Monday, February 22, 2016

4 gifts‏

Wow, Heavenly Father has really blessed me with a couple awesome weeks to end the mission on!  SO many little tender mercies. I mean, missionary work is still hard.  It always has been and it always will be, but it's the little joys, if you find them, that make it all worth it.  Kinda like life eh?  
Charlene is a CHAMPION! We taught her on Tuesday and on Friday.  On Tuesday, we got to bring a member who has lived in Brazil (Where Charlene comes from).  It was so helpful.  We answered her questions about the Book of Mormon, then each shared a scripture that has helped us personally.  This stellar member, Synne, shared Ether 12:27. (I thought of you Mom.) A little while into explaining why she liked it, she started speaking Portugeuse so Charlene could fully understand.  The Spirit was SO strong.  I glanced over at Charlene, and she was crying.  She asked Synne, "How did you know?  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it through this week."  Synne bore her testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are our best friends and that NO MATTER WHAT, they will be there for us to strengthen us and love us.  It was a beautiful moment.
We went back on Friday to teach her the Plan of Salvation.  Before we started teaching it however, we asked if she had any questions about what she has been reading in the Book of Mormon.  She had a few little questions, then asked, "Sisters, do you ever wonder why in the world we are here?  Like why am I even on the Earth??!" #CanYouSpellPrepared? We showed her the scripture in Alma about preparing to meet God.  She said, "What do we need to do to prepare?" We continued on to teach the Plan of Salvation, and as we taught about Earth life, we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End).  We wrote down the list for her and she looked at it carefully then said, "OH! That's why you asked me to get baptized! That's the next step for me! How soon can I get baptized?? Do you think a month and a half is enough time to prepare??"  Our mouths kinda dropped open.  Her understanding is amazing! We barely even have to teach! haha! So yup! That's Charlene.
We had Zone Conference this week and since it was my last one, I got asked to bear my testimony.  Or as most missionaries call it BURNimony.  Or as President calls is LAUNCHimony.  So yep! That was fun. It kinda hit me though and I found myself looking back through my mission (it's been happening a lot lately) at all the times my testimony has been strengthened and how.  I realized something.  Heavenly Father helps us to strengthen our testimonies in SPECIFIC ways thought SPECIFIC experiences.  I remember early on my mission begging Heavenly Father for a testimony of Jesus Christ.  Like the unshakable kind.  Because of that I had an experience that I can't deny.  Jesus is the Christ.  I know that now.
anywho... I guess back to this week.  We took down some more wallpaper at Kay's house, went on a walk with the Relief Society that went along the beach (Covered in snow) and through some forests, ate some oysters, watched the Restoration movie with Bjørn Ivar, and played the piano for primary (little rusty).  
Now for the AH-HA moment of the week:  God has obviously given us a lot of gifts in this life.  If we are to narrow it down to four gifts, you might say; Jesus Christ, our agency, our families, and our bodies.  (At least that's what I would say, email me with others if ya want).  So four gifts.  I realized this week that everything that Satan does or has done attacks one of these four gifts.  We know that Satan attacks the body.  He's jealous.  He wants us to abuse and misuse our bodies in every way.  We know he attacks the family.  Hundreds of examples with that one.  Abortion, Divorce, Infidelity, etc.etc.etc.  He attacks our agency.  This one is a little more subtle.  Addiction takes that away.  Really, if you think about it, any kind of sin takes away agency.  He loves to attack this one and he has been doing that from the beginning.  Sometimes he attacks all three of these gifts at the same time.  But what about the fourth?... We know that Satan tempted Jesus Christ: attacked Him really.  But the difference with this one is that Jesus Christ has already won.  He overcame everything.  And because of Him, we can overcome any attacks that the devil throws our way.  And we will have the blessing of living with our Savior again, with our families, our agency, and our glorified and resurrected bodies.  We just have to choose to follow Him and His example.
That about sums up the week!!  I'm excited to see you all in a little while!  I LOVE YOU!!!!! 

Søster Heywood
The four leaving søsters at Zone Conference

The sign pointing to the church in Oslo

 Our walk with the Relief Society

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