Monday, September 28, 2015

Week #58 - Power is not Limited to only the "Strong"

Wow. Just wow. This has been a really good week. Our faith has been higher, our endurance stronger and we are trying to be on the Lord's errand. Saturday, we had no one committed to church and we REALLY wanted to get people there. We went out with faith high that we could find someone and we were led to a family of 4 that wants to hear the gospel. THEY CAME! The son, Ronald, has been searching for truth and is trying to make sure he knows what he is doing is the right thing. After church, we asked him how he felt and he said, "I feel like this is the place I want to be". HE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!!  

2nd Miracle: I've been scared out of my mind to set people with baptismal dates. But, we decided to push our fears aside and confronted an investigator, Maleigha, who had still not committed. She said it was because she wanted a sign that these things were true. We asked her about what she did believe. She stated that the Book of Mormon was true and that the Plan of Salvation made sense. We explained that we were the only church that taught those principles, shared personal testimony, and read with her from Alma 32: 16-18.  

16Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.

17Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe.

18Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it. 

She is now getting baptized on October 10. Satan wants us to believe that we can't do it, to paralyze us with the fear that we will mess it up and therefore, they'll say no. He wants us to believe that our personal talents and abilities cannot be magnified to do the Lord's work. That's bogus. We are given power and authority from God to preach His gospel. We receive individual revelation for our area, our investigators, and for ourselves. DO NOT BE DECEIVED! We can win; with the Lord on our side, we will! Now, I can recognize a little better whose voice is in my head and choose what I need to.  Mom insert: We must recognize the voice of the messenger.  

We are warriors in our Savior's army. Each life that we touch for good is added to our army. Each life that we bring a little closer to the Savior becomes a member in the fight for good. We are not alone. We are not defenseless. We must stand firm. We will stand for truth. We will not forfeit our eternal birthright for a cheap imitation of Celestial Glory. We want truth. We want to be servants of our Lord and Savior.  We serve in our army with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. We are grateful. We are patient. We trust in the Lord when the battle begins to look grim and await the Heavenly support we have been promised. We do not sway under the scorn of the world or words of unrighteousness. We are valiant leaders in the fight for virtue and godliness. We are sons and daughters of God and must accept no less. 

My mission has taught me to be firm in my convictions and beliefs. It has taught me that when it really comes down to the bare minimum....there are no maybes, halfways, or could be. It is yes or it is no; it is do or die. Either we choose to follow our Savior Jesus Christ or we do not. God doesn't dabble in confusion. He is one or the other. Be STRONG! We are divine! We are royal! 

Remember that family I mentioned? Well, they brought their 3 yr old daughter and she wanted to bear her testimony in church yesterday. At first, I wasn't sure about time. So I told her we could next time. She just deflated. I became determined to get her up there if there was any space. The last one finished, bishop stayed sitting so I shot up with this little girl and we were up there in a flash. She got up to the microphone...and froze. She looked to me for help and I told her simple truths that I knew she knew. "God loves me. I love Jesus. I'm a princess. I want to follow Him" Many ward members came up afterwards and told us that her sweet testimony changed the meeting; this 3 yr old changed the meeting. The simple truths that "God loves me and I'm his daughter" are POWERFUL and everlasting. 

Testimony of these things are not limited to anyone in particular. If you want to know for yourself, get down on your knees and ask God, "Am I really your daughter? Do you really love me?" I PROMISE that He will give you the perfect assurance that He does and that you are His. He has done it for me - I know that I am His daughter and that He wants for me to return to Him. It is no different for any of you. WE ARE HIS CHILDREN! Don't miss out. Take the challenge left to you from God, the prophets and apostles, women leaders, and me. ASK HIM! Please, let something as simple as this firm knowledge shape the rest of your life.  

I LOVE YOU ALL! I know my Savior loves me and desires my success. I know that He supports me in my trials and waits for reasons to bless me. I know my Father in Heaven is aware of my needs and that everything in my life is for a reason. I know this is the everlasting Gospel. DO NOT WASTE IT!

