October 12, 2015
What a wonderful week it has been! And boy oh boy, am I learning a ton from Hermana Marsh or what? I feel so lucky to have her as my companion. This week during our studies, she shared an awesome talk with me, "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/brad-wilcox_his-grace-is-sufficient/). She also lent me the talk so I could study it, and it has changed my life. I love it so much and would love to share some parts with you today.
"Jesus doesn´t make up the difference, Jesus makes all the difference. Grace is not about filling gaps. It is about filling us."
"Christ´s arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child. Mom pays the piano teacher. How many know what I am talking about? Because Mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice! Does the child´s practice pay the piano teacher? No. Does the child´s practice repay Mom for paying the piano teacher? No. Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for Mom´s incredible gift. It is how he takes advantage of the amazing opportunity Mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom´s joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used--seeing her child improve. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice."
"In all of these cases there should never be just two options: perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives. When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ's Atonement are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weaknesses. When we understand grace, we can, as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants, ‘continue in patience until we are perfected.’”
Amazing, no??? I especially love the analogy of piano lessons. Thanks so much for always paying for piano lessons mom! I have absolutely loved the chance I´ve had to learn about grace during my mission, because I have had the opportunity to PRACTICE a lot. I´m definitely not Carnegie Hall status, but I´m just grateful for the chance God has given me to change little by little and see changes in the lives of many of His children in Uruguay.
Hermana Marsh and I practiced a lot this week in Mercedes, and we sure hit some good notes! Here are the miracles we saw this week:
On Wednesday, we had a four-zone conference in Paysandu!!! It was so fun. I got to see Hermana Marsh give her oro testimony (oros are the new missionaries in our mission), and I got to give my fiel testimony. We learned so much about CONVERSION. I invite you to continue reading and studying the scriptures every day because there is no way we can be converted without God´s word!
On Thursday morning, we searched our ward list to look for less-active members (we´ve been doing that a lot lately). We were in the limits of our area and didn´t really know where we were exactly. So we knocked on someone´s door. A lady named Ana Laura answered the door. She didn´t have much time, so she quickly helped us and started closing the door a bit. But we told her that she looked really cute (because she did) and that the message we´re sharing is that God is her Father and that He loves her! She said we could pass by on Saturday to visit her.
On Saturday afternoon, Hermana Marsh and I visited Ana Laura again and she is AWESOME!!! She´s a lawyer and works a lot with renting out houses. We shared the restoration with her and she was very open to learning more about God. We were so grateful because we felt the Spirit so much with her! We will be visiting her again this upcoming Saturday!
Then on Sunday, we had correlation with our ward mission leader. We mentioned we were working with a lady who lived near him, and he said he knows Ana Laura! She´s working with them on renting a house (or something along those lines), and he mentioned when he was talking with her in the past, she said she´s a little lonely. He was so happy Ana Laura is listening, and he and his wife are so excited to help her out!
On Saturday morning, we were looking at the list once again! And we were searching for an address but couldn´t find it. So we asked a lady named Maria Elena for help. She was so nice!!! And as we ended our conversation with her, she let us know she got baptized twenty years ago. Recently, she started working a little less so she can have more time with her family. We testified if she returns, she will see so many blessings in the lives of her children, and she said we could come back this week. We are so excited to see Maria Elena again!
Well, that´s about it for now! God is so good and I know He loves His children so much! He especially loves Ana Laura and Maria Elena. I love Mercedes (I think if I had to choose a place to live in Uruguay, I´d choose Mercedes), and I love the gospel. I know that because of Christ´s atonement, all we have to do is KEEP PRACTICING. And as we do our best to become a little bit better every day, He will guide our hands to play some good notes!
p.s. Oh and today we went to a zoo and walked about fifty minutes along Uruguayan fields. I´ll send some pics. Uruguay is beautiful!