Wow, what a crazy week, but such an amazing one! I hope you all are doing well and are ready for the new school year! We sure are. That means more people will be home! Whoo!! #missionaryprobs. Haha. So this week we have really made a big push with both our wards to get more involved in missionary work. We decided to do a 40-day fast with both our wards. I remember we did it in our ward in Modesto a while back and I thought it was such a neat idea. So we made sign up sheets and got them going, we made announcements and flyers and have really been working hard to get people involved. So our 40-day fast has started this week and we have seen MIRACLES. Holy cow. We got 2 new investigators in the 15th ward which has been a huge struggle and they are both awesome and so prepared. The people that have had the opportunity to fast have had really great experiences with it and are starting to catch the vision and have been wanting to help out more. We have also gotten a lot of referrals this week from people that have done the fast and it has just been amazing. We also decided that we were going to make cookies and drop them off each night to the families who fasted that day. It has been a lot of work, but it shows our appreciation and love and they want to help out even more. When the Lord sees that we are willing, and that we will sacrifice, He will give us His sheep to watch over, but until we earn that trust, success just won't be there. As missionaries we can do everything that we can, but we NEED the members. They are the key to our success and we are so grateful for the miracles that we have seen happen. I know that this is the Lord's work and there is no way that I could do it without Him. I feel so humbled and blessed and I know Heavenly Father is looking out for us.
Other than that, our week has been a normal work hard missionary week! Everyone in our District had baptisms this weekend which was so exciting! We were able to be there to support all of it and it was amazing. When I got to this zone 4 months ago, baptisms were at an all time low and everyone was struggling. As a zone, we made a huge focus on not just finding the investigators, but helping them progress and miracles have happened. Just this year, our stake has had 20 baptisms and we have had so much success as a zone. I love being involved in the work. The Lord is truly hastening His work and we all need to be "anxiously engaged" in that good cause. I was talking to Brother Kezele about Christ's second coming and how I feel that us and missionaries and you as members are truly preparing the world for His glorious return. He told me that he has good friends serving a mission in Independence and they recently told him that the apostles gather often in Independence and that they are literally pleading for the Savior to return because the world is so bad. It has really hit me that we need to be prepared because it won't be pretty. Being on a mission, I am shielded from most of what goes on in the world , which is awesome, but we still hear what is going on in the news from members and what not. It is terrible, but what a blessing it is to have the Gospel in our lives and to know that we don't have to fear what is to come. It brings me so much peace and comfort and I am so grateful.
Here's your assignment: If you haven't already, go onto lds.org, and type in "Abide with Me Mormon Message." It is such a simple, but such a powerful message about how we can find peace in this crazy world. :)
This week, a Sister that I am really close to was injured and was burned really badly, so please keep Sister Bly in your prayers that she will heal and that she will be able to be comforted through this hard time. We have gotten to be with her a lot through everything and it has been nice. She has just been such an example to me. She has been so positive through this whole thing and has taught me so much about trusting in the Lord's plan and that everything happens for a reason. She is like, " I can either be angry about what happened and make the whole situation worse, or I can choose to be happy and positive and thank Heavenly Father for giving me this trial." Wow, she is incredible and I am so grateful for her in my life. I am so thankful that I get to be a part of the Lord's army and that I get to be around these amazing missionaries everyday and that I am able to work with them. I know I am not perfect, and I have my weaknesses that I continue to work on, but I know that Heavenly Father is aware of us and He knows that we are trying. I may have already shared this with you, but I read a talk that said, "The Lord does not expect perfection, He only wants to see progress." I love that. As Brother Kezele says, "We get up each day, and just keep packing our handcarts and pulling them up the mountain." Even though we all have trials and hard things in our life, I know that if we rely on the Lord, we can get through anything. Ahhhh, the Gospel is amazing!
I love you all and am so grateful for your support. "Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent. Till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, 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." The work keeps on rolling forward and it is truly amazing! Have a great week. I love you all!
Love, Sister Bigs