Sunday, July 27, 2014

21 July 2014

This week we fasted. Ladies and Gentlemen, fasting is a miraculous tool that the Lord uses. So in a lesson with Nara we noticed a change. We answered her questions as usual (she always has great questions) and when we touched again on the subject of faith, she said that she thinks her faith is greater than she had thought before. And we showed her all the requirements for baptism and all that she would need to do and learn and she said, "I already know 99% of this stuff!" She also asked us why everyone is so happy in the church and if they are always like that? Yes. Yes they are. We explained that the church is full of imperfect people but people that are striving to do and be the best they can and when a life or a family is centered on Christ, we can find joy even during the hard moments. It has been a miracle to see the changes taking place in her.
She also told me that she thinks I have the personality of a mãezona, which is like a super mom that just wants to hug everyone and scatters sunshine. I was like what? me? The quiet, serious, helpless missionary? I accepted the compliment but it shocked me a little. But looking back, I realized that I am not the missionary that I was just a few months ago. I have really changed since the beginning of my mission. Not that I was super anti-social or anything, but I have really learned how to smile, how to be myself, how to love and more importantly show my love, because as Shakesepeare writes "They do not love that do not show their love." This change in me, that in truth is still in progress, is all due to the atonement of Christ. It is the atonement that makes change possible. It is the atonement that allows us to become people that we never imagined we could become.

Elder Bednar mentioned this enabling power of the atonement.

“I frankly do not think many of us ‘get it’ concerning [the] enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement, and I wonder if we mistakenlybelieve we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, andwith our obviously limited capacities.”2 
“The enabling power of the Atonement strengthens us to do and be good and to serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity.”
In the strength of the Lord we can do all things. (See Alma 20:4).

I testify that this is true. With the Lord´s help, we can become infinitely more that we can alone. I am so grateful for what the Lord has done and is doing for me and for our investigators. It is truly He that works the miracles.
Also this week was kind of exciting because at nearly midnight on saturday we recieved a call from the assistants, which always means something exciting. So the sisters from a neighboring city had their microwave explode and their house catch on fire. They escaped and are fine but the apartment is completely destroyed. So they are our houseguests! Just for a day or two because they already have another apartment getting set up. It was truly incredible how the Lord protected them. One of the sisters has been sick with Dengue and she woke up with pain, and woke up her companion. It was only then that they percieved the smell of smoke and were able to evacuate. The Lord truly uses means to prepare and protect his children. (Alma 37:6-7). Sometimes being sick is a blessing!
Anyway, it was a normal (AKA great!) week other than that. 
Sister Smith

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