So, lets see...a lot happened this week. First, Monday I had my first ever Family Home Evening with the YSA. It was really fun, and a little awkward because they didn't really know me, but we had a flour fight. Seriously, who knew throwing flour at other people could be so fun? I didn't! And we had 4 non-members there, so that was a huge blessing. It was a great way to get to know all of the YSA too, and bond! Ha ha, and they are SOOOO AWESOME! I just love them so much, and want them to have great futures.
We did a lot of organizing this week because we have so many less actives to find. And we are trying to get the YSA excited about things. And you know what I have had to teach a lot of? The law of chastity... ha ha. Awkward! But serious! And funny, and of course I would get stuck teaching that. :) All that payback from avoiding the topic my whole life.
The highlight of my week was having dinner with a member in Kentucky! I LOVE KENTUCKY! It is so country and rural, and peaceful, and beautiful. We got to see the cute town square and the family farms. She knew everyone in the whole town. She lived down the road from where she grew up. Her husband's family lived in the next 5 houses around. It was like a story out of a book. I wanted to be a part of that SOOO BAD! They were humble farmers, living in paradise. I will send pictures, don't worry! In front of Tabacco plants. Who knew? Apparently it is the money crop, so all the plants around are Tobacco. I didn't know, until after I took a picture in front of them....and then when I found out...I took more. But it was hilarious and so fun.
And we had President Interviews as well, and it is always nice to talk to President. He is such a nice guy and really cares about each missionary.
I've been pondering a lot about the gospel of Jesus Christ this week. Am I actually living it? I mean I teach people all about it all the time, but sometimes through the every day steps of missionary life, you feel like it gets lost. During studies am I living the gospel? Driving in the car, am I living the gospel? During planning am I living the gospel? Sometimes, you just scream for other opportunities to live the gospel. Am I having faith in the Lord, and trusting him with the area? Am I repenting daily and turning my heart to the Lord? Am I remembering the Lord always? Am I following the Spirit? Am I enduring? I just want to feel the gospel striving in me, ya know?
And this week, studying repentance it hit me: having to repent does not mean that I am a bad person! I always thought it came along with a bad connotation, like, if you need to repent, boy are you a sinner. Sad day! And I thought of the conversations, when my parents would say, "You need to do something wrong, so that you can figure out that God still loves you!" And I would think, "Wait, I am just going to live perfectly all the time, so I never have to feel bad and use the atonement." EPIC FAIL of an idea that was. The Bible Dictionary says repentance means "change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world." I LOVE THAT! It is just changing your heart, turning it to the Lord, and asking for help to do better. This is the only way to progress. Ah, I hate that it is, but it is. Repenting doesn't mean you have a huge sign on your head saying, "God is mad at you, because you are a sinner."
That is how Satan wants us to feel. And boy, I have fallen into that trap for so long. I am sick of it. God loves us way too much to ever give up on us, or look down on us. We can't comprehend how He does it, but all he wants from us is a broken heart and a contrite spirit that is willing to change. That is hoping to change. And that desire will work in us until it changes us! I am grateful that I am slowly but surely understanding repentance, and the love my Father in Heaven has for me, and all of his children.
I know that this gospel is real, and it works. I know that the Book of Mormon along with the Bible are books given to us from God, that allow us to know his plan and live it more fully. And I know this because I have received my answer, through the Holy Spirit, directly from heaven. We all need to stand strong to what we know, and boldly testify to those around us!
I love you all and I hope you have a great week!