We had a great week and it seems like last monday was 10 years ago. It's amazing at all you can accomplish in one week. Crazy.
Happy Valentines everybody! Valentines day is one of my most favorite holidays and it's all about LOVE. I decided to focus my studies this morning on love and found some really great things that I wanted to share with everyone.
Love is deep devotion, concern, and affection.
We read in Matthew 22:35-40 that the "first and great commandment" is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The second commandment is to "love thy neighbor as thyself". This becomes easier as we remember that EVERY person is a child of god.
John 15:9-15 reads, "...continue ye in my love."
"If ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love..."
v.13 shows us that Christ has the greatest love for us because he payed
down his life for us. Because of this, he knows each of us perfectly and
loves us all. We are never alone.
V. 14-15 tells us that we are Christ's friends
THE greatest chapter of LOVE. 1John 4:7-21
"GOD IS LOVE"
"...love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of god, and knoweth God."
"If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another..."
"If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."
"...he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."
"WE LOVE HIM, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US."
Verse 20 is one of my favorites. We must love our brother so that we can love God.
John 13:34-35 ----> People will recognize us as disciples of Christ if we love one another.
"LOVE ONE ANOTHER; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU."
I hope that each of us can develop more love for our Savior, God, and fellow men this week. Valentines day is a day to be filled with Love and what a better reminder to show more love to all those around us. I know that as we love one another, we will grow closer to God. Because God IS Love!
This week we tracted around the sketchy trailer park in Loomis. It's really not that sketchy, compared to what I saw in yuba city. Haha. We feel like we could have a lot of success there because those people are in more humbling situations, and it's always the more humble people that will listen to us. We met a lot of interesting people, found a less active member who we don't have membership records for, and met the hummingbird whisperer, Madeleine.
We had two amazing lessons with Gerald this week. About 6 weeks ago, when sister Byrne first got here, we taught Gerald about the law of tithing. He had a hard time with that concept and didn't feel like he could pay because his money was so tight. Because he didn't fully commit to paying tithing, we decided to give it another go with him this week. Our lesson on Friday focused on the talk 'The Windows of Heaven' by Elder Bednar from last conference. We were expecting another rejection from Gerald, but at the end of the lesson when I asked him if he would keep the law of tithing, he said Yes! He then went on to explain that he understands why tithing is important and shows our obedience, but he also thought it involved much more of a commitment to God. Uhh...what? Talk about a change of heart. He is all willing and it's awesome. At the end of the lesson, we asked Gerald to say the closing prayer. Gerald compares his conversion to "falling off the edge". When he "falls off the edge", he will be all in and converted. In his prayer, he told Heavenly Father that he had "one foot off the edge" and that he believes in the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph smith. That was the first time he has ever said that he believes. It was amazing! He is so there and so excited for the 22nd.
We have experienced a real miracle this weekend, as we received around 5 inches of rain in 24 hours, plus more when you total up the rain fall for the whole weekend. Our prayers and fasting have been answered. It was amazing to hear members tell us at the beginning of the week that the forecast was going to be in the 70s and as the days went on, the forecast changed to stormy all weekend. It's amazing to see The Lord answering so many prayers. Sister Byrne and I enjoyed the rain so much. We forgot to grab the mail on Saturday night and instead of driving the car back up to the top of the street, I suggested we spontaneously run all the way up there in the rain. So fun. We were DRENCHED by the time we got back to the house.
We were able to finally meet with Dacoda this week. We brought the Elders over the YSA ward along, so that he could feel more comfortable about going to the YSA ward. He is doing well and has committed to pray about March 1st for baptism. Praying and hoping that he will get an answer soon. Elder Austin and I agreed that we think Dacoda already has an answer that this is where he needs to be, he's just scared to act on it. He's scared that he won't be able to live up to the standards...he is so full of faith and real intent, that he has nothing to worry about. Hopefully he will start being serious about meeting with us because he is so much more ready than he knows.
Thank you for the valentine package! I loved it! And thanks to Andrew for bringing it out to me. Gotta love packages. Ya'll are the best of the best!!
I hope that everyone has an awesome week. Enjoy valentines day. Love everybody. Make sure those closest to you know you love them, don't just assume they know. Tell them!
I HOPE YOU ALL KNOW THAT I LOVE ALL OF YOU!!