Friday, November 21, 2014

Build your own temples!

Dear Family,

This morning, we had a fantastic Relief Society!!  We had a special guest come... his name is Brother Clay Christensen.  Have you heard of him?  He is known as one of the most influential business thinkers in the world.  He has written 9 best-sellers and one of his books is known as one of the best business books ever written.  He is also a faithful member of the church and a fantastic member missionary.  He recently wrote "Power of the everyday missionary" and I have heard that it is a life changing book (I have not read it yet because I am currently a missionary. ;)  ).  Needless to say, we were super excited that we was coming and we were not disappointed!  His wife also spoke and she was wonderful as well.  The spirit was so strong in the meeting and I learned a lot and received personal revelation.  He spoke about 2 main topics, 1) the importance of religion in freedom, capitalism, and democracy, and 2) the power of the Book of Mormon and how to use it to answer any questions that we may have (specifically for our investigators).  The first topic was very very interesting.  I like hearing about those kinds of things, and I had forgotten that I liked learning about these things too. haha.  But he talked about how there are 2 ways to create a society that is prosperous and peaceful.  One is to have an honest dictator and force everyone to keep the rules. and the second is to have a democracy with a people that will voluntary keep the rules.  The second way is only possible when there is religion involved because the people would know that even if they were not caught by the law, that they would be caught by God.  Therefore, they will voluntary keep the rules and this produces peace and prosperity. Interesting, huh?!  He said that the work that we do as missionaries is so important, because we are producing worldwide peace and prosperity.  I had never thought as missionary work in that way before, and it is amazing to think about.  I do the work that I do because I love God and the people around them, but there are so many more benefits, like helping to create world peace.  The second thing that he talked about was how to get answers from the Book of Mormon.  He talked a lot about having real intent.  Real intent is different from being sincere.  It is actually being willing to act and do something with the answer that you receive.  You can be sincere and not be willing to act; we see that all the time and it is really sad.  But I have actually done a lot of thought about this and I agree completely.  To get an answer from Heavenly Father, we have to be willing to act on it.  If we are not willing to act on it, why would God answer us?  We will be judged according to what we know and what we did with that knowledge, and God loves us.  So why would he give us an answer that could dam us because we are not willing to act on the knowledge that we have?  He loves us that is why.  When we know how we will act on the answer that we receive, we are far more likely to get an answer.  

Lately I have been wondering if I actually should peruse a career in speech pathology or not. It has been troubling me because there are so many things that I like to do. I have been second guessing myself and what I would be good at and be able to do.  It has been an issue and I have been thinking about it a lot.  I have been wondering because I didn't know if I could make a difference there or if I was good enough to do that. Then Brother Christensen told us about his stroke and how he had to learn how to speak again. It was then that I was reminded and I knew that I needed to go into speech pathology. I have been pondering and praying about this for a little while and I am so happy that I got an answer in this way because it was exactly what I needed.  Heavenly Father really does hear and answer our prayers.  I was not expecting an answer in this way, but I am so grateful for it.

Christmas is coming!! And because of it so many things are changing and we are getting trained on a lot of new things.  Some things are the same as last Christmas, but some things are new.  Our missionary schedule is actually completely changed during Christmas time because we move back 1 hour.  So we will get up at 7:30 and then get home at 10pm and go to bed at like 11:30... I think this change is going to kill me, but it will be okay.  I was actually hoping that the normal missionary schedule would prepare me for my 8am class this winter semester... so much for that! haha!  They did not do the schedule change last year so we will see how it works this year.  There are also different assignments that we do because of the lights and all the people and we got training on that.  ALSO, do you know about the "Because of Him" video campaign?  Well they are doing one for Christmas!!  WE are getting training about that soon as well. :) Yay for Christmas!!
We are having our zone activity today.  We are watching a movie about building the SLC temple and making our own temples out of marshmallows and toothpicks!! We are also having a potluck!  It will be lots of fun!  I will tell you more about it next week! :)

I hope that you all know how much I love you!!  You are all fantastic and I love you so very much.

Love Always,
Sister Stephen

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