Monday, July 6, 2015

Mon, Jul 6, 2015 "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Hey friends and family,

Okay, this week was absolutely incredible. Sister Wright and I decided that we want to work on really having faith this transfer. And let me tell you, faith works. Prayer works. And fasting works. We were able to see so many miracles with our two amazing investigators, Laura and Connie. Both of them are progressing so much. I know that these miracles have come from the faith and refocus that we had at the beginning of the week. In President Burt's newsletter, he asked these 3 questions, "What is your focus? Where is your heart? Why are you serving?" He is so inspired. He invited us to all ponder about these questions and figure out how we can improve. Who knew that I could be so far from the missionary I want to become? It was definitely a humbling experience, but with those questions in mind, I was able to develop a greater understanding of why people change on missions. I feel at times, I have been so focused on making sure that I'M changing, that I'M being the best teacher, or that I'M learning where every scripture in the Book of Mormon is. Well with that mindset, I will never become the missionary I've dreamed of becoming or the missionary that God wants me to be. Each of those questions shouldn't be answered with "I", but with basically "everyone else". When you focus on God's children, love them with all of your heart, and you live to serve them...that is when you can see miracles. That is when you become the exact person God needs you to become. When you aren't thinking about yourself or living just for yourself, you are actually refining and redefining the person you are. 

Wow, I don't know where to begin. Laura and Connie have both progressed so much throughout this week. Okay so first we'll talk about Laura. We met with her almost every day this week. She loves the Book of Mormon and is constantly texting us, asking for more chapters to read. Every time we met with her, it seemed like she had just experienced a miracle. One of our lessons with her really didn't seem to be going anywhere and the Spirit just wasn't present. So we went out to the car to grab a book and discussed what we needed to do. We decided to just take it down to the basic, simplicity of testifying of the Book of Mormon. Immediately, the Spirit was in the room and we were able to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon and the reality of our Savior's life. Another lesson we had with her was probably one of my favorite experiences in my whole my mission. She brought up the concern of us just wanting to convert her. So I was able to bear powerful testimony of being a missionary and what it means to be a representative of Christ. I told her that we just want to give her the best gift she could ever receive because we know God loves her and we love her so much. By the end, we were all in tears. I'm a baby, but the Spirit was so strong in the room. Then, just last night we gave her a tour of the church. One of the main concerns that we've had with her is that she can't come to church on Sundays because of work. We have being praying and fasting and praying some more for a miracle. At church, people told us that they were fasting for both Connie and sweet. And then, during our tour, Laura just slipped in that she would be able to make it next Sunday! Sister Wright and I were thrilled. We probably had the biggest, goofiest grins. What a blessing. We know that this will be a huge step for Laura!

Okay, now Connie! So Connie has been working so hard to give up tea. She has drunk 10 cups a day for basically her whole life. About a month ago she got it down to like a cup and a half. She has been working so hard to been completely done with tea by the 4th of July so that she could make her baptismal date for the 25th. Well on the 2nd we had a lesson with her and asked how everything was going. She told us that tea tastes like dirt now. We just started laughing...we had been praying that tea wouldn't taste good to her anymore. Such a miracle. Haha, then in the closing prayer, I asked that the Lord would continue to make tea taste like dirt for Connie. Everyone got the giggles. So, Connie is working on for the 25th and we are so excited. 

Something that has been on my mind this week is what a difference it makes to be a spiritually minded person. This is something that I really learned from Sister Johnson. She set a great example for constantly treasuring up the words of eternal life. Like it says in 2 Nephi 9:39, "Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal. As I have treasured up God's word and focused on the work instead of getting distracted by wordly things, I have noticed such a difference. It is possible to have the Spirit with you at all times and this is exactly how we do it. I have come to know that thoughts and words of light and truth, when in frequent use, will deepen one's conversion. I have felt a deepening conversion to the Lord as I focus on what matters most. 

The ward here in Sidney is incredible. All of the members are so focused on missionary work. They are literally willing to do anything for us. They are all so helpful with lessons and getting our investigators involved. Haha, oh my goodness. We have two recent converts that are absolutely hilarious. Their names are Ellie and Kristine. We saw Ellie on the street the other day while we were talking to people. So she just comes right up and helps us with our conversation. I think the man thought it was a bit odd. Haha...she told us that we had to go and get some water with her because it was so hot. Then yesterday at church, she brought an icepack for my neck because I didn't look well the other day. Don't worry mom, I have like 50 moms out here. And Kristine is just as hilarious. She says she needs a 12-step program for her and thrift stores. So funny. I'll have to tell you more about the members later. But I pray that each of you will be member missionaries and look for every opportunity to share the gospel! I know the Lord loves each of you and will help you as your share your testimonies. Remember, "be a missionary at all times, and when necessary, use your words."                    Love,Hermana Hoth

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