email 20 October 2015
This is my last P-Day with Sister Manley before she goes to Brazil! I know I always say the weeks go by fast. BUT THIS PAST WEEK WENT REALLY FAST. Today is my 14 month mark. Yikes. I think 14 months is the hardest. Because I still have a good amount of time left! But everyone I tell how long I've been out says I'm about to go home. I try to tell them I still have a good 4 months left, but they won't take it. I think it makes it sound longer when Sister Manley says she's only been out for 2 months. Compared to that, I sound like a grandma! Hopefully my next companion will be going home sooner than I am so people won't focus on me. Haha
This past week was fun! We made some Halloween goodies for people. We made sugar, chocolate chip, and pumpkin cookies and put them in little baggies with curling ribbon and a little note that said:
"Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear... D&C 68:6"I wish I had taken a picture of them before we handed them out! They were pretty cute (if I do say so myself). Also some very very nice people gave us little pumpkins!!!:) I was so happy! I needed some pumpkin in my life! And our zone is going to be a part of a pumpkin carving contest! Exciting times lie ahead.
There's this road in our area and every time we ride down it it smells like fresh laundry! Kind of odd. We're not really sure why it smells that way. But we take any excuse to ride down there because it smells so nice. :) The fall weather makes me happy - leaves falling, pumpkins out, cool breeze. It makes me sing the line from a primary song "I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me."
This week I guess has been a week of anniversaries because along with my 14 month mark, I also have my 40th talk this past Sunday. We were asked to give it on Baptismal Covenants. I don't REALLY like giving talks. But I do love taking the opportunity to study the topic in depth! I loved studying about the covenants we make at baptism. When I was baptized, I was baptized at 8. I could feel it was something important and good that I needed to do. But I don't think I fully understood everything it meant or everything it did for me. On my mission I've been able to get a better understanding for what baptism actually is. And how it effects us everyday. I love the verse Acts 2:37 that says,
"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"I love the imagery of our hearts being PRICKED. To prick means to create a small hole in something. When the people heard about Jesus Christ. They felt a need for something. The spirit created a hole in their heart that needed to be filled. And that could only be filled by Jesus Christ. We hear a lot of people who say the gospel fills a hole they didn't know was there. This is exactly what this is! And when the people felt this they asked, "What shall we do?" This is real intent. They wanted to act on the feeling they received! I've been asking myself When was the last time our hearts were pricked? When was the last time we allowed Jesus Christ to fill in the empty spaces in our hearts? Later in the chapter it tells that three thousand souls were baptized that day. I've always read this chapter wanting a "Peter Experience". Where my heart can be pricked and where I can see thousands come into Christ. But as I was studying about our baptismal covenants, I realized that it happens every week. I think of the sacrament. This large group of people all being cleansed by faith and repentance through Jesus Christ. And we get to fill that hole every day as we keep our baptismal covenant:
8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.As we keep our covenants that we made at baptism, it will fill any and all holes we have in our heart or in our life.
I'm grateful I was baptized at 8 and that I've been led by the Holy Ghost but also by my parents who have always stood as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places. This gospel is true and I love every moment I have to testify of it. I'm grateful I have an opportunity every single day to testify of my Heavenly Father and my savior Jesus Christ. :) Nothing could make me happier.