Monday, March 24, 2014

Sacrifice Brings Blessings

To start off this weeks letter, I have a quote that President Hermansen told us this week at the temple;  "You will never come to the alter of sacrifice and leave with less than you brought."
It's been something that has really been on my mind because of some experiences I've had this week.  And plus I think it's just really good.  Missions and even just living the gospel requires sacrifice.  But we are always rewarded for it.  One of those blessings that I have really received this week is a testimony of God's love for each of us individually.  So, I'll quit being so cryptic and tell you a couple little stories.
Number one.  We have been meeting with this lady for a while who has a husband who is a severe alcoholic (and was raised LDS) and has been in and out of treatment centers for the past two years but nothing has helped.  We have never actually met him, until this week.  We hadn't hear from her for a while so we decided to just stop by and see how she was doing.  Well, come to find out, her husband was back home, and stone drunk.  My first experience really talking/teaching a drunk person!  He had had a lot to drink but could still hold a normal conversation so we go in and start talking to both of them.  He was in a very bad state and very depressed; had just lost hope in himself, the world, and God.  After a couple minutes he just breaks down and starts sobbing and starts pleading with us to pray for him.  He actually grabs my hand and asks me to say a prayer for him.  People think that missionaries have all the answers but I was so at a loss what to even say or what he expected us to do!!!  But he really wanted a prayer so I started saying one.  It was honestly the most amazing prayer I have ever said.  I didn't say it.  I have no idea what I said but all I remember is the spirit that was in the room.  Pure love.  No other way to describe it.  I felt, just a little bit, what God feels/felt for each of us in the room.  It was amazing!  I wish I had words to describe it.  And then when the prayer ended, the best part was the change in both of them.  He actually started smiling and talking about having hope again and she looked like a little bit of her load was taken off her shoulders. It is amazing what God's love can do for a person!  It really offers hope and peace when we know that we are loved by the most Supreme Being in the universe.  And we feel that by just offering a little bit of ourselves to Him.  That in and of itself shows how much He cares about us!
Number two.  We got to go to the temple this week!!  Ah.  I love that place.  Even though I feel like you get to be very spiritually fed everyday of a mission, going to the temple is like being able to get a nice drink of cold water even when you didn't know you were extremely thirsty.  Well that first experience was still very fresh in my mind and I wanted to know how I could share that more with all those people that we go visit that really really need to feel that kind of love in their lives.  Well, there was a time that it was just missionaries sitting inside the temple and we were all thinking and praying and I had the coolest experience.  I felt the power that was in the room that came with being representatives of Jesus Christ.  It's like the air changed and you could feel a charge and you could feel the excitement from the people on the other side that I am sure were in there with us.  Like we were unifying to go again out to the world to everyone to share the joy that comes from coming closer to Christ.  It made me think again of the love God has for each one of us and as we sacrifice to help others feel of that love, then we can feel His love stronger in our lives as well.  And are better able to use the Atonement to lift and strengthen those that stand in need of it.  It was again another amazing spiritual feeling of just God's awareness of each of us.
Those were the big ones.  But it really helped me feel the spirit more every other day and be able to express just a little bit of God's love to others who have a harder time feeling that in their lives.  Sorry if it is kind of scattered this week...but it was really really good!  I love being a missionary!!!!  Pretty much the best thing ever :)  
Oh, also, we gutted our apartment this week, first time it's been deep cleaned since Elders moved in about a year ago.  Man, was that an adventure!  We found more nerf guns, some random scary stuff that I never want to see again, and some food that expired about 10 months ago.  It was great.  But anywho!  I hope everyone has a great week and enjoy the incoming SPRING!
Sis Rae

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