Happy February!

Hi Family and Friends!

What a wonderful week it has been here in St. Louis. We have had ample time to work in our area this week and it has been such a blessing. Being in the office, we are quite busy with other things besides proselyting in our area. I’ve been greatly missing teaching and talking to people about the gospel and seeing their lives change right in front of me. We have been focusing this week on contacting several referrals, because our other counterpart missionaries in our area have over 25 to contact in their area of the ward. And we finally split them up between each of us.

Valorie Young lives with her two sons who are turning 18 this week – Jerv-e and Jervon. She is a bible referral. We stopped by to deliver the bible, and talked more about what we do as missionaries, and came back later that week to have a lesson with them. We taught the restoration lesson, and all participated. Jerv-e apparently has spent many hours studying the bible, and has a good understanding of it. He blew us away by his answers to the
questions we would ask, and Valorie felt that everything we had shared aligned with what she wanted for her family. She opened up to us after we
had a kneeling prayer having her pray, and she thanked us for coming by. She told us that her husband is in prison for manslaughter and used to be a
minister and how hard that has been on her family. She wants something where her kids can go and be part of because they don’t like to hang around
with bad crowds. She loved us visiting and loved the things we taught her.She defiantly felt the spirit, and even mentioned that she felt it directly. We had a lesson scheduled 3 days later, tonight actually and she texted us yesterday saying that her husband is against her meeting with us anymore… That is so sad! She asked us not to stop by anymore because her husband has a different plan for his family for spirituality and she wants to stay committed to him. Anyways, really heartbreaking, but I know that trials do come, Satan does work hard on people. I pray that things can work out. We did out part, if not we are planting seeds for the future.

This week I was thinking a lot about how the Gospel changes Lives. About 1.5 years ago, I really wanted to commit myself to being converted to the
gospel, and truly doing all the things I should be doing. I knew it was right to do them, but for a LOOOONG time, I wasn’t. Since the beginning of
Senior year, I wanted to read the scriptures and pray with intent everyday. I do have to say, I was able to most days. Most days, however, I would fall
asleep…. But I really didn’t feel that reading and praying was really changing myself, or who I was. This last few Sundays in Gospel Principles, we were talking more and more about the Character of Christ. And I really didn’t feel that I had changed. Yes, I had spiritual experiences, but I really didn’t feel changed by them. I think this is an important principle in the Gospel, that we change when we see revelation in our lives from Heavenly Father. And when we receive that revelation to do better, we then use the atonement to help us change. A lot of that time, revelation doesn’t come all at once light flicking a light on in a dark room – but a lot of the time it comes gradually, like a Sunrise. I don’t know who’s talk from conference this is, but I’ve been really reflecting on it. This last week one morning, it was a beautiful Sunrise. It has been rather cold here for the last few months, and this was the first warmer sunrise-ish morning in a while. We were driving down the freeway to our area, and a though came to me with the sun blaring across the freeway, that an immense light had *indeed *entered my life. I was no exempt from the truth that the Gospel changes lives. A lot of time, as we make righteous actions and choices, and continue, we don’t necessarily see the changes that comes over a long time of those choices. It’s incredible how God set it up that way; so we consistently have to improve little by little, until that perfect day. So my words are, don’t give up. Don’t let Satan win the battle over your life. You are the key player here. Who’s side are you going to stand. Are you going to open the door to let the Savior in your life? Are you going to have enough humility to use his Atonement. This battle is real. So what are we going to do? What are we going to change in our lives? What is our end goal? For me, I want to stand in front of my Savior and have him look me in the eyes and say, Thou Good and Faithful servant. I have a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Time is my best friend, also my worst enemy. Learning the gospel is a life-long adventure. There are no shortcuts, but your progression is determined by diligence and choices and a willingness to follow your Savior Jesus Christ.

Have a wonderful week!! Thank you for all you do!

I love the Gospel! I live it! I love it!