Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stacie's email February 1, 2016

Hi everyone!

Well, another week has come and gone. This week was a hard one for me, several ups and downs. In my area, we have so many opportunities every day to meet new people and most of the time they are going through really hard trials. We have an investigator right now who has such great desires to change her life and get back on the right path. However, she has several addictions that she feels she has to go back to as soon as things get hard. Overtime, I have grown to love her so much, and it just breaks my heart to see her suffering for her bad choices. More often than not, I find myself wishing and praying that somehow all of their problems would just magically go away. Sometimes I wish that I could just fix everything for them. It is all in the Lord's hands though. We just have to keep trusting in him and move forward. 

Oftentimes, when my companion and I go out to teach or to contact people, people will just come up to us and start asking questions. It keeps things pretty interesting! I've been thinking a lot this week about how important it is to just let ourselves be seen. We visit this particular trailer park at least once, if not multiple times, a day. Almost every single person in that trailer park recognizes us and knows who we are. The other day, a guy who we had never met named Ernesto contacted us to try to give us water. He told us that he knew we were sent from God because every time we would walk by his house, the spirit would prompt him to offer us water. At that point, his heart was softened and he took genuine interest in the Book of Mormon. It was an obvious tender mercy from God, we hardly did anything to find him! We will teach his whole family this week :) 

Sundays are definitely one of the busiest days of the week. Frequently, members of the ward who were assigned to give a talk or teach a lesson will just not show up; naturally, the missionaries will jump to fill in. This week, my companion and I were asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting. When Hermano Garcia asked me to speak, he told me the topic was "follow the prophet" but that he would let me use the spirit to change the topic as needed. As I studied, I felt the inspiration behind the topic that was already chosen. I felt deep within my heart that there would be people in the congregation who would need to learn about the importance of our modern day prophets. It is so wonderful to know that our church is run by Christ himself through inspired, imperfect leaders. I am so grateful to take part in helping people understand the nature of God's true church.

As always, whoever does the teaching is usually the person who learns the most. As was the case this week. I realized as I prepared the talk that I too needed a strengthened testimony in our modern day prophets. Earlier this week, I was touched by an experience I had as we contacted people on the street that reminded me how unique our church is because of our prophets. As we saw her kids playing with their dog outside, we jumped at the opportunity to teach Maria and her whole family while they had some downtime. As we began teaching a shortened version of the restoration, she was a little standoffish and skeptical. However as soon as we told her that God has again called a prophet to lead and direct his church, her eyes brightened. She began to ask questions and take a real interest in the Book of mormon. Then she asked us to come back and teach her more! Truly that is our unique message to the world; the Lord still speaks to us! By using the words of modern day prophets, scriptures(which are written by prophets), and receiving guidance and personal revelation from the Holy Ghost, we can know God personally and his will for us. What a priceless gift we have!

I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God called to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ back to the earth. I know that God loves us and would not leave us in darkness. Because of his love for us, we have all of the tools and guidance necessary to help us back to our heavenly home. 

Love, Hermana Townley

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