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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Missionary Moments and Revelation (06/02/2014)

Excerpts from letters dated May 25th and June 2nd, 2014

Hello Mommy! <3
Since I needed to write a GINORMOUS letter I had to switch to actual paper (instead of cute stationary) :)  Sorry I missed two weeks :(
I saw all your questions and got overwhelmed....hahaha just kidding :)
The other sisters in Eugene 1st ward came and hung out with us these past two Mondays so we didn't have time to write letters :( but I did get a 1000-piece puzzle done! Felt supremely accomplished. I'll make sure to send you a picture of it.
Sister Missionaries - Eugene 3rd and Eugene 1st wards. Sister Duenas not in photo as she is taking the picture.
So Sister West is indeed very awesome! She is a bit distracted with going back home in July, but she is still invigorated with the missionary spirit and continuing to find ways to help this ward. Her experiences in life have made her a strong woman and a unique missionary who many people here in Eugene can relate to. She is a bit sad about finishing her mission. It's always a bitter-sweet thing. You get to go home to family and normal life, but you normal life has become mission life and all the opportunities to help, serve, teach, guide and motivate others are drastically decreased. Our mantle will be lifted, name tag retired and our minds having to shift (though just slightly) in priorities in our daily lives. We go 18 months without needing (or having time) to worry about ourselves and have been given the joy and responsibility to worry about the lives of perfect strangers. It's stressful, exhausting in mind, body and spirit, sad/devastating at times and then you have miracles happen. With all the stress and sadness going on around us we can be brought out of that by others. A member who's less active finally comes to church or prays, we find a family to teach, a member gives us a referral, an investigator realizes God's love for them, nobody yelled at us while tracting, an investigator stays all 3 hours at church, someone thanks us for simply dropping by their house in a sad moment of their lives, a member has a missionary moment and feels important and needed....The list can go on and on. These are the moments missionaries survive/live on. It's because of these small miracles that we are able to see our Heavenly Father's hand in everyone's lives. We also see that it is HIS work and He knows exactly how to do it and where He needs us to be. What we must do is to always be prepared and worthy, keeping His trust, that we can be the instruments He needs to help His other lost/wandering children.
In the name of our Savior, Lord, master, Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Amen.

A recent spiritual revelation I got from the scriptures is pretty neat and also pretty eye-opening/heavy. I was reading in 1Nephi about Nephi's long vision of what Lehi saw. 
Chapters 13-15 are what I specifically focused on though. So, Nephi has been given a bunch of new information on the future of his seed and the church, so he's a bit heavy-burdened now. He doesn't even get a breather afterward because Laman and Lemuel are being stubborn and dense again, complaining that they don't understand the things Lehi saw and is now teaching them. Instead of having faith and inquiring of the Lord" as Nephi did, they are pestering Lehi to clear everything up for them. So, here's where the revelation comes in. Laman and Lemuel are smart, they've become educated (taught by their father), they're (occasionally) obedient to their father...they just don't have faith. The moral of the story: don't be like Laman and Lemuel. Make sure you are doing the little things like scripture study, prayer and church attendance. These things are what feed ourspirits, giving our spiritual muscles energy to exercise their faith to become stronger. One can't survive on (several) events of angels appearing to them and hearing the Lord's voice in chastisement. Laman and Lemuel are the evidence of it. Read, Attend & Pray. Makes enduring to the end just a bit easier :)

So, Sister West and Sister Miller were out tracting our area. (I'm on exchange in the Eugene YSA ward/area at this time). They knock on their first door and a young man in his mid/upper twenties opens the door. He's nice as he listens to their message on families being together forever. When finished, he tells the sisters that he's sorry but he's not interested. They ask about his religious background. His reply is that he and his Mom have read many religious books and when he rejects the sisters again, he says "I'm sorry, but the only things I believe in are Buddhism and the Book of Mormon." The sisters pounced and said "So do we! We love the Book of Mormon!" They bare their testimonies and viola! new investigator :) Let me just remind you, this was the first and only door they knocked :) MIRACLES!

Sister Duenas

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