Note the “u”. I may talk like an American, but I’ll never spell like one.
Having no fear really is the key to missionary work. Whether that be as a full time missionary, or as a member. Who cares what their reaction will be? The worst they can do is say no…
Anyways, throughout the week, I write down things in the back of my planner about what I want to include in my weekly letter. Well guess where that planner is? On my desk at home. #murmurlamanstyle
Missionary days are long but weeks are so, so short.
Okay what happened this week…
I don’t have a lot of teaching stories for you because we don’t have a lot of investigators…. yet 🙂 This area has so much potential and I can feel it! There are prepared people hiding somewhere in Toronto… and we will find them!
There is some mega construction going on in our apartment building. They’re tearing apart our concrete balconies and replacing them. This requires a lot of really. loud. drilling. It usually starts about halfway through our personal study Monday through Friday. During our prayer to open our companionship study, Sister LaPoint prayed that the construction workers would hurry so that we wouldn’t have to yell during our companionship study haha. Well, about ten minutes later, they stopped! And then they resumed right before we were about to pray to leave the house for the day. God answers prayers, my friends.
The Toronto ward is just so awesome. People from absolutely everywhere. We had a ward activity Saturday night combined with the Spanish/Portuguese ward where people set up displays of their home countries and offered samples of traditional foods, and then there was a talent show of different traditional dances and songs. We didn’t get to stay for the whole thing because we had to be home by nine…. but the two dances that we saw were pretty cool! And two of our Italian ESL students came! It was a great opportunity to get to know the members. One member brought a whole bunch of her friends to hear her sing so we were able to talk to them about church, too.
Well. I don’t remember anything else noteworthy that happened this week. 😛
My mom asked me what the most important thing was that God has taught me so far on my mission. It’s hard to pick one thing! But I think I’d have to say that learning to keep an eternal perspective, and learning who God really is. Those things have helped me tremendously. Toronto is so diverse. There really isn’t one “main” religion around here because you have every single religion ever right here. The most common response that I get from people who aren’t learning about our message, is that “There is one God. We all worship the same God.” True; there is one God. But we certainly do not all worship the same God because we all disagree about who He is…. if you even think that “He” is a man, or even a person at all. Because we all think differently, we all have different ideas about how He wants us to worship Him. The number one thing that Satan wants to confuse is who God is. If he can distort that one doctrine, then nothing else matters.
As a side note, when I write these blog posts, my main audience in my mind is my family. I have no idea who reads these things. So if your faith is different than mine, this might be a little confusing to you… Here are some links explaining what we believe will happen to us after we die, and helps to explain what these different kingdoms are that I’m talking about.
So here is what I have personally learned about the nature of God while serving my mission so far.
Let’s think about the three degrees of glory for a second… We are told that even the Telestial kingdom is glorious. These are people who were content living in their sins, who were content to never know God, who openly disregard God’s commandments… and yet, God loves them enough to send them to the telestial kingdom, and not into a fiery inferno of endless woe and misery for eternity. It may be the lowest degree of glory, but it is glorious nonetheless.Think about all your friends and family members who are not in the gospel… they’re not “bad” people. God still loves them! It probably hurts Him more than it hurts them that they aren’t worthy to enter the Celestial kingdom and live with God and their families for eternity. Those types of people aren’t going to live with God because they’re the ones who chose not to. God loves them so much that he doesn’t want them to be in a place that would make them uncomfortable. Logically, I would think that living eternally with a God who you know you didn’t serve would make you preettty uncomfortable. Buuuut of course we need to remember the blessings associated with living with striving for the Celestial kingdom. Telestial just won’t cut it for me. As content as some people will be living in the lowest degree of glory, I certainly won’t be because I wouldn’t be with my family. I wouldn’t be eternally progressing, and I wouldn’t be reaching my potential that I know God sees in me. I would know that I fell short. The Plan of Salvation just MAKES SENSE, my friends! It makes SO MUCH SENSE! And I love it! God wants all of us to return to live with Him in the end, but knows that some of us, because of our own agency, won’t. And so He has provided a beautiful place for His children to dwell in the eternities. Of course, the scriptures talk a lot about hell and damnation and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth… but, that will take place before the judgement. That is where justice takes place. God is just, and God is merciful. God knows the desires of our hearts. And as I have studied the scriptures and lived His doctrine, I have finally been able to really dig in and understand how this whole justice and mercy thing balance out.
The Plan of Salvation as understood by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a beautiful doctrine that I am so grateful to have a knowledge of. I know that it’s true. I know that God loves all of His children, regardless of our religion. I know that every single one of us here on this earth is a child of God. I know that He wants all of us to return to live with Him someday. I know that this life is a time for us to prepare to meet God again. I know that living the gospel of Jesus Christ is essential in that preparation process. The message that I share, along with 88000 other missionaries, is true. So if you haven’t already, take time to really listen to what they have to say. This gospel is for everyone. You are never “too old,” “too unworthy,” or “too stuck in your ways” and you certainly haven’t “messed up too much” to accept the message that we share. All we do is invite. It’s up to you to accept and act on the message that we share. It won’t come all at once. Understanding comes over time through prayer, study, experience and keeping God’s commandments. Experiment. God wants us to try it out. The promise is outlined in the Bible: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” -John 7:17. The only way to know if anything that I share is true is to study it, pray about it, and live it. The answers and the blessings will follow. I testify of that. I came to understand who God was through that very process. I’ve been a part of this church my whole life and here I am still learning new, simple things every day. I love having this opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ 24/7. I love being able to share His gospel with every one that I meet. Because it’s just so true! It really is the key to happiness! It blesses lives! It blesses families! I witness the change the gospel brings in myself and in others every day.
I really do, sincerely love you all. I may not even know you very well. I may not even know you at all! But whoever you are, I love you. God loves you too. I feel it.
Until next week,