Thursday, November 27, 2014


Oh boy what a week it has been. As always. I really haven't felt good all week. Lots of headaches, body aches, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat - all that jazz. So, it's been of a week of trying to feel better and also manage the normal missionary schedule (which is easier said than done to be perfectly honest.)
Monday night we had another lesson with JO. This kid is amazing. We asked him if he had been able to pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. He told us that he had gone into the bathroom to pray and simply asked Heavenly Father. He said he immediately felt good and felt "like the Spirit had touched his heart." I thought this was just about the sweetest thing I've ever heard. I'm really excited to continue working with him. We don't have a date set in place yet, but it should be within December or January.

Tuesday we were off to good old Allen, Texas for a Zone Conference. Oh it was amazing as always. I got to see Sister Olsen, Sister Aumua, Sister Carlson, Sister Gavin, and the list goes on. All my Sisters. It was so wonderful. The trainings were pretty good too! Some of the things were reiterations from sister's conference, but it always good to remember and get a reminder of the good lessons we have been taught.
It's good to remember:
  • That Christ is our advocate. His grace will never run out.
  • Oh what a happy day and time we live in. We have the fullness of the gospel and we know of our Heavenly Father's love for each of us.
  • We should each stand up and declare, "I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." When we know who we are as disciples of Christ, our example and light can shine. We truly are the message.
  • We can change our weaknesses to strengths through the repentance process. This is possible through the Atonement.
  • Regrets can be a stumbling block that can turn into a stepping stone through Christ.
Then the highlight of the trainings was a little workshop called, "If They Say No." It's to be used in a scenario when you invite someone to learn about Christ or about the message of the Restoration and they say no. You then return and say, "We talk to a lot of people who say no. What can we do to help people say yes?" or "How can we improve?" It truly helps people be more willing to have a conversation and help them realize that we are humans and want to do better.

During one of my studies this week, I was reading in the Ensign. I was studying two talks. The first was by Bishop Davies: The Law of the Fast: A Personal Responsibility to Care for the Poor and Needy. The second by President Uchtdorf: Lord, Is It I? These talks were both great, and I'll share some quotes from them.

Caring for the poor and needy is a fundamental gospel doctrine and an essential element in the eternal plan of salvation.

The spirit of caring for the poor and needy has the power to soften otherwise hardened hearts and blesses the lives of those who may infrequently attend Church.

In chapter 27 of 3 Nephi, the risen Lord asked, “What manner of men ought ye to be?” He responded, “Even as I am.” As we take upon ourselves the name of Christ and strive to follow Him, we will receive His image in our countenance and become more like Him. Caring for the poor and needy is inherent in the ministry of the Savior.

Faithfully caring for the poor and needy is a reflection of spiritual maturity

Then in President Uchtdorf"s talk it talks about if our hearts are set on the teachings of the diligent Jesus Christ.

Here are some thoughts I recorded in my journal about it. We should follow the teachings of the Savior - obviously not to just put on a show or give "lip-service" but truly to love and serve as He has taught us to do. In Helaman 4, there is a lot of wickedness and destruction happening among the Nephites. Unfortunately it is fairly soon after they had just barely been righteous. In Helaman 4:11-12 it talks about why this happened and why their society was falling apart. It was because of wickedness, abominations, church members who weren't living up to their beliefs and the principles of the gospel, pride, exceeding riches, oppression to the poor, withholding food from the hungry, etc. etc. This list goes on and on. Essentially the people forgot the basics. 1-to love the Lord with all their heart, might, mind, and strength. 2-to love their neighbor as themselves.

I don't know if you can see the connection or if it's only working in my brain, but we truly must give! We can do it the Lord's way and we can help many people.

Friday we saw a couple widows and and residents of a nursing home. It just about broke my heart to see the nursing home. I guess I hadn't really experienced it before, but it was just sad. The neat thing though: we were talking to a sister in the ward at the nursing home and by the end of our visit a bunch of the residents were gathered around and we were able to talk to several of them. We were also able to answer some questions about the church that one of the nurses had. All in all, it ended up being a good experience. We finished the night up by having a great interactive lesson about the the plan of salvation with JA. He's coming along great, and we're just trying to get him fully immersed in the ward.

It's truly been a busy week with lots of cancelled appointments and stuffy noses, but we hung in there an made it through. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and stuffing my face with stuffing. Should be good. :)

I love y'all so much! Keep being amazing!
Sister Gretchen Gilbert

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