Sunday, September 21, 2014

9.15.2014 A Week of Adventures. Ish.

After emailing y'all last week, we had a wonderful preparation day. We got to play sand volleyball here at our complex with the missionaries from the zone and then we went and got half priced drinks at sonic. It was so great. Then we had dinner and FHE with the Bailey and Lewis families. Brother Bailey gave the lesson and he talked about how the Atonement can help us stay away from our "favorite" sins. Jesus Christ is truly the only one who knows what it means to withstand temptation because he is the only one who completely withstood temptation. We can rely on his Atonement to have the strength to endure temptation.
As missionaries, we are asked to work until 9 pm. After several FHE lessons and a little bit of street contacting, we got home and it was 8:45. We really didn't want to go back out, but we decided to just go knock a couple doors in our complex. So we did. We knocked like 11 doors and didn't get to talk to anyone. There was one last door left. The lady opened it up and it was a lady named Ma* that we had met our first week but hadn't been able to get back in contact with. She and her husband, Na*, were very kind and graciously invited us into their home. We spoke a little bit about missions and our time serving. It was a miracle and we definitely were grateful we were obedient and worked until 9. We had a return appointment with them last night, and we actually won't meet with them any more due to the fact they aren't truly interested in learning they just wanted discussion. But they were very kind people and I'm so glad we were diligent.
Tuesday: Sister Aumua had to go to an oculoplastics surgeon to get her stye removed. Always an adventure on the medical front over here. I just got to hang out with a member in the waiting room for like 2 hours while this all went down. Life is crazy. We also got to meet with Sa* again! Such a good boy. We were reading the story of how Nephi and his brothers are trying to get the plates. They make two unsuccessful attempts. So we talked it up and made Sam really excited to read the next chapter to figure out how they were going to get the plates. He was SO pumped to read the scriptures, so that was really fun to see.
We also tracted into a very nice couple named Fa* and Ja*. Now Fa* and Ja* are Southern Baptists (who usually give us the most opposition). They weren't interested in hearing a message, but they were very gracious, invited us into their home, gave us some cookies and then we sang hymns with her. We told her, "you are so kind to us, Fa*." and she said, "I'm just being a good Christian. Christian's take care of other Christians." It was so nice to hear because we seriously have been beaten down this week. We also tracted into the Mayor of Allen. That was randomly hilarious. :) Hahaha.
Thursday: the weather finally cooled down! Holler! I'm so pleased about that. We also went to dinner with a member to the Cheesecake Factory! Yummo! I got White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake. It was seriously so delicious. Then out tracting we met this very nice man named Ma* who was walking his dogs. He was an off-duty police man. We walked with him for a while, talked about Utah and Hawaii and the church. It was very pleasant.
Friday: While we were getting ready to go to our service project, it was drizzling a little bit, but we decided we were still going to go because it usually doesn't ever rain too hard. So we get to the garden and we are all digging for a while, and all of the sudden, it starts DUMPING buckets and buckets and buckets of rain! We were seriously soaked to the bone and COVERED in mud. It was definitely a highlight of my week though! It felt so nice to just relax and have a little bit of fun in the mud! 
Then we had an appointment with a less active named Cl* and his non-member wife and son. We shared a Mormon message and just had a really great discussion about faith. The son was really smart. He goes to a Jesuit private school and all that jazz. (I actually don't really know the significance of that, but it sounds prestigious.)
Saturday morning/early afternoon was probably the hardest time I've had thus far on my mission. Without going into too much negative detail, we were just slammed house after house after house with anti-Mormon stuff and just people being rude. I really don't mind if they tell me that they believe differently than I do. That's fine. But when they're telling me that I'm wrong and they don't see how my beliefs could ever be valuable, that is really hard to hear. I finally broke down and just cried for a while. So we went home for lunch and I just sat on my bed and read scriptures. I found this one in Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when‍ the desire cometh, it is‍ a tree of life." I know that seems a little strange. But because I had been hit with so much, I was having a hard time holding onto my faith and hope. And I literally felt sick to my stomach. But I read this verse and realized that I know the truth of my beliefs and that through them, I can make it. I can have that "tree of life," the Atonement of Jesus Christ on a daily, personal basis. After another lesson filled with hate and confusion, we went over to our Ward Mission Leader's house and just had a good discussion with him how people can get so confused and deceitful. We then shared experiences of general conference and the guidance we receive from that. (Speaking of general conference, I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE WOMEN'S MEETING AND THE GENERAL SESSIONS. It's like, Christmas, basically!)
Our Sunday was good as well. It was Sister Aumua's birthday, so we really did have a great time. :)
Onward and upward, I guess is the only place to go.
This morning I was studying about baptism. I found some really great scriptures on how essential baptism is and how following the Savior is such an important thing.
1 John 2:
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep‍ his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
 5 But whoso keepeth‍ his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
 6 He that saith he abideth‍ in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Acts 2: 38 Then Peter said‍ unto them, Repent, and be baptized‍ every one of you in the name‍ of Jesus Christ for the remission‍ of sins, and ye shall receive the gift‍ of the Holy Ghost.
2 Nephi 31: 5  And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized‍ by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

Moses 6: 59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust‍ a living soul, even so ye must be born again‍ into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy‍ the words‍ of eternal life‍ in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;
 60 For by the water‍ ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood‍ ye are sanctified;

I hope y'all have a great week and remember the covenants you made at baptism. I know that the Savior lives and loves us and that His Grace is sufficient for us as we yoke ourselves to Him. As we come unto the Savior, our burdens will be lifted and we will be able to endure all the hardships of life BECAUSE we are yoked to Christ. I know the Gospel has been restored and I know that the priesthood power is on the earth today. I'm so grateful for all that I have. Being a missionary is hard. But being a missionary is good.

I love you so much!
Sister Gretchen Gilbert

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