Hna Lake

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week #57 - The Plan for our Salvation


Today was a really good week. I've been pushing myself to work harder than ever and have surprised myself with the endurance that comes through prayer. We had an awesome miracle because of it! We were out knocking doors for hours and I was so exhausted. No one wanted to listen, we kept getting doors shut in our faces and it was definitely a struggle. BUT I kept praying in my heart and asking God to keep me strong and faithful. We wanted to keep going; we wanted to keep trying. So, we did. Then we felt we needed to go to a specific area. The first door we knocked opened up to Maleigha and Charles. Charles kept telling us we came at exactly the right time and that he had lost sight of God in his life and he needed to get back. We said a prayer and the Spirit was strong. We asked to come back the following day to teach them about the Restoration.  We returned the next day with a member we felt prompted to bring who bore the PERFECT testimony to help us know Maleigha's desires and to help her to progress. She already believes in the Book of Mormon, came to church last Sunday and will be setting a date tonight! GOD IS A GOD OF MIRACLES. But we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith.

The view our apartment!
We are called to be fishers of men!

True to the Faith pg 117: "The glory you will inherit will depend on the depth of your conversion and your obedience to the Lord's commandments."

If we can't even handle the lower law (mission rules) and cannot convert ourselves to our missions (jump start for real life), we will not be worthy of eternal life with our Heavenly Father. Discipleship is not for the weak in heart. God's presence is not for the weak in heart. The Celestial kingdom can only be reached by becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ and choosing NOW to follow him.

 Alma 26:12-Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; Endure! Be strong!

 Joshua1:9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for  the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. 

 I am, by no means, perfect in this area and cannot call upon others to give up their everything to the Lord when I still haven't. But I can say, and bear a firm testimony, that I KNOW this is true. Our Father in Heaven does not leave us comfortless. He will be our strength and our path. He desires our salvation and will do what He can to help us. We are weak and falter but through our Savior Jesus Christ, we can do ALL  THINGS.

 This is how I know. As missionaries, sometimes there is confrontation. Not contention but we are definitely presented with challenges. Each time, if we pray in our hearts and plead for help....the words are given to us.  We testify of our Savior Jesus Christ. That He lives. That He loves us and desires our salvation and happiness. That we are children of God. Always, ALWAYS the Spirit confirms of these truths and the confrontation is dissipated. This has forced me to hold on to the truths of the Gospel with all that I have. It has forced me to stand up for truth and righteousness and to make no apology for what is right. That was really hard for me. It really challenged me. But God has never once left me alone. We are WARRIORS in the battle of life and God stands as a rallying general against sin. PUSH ON!

 I love each of you dearly and have so much faith in you. If I, in my crippling weakness, can do can you :)


 Hermana Lake 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week #56 - Jupiter!

I'm doing well and really love my new area. We've been working a lot more with members in order to find people to teach and it's amazed me how the Lord lets it all fall into place. We've been finding member referrals popping up all over the place. We have gone from having NO ONE to teach to then finding all these miracle potentials, I'm amazed at the grace of God. How weak are His servants and yet how infinite is His forgiveness and goodness.

 Crazy fun this week:

 1) I walked/pet a goat. There is a family in our ward who had two goats that they treated as dogs. The owner even asked it for a kiss! 

2) I discovered that I'm scared of thunder. We've been caught in multiple thunderstorms and have had the joy of jumping into my companion's arms each time it sounds like there are two giant cymbals being smashed together in the sky. Granted: We are usually hiding under a door ledge but hey, still surprising. Who'da thunk? I always tell my companion that I was just surprised by it to save face....yeah, who said fear was logical?  

3) We bike all the time here! I LOVE IT! I'm learning to OYM all over again. Sad that it left after 2 weeks. 

We went over to a member's home for dinner yesterday and afterwards asked that she drive us so that we could find a media referral. Apparently, the address was wrong! Great. But then, she decided to show us where some other members lived. We ran into these AWESOME members who gave 3 referrals of potential investigators. It was such a miracle. They really wanted to get involved and were willing to host us in their home for a FHE.

We were out knocking doors and felt that we should knock a certain door. This is the dialogue of the Spirit with our companionship:

Spirit: Knock this door

Us: Yes sir!

 Knocked once. No answer.

Us: Okay, should we knock again?

Spirit: No. 

Us: Okaaayy, should we leave a card?

Spirit: No. Just wait.


Spirit: *silence*

Then we heard footsteps and looked up to see a beautiful Asian girl walking down the steps. We OYMed her and began talking. Turns out, she met a Mormon at college, works with many of them at her job, and is super interested in learning more. We gave her a card with our number on it, contacted all the other members that work with her and have them invited them to fellowship. She is here alone and lives with all atheists. She needs love and friends! She needs the gospel and, even better, SHE WANTS IT!

Us: Thank you, Spirit.

Spirit: You're welcome :)

God has miracles that sometimes pop up without your knowledge or even idea that it could happen. As long as we TRUST IN THE LORD, it'll all work out. We don't have time to try and control our's all in God's hands and we just need to live worthy of the Spirit.

I love you ALL!

Hermana Lake

Week #55 - Scavenger Hunt of Life

Well, this has been a crazy past week. Surprises!

#1: I did not tell you - I've been transferred....TO AN ENGLISH AREA. But, my companion is from Guatemala so we speak Spanish in the house and to each other. It's super fun. 

#2: We are "pink washing" an area. Translated, there used to only be Elders here and so we are the first sisters to live in this apartment in 22 years. 

#3: EVERYWHERE IS A SURPRISE. We have found hilarious pictures, drawings, and other little goodies that only Elders would think of. For example, we found a giant Nerf sword (like the one Jambo and Eli had) with "THE SWORD OF LABAN" written down the side. Basically, I've never had so much fun cleaning an apartment.

#4: My companion's name is Sister Estrada and she is AWESOME. I love her to pieces. 

#5: I ate dinner with 2 Jehovah's Witnesses and hugged them. It was one of the most enlightening and enjoyable experiences I've had with friends of other religions.  One of our members invited us over to meet with a less-active and she just so happened to invite her Jehovah Witness friends as well. :) 

#6: We had an amazing miracle. We knocked doors this past week and for about 2 hours and it was, *knock "We are missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ. We came to share a prayer with you today"......"No thanks", *slam. But we kept going and kept knocking. We had prayed about the area and we KNEW someone was there. Finally, we knocked this last door and a man came out as we were about to leave a Restoration pamphlet on the door. He seemed a little standoffish but we were kind and extended the same invitation to him. He stated he was a preacher and that he believed our views on Jesus Christ were very different. So, we pried a little and he told us his beliefs about the Savior. They were the exact same. Then he brought up polygamy, Book of Mormon, etc. Basically, trying in ANY WAY to confound us in our words and prove our doctrines incorrect but we stood firm in our faith and bore testimony of these things, of the truthfulness of the gospel, and how he could know for himself. We offered to come back and give him a BoM but he said no. The Spirit was SO strong.  Afterwards, Sister Estrada and I were DUMBFOUNDED at the words that had come from our mouths.

Often times when people confront us for our beliefs my heart decides to start break dancing in m chest, my stomach gets a little wobbly, and I get a little scared. I'm sure many of you have felt similarly. It's scary! But there are some amazing scriptures that have helped me a lot:

D&C 100: 5 Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; 6 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.

1 John 4: 6-8 "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error . Beloved, let us love one another: For love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Mosiah 28:3 "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble."

PMG 118: "Charity, like faith, leads to action. You will develop charity as you look for opportunities to serve others and give of yourself."

If we go to the source of this miracle, we can realize something critical for life. “As members of the Church … , I believe that we ought to go home determined to carry out the responsibility that is upon us, not merely because these brethren have urged us to do so, but because we have it in our souls to do it." -David O. McKay

Mosiah 5:2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. 

I started out this week with the goal and thought to get new investigators, baptismal dates and to get this area progressing. But very, VERY quickly, I saw that this was not what God wanted for us to do. The moment when we started giving ourselves to God and going where He needed us to be, we saw success. 

LOOOONG STORY SHORT: As long as we love them, we will succeed.

I know that this is true and have seen it many, many times. I LOVE YOU ALL!

Hna Lake