Friday, August 28, 2015

Stacie's email August 24, 2015

Dear family,

My heart is just full today. I know that I don't get back to responding to everyone's emails, but I want you all to know that I read all of them and am so grateful to hear about everything going on in your lives and keeping in touch with people who mean so much to me. Forgive me for not responding to all of them, but I do think and pray about all of you everyday! Happy birthday this week to my sweet Jakey!

This week has been so busy! We've seen a lot of miracles happen in our efforts to find people to teach. We had a finding activity for our area with several other companionships where we were able to find 8 new people who are interested and excited to have us back over in under an hour! The Lord really blesses us when we put in some work. I've learned so much in this past week about diligence and hard work. On Wednesday, my companion and I had a "language fast" where we had to refrain from speaking any English the whole day. Man, it was tough! I didn't realize until that day how much I still speak in English, especially with other missionaries. Through our fast, the Lord helped me understand how important it is for me to master the language in every way possible. As a result, I was able to receive specific counsel from the Lord as to how to adjust my language study plan to help me get more out of my study; including writing, reading, pronunciation, teaching, grammar, and vocabulary. I wish I had done this earlier on!

I would like to share a spiritual thought on something that I've been studying diligently to understand this week, something that has been very personal and important to me ever since I started my journey to know my Savior, and that is the principle of forgiveness and reconciliation. My words will never do this topic justice, so I want pull from the inspiring 5th chapter in the book of Alma, who exhorts us to ponder in our hearts questions that will help us realize our position in relation to our readiness to meet our Savior. Echoing his words, I want to encourage each of you to consider: Are we prepared to meet God? Are we continually keeping ourselves blameless? Have we been spiritually born of God? Can we imagine hearing the voice of our Savior saying unto us: Come unto me, ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth? Will we be able to look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? Do we feel to sing the song of redeeming love every day of our lives?

Now, if not, what can we do differently today to experience this mighty change of heart?

I love the part that the Atonement plays in helping us prepare to meet God. For anyone who's lives are not in accordance with the Saviors teachings, remember that it is NEVER TOO LATE to make Jesus Christ and his teachings the foundation and center of our lives, so that we can one day hear those beautiful words directly from him.

Alma 5:33-34 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto ALL men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you! Yea he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and waters of life freely. 
The Atonement is a free gift given to all who desire these blessings.
I share these things because I love you; because the Gospel brings me so much JOY and I want to share it with every one that I love.
With all my love, Hermana Townley

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