Monday, December 1, 2014

Doubt Not, Fear Not

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Mexican restaurant next door

A very messy desk!

Dear Family,
Its hard to believe that another week has gone by and I arm emailing you again! This week was hard! But I am so grateful for every challenge because it really did point me to my Savior. On Wednesday at choir practice (which I am the chorister for) Sister Hiatt came up to me and said "Oh Sister Lockwood, you don't look so good. Are you doing okay? Are you stressed?" Haha, apparently how I felt on the inside was showing on the outside too. This week it just felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders! Training a foreigner is difficult. Sometimes, neither of us can understand what people are saying! Because she's new I have to teach most of the lessons, and it can be exhausting! It also turns out that I still have bad spending surprise there. So I was worried about money, and different expenses that came up in the apartment. We also are doing what's called "Becoming a Master Teacher" and the Sister Training Leaders surprised us and randomly showed up at our apartment to pass us off for ALL of the lessons.  We also had to plan for a fireside for the branch this week, and so many things just kept piling up! Friday afternoon I just felt like I had so many responsibilities and no way of accomplishing it all! I was stressed about our lack of progressing investigators, and I just felt overwhelmed. That afternoon, there was a bagyo, and Sister Teo and I listened to the talk "Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Elder Holland, and it just hit me..."you are not alone." The next morning in personal study I read the talk again by David Bednar "Bear up their Burdens with Ease". It was then that I realized, "Why am I trying to do this alone??" It was such a humbling experience for me to change my mentality and remember that my Savior is waiting for me to cast my burdens on Him. I was comforted and relieved to remember that Santa Monica is HIS area, not mine. These are HIS investigators and less actives, and as long as I am doing my best, He will take care of the rest. Friday and Saturday, I really felt the spirit comfort me and let me know that Jesus Christ is going to help me do this. He knows I can't speak this language perfectly, but He called me to be here and knows exactly what I'm going through. I was strengthened and was able to replace my fear with faith and confidence!
Then, on Sunday, we had 4 less active members come to church! I played the piano in sacrament meeting, so I had a clear view of every person that came in late (hehe) and my heart was so filled with joy! No matter what the ups and downs of the week, Sunday morning when someone comes to church it makes it all so worth it! All week we had really been focusing on our less active members, and it felt SO good to FINALLY have them at church!!!
Also, Sister Teo is amazing. She is such a strength to me and I am learning so much from her faith. She is obedient and hard working and wonderful! It was a goal of mine in the MTC to make every companion my best friend, and with her it has been so easy! I love knowing that Heavenly Father put us together. We have so much faith for this upcoming week and are excited to be lead by the spirit together to new investigators who are ready to progress. That is really going to be our focus this week! New investigators, and specifically families!! We have 2 college campuses in our areas, and so many people we talk to are students, but most of them have class on Sundays! So this week we are really praying hard for families. 
On Thanksgiving this week we ate at the Mexican restaurant next door! It was fun! Definitely not the serving sizes I'm used to on Thanksgiving (;, but it was really great! 
D&C 6:34-37 was my favorite scripture this week and came as a clear answer to prayer. It says "Fear not, little flock; do good. let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet, be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen."
I KNOW that the Savior is always near every one of us! We don't have do go through this life alone. I am so thankful for Him and this amazing opportunity I have to learn how to rely on him.  He really does make our burdens light!!
I love you SO SO MUCH!!!
Sister Lockwood

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