Hello everyone! Nothing much has picked up as far as work to do here this week but we had a couple of really cool experiences. This week has been a lot of learning and personal growth, I would say. I don’t think I’ve ever taken this much advantage of prayer to my Heavenly Father. My prayers have gotten a lot more personal and it feels allot more like I am receiving answers and being blessed with the Spirit to guide me. I believe it is because of the work I am doing and the way I am living. There’s so much I need to improve upon and change even now serving a mission. I’m working hard on improving on the Christ like attribute of diligence. There’s a lot more I could be doing personally, not just as a companionship. I can’t force my companion to do anything I want to do, but we do talk about ways to improve as a companionship.
I’ve also had to work on increasing my faith in a specific area. Difficult events had few been happening back home with friends. It’s been so difficult to not be allowed to do much at all as far as communication, due to missionary standards and focusing on the work. I have needed to greatly increase my faith that Heavenly Father will take care of my family and friends back home, and it’s been difficult because I’m not used to this feeling of helplessness in not being there for the people I care about. I wish so badly that I could do more than text and attempt to be there for people digitally. I wish I could give them a comforting hug and just be there for them. However I am starting to learn and trust that Heavenly Father needs my efforts here in Michigan and that He will bless my family back home and He knows what my friends are going through and will give others opportunities to help them where I want to be helping them. I love Alma 26:7. This is a chapter all about missionary work, but verse 7 stuck out to me this week.
5 Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.
6 Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.
7 But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day.”Alma 26:5-7
I know Heavenly Father has a plan for each of His children- every person on this Earth. He knows each of us by name and He wants you to be happy. If we can trust in Him, we will be able to joyfully accept the plan that He has for us and Christ will help us ensure our challenges, hardships, and trials that we face in this life. God loves us, but that does not promise us a trial-free life when we follow His will. It promises a life full of joy and peace even in the midst of suffering and heartache. It is my testimony that I know everything happens for a reason.
There is so much heartache in these days and there are many times when we either just want to give up or we ask, why would God let this happen? Bad things can happen because of the choices of others. We can be facing heartache in our lives that didn’t come as a result of a decision anyone made. We can feel alone. Forgotten. Unloved and not cared for. It can feel like all the good in our life is slowly being taken from us.
When any of this happens to us, it is our turn to ask ourselves, “What can I learn from this?” If you can’t find something, ask, “How can you come closer to my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ through this?” They love you. They want you to be happy, nothing can stop you from coming closer to them and finding joy amid the storm if you do all you can to learn of Christ, His restored church, His commandments, how He lived, and then make the decision to live it.
Satan does not want you to come closer to God and the Savior. He will tempt you with doubt and lead you astray. He will make easy, temporary happiness look enticing. It is okay to have questions. Look for answers in divine sources that God has placed on the Earth by divine revelation. The Book of Mormon is scripture translated by the power of God through His chosen prophet. People are not perfect, and God still chooses us to carry on His work. Look for answers through studying the scriptures and the words of the current prophet who’s words are the most relevant to you, right now.
To quote our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, “Stop increasing your doubts by rehearsing them with other doubters. Allow the Lord to lead you on your journey of spiritual discovery…Act in faith. What would you do if you had more faith? Think about it. Write about it. Then receive more faith by doing something that requires more faith.”
All of this is tied together by action. I am so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to study so much about faith, something I thought I understood very well. This week, I want to invite everyone reading my blog to study faith this week. Pray during your studies with questions you may have. Answer the prophet’s question and follow his invitation. You will be blessed.
I love sharing what I’ve learned throughout the week and I would love to hear from you guys any experiences you have or have had. I appreciate the comments you have left though I cannot yet respond to them. I’m working on that. 😊
Now, I’ve been so excited to share my headline of my blog with you guys! Last night, my mission had an online Zoom fireside and my companion and I ran late, but hopped on as soon as we could lol. We came in during a clip that was being shown. It was from “The Other Side of Heaven.” I haven’t watched the movie for a very long time, but I remember it being one of my Mom’s favorites and enjoying it myself. The clip ended and we found out that our speaker was John Groberg! (If any of you are like me, I literally have no idea who that is, he is who’s story “The Other Side of Heaven” is based on).
It was so cool hearing all of the insights he had as a missionary and the things he learned and shared with us. We got to virtually meet his wonderful wife Jane, and together, they answered some of our questions. The first question was actually asked and was responded to in Tongan which was insanely cool. He talked about so many different pearls of wisdom, which reminds me… Someone asked him if he still has the pearl that was given to him and he said no, but the symbolism behind it was still there and it’s very important to them. I was also able to ask a question and asked what advice he would give to a brand new missionary. He said that at times we might be tempted to quit or give up, but on his mission, quit was not in their vocabulary. There are a lot of times we face a lot of hardships as missionaries, but we just need to keep going. As he finished his answer to my question, my companion and I turned to each other and said, “Just do it” (which is basically our companionship catchphrase/ motto at this point — we say it several times a day, usually in the voice of Emperor Palpatine — you’re welcome Dad) and as we said it, John literally said the words,”… so basically just do it.” My companion and I DIED. It was great and I love the response he gave about serving the Lord and continuing to serve Him after our missions. It was an amazing experience and I’m so glad we had that opportunity to hear from him.
I love you all and I’m so excited to hear from you guys this week! Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. I appreciate it so very much. Until next week!
Sister (Katie) Malan