Monday, October 5, 2015

Discipleship is Our Journey

Hello there family and friends!

What a week it has been. Remember in my last email I talked about
opposition is all things? Well this week has definitely been a
testimony builder! What a wonderful conference session and how
spiritually uplifting it was to hear from the prophet and apostles of
the Lord. I am very grateful for the priesthood authority we are
blessed to have here on the Earth today. The guidance and revelation
received from General conference is always inspiring and strengthens
my testimony!! What wonderful insight and revelation we have received
and now can apply to help us become more converted to Christ!!

So this week... as a missionary you just have to come to accept the
fact that nothing is going to go according to your plans, but is going
to go the way the Lord needs it to be. At first this was really hard
for me to deal with because... Well thanks to my wonderful mother... I
like to have a set schedule.. And when something changes and plans are
altered it sort of throws me for a loop. But like I said... I am
adjusting. (; it's a learning process!
So that being said.... These week all of our appointments fell
through. Don't ask me how that happened... But let me just say, yes,
it was incredibly discouraging. It just makes my heart so sad when
people don't place priority on the gospel, or fail to recognize the
importance of this message! I was "ponderizing" in helaman chapter 10
and likened my situation to that of Nephi. Nephi began to be
discouraged because of the hard heartedness of the people and there
lack of interest in the knowledge of God. However I found comfort in
verses 4-5,  "Blessed art thou, [Rachel], for those things which thou
hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness
declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And
thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but
hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. 5 And now, because
thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless
thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in
faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee
according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary
to my will." What an answer to prayers... The answer always comes
whether it be an answer of peace or direction, the answer comes. I
loved Elder Oaks talk in General conference. "Fear not I am with thee
oh be not afraid." I seek to God for help each and every
day...believing and trusting my prayers will be answered... And they
always are through the scriptures! I have come to gain a greater
understanding of the Book of Mormon and I truly know it was written
for our day to caution us of pride and wickedness. How important it is
that we REMEMBER the Lord and acknowledge him in all things. One quote
I loved from general conference was "it is never convenient  nor
comfortable to stand up for Christ." The world grows farther and
farther from the gospel standards and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
There is no greater time to stand up for what we know to be right!! I
reiterate what President Monson said, live the gospel of Jesus Christ
and be a light unto others! This is easier said than done, but I
testify that as we put the Savior and this gospel first in all things
especially in the decisions we make, we will be blessed in ways we
never before imagined!

So despite the disappointments this week there are always tender
mercies of the Lord to uplift and inspire! The reason the appointment
with Rose fell through is because her husband is strongly Catholic and
found out about her learning about the gospel and he would have none
of it. Not wanting to put her relationship with her husband at risk
Rose decided to give it time and to do some of her own personal study
of the Book of Mormon. After the disappointing news I felt
frustrated.... God had prepared Roses heart to hear of the gospel and
now she is restricted from learning more about it! I then realized
that I needed to have more faith, sister Plomgren and I prayed to know
how to best help Rose and let her know we still care about her and
that God is aware of her. We felt impressed to give her a proclamation
to the family and write our testimonies to her about the importance of
families and the happiness the gospel provides. We brought it over to
her on Saturday evening and talked with her for awhile. She was
touched by the spirit....and received an answer to her prayers.  "I am
trying and seeking for ways to make my family closer. The letter
inspired me. I must say my husband is not aligned with me on my
current course of evaluating the word of God in the Mormon testament
of Jesus. It is something I need to consider. I want my family and
marriage to stay intact, but perhaps there are key Learnings I can
incorporate into our lives from your teaching and scripture." I wish
so badly that We could teach Rose, but I know the Lord has a timetable
for everyone. I pray that Rose will continue to seek and learn from
the teachings and as she does so her husbands heart may be softened.

Sister Plomgren and I have been working hard with the ward council and
priesthood auxiliaries within the ward to know how to best seek out
those who once had a testimony of the Savior and help bring them back
to the fold! We are also striving to build relationships with the
members so that we may gain their trust and they will feel comfortable
sharing the gospel with their friends and family. Often times the work
feels overwhelming because there is so much to be done, and we are
working so hard and don't often have anything to show for our efforts.
But that is exactly what missionary work is.  WORK. I put my faith in
the Lord and acknowledge that if I am working hard and being exactly
obedient he will bless and make me an instrument in his hands. I loved
the quote by Elder Clark in general conference, "We do not have to be
perfect, but we have to be good at getting better."  How true that is
and how powerful the knowledge that the Lord doesn't see us for who we
are now, but as who we can become. And this growth and strengthening
is all made possible through the Savior Jesus Christ and his
everlasting atonement. I am so grateful for my Redeemer Jesus Christ
and for his eternal sacrifice. I testify that the time to prepare and
repent is NOW. The Lord loves all of his Children and wants them to
come unto him! I encourage all of you to seek out those who may be
suffering and share with them the happiness of this gospel!!

Thank you for all of your love and support!! Thank you for your many
prayers, they often carry me and uplift me each day. Please pray for
the hearts of the people to be softened and that missionaries will
have the opportunities to teach and testify! Hope you have a wonderful

Sister Parke

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