Monday, November 19

#46

November 19, 2012


First of all, this video inspired me today.  Maybe it can inspire you.  :)

Secondly, this week has been wonderful!  I feel so spoiled to be seeing so many blessings.  I have felt so wonderful--so consumed by my purpose here.  :)

There are three things we recite each district meeting and each time we study as a companionship.  The first is Our Purpose, as found in Preach My Gospel:
"Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentence, baptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."
Second, we recite the Standard of Truth, as given by Joseph Smith:
"The Standard of Truth has been erected.  No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing.  Persecutions may rage, mobs my combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independant till it has penetrated every continent, visited every climb, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say "the work is done."
Third is a scripture of the month, as chosen by our mission President.  (This month is Doctrine and Covenants 4:4.)

I love reciting these things.  There is so much power in words... just to say them aloud to yourself and to think about what they actually mean.  It fills my heart.  :)  When I feel down or my heart falters, I love to have something to go over in my mind.  Some of my favorites are Doctrine and Covenants 121, which Sister Bastian encouraged me to memorize, and secondly, "The Living Christ," which my mum encouraged me to memorize (though I didn't do it till my mission.)  I have fallen asleep many a time with those beautiful words playing through my mind.  What a blessing it is to have scripture to use in it's limitless capacity.  :)  We must never underestimate the power of scripture to drive away the depressing spirit of sin and doubt.

This week Deborah (who I taught in Waukesha) was baptized.  :)  I wish I could see her and congratulate her!  I know she is doing well.  :)

All is going well here also.  We are beginning to uncover some of the concerns and difficulties that need to be resolved before those we are teaching can be baptized.  But I am always impressed and inspired by their faith!  There is so much desire, especially to strengthen family.  People are searching!  It's always amazing to me.

I've been seeking to increase the power and sincerity of my prayers.  One of our investigators, Cindy, mentioned to us once that one of the difficulties she has with investigating is "asking" God for so much (whether blessings or knowledge, or testimony.)  She is accustomed to focusing her prayers on thanks.  We know our Father in Heaven is eager to grant us these blessings and the help we may seek, but her concerns stuck with me!  I've paid careful attention since to how much of my prayers are spent in gratitude and how much is spent asking for things, and I was surprised to realize how "needy" my prayers had become.  It reminded me of a quote:

"Instead of pleading with the Lord to bestow more upon you, plead with yourselves to have confidence in yourselves, to have integrity in yourselves, and know when to speak and what to speak, what to reveal, and how to carry yourselves and walk before the Lord."  -Brigham Young (DBY, 93).

So I've been seeking to be more grateful, ask for what I sincerely feel I (or those I am working with) need, and to seek the guidance of the Spirit AS I pray, to know what to say.  :)
And so:

Weekly Challenge: Once a day, say a prayer of gratitude.  Resist the urge to ask for anything, and focus instead on expressing thanks.  This has brought me so much joy and has increased my faith in prayer and in my Heavenly Father's love for me.  It can do the same for you.  :)  

I've just read over what I wrote and I apologize for the spelling errors you may see.  I think that part of my brain is deteriorating.
Love you all!  Have a fantab Thanksgiving.  :)

Pictures: Our investigator Rosie makes us all socks.  :)  I dunno if I've modeled them before, but here they are, and Sister Fontanetti got them this week.  :)
Also, here is a picture of Sister Fontanetti and Megan Bartell (so you can know what they look like.)
--
-Sister B.


Friday, November 16

#44 and #45

Note from Beth's mum - Apologies for the late publishing of these two posts. 

