Monday, September 16, 2013

Hola Familia! I had another good week.

This is me because I didn't take a lot of photos this week and it lets you know that I am still alive.
Yesterday we had a conference for this region of Peru that was awesome. We were able to hear from Elder Bednar and Elder Scott. It was a really uplifting conference. I didn't know that Elder Scott could speak Spanish, but his Spanish was really good. We were able to bring investigators to the conference which was great. I was a little bit stomach sick this week, I dont know what's going on maybe something I ate so they have me on medication for that, no worries.
We taught a daughter and mother this week that are really struggling with their family splitting apart due to a divorce. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and they were so full of joy. Especially the mother. They told us that they have never heard of such a joyful message, they knew we must have a purpose to life but they never knew what it was and they didn't understand the real purpose of the sacrifice of our Savior for us. They both came to the conference and loved it. I really hope the best for each of them.

Funny things that happened this week consisted of getting soaked by the rain as usual, praying to have space in our stomachs to be able to eat whatever it was that they were feeding us and getting stopped in the street and asked for an interview. They assumed I spoke English and needed someone who spoke English to do an interview on camera for them. They asked me basic questions like what is your name, where are you from, what is your work and what do you like about your job. This was my response. My name is Hermana Rhoten, from the United States. Right now I am working as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love helping people change their lives and turn to the Savior. I don't really know where it will get used but it was pretty sweet. 

I'm going to take a good chunk of this letter and write to my sister Marissa and advice I wish I would have known as she is preparing to serve a mission. I am including it in this letter because it is advice that I would give to anyone who is preparing to serve a mission at this time. 

So Marissa,

If I were home right now we would convince mom that we were going to bed, wait for her to walk down to the bottom of the stairs and walk into each others room like always and talk about everything. I would tell you everything I wish I would have known and done to prepare for a mission. But I'm not home and I don't have much time or space to write you so I will include the things that I think are the most important. As far as physical things go I have learned from the Peruvian people that you really don't need much to live, a pair of clothes, food, water and something over your head. Everything else you can live without and life goes on. As far as knowledge I could tell you to study Preach My Gospel and the scriptures and memorize them and that would be great but really you will get here and learn from the Spirit what you really need to know for specific people so don't worry to much about that. Just continue to study. So I have come to a conclusion that the best advice that I could give you and the thing I wish I would have done is prepared myself a little bit more spiritually.

From all the scripture study that I have done I have found three attributes that lead to spiritual power and help from the Lord. I realized that what I wish I would have known is the practical application of these three things. 

The first one is faith. Faith is the act of having confidence in the Lord. When it comes down to it, it is nothing more than living a righteous life. You increase it by praying, studying the scriptures and keeping the commandments. Every time you work towards a righteous goal you exercise this faith. The thing I wish I would have known about faith is that it is something that should affect your actions a lot. The missionaries that pray in faith to ask what door to knock is the one that receives the miracle. Trust that God can do all good things for you according to your faith. 

The second is humility. When you arrive on your mission and put on your plaque not a lot changes. You are still you with a plaque learning how to do missionary things. That is going to be incredibly frustrating to you as it was for me. As it still is for me. You have the idea of the missionary you want to be but you are you. There are two ways missionaries change this. You are either humble and change through repentance or the Lord gives you trials to do it. I have learned that repentance is a better option. Learn how to repent. Everyday. Elder Bednar taught that members of the church don't use repentance like they should. They are really good at changing habits but that isn't repentance. Repentance involves using prayer and the Atonement of Jesus Christ not just changing the habit. This will help you change the things you want to change and be the person you want to become.

The last one is obedience. But its not just obedience like you follow rules obedience. There is an important difference between living by laws and principles. A law of God is any commandment and a principle is anything that is given with a promise. We all initially start out living by laws and then change to living by principles. If you live by laws you wont really change you will just do what you are told. You have to be obedient for principle. Your homework is to learn how to switch to living by principle. Study it out in the scriptures and look for examples of how people change to live by principles. If you can't figure it out pray like Enos all day and all night. :) 

If you can learn to apply these things you will be a powerful missionary. The Lord will be with you and you will have lots of miracles. Work on that. If you aren't perfect then you are human. God still loves you. I love you and know you will be a good missionary

Sending my love to all of you and hope you have a great week. I know this is the work of God and that this is His gospel and church. Have a great week. 

Hermana Rhoten

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