You all sound so great! I forget it is summer, but am reminded each time I open my email on Monday and there are pictures of you in different states! I should start playing the guessing game for which state you will be in next. The months just kind of blur together out here and your life becomes consumed by teaching finding teaching eating sleeping studying and finding. I make it sound so fun right? But the even crazier part is that it IS so much fun! Now that's the true blessing. I love it so much. I have been so full of gratitude to my Heavenly Father lately. I was able to attend Ashley's baptism this past Saturday in good old Washington, MO. I am still in awe that God cares for each of us as individuals he doesn't just generally know what a group of people might feel. He knows how you as Victoria, Dorinda, Annelise, or Todd feel. He feels what you are going through, he knows what you want more than anything, and what's crazier is he desires to give it all to you more than anything. He loves us, and He will continue to love us always.
I am grateful to God for letting me take part in Ashley's conversion. She was so ready even before we started teaching her. She let God work in her life, she humbled herself to receive answers long before the missionaries met her. She is incredible. She was more than ready to make the sacred covenant of baptism. I am so blessed to know her. Its hard for me to explain in words how I feel...I don't always have a hard time doing that. But I just feel so humbled this past weekend. I have been reflecting a lot about how sacred this life really is, and how precious we really are. We are designed as unique individuals with special talents to bless the lives of other unique individuals with talents that bless us. Its a never ending circle of helping and blessings that Heavenly Father has created us for. It is so important for us to understand our divine potential and that Heavenly Father has a purpose for each of us that we can only do in this lifetime. I know that I was meant to meet Ashley in this lifetime. I know that God had a large amount of events happen in her and my lifetime so that we could cross paths. It sounds strange. But I have been thinking about the set of events that I have witnessed while just being out here...the set of events that happened to lead Ashley to the waters of Baptism. Its so special to see God working in people lives and in our own lives, and literally just sitting back (most of the time afterward) and watching miracles unfold, or noticing the miracles that did unfold.
A section from "Our Heritage" that has been in my mind constantly this past week is this:
"It is the story of men and women from all walks of life who sought for the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and, upon finding it, were willing to pay the price of becoming the Savior’s disciples. These stalwart Saints pressed on through sufferings and hardships, witnessing even in their darkest hours of the goodness of God and the joy of his love. They have left a legacy of faith, courage, obedience, and sacrifice."
It reminded me of Ashley definitely, but as I have thought more an more about it, it reminds me of each of us. We all have at one time or another paid some price to become the Savior's disciple. We have all pressed on through suffering and hardships. We have witnessed to God and the world that we will not give up even when times get hard, we have shown the world that through the cleansing and strengthening power of the atonement we can move on to a new dawn and a new day. We have testified that He lives, and OUR legacy of faith will continue to carry on throughout countless generations. It does not matter if we found the church later in life, or were born into it. We all leave a legacy behind, we all begin a legacy that will continue for generations. No matter how big or small you may think your impact is, the only thing that matters is that it IS an impact. Always remember God has a purpose for you, and for that purpose God preserves you each and everyday. Live up to your potential, and you will feel Gods love radiating in your life each and everyday in a way you did not think was even possible.
Quote of the week from President Morgan:
"Have you ever done something really good, -you know it's good- and then have someone criticize a detail?
As much as we know better, most of us still tend to focus of the problems rather than the successes.
But the fact is, tell me what I'm doing right and I'll do more things right.
Focus on what I'm doing wrong and I loose self-esteem, confidence, and enthusiasm for doing the best I can do."
Keep traveling down the path of discipleship. Keep losing your life in the service of God until you find yourself. My prayer is that each of you will understand your infinite worth and potential. May God be with you in all that you do.