Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Week 76 August 8, 2016 Justice & Mercy, Valaria’s Baptism, the goat in the cul de sac, more weeds, Exit meeting with President Sorenson, The Temple & more freinds

Hola familia!!

I wanted to start my email off this week with something I learned in my personal study from Alma 42 about mercy and justice.

13 Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.
14 And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.
15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.

As I read all of this, I thought about how the whole plan of salvation works and how integral it was for Adam and Eve to experience the Fall. If they did not eat of the fruit, we wouldn't have been able to come to this earth. If God didn't mercifully send His only Begotten Son to atone for the sins of the world, then there would be no purpose to our existence. And so as we come to understand our objective in this probationary state, logically speaking, every minute that we do not lean on or depend upon the Savior’s Atonement is spiritually wasted!

18 Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.
20 And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.
21 And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature?
22 But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.

And what do we all receive when we come to this earth? The light of Christ, and by this gift we are able to discern right from wrong. Therefore when we sin, or do any wrong we feel guilty about it! But how are we born knowing that some of the things we do are wrong or not? Where do we learn this instinct? From the beginning, even before we came to Earth, we learned it all in the Pre-Earth life in the presence of Heavenly Father. It was there that he taught us all about the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, etc. It all comes together, and I hope y’all see the connection in my meager explanation.  I am so grateful for the sacrifice of our God and the willingness of our Savior to atone for our sins.  This is everything to me.

Monday we had cena with the Paniagua family. They took us to Golden Corral, and asked the staff to sing happy birthday to Hermana Nichols because her birthday was coming up soon. We had a lot of fun with them. They are the family in this ward that is cool with all of the missionaries.
Tuesday we spent a lot of time doing weekly planning, updating records, and making goals for the area. Somehow, it has taken us longer and longer each time we do it this transfer haha! And then the only set appointment we had that day got canceled, and it was disappointing because we were so ready to rock that lesson:(

Wednesday I completed my last MyPlan session. And then we tried to see people afterwards but NO ONE was home!! It was frustrating, but then we found Star at home and we got to sit down and watch a church-related movie with her:)

Thursday was the best day of the whole week!!! I started off having my departing interview with President Sorensen. It was different because it wasn't with President Cannon, but he gave me a little advise that was definitely inspired. He encouraged me not necessarily to get married, but to date when I get home. (Not to difficult right? We will see haha.) He also told me to keep in touch with my converts and the people I worked with. I wish I was able to remember more of what he said, but I can't remember right now..
After a few hours, I went back to the mission office to go to the temple!!!! The whole way I was somewhat anxious because I had invited people to come with me and I wanted them to all be able to show up in time for the session. Thankfully, they all did! I had Nana Webster from Ontario, Nora Gonzales from Caldwell, Brother Andrew from Caldwell and Candy from Nampa come with me. It was such a wonderful experience for me to be surrounded by the very people I have grown close to dressed in white with me. This temple trip though, I didn't come with a question, more I came with a prayer in my heart that Heavenly Father will continue to give me missionary opportunities and accompany me the rest of my life. My prayer was answered as I could feel my fear literally dissipate in the Celestial Room. That was the answer I needed, not to give me the courage to go home, but to ease my worries of not being able to feel the Holy Ghost as strong as I do while in the missionary field. Then we came back to the mission home and had dinner and a testimony meeting. All the departing missionaries sat in a round circle and shared their beautiful testimonies. As it turned out, I was the very last one to share mine. I started in English but then it turned to Spanish, because that was the language Heavenly Father assigned me to speak and every spiritually-growing experience I had on my mission was in Spanish. I felt the Spirit flow from me, and although there were very few people that could understand me, they could tell that I bore a strong testimony.

Friday was my last zone meeting, and as usual, it was freezing cold in that relief society room!! Afterwards, we tried to go see people that weren't home, but then we went to see our Spanish bishop's new baby! She was so adorable, and precious! Then I got to see an elder that I knew from in the CCM (Mission Training Center - Mexico). He came home early due to health issues, but it was soo good to see him! Then we had dinner with the Navarro family, the same family that Hermana Vujich ate the balut with! They are super awesome and I was glad I got to see them before I go home. Then we saw Kali Webster from Ontario and Carlos Marin and Erik from Caldwell.

Saturday morning was the baptism of Valeria Corona! She glowed as her dad had the opportunity to baptize her. It was also special because a bunch of Caldwell Spanish members also came to support Valeria. What I didn't know was that the Corona's used to attend the Caldwell ward before they moved to Nampa! I saw the Marin's, the Cardenas', and the Rodriguez's!!
After more failed attempts at visiting people, we went back to our car to drive around and see if we would have more success with another family, we saw a random goat in the middle of the Cul de Sac! We would've left it if it was a dog or cat, but it was a baby goat and we had compassion for it. Smith picked it up and we went to the houses in the neighborhood and no one knew whose goat it was. Eventually we figured it out and were covered in sweat and goat hair!! It was by far the weirdest tracting approach I have ever had, only in Idaho though!!
We went to help Jeanet pull weeds in her backyard, can anyone ever have so many weeds at one time?

Sunday we had testimony meeting in church and I got up there to bear my very own testimony. It brought me back to my farewell talk because I started crying even before I stood up to the podium! I think I only got 15 words out, but it was all I needed to say and that was all she wrote! After church we had a special lunch/dinner with the Narvais family. Their son Franky joined us. He is normally quiet and stays in his room when we come around, but we got him talking about the scary yet pivotal lessons he learned in prison. Franky surprised us with a chocolate cake that said CTR and LDS on it, it warmed my heart because on the inside of that hardened exterior he has a soft side!!  UGH!! I am going to miss my mission families, I almost don't want to say goodbye to them because that would hurt too much!! It doesn’t feel like I am leaving, it feels like I am going to get on a plane and head right back to the MTC again.

Welp familia! I love y'all and remember there is an hermana misionera praying for you!

Hermana Moss:)

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