Sunday, November 10, 2013

Faith is Allowing God to Work

"Faith is Allowing God to Work." that's my new slogan haha. Gotta get myself out of the way and let God work through me to touch the lives of other people. Can't do it on my own, ya know?

Short run down of the week and then some spiritual insights, aye!

Andrea said she doesn't want to get baptized.. and we're not sure about Roxana. She hasn't called us back in a few days. We wrote Andrea a little note and took it to her just to tell her we love her and will support her, but we hope she makes the right decision. 

Eausavio and Jose (brothers and investigators of the other Hermanas) are getting baptized tonight! Finally! I am really happy and excited about this baptism because I have gotten to know E & J really well at church, english classes, activites, etc. they've been through a lot and this will be a great step. Mom - I'm going to use one box of brownies for them i think (: so thanks for sending those!

Miracles despite difficulty: We were walking away from an apartment complex and I remembered meeting someone that lived there, her name is Magda but she'd never let us talk to her for more than a minute at the door. I felt we should go see her.. and I was a little nervous about asking my comp to change our plans. But I did. We knocked. and she let us in. Talked to Magda for an hour. She has 2 sons that live with her and they remind me so much of Mitchell and Cameron it's hilarious. It was just a sweet tender mercy. Hopefully we will talk to her again.

I want to share a story with you that explains how I've been feeling this past week and how my testimony and Faith in God has grown as a result. My mission prep teacher at BYU read it to us and I asked him to email it to me right before I left on my mission.

Pushing a Rock:

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and the Lord appeared. He told that man that he had an important work to do. The Lord then showed him a large rock in front of his small cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all of his might. So, obediently, this man did.. day after day!

For many years, he toiled from sunup to sundown, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving boulder, pushing with all of his energy. Each night the man returned to his cabin, exhausted, worn-out, discouraged, the adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture, as he always does...

He placed thought in the man's mind such as "you have been pushing against that rock for a long, long time and it hasn't moved! you aren't strong enough. It can't be done." He gave the man this impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thought disheartened the man. 

"Why am I killing myself over this?" he asked himself.. "I'll just put in my time giving the minimal effort and that will be good enough."

And that is what he planned to do.. until one day he decided to make it a matter or prayer and take his troubled thought to the Lord Himself.

"Lord," he said in desperation, "I have labored long and heard in your service, putting all my strength into doing what you asked, and yet, after all of this time, I have not even moved that blasted rock by even a millimeter! What is wrong with me? Why am I failing?" 

The Lord responded compassionately, "Who told you you were failing? My friend, when I asked you to serve me, and you accepted, I informed you that you task was to push against the rock with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength and you have done that! Never once did I mention that you were expected to move it! Your task, my son, was to push and now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed.. but is that really so? Look at yourself! Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are calloused from constant pressure, and you legs have become massive and hard."

He continued, "Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass those which you used to have... yet you haven't moved the rock. But remember, your calling was to be obedient and to push and exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom. This you have done... "

"Now I, my friend, I will move the rock." (Author unknown) END.

Friends and fam, I don't know why sometimes things don't work out.. but I know there's a reason. and I know with all the certainty of my heart that we have a loving Father in Heaven that DOES know. He challenges us for our benefit and I have seen that more than ever as I do His work. 

I have noticed a great difference in myself since starting my mission. My faith has grown. I rely on the tender mercies of my Savior and I fall to my knees in gratitude when things DO work out. And, for some reason, I have developed a sense of unshakable peace. Not gonna lie to you, I get discouraged sometimes, but as I read my scriptures and pray for help and guidance, I am filled with a reassurance that everything is going to be okay and everything "will work together for your good." 

I love what it says in the Book of Mormon: 

Jacob 4:7

 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our aweakness that we may know that it is by his bgrace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

I love you all so much. I love this Gospel. I know our Savior lives as does our Father in Heaven. I know the love they have for each of us is incomprehensible and yet beautifully simple in that they never leave us to figure things out on our own so long as we are willing to ask for that divine assistance. 

Have the best week and know that you are in my constant prayers.
Con amor,

Hermana Skidmore