First off, I hope you had an amazing week and saw miracles! Because I definitely did :)
We had zone conference this week and talked about God and who He is to us. The first thing we teach as missionaries is who God is. But, sometimes we just skip over it after saying He is our Father with flesh and bones. If someone asked you to describe God to them, how could you? If it was someone who thought God was just a spirit, or an idea, or had no belief in Him whatsoever. It's interesting, and it helped me change my viewpoint on who God really is to me. God is my Father, and that makes me His daughter. He is a loving Father who wants the very best for us, His children. He does have a body, just like we do, and that's why He wants us to succeed here, so that we can become like Him. We are trying each and everyday to be better and be more like Him. He prepared this earth and everything we have so that we could be successful. He wants more than anything that we could return and live with Him again, but He isn't going to take away our greatest blessing, our agency. He wants us to choose. But He gives us all the tools we need. Sometimes we kneel down to pray and say the same words we said yesterday. Sometimes we open our scriptures and skim through the words just to say we read. We go to church and our mind wanders about what we are doing that week until the meetings are over. But what about sacrifice? What about our ability to change? We can't do things because it's simply what we do, we need to do them because it's how we are. We are children of God. We can return with Him again. This life is hard, but if we sacrifice like Christ did, we can receive all that God has to offer us. We aren't expected to do the same, but it's those times when we really need a break, we can think about Him. Christ didn't ask for a break in the middle of Gethsemane, He asked for strength. We can do the same. I'm beginning to understand who God really is.
We stopped by to see Carlos Luna this week. He is a less-active who no one has seen in years. We texted him, he answered, so we went to meet him. He is a 19 year old boy who was baptized about 4 years ago by another member in the ward who is now inactive too. It's so sad to see these people go away from the church because they don't feel loved and supported. But, we talked to him about God and about the importance of doing things for Him, and not for anyone else. He decided it's his time to really come back to church and be strong. He is thinking about preparing for a mission too! Hopefully he can be the one to bring his friend back into the church too now :)
So this past week we have seen tons of miracles with less-actives! They are finally moving in the right directions spiritually, now we just need some help getting them to church! We only had a few minutes to go and see hna villatoros, so we decided to leave a prayer with her and her kids. As we stood up from the prayer, she just turned to us and said, I want to go to church! She hasn't been in a long time, and keeps saying she needs to come, but hasn't actually decided if it's what she wants to do or not, but she accepted us to find a ride for her for next week!
We fasted Sunday for our investigators, and we had miracles immediately. All of our investigators cancelled on us this week. We tried referrals, potentials, and everything else we could think of, and no one was home. It was hard, and definitely tried our faith and our patience. People would cancel 30 minutes before an apt, or just not be home when they always are. But, Sunday morning, we picked up a member to come with us to see Lupita. We sat there in awe as the member taught and testified to our investigator of the blessings of the gospel. She couldn't come to church because of prior commitments with the family, but wanted to go to the addiction class with us that night. We went to pick her up for the addiction class and she followed us there. The class was in English, so I translated. Part way through the class, they begin to share their own thoughts and feelings. The first two, I just let her listen to the spirit she felt. The third person translated for herself, and then I tried something I have never done before. Others started talking, and I just translated into her ear so she could understand everything and feel the spirit. It was a miracle for her and for me. It truly is amazing the blessings God gives to us to understand these people, to find ways to help them, and to recognize the miracles in our own lives. I love it!
Well, I have to get going so we aren't late to our dinner apt. But, I just want to let you know how much I love you! You are amazing in every way. I hope you all know that :)
Have an amazing week! Love you!!!
Hermana Jessica Peterson