just not applying effort to reach them. I then felt that I should just start writing. So soon enough I had a letter to myself. That letter is directly from heaven. There was no way that I came up with all of those words. As I reread the note I had just written my soul was pricked and I knew that I was supposed to implement the list for the purification challenge. I began to cry as I saw the blessing from the Lord in my life. He truly wants me to be happy. He knows how to help me get there. He will help me to realign my desires so that they can match his desires. He alone can help me become the kind of person that he sees I can be.
I have been loving my time with the Old Testament each morning. I truly love the scriptures and how they all work together to testify of Christ. We also had an excellent training during district meeting from Hno. Billikopf about "Rain in Due Season" and how the Lord sends his blessings in the moments that we need them and not necessarily in the moments that we think we need them or want them. Meetings in the Modesto Zone are truly inspired.... Ive loved each of them and continue to learn so much from them.
Halloween was this week! I very much appreciated the extra time to sleep from this and day-light savings time haha. I had some favorite moments at the combined ward activity for Halloween as well. One little girl dressed up as a cowgirl with a pink hat had to come over and say hello to the sister missionaries (she just discovered our existence not too long ago haha) and it just brought the biggest smile to my face. Then another little girl came up to us with her big sister and asked if Hna. Parra and I would go through the haunted hallway with her. That was the BEST! I felt like I was the Lord's personal body guard as we flanked her through the spooky hallway. Sister Missionaries really do have superpowers with the help of the Spirit ;). Poor big sister was a little upset that baby sister wanted the missionaries to take her through though and not her.
Another Highlight of the week very well may have been TEXAS ROADHOUSE!!! WAHOO!!!!! Oh thank you state-side mission!!! I was sooooo happy when I found that texas roadhouse in the corner boundary of our area. So when our dinner cancelled the next day... well lets just say that I enjoyed what may have been the best steak I have had in 10 months haha. Even if I had to eat it in a to-go box with a wendy's fork. It was still delicious. Plus we met some members from Ripton (Sacramento Mission) while we waited for our food and I was able to give the cashier a pass-a-long card with my tip. Missionary work, a good steak,and rolls always go together!
TRANSFER CALLS!! And the big news of the week? I AM STAYING!! YAY! Hermana Parra and I get to both stay and keep working with Modesto 12th!! I am so glad. Our District Leader is changing but other than that pretty much is still going to be the same here. It feels good.
MIRACLE of the week! Angie, Maria, Candy, and Jenni's mom came to church!!!! I don't even know how to tell you how HUGE that is. Her daughters are all recent converts (the one's older than 8), and they are the most loving sweet girls EVER. I love them. Angie (10) has been praying for two months for her mom to come to church. Finally after many weeks of broken promises she came!! It was so heartwarming to see their whole family together filling up a pew. Then because it was Fast and Testimony meeting Angie and Maria both went up and bore POWERHOUSE testimonies. Hna Parra and I were both crying. She loved the service, asked for a triple combination, met with the branch president, and told us she is going to keep coming!!! We are soooo EXCITED for this family and the miracles that they are seeing.
I also translated for the first time this week!! BUT thing is it was Spanish to English which is like a zillion times easier than the other way luckily haha.
Basically life is wonderful. I truly hope that each of you are doing well. Just keep going and in the moment that you truly need it the Lord will always be there to lift you and guide you.
Daniel 10:12 "Then said he unto me, fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, they words were heard, and I am come for thy words."