#44 November 5, 2012
Hey all!  Happy November!  I have discovered-I live among kindred spirits.  Sister Fontanetti, Megan (Bartell) and I were sitting around the kitchen table.
Sister Fontanetti: "Hey Megan, where does the Christmas tree go?"
Megan: "I dunno.  "Sometimes in the corner."
Sister Fontanetti: "Cool."
*moment of reflective silence, penetrated only by turning pages as we continue to study*
Megan: "Want me to put it up?"
Within a half hour the tree was up and the lights were strung.  :D  Sister Bartell said she "thought it was a good idea" when we told her about it.
The next day a member bore his testimony in fast and testimony meeting.  He said something about not forgetting November and Thanksgiving in the excitement of Christmas.  Chastisement for us, perhaps?  ;)  I would ask a critic of our sinful Christmas-driven ways, "what do you have to be thankful for that doesn't have root in the birth and Atonement of our Savior?"
As for me and my house, we have put up our Christmas tree.  We'll enjoy it even as we stuff ourselves with turkey and stuffing.  :)  
Anyways... missionary things DID happen this week.  We've recieved several referrals from mormon.org, which is always a treat (unless it's a prank).  There's nothing like teaching someone who actually came looking for YOU instead of the other way around.  :)  We also got back in contact with a former investigator, and she wants to meet with us again!  So I'm in a pretty fine mood.  :)  I feel so grateful for these tender mercies.  I know it is due much in part to the loving prayers of others, and I hope you know what a powerful influence you each have on this work.  I have seen and felt it.  
My other favorite thing of the week?  Bragging about a certain sub-19-year-old I know who's putting her papers in... ;)   
Hope you all have a lovely week!  I think I definitely will.  :) 
(For those of you who are wondering, we just BARELY got the first sprinklings of snow this morning.  Sub-par.  Wisconsin is just not living up to standard!  Not that I'm really complaining about it.  Only a little...)
Weekly Challenge: Pray sincerely for an opportunity to share the gospel.  Then search earnestly for it during the next day.  Make sure it is at the forefront of your thoughts.  If someone comes to mind while you pray, don't hesitate to act on that prompting!  Remember Pres. Monson's advice.  Never ignore a prompting from the Spirit. 

Pictures: Sunrises here are BEAUTIFUL!  A prank from Sister Bartell.  (She is cruel to us.  Don't let her tell you differently!!)
--
-Sister B.




#45  November 13, 2012
Hello wonderful people! 
I just want to thank all of you for your prayers.  This week has been a miracle.  Sister Fontanetti and I were led to EIGHT new people to teach!  Three sweet families and a woman named Mary-- all of whom welcomed us into their lives eagerly.  My heart is so full of gratitude for the opportunity we now have to help each of them grow in faith and love for their Savior.  I know in my heart that these blessings come because of their faith, and because of the faith of our ward members and those who pray for us as missionaries.  I'm beginning to realize what a puzzle missionary work is!  When we are doing all we can to be obedient and diligent, and everyone who can puts their faith forward, then things begin to come together. 
It's Tuesday now, and I know this is late, but yesterday was Veteran's Day, so p-day took backseat once again.
Hmm.
I'm not too sure what to write about.  I feel so much love from my family this week--it is almost overwhelming.  I hope each of them knows how much I love them... I never would have come here without the influence of each of my siblings and my parents.  Their love and examples give me the strength to love and serve the people I meet here, and I pray that my work may bring joy and help to each of them. 
How precious the Plan of Happiness is.  As we taught Sabrina and Jerome about the Restoration of the Gospel this week, we were able to testify to them that our families are forever!  I know so deeply that this is our purpose--to bring each other closer to God and to bind ourselves to those we love--including our Father in Heaven.  I cannot begin to express the peace that comes to my heart whenever I contemplate that eternal destiny.  What else matters? 
The church family history website has launched a new setup.  I was practically drooling as I looked over it, haha.  PLEASE go check it out!  One of my "after mission" goals is to spend at LEAST two hours a week doing missionary work for my ancestors.  Pray to know what you can do as well.  :)  There is something for everyone to work on, no matter how far back your work has been done, and we can each become experts in our own field. 
If you have an account with the church you can log right in.  If you don't, create the account.  If you are a member, you will need to have your membership record number.  Someone you know can probably help, whether friends from church or family. 
Weekly Challenge: Log onto familysearch.org/tree and start looking into family history work.  Talk to people in your ward about what you need to do to get started if you aren't sure.  Sorry to be vague, but let the spirit guide!  If you already have done some family history work, set a specific goal for what you want to accomplish!  (See Preach My Gospel chapter 8 if you need help setting goals.  ;)

Come all whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high!
Shall we to men benighted the lamp of life deny? 
Salvation, oh salvation!  The joyful sound proclaim
Till earth's remotest nation has learned Messiah's name.
     -Hymn # 268

-Sister B.
p.s. This statement is excellent!