Saturday, October 24, 2015

Stacie's email October 19, 2015

Dear family, 

My first week in Sahuaro has taught me a lot about the will of God and my purpose here in Arizona. I've had some struggles this week because there is little to no work here in my new area and we frequently find ourselves looking for things to do and ways to be productive. We had no investigators and no one else really progressing. Before I got here, my Mission President was seriously considering shutting down this area for Spanish because most people here only speak English.  I've been really trying to have faith and believe that miracles can happen here.

I remember a few weeks ago when I prayed to Heavenly Father, against the counsel of my Mission President I may add, for "mountains to climb". I wanted so badly in the moment to be tested and tried as much as I could handle so that I could be strengthened and stretched. I wanted so badly to just be the missionary and the person that the Lord wants me to be.  I asked him to give me the experiences necessary for me to become so. Of course, I forgot all about that prayer until the mountain came, and my faith was tested and tried in several ways simultaneously. It wasn't a test of testimony or knowledge of the truthfulness of the Gospel, but a test of endurance and patience in the timing of the Lord. 

During my personal studies yesterday morning, I was going through the most recent talks from conference, and I found comfort and peace as I read the talk called "What Lack I yet" by Elder Lawrence. He says "The journey to discipleship is not an easy one. It has been called a 'course of steady improvement'. As we travel along that strait and narrow path, the Spirit continually challenges us to be better and to climb higher. The Holy Ghost makes an ideal traveling companion. If we are humble and teachable, He will take us by the hand and lead us home....If spiritual growth is not a priority in our lives, if we are not on a course of steady improvement, we will miss out on the important experiences that God wants to give us." 

God answers prayers. He grants us specific blessings according to our faith. I love the scripture in D&C 6:20 that says "I have spoken unto thee because of thy desires; therefore treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love."  From personal experience, he very rarely answers them in the way we expect. My new area was an answer to my prayer, and I know that I will have to grow and stretch in ways that I've never had to before. The purpose of my being in this area is still unknown to me, but the Lord has comforted me by letting me know that there is a specific purpose for my being here and I have a specific assignment to fulfill. 

The people here in Tucson are being blessed with a new temple! We witnessed the groundbreaking on Saturday, and were pleasantly surprised to hear Elder Uchtdorf dedicate the plot for the purposes of the Lord. The Lords work is moving forward! 

I love you guys! And miss you all! I hope you all have a wonderful week! 
Love, Hermana Townley

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