Tuesday, October 6, 2015

hurricanes, squirrels, and men of God.

Hey lovely people. 

Hope you had as good of a week as I did :) 

It's been super rainy here! If you haven't heard there has been a hurricane on the east coast. So we got a lot of rain and wind, but nothing too crazy. Kind of exciting though! But the sun finally came out today, so hallelujah. :)

This week was our Book of Mormon read-a-thon! It has been so good. We had a ton of appointments, so it was a struggle to find time to read, but it has been so awesome to just feel the spirit even more because of it. I love the Book of Mormon so much. I knew it was true before my mission, but I had never truly studied it. I had never let it sink deep into my heart. That's one of the blessings from serving, that I now know it's true because I have read it and put it to the test in my life and in my investigators lives. 

One thing that stuck out to me as I read it is that pride is just the worst.
I've decided that humility is just the key to life!
And that means I have a long way to go, but I guess we all do.
 One verse that I love is 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; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

On Tuesday we met with our investigator Andrew again! He is doing so great! We meet with him almost every day and he is progressing really well. It's so funny, every time we meet with him he has like 50 questions and we try to answer them but he always has more haha. But it has been so cool to see the spirit work in him, despite the things he has heard about the church. He told us that after our first lesson he read the Book of Mormon and he felt a warm, comforting feeling in his heart and that he didn't know what that was. We were like, "umm, THE SPIRIT!" Haha and then at a different lesson he said as he was going to sleep he kept hearing something tell him to "read the book, read the book, read the book" over and over, and he even prayed about being baptized and said he got a chills type of feeling. When he was telling us he seemed so excited and I asked him what he thought those impressions were and he said, "Well, I'm pretty certain it was God talking to me." And I testified to him that I knew it was God talking to him and guiding him to know the truth and act on it. He even watched all of the sessions of general conference and loved them. So it's been pretty much miracle after miracle with him. SO COOL. We are hoping for him to be baptized this Saturday! So keep praying for him :)

On Wednesday we also had MLC and spent the day in Richmond. I learned a lot, as always. Then on Friday I trained in zone meeting on keeping our temple covenants by being obedient. It went really well and I learned a lot. There are so many good things happening in our zone and we are going to have an amazing transfer! One quote that Sister Canty shared in her training I really love. It's from the talk "Tuning Our Hearts to the Voice of the Spirit" by Linda K. Burton. It says:

"As I share the following questions that President Spencer W. Kimball asked a group similar to this, consider your own humility and the sincerity of your own prayers: “Do you want guidance? Have you prayed to the Lord for inspiration? Do you want to do right or do you want to do what you want to do whether or not it is right? Do you want to do what is best for you in the long run or what seems more desirable for the moment? Have you prayed? How much have you prayed? How did you pray? Have you prayed as did the Savior … or did you ask for what you want regardless of its being proper?”

President Kimball then continued: “Do you say in your prayers: ‘Thy will be done’? Did you say, ‘Heavenly Father, if you will inspire and impress me with the right, I will do that right’? … Did you say, ‘Father in Heaven, I love you, I believe in you, I know you are omniscient. I am honest. I am sincerely desirous of doing right. I know you can see the end from the beginning. You can see the future. You can discern if under this situation I present, I will have peace or turmoil, happiness or sorrow, success or failure. Tell me, please, loved Heavenly Father, and I promise to do what you tell me to do.’ Have you prayed that way? Don’t you think it might be wise? Are you courageous enough to pray that prayer?

I love that quote! I've tried to pray like that lately. It makes a big difference to try and pray with that kind of faith. 

We also taught two of our investigators this week, Gabriella and Brandon. They are the sweetest little family ever. They have a little baby named Elsa. Basically they really want to get baptized but their work schedule keeps them from coming to church :( Also they need to get married, but they are really willing to do that. We went to teach them with Curtis and Christina Ferrell and we had an awesome lesson on eternal families and the temple. Brandon's grandmother had passed away that week too, and he started crying as we sang Families Can Be Together Forever. The spirit was there and then at the end we all knelt and Brandon prayed to be able to come to church and be baptized, it made my heart so happy. So pray that they will have Sunday's off by some miracle! 

We have been teaching Frank still, but he isn't progressing super well. And he didn't come to conference so we'll see! 

We also haven't been able to teach Rashida very much. We had a few lessons with her, but she doesn't have a phone right now, so it's been hard to reach her. She really wants to be baptized though, just needs some encouragement. :) 

Also, our investigator Jared that we passed off to the elders last week is getting baptized this week! He came to all of the sessions of conference and loved them. I guess the elders told him to write down a question that he wanted answered from conference and his question was "Why can't I get Mosiah 18 out of my head?" And then the answer he wrote down was "Because I need to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Haha he is awesome. :) So that is exciting! 

Also, GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING. If you didn't watch it, go to lds.org and watch! I seriously loved it so much. 
I am amazed by the prophets and apostles and how they give their entire lives to this work. 
They stand at that pulpit and testify until they literally can't stand anymore. 
Plus it was so cool to see three new apostles called! I know they are all men of God. There is no doubt in my mind! I love listening to them. But here are some things I learned and jotted down in my notes:

-the gospel is simple.
-we don't need to be more of anything, we just need to have a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in order for  God to work with us and make us better.
-God does not give up on us.
-"it will all work out."
-can we love Jesus Christ and His way more than we love ourselves and our own agenda?
-with Him, we are going to make it! 
-if you are there for the Lord, He will be there for you.
-no matter how dark our doubt is, we can choose to not let it overwhelm us. 
-He can heal anything.
-the Lord will qualify those He calls.
-the Lord needs covenant keeping women who makes things happen because of their faith.
-we need to make our life a constant quest to have the spirit.
-God's commandments are a safe harbor.
-the Atonement doesn't leave tracks or traces. what it heals, it heals for good. 
-faith is letting go of the outcome. 

I'm so grateful for the gospel and that the Lord is hastening His work! I could just sense it as I listened to the talks. There are so many big plans He has for us and we need to step up our game! 

The church is true! Haha :)

Funny story of the week: Brother Ferrell skinned a squirrel and we are going to eat it. Yup. I will officially be a Virginian when we do. Hahaha. Super gross but we're doin it! I will send pictures and a video :) 

Also, two shout outs!

1) Happy Birthday to my mission president, President Wilson! He is the greatest example and the most loving, wise, smart, devoted man I know. 

2) Shout out to Kevin in Chippenham who will read this! Can't wait to hear about your baptism! 

Haha ok I'm done now. Longest email ever, you're welcome mom. 

I hope you all have the greatest week ever. Love you lots :) 

Sister Fowers

Here are some fun pics for yooouuuuuu. 

Leesylvania state park! We were in Maryland, woot woot! 

And the dead squirrel..... gross.

It rainied alllllllllll week.

We are eating squirrel for dinner ?! 

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