Oakland Temple

Oakland Temple

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week 17 - Modesto

Warpenter is a go! We got our transfer call last night from President Palmer.  I am staying here with Hermana Carpenter in Modesto! She's no longer a Sister Trainer so we will really be able to focus on our area.  I'm so excited.  This week I hit my 4 month mark! Time is flying and it makes me really sad.  I found out Rocio (from Turlock) got baptized this past Saturday! I am so happy for her and this great new step.
This week I studied a lot about our weaknesses.  On the mission, my weakness have begun to be revealed to me more and more.  It was something I was not expecting, nor was I way thrilled about at the beginning of my mission.  I was embarrassed and wanted to pretend that they just were not there.  This past transfer as I reflect back on what I learned, my mind is brought back to the doctrine of weaknesses.  It is part of God's plan.  He says that over and over again.  He consistently invites us to him.  But for what? 

Ether 12:
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness

How wonderful is this plan that he has for us?  That we may take all that we lack to him.  Lay it out.  Recognize your weaknesses and honestly take it to the Lord.

 I give unto men weakness
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that they may be humble;and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
How amazing it is that God has a plan to become perfect like him.  He knows that through this process of humility and faith, we will see changes.  Strength.  It's a process of letting go the things that lag you down.  I'm not sure why at times it seems so hard to let go of but I know that It's so loving.

We know our weaknesses because he loves us.  If we didn't know them, where would we improve? What would be the purpose of this life?  I thought a lot about purposes and what that means.  A purpose is always made through counselling (Proverbs 20:18) We were with God in the heavens and we all agreed this was what was best.  For us to be able to recognize the weaknesses placed upon us and then change them, that's our purpose. What is the purpose of this time here without weaknesses, no where to improve? It's a good question and I can't imagine how boring and wasteful our time would be.

I have grown to love my weaknesses.   I have grown to recognize that it's because of these things that I have the opportunity to use the atonement to the fullest.  The GREATEST gift given to man.  I know that it's difficult to confront.  No natural man wants to focus on the bad or what they lack.  I know it's God's way to face it and trust him with them.  

I love you all.  You are in my prayers.  

I invite you this week to take a weakness to the Lord.  Recognize it and seek help from friends and family.  I know as you do this that weakness will lead you on a path to Jesus Christ as well to Heaven our eternal home.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Hermana Waters

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 16 Modesto

Hello friends and family,

I hope this week was one of personal reflection as well as a time to learn more about how much potential God sees in you.

Conference Talks are the best because they are specifically for us from the mouths of living prophets right now. I studied the talk, 'Faith is Not by Chance, but by Choice' given by Elder Neil L. Andersen.   When we meet people on the street one of the first things we talk about is faith.  What they believe in, what they do because of their beliefs, and how they've seen the blessings from living that way.  Often times, I myself get confused that faith is nothing without works to support it.  Elder Neil L. Andersen said in his talk, "faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe, and as we seek it and hold onto it."  One of my biggest frustrations as being a missionary is seeing people forget that faith is not sufficient by it's self.  What's the use of our beliefs if we don't put them into action? Do we honestly trust that our faith is going to stay if we aren't making changes in faith to come closer to God?  

This faith is what leads us onto this path to prepare us for heaven.  The gospel has 5 steps-faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, receiving the holy ghost, and enduring until the end.  Faith is first to get us going, but there is no way that we are going to be able to endure until the end without that faith to work in our hearts and minds.  Changing our vision of ourselves, others, and this world into God's vision. Elder Anderson nos dijo, ' The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.'  I thought about if I am letting my faith be led by me rather by chance.  I never fully comprehended how much this gospel is so personal.  You are accountable for your growth for your faith.  

There is no gray area, we are either growing or diminishing our faith leading us to grow or diminish our actions to return to Christ.  That's scary.  Watching ourselves just got taken to a whole new level.  I invite you to examine your daily actions of what you did to either grow or diminish that faith.  Make 2 lists.  Set goals on what you are going to do the next day to spend more of your time growing that faith than you have previously.  I promise as you fuel your time with the temple, scriptures, prayer, listening to hymns, you will have a burning faith leading you to have desires to change.  Nobody wants to change but I know that if we recognize God's plan for us and our potential, we will become a living breathing testimony of Christ.  Our desire will grow.  Know that Neil L. Andersen said, 'Using our mind without our heart will not bring spiritual answers.'

I want to testify that to be true.  I know Jesus Christ Loves us.  I know that our eternal plan is the only plan we should worry about.  I want to leave with this quote by Elder Andersen, 

"Faith never demands an answer to every question but seeks the assurance and courage to move forward, sometimes acknowledging, 'I don't know everything, but I do know enough to continue on the path of discipleship.'

in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

hermana waters

                                           Abby is so happy!  She found a Jimmy John's!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Week 15

As I reflect back on this week I would love to share what I learned and focused on.  I read Larry R. Lawrence's talk 'What Lack I Yet?' talk he gave. 

 He said, "The journey of discipleship is not an easy one. It has been called a “course of steady improvement.”  As we travel along that strait and narrow path, the Spirit continually challenges us to be better and to climb higher. The Holy Ghost makes an ideal traveling companion. If we are humble and teachable, He will take us by the hand and lead us home.
However, we need to ask the Lord for directions along the way. We have to ask some difficult questions, like “What do I need to change?” “How can I improve?” “What weakness needs strengthening?”
As a missionary I've recognized that my weaknesses and faults have been made very apparent.  It's a normal part of coming unto him.  ether 12:27-  "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." My stubborn opinion and not always so positive attitude and many other things have made themselves very apparent to me.  The reality of where I was and where I was trying to get was not lining up. The ever so straight path just got a little narrower.  I was not expecting all this to be shown.  I wasn't expecting to be having companionship inventories only to recognize how much my weaknesses got in the way of the Lord's way.  I have to tell you that this journey to Christ is humbling.  It's not for the prideful.  It's not for the wicked. It's not for the people who want it easy.   I recognized if I was going to let my mission affect me-mold and shape me- I was going to have to be honest with myself.  It was discouraging at first.  I remember how badly I didn't want to face or change the ways I felt comfortable in.  Or how people expected me to be.  I didn't want to step into this unknown state of mind that felt ever so uncomfortable at times. I felt like I was denying myself of who I was.  I want to share that who you are right now is not perfect.  Don't be frustrated with yourself.  Don't think that it's too long of a journey to change. for it's  'by small and simple things that great things come to pass.'  Only now have I come to realize how far I am from where I want to be.  Only now have I really came to recognize and appreciate the suffering the Christ did for me in the Garden of Gethsemane, because it was a lot.  
I know that's a lot.  But I just want to share that as we start our journey of change into that beautiful beloved Child of God we are, it's not going to be easy.  How can we expect it to be easy when it never was easy for our savior Jesus Christ.  Humility is a Christlike attribute I hope I can continually strive to develop.  It's what brings the changes. 
I love you all.  I pray for you all.  I support you all.  Remember where we are going and who we are going to face that judgement day.  Remember we won't be able to say. 'you don't understand.'
and I leave that with you in the sacred name of the beloved son, who provides a way for us to obtain this eternal joy he has ready for us, Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Hermana Waters

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Week 14

feliz ano nuevo mis amigos y familia y bienvenido 2016! 

hope your goal setting and keeping has started and that you will all have the strength to keep with it.
Wedding is the process of planning and turns out that January 16th, the day we are having it, also is President Palmer's birthday!  Woohoo.  He's supposed to be coming to the wedding and baptism then we have another baptism to go to after that all (One of Hermana Carpenter's previous investigators in a different area)!  We are looking forward to all that lays ahead of us.
This week we literally talked with everyone.  It was so great to just spend time walking streets to contact people. We were on the streets New Years day and had sworn we were going to talk to every single person no excuses unless the Holy Ghost stopped us in our tracts.  We met a lot of people, got invited to come in for some parties and such, were given 'drinks' that we ended just dumping out because who knew-it wasn't water, and because of that we have new investigators.  
I went on exchanges with Hermana Gundersen up in Lodi since my companion is sister training leader.  Those are always fun you get to be in a new area for 24 hours.  That was a ball.  We were able to do street contacting there as well as contact a bunch of referrals.

Full of miracles kind of a week and too sacred to share.
Pero esta semana, empeze a repasar la revista de la conferencia general (review the general conference magazine).  I invite you to get your hands on a copy for yourself of the talks.  Mark it up.  I've started doing that and it's helped me remember what I loved oh so much from this conference.  I have fallen in love with Family: A proclamation to the world. Study what we are given as tools.  I know that one thing that stood out to me was a promise made in Preach My Gospel.  It said that if we do not keep the sabbath day holy, ALL aspects of our life will be negatively affected.  It specifies that when we do guard and keep the sabbath day for things that the Lord would want us to do, EVERY aspect of our life will improve.  That was a promise.  I reflected back on before the mission my typical Sunday.  I wonder what things might have been made better had a decided to skip watching TV and watch the Joseph Smith Movie, or hang with my family.  If I wouldn't have gone out to eat.  I can testify that as we sanctify ourselves on the Sabbath day we can be prepared for the week to come.  We will have the strength to accomplish all that needs done.  Sunday is a day of rest for you too.
I  focused on the discourso por Dieter F. Ucthdorf- "It works wonderfully!"
I love what he says, 'sometimes, the truth may just seem too straightforward, too plain, and too simple for us to fully appreciate its great value. So we set aside what we have experienced and know to be true in pursuit of more mysterious or complicated information. Hopefully we will learn that when we chase after shadows, we are pursuing matters that have little substance and value.'
He later says:
'I wonder if we as Church members might also benefit from asking ourselves from time to time: “Is my experience in the Church working for me? Is it bringing me closer to Christ? Is it blessing me and my family with peace and joy as promised in the gospel?”'
I answered the questions and as I thought about them deep.  Wondering if this really was benefiting me, I came to the conclusion that this church has.  Not because the people of the church because anywhere you go you can find imperfect people, but because who is at the head of this church.  Jesus Christ.  I want to invite you all to ponder the questions Dieter F. Uchtdorf gives us.  If you need a boost, or a personal reminder, I promise that as you reflect on those questions, You will remember why you are and were a part of the church in the first place.  I pray for you.  I know life is hard.  I know that Jesus Christ is ready when you are.  
In the sacred name of our savior and perfectly loving brother, Jesus Christ Amen.