Monday, August 27, 2012

Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling

What a week. Plenty of activities and things to keep us busy. This past week we had our park day where we don't use the car, which is totally fine cause we walk around a ton anyways, BUT without thinking, we planned a baptism for that day. I know what you're thinking, big deal, missionaries do it all the time, but humor me and just tell me I did a good job cause it was really unusual not having our normal means of transportation and preparation. Plus with our ward mission leader being out of town, the majority of planning and coordinating fell on our shoulders. Lesson learned: plan better in advance.

So, with the baptism of Da'Marr (yeppp....) that pretty much wraps up everyone that we were teaching and now we have NO ONE. Lesson learned: plan better in advance. When you are always diligent about finding and teaching, then you never have to worry about lulls in the work. It's always going, it's always consistent.

The last 3 days we have been eating our guts out. People are feeding us like crazy. I'm not surprised that sisters here in the past have gained upwards of 15-20 pounds. Last night we had 2 dinners, both fed us dessert, and then another family we went and visited made us dessert also. So good, but so much. I came home and just had to lay on the couch. By 10:30 when I was going to bed my stomach still had ot recovered. I never want to eat again! Oh but wait, we have a dinner and a dessert tonight....oh well, you can't have everything you want. I really shouldn't complain, it means that people care about us and want to take care of us. I really, really appreciate it. I hope to be like that one day when I'm not a missionary (curse the day that happens.....)

A member of the ward passed away very suddenly a week ago and his funeral was on Friday night. I didn't know him super well, but I had been to his house a few times for dinner with him and his wife and I remember always feeling really peaceful and relaxed around them. They were just those kinds of people. Anyways, he passed away very suddenly and we got to attend his funeral. His two children sang an amazing a capella version of "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling." I loved it because of the ending line: "Calling, oh sinner, come home." The Savior is always calling us home. We had to leave the presence of our God to come here, but when we follow Him and become more like Him, we are taking the steps toward home. Home is a place that is happy and joyfull, where sweet reunions take place, there's laughter and joy, and no heartache is felt. Our homes here are not always like that, but when we look back at our homes that we grew up in, those are the things that we remember. We remember the good, not the bad. Home.

Lately I have been struggling with some things. Mostly just to stay motivated and diligent. I got caught in this little current that ended up dragging me pretty far from where I need to be. I refer to this as "jellyfishing." Don't jellyfish!!  As soon as you stop doing what you're supposed to, you move backwards. If you are not progressing, you are digressing. The biggest thing that I noticed was that my personal studies have been less-than-stellar. I could tell that my testimony, and the power I felt behind, was lacking. The center of everything that we teach and are is Jesus Christ. He is the Rock and the Foundation. To know Him is to love Him. To love Him is to follow Him. To follow Him is to keep His commandments and be like Him. That is my quest right now: to know Jesus Christ. Not jus to know things about His life, but to know Him as my Savior, my Brother, and my Friend. When we become more like Christ and strive to become like Him, then EVERYTHING else will fall into place.

The gospel is true. God knows us and loves us. He will do anything for us that will get us to where we need to be. A lady in church gave a talk yesterday about justice and mercy. Justice is fair and mercy is not, but thank God that it isn't because through mercy we are granted blessings and gifts beyond measure. Thank Go for that matchless gift. Love you all.

Sister Sara Chronister

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