Monday, May 30, 2016

Eternal Families

Hello Everyone!

This week has been a good one!! I don't even know where to start! On
Wednesday we had the wonderful opportunity to attend the temple as a
zone with president and sister Woodbury. We were able to participate
in an endowment session and then following we went and did a sealing
session, and each of the missionaries were able to act In proxy for
the children. Originally, I wanted to save my first sealing experience
for when I get married... However, I could not pass up the incredible
opportunity to participate in a sealing session with my mission
president! It was very special to witness and participate in sealings
for the first time and hear of the sacred promises. I am so grateful
for the power of the priesthood and the authority that is given to
bind and seal families here on earth for all time and eternity. True
JOY comes within families! Families truly are the MOST important!

Thursday we had a lesson with one of our new investigators Diamond
