Sunday I was asked to give a talk on the atonement, and to be honest I don't really remember what I said. I had a lot planned and I had studied really thoroughly 1 Nephi 8 and tried to relate it to the atonement which was very easy by the way. And then I got up in front of people and all I could think about was the tornado. We had branch council right before and we're talking about it again and so I am not sure what I said. All I remember was that in the moment that I bore testimony that the atonement could heal us I felt my heart get a little lighter and I felt that the Lord was taking away my heartbreak. But as I was preparing my talk on the atonement I realized that Christ is always there waiting to extend mercy. The act of giving mercy is relieving the burden or pain of someone. Christ knows how bad it feels to lose a home because he has been there. He can help us overcome all of that as we REACH OUT! Lehi in his dream (1 Nephi 8) was walking for hours in the darkness and what did he do? He reached out. He prayed and as soon as he prayed for compassion or mercy he came to a field with a tree (Christ). Christ will never hide himself from the person seeking him. In fact he will do the opposite and put himself in the middle of an empty field! And then Lehi went unto the tree (Christ) and partook of the fruit (the atonement) and was filled with joy. Right now, the city of Rochelle is hurting. People have lost homes and I don't know, maybe their jobs, I heard an old couple died but maybe that's just gossip, and if these people in need reach out to Christ they will find him. I just want to tell everyone!
This week my back also hasn't wanted to cooperate with me but now I am feeling much better and I am jonesin' to go work! I was down Tuesday and Wednesday because I couldn't even stand or sit so it was basically a few days of pain. I hate taking days off. Absolutely hate it but I guess if you can't walk it would be kind of hard to knock doors...so taking a break was good? Yeah, it was. I LOVE my mission. No matter how hard it is or how ever much silly homework found in the rubble affects my aspiring teacher heart. I know my savior lives and I believe very firmly that I was sent to this mission to learn how to depend on my savior and how to develop an unshakeable testimony of his restored gospel and all that entails. I think I am finally understanding what I need to learn while on my mission, it only took me half my mission so maybe the last half I can put it into practice and get it down just in time to go home. I think that may be the pattern of missions but maybe I'll still be finding new and more difficult things to master between now and the end of my mission. Every Monday morning I wake up with these thoughts of stress trying to figure out what the heck I'm going to do with school, probably because I'm crazy, but today during studies I learned that it's okay to think about the future as long as we strive to excel in our present. My present is missionary work. As I strive to excel in my work here I won't be worried about the future. I've set goals and made plans as to what I'll be doing with my life. I've decided to put it on the shelf! Haha well I hope it stays there.
I've been studying a lot about prayer this week. Prayer is the act of aligning our will with the will of God. How interesting, right? Prayer is also a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining highest of all blessings. How important is prayer? I've learned that prayer is a game changer. If someone prays with the faith and focus needed to receive answers, it never fails. I've gained so much personal revelation through prayer and I know that all of us can receive answers as we put our faith in Christ and align our will with the will of God. I read in Moroni 7:48 which says that we need to pray with all energy of heart to be filled with the love of God. I love that because as I was studying it I knew that I needed to study the scriptures and be more obedient (things I do but can do better at) and focus my mind to be able to pray with power. So that's my next topic of study, powerful prayers. If you've had experiences you'd like to share that'd be great.
The area is doing great! Our recent convert Dani is sharing the gospel with the people in her building. In fact we have an appointment there tonight with one of her friends! She is amazing. Jorge is still working at reading the Book of Mormon and so is the Flores family but they have desires to be baptized so that's great! We have tried to see Wine this week but with my back out of wack we missed the the appointment and we had an appointment with another investigator but she canceled at the last minute. There are so many miracles and we are hoping to have the Flores family baptized this month :) we are going over to their house very night to read the scriptures with them as a family to help the spirit be there with them. Keep them in your prayers!
I love y'all so much! I hope you have a great week :) thanks for the prayers and blessings. Please keep the people of Rochelle and Fairdale in your prayers. Love you!