Monday, August 20, 2012

This Is A Marvelous Work

Dear Mom,

Sounds like a great plan to me! I love getting your letters, and I really appreciated the letter you wrote. I'll keep exercising faith through scripture study and consistent prayer. I've been praying a lot lately. I'm being too hard on myself, as I often am. But I am determined to stop that, though it is challenging. Being hard on myself does not help the work, and I exhaust myself and my companion (she is being super kind and patient). I also have to remember that with Christ I can do this, and I feel Him through every letter, investigator, ward member here in Fontana, and missionaries here in the field. This is a marvelous work and I love how on board everyone is!

Good idea about the pictures. I'll take pictures of the drawings and send them to you. I haven't done that yet, so the earliest you will get those pictures is next Monday, hope that's okay :) And your book cover looks awesome! I will be honest, it looks more romantic that I anticipated, but if it get sales, hey no biggie! Thank you for Annie's address. Hopefully her dad faxed the letter to her, but if not, I'll write her, she is such an awesome person! What a sweet woman :) I'm sending some pictures via the email if that is okay?

Sister Stacey is doing amazing, and she has been really supportive of me. Every day she tells me I am too hard on myself and I am working on it, and having to be patient with myself. She is the one helping me a ton. Thank you for the support and love. I had to help her so I could be more appreciative of how she helps me. We are getting to laugh more, and I am realizing missionary work is also about being happy and growing into yourself as well.

Sadly, Freddy wasn't there on Thursday, but his brother Carlos took a Book of Mormon and we met another Freddy who also took a Book of Mormon and set up an appointment with us for this Wednesday. Chris's family was there for our second lesson, but because he hasn't come to church, we will have to move his baptism back a couple weeks, which is sad. We are teaching him the Plan of Salvation tonight, and going to talk about the importance of church attendance. Angela is still progressing and not smoking at all since we taught her a stop smoking lesson. The Atonement is so real in her life, and she is so happy which makes me so happy!! I love being around her and seeing the Atonement take full effect on a person's life.

We are also visiting a lot of less-actives and finding out their concerns and I have found that a lack of understanding of the Atonement is really why lots of people leave the church. It makes me more determined to get to know my Savior and His Atonement so I can help others come to Christ. Thank you for your prayers and testimonies. They strengthen me. Also, I LOVED getting letters from the Beehives and Sister Purcell. They are the sweetest and so full of strength and love for the gospel. Grandma Parker, Cole, Jackie, Jessie, Uncle David, and Aunt Jamie were so kind to write letters of support too. Everyone is doing great, I am glad Ashley is better and happier with herself, that Jenepher is doing so well, and that Sister Kurtz is loving North Carolina and those she serves over there.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, I have a lack of remembrance to take them, ha ha. I'll attach some on the email. I'm starting to see the need for breaks, because when I just go and go, I get overworked. Wish I would have learned that sooner while teaching. I'm so thankful for the patience of all those at Mapleton and their committment to teaching. 

I'm learning a lot, and sometimes I need to be taught the same thing multiple times, but thank goodness Heavenly Father is patient. He loves all of us, and I know His Son, Jesus Christ is so in control of this work and wants all of His missionaries to stay strong so we can bring the world full truth. For those who doubt if the Lord is in their life, think back to when you felt His hand. If it was true and good then, it is good and true now. As Jeffrey R. Holland says, "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence."
With the pictures--two are of pictures from a walk to the Provo Temple while at the MTC. The Utah sign one was what Sister Stacey and I found tracting *(all the streets were named for Western states, sadly couldn't find Washingon), and then a picture of Sister Stacey and me after a long day. I'll send more this next week.

Sister Allison Mills

Sister Mills and Sister Brinkerhoff
at the Provo Temple

Sister Mills and Sister Brinkerhoff
with other sister missionaries at the MTC

Utah Ct. in Fontana

Sister Mills and Sister Stacey after a long day

(I'll also print parts from her letters to Dad and Jason)

Dear Daddy,

We had an awesome week! Lots of referrals are coming our way, and another lady is showing interest in the Church. Her husband passed away a few months ago and she has lots of LDS friends who are helping her. She is so ready to hear about the Plan of Salvation and the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ. You know what I love, how all the gospel doctrines are connected. Heavenly Father loves us so he wants us to have His gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ. We needed the gospel back and so a restoration was needed. With that restoration a modern day prophet learned and taught the rest of us about Heavenly Father's eternal plan for the happiness of His children. To accomplish that plan we need a Savior, and Jesus Christ was willing to be that for us. In order to access the full blessings of the Plan, we need to know, understand, accept, and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is His gospel because Christ is the only one to live the gospel and plan perfectly. Once we understand the gospel of Jesus Christ we will want to know all the commandments and follow them so we can endure to the end and receive eternal life. Love the connections.

I've been having some frustrations with making connections, but after reading what you and Mom wrote about faith, and especially what you wrote about love, I felt the Spirit whisper to me how the doctrines are all connected. I feel your prayers all the time, and I want to be strong and good for you, but more importantly, for Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I want to learn more about Christ and better trust Him. It's been harder for me teaching than I thought it would be, and I am forgetting a lot that I knew. Sister Stacey is being so patient with me. I know, though, that this habit I have of being so hard on myself is what the Lord needs and wants me to get over now, because I won't be an effective missionary and accomplish the other goals I have until I can be happy with myself. I haven't figured out what it is going to take, but I know the Lord loves me and that as I keep going, answers will come. 

The weather is getting a bit cooler, but August everywhere is warm. Hope you are staying cool inside :) We do have a car, but we are close to going over miles, so this week we are going to do some walking and contact more people on the street. I'll make sure to wear sunscreen! Sister Stacey and I are actually really excited to do this :) 

We love eating at member's houses, and most nights we are fed, yay! I got the slip and notes, and loved them :) You are the best parents in the world, and Jason is the best artist. I am so glad he is doing well and is excited for Pathway! How is he feeling about the service mission? Did you get to see Jenepher and Phil? They sent a lovely letter with her ultrasound :D

Be safe in New York and have a lot of fun! I pray for all of you every night and am really grateful for the support I have.

Dear Jason,

I'm doing great! I really am glad you are doing so well. Just knowing that all of you at home are working so hard in your prospective fields makes me realize I need to keep working so hard. Doing the Lord's work is not easy, but Jesus Christ never had it easy, and as His disciple I should not either. It is rewarding though. I find that is the case with most things that are hard. If I put my shoulder to the wheel, I gain much more than I put out. We are having a lot of success and meeting lots of people. Angela is still progressing, and Chris will hopefully start coming to Church.

...Jason, we come from a hardworking family, so as you work hard and really focus, I know that your Life Skills class will be a wonderful opportunity. You are going to enjoy it. Don't be too nervous. Yes, anytime there is change it is scary, but you have a great heritage of hardworking family members, so just keep going :)

Are you excited for institute class? I LOVE the Book of Mormon. I find each time I read it, I gain something new, and there is still much to learn. Really prepare yourself to learn by praying beforehand to understand what the Lord is saying. The words of the Lord and the prophets will tell you all things that you need to do.

Jason, thank you for your testimony. You are a beam of sunshine in my life, and I am so proud of the man you are becoming. Pray for me that I'll be able to see myself as you see me. I can be strong huh :) I'm going to do what you said, pray to the Lord... Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ never get upset when we talk with them. I know they love us. I know families are forever, and we will be together forever in the celestial kingdom as a family as long as we stay true.


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