Monday, March 23, 2015

Stacie's email and pictures March 23, 2015

 We did family night at the Hernandez home and taught about the Armor of God

 This is the little Austin that I watched get sealed to his parents a few weeks ago, and his
Grandpa, Brother Alvarez trying on his new birthday hairdo!

This is Kris, Rebecca, and Vanessa :)

Dear friends and family,

The work is moving forward, and the power thereof is getting stronger and stronger. It's really been quite the miracle seeing the Lord's work in every aspect of my life, and in the lives of those that I'm serving. What wonderful promises we have from Him as long as we are willing to change and work with Him. When was the last time you've counted your blessings that He has ALREADY given so freely? I've been pondering and studying much about the Atonement these past few weeks, and feel like I'm only beginning to understand the blessings that come from using this precious Gift of the Savior. All of the many Gifts of the Spirit, forgiveness, renewal, Priesthood, power to teach the Gospel, and incomprehensible joy that comes from obeying the commandments, are just some of the few that stem from the wonderful, infinite, and selfless sacrifice of the Lord. Do we ever really STOP what we are doing and just appreciate this free gift? Do we even realize what we have? 

In this short time that I've been here in Arizona, I have already been able to see the Atonement work in such a powerful way with people who don't necessarily deserve such mercy (as none of us could ever be deserving of such a wonderful Gift), but I have, as a result of witnessing such miracles, been able to see the INCREDIBLE love that Heavenly Father has for every single one of His children. It amazes me every day. 

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned our investigator Ashley, and her mother Mary had moved to Benson and we would try to get other missionaries to visit them. To our surprise, we learned that this week Ashley set a date to be baptized and Mary has been actively reading from the Book of Mormon, voluntarily! I don't feel my words would do me justice if I tried to describe the joy that I felt upon hearing this news. Mary had been...difficult, to say the least. Only the power of God could have softened her heart. And He did!
We were also, in the same day, led by the Spirit to a girl named Michelle who is 15 years old and had been praying for direction from the Lord all week. Then we showed up at just the right time, when her sister, who was baptized into the Church about a year ago and lives clear in Tucson, had showed up just 10 minutes prior because she was worried about Michelle. She helped a lot by bearing her testimony. 

Anyway, we are really excited to start working with her, I see a lot of potential in her Grandma as well. They both seem to be really humbled and willing to learn. 

I hope you are all able to find a new way to use the Atonement this week! I love you! 

Hermana Townley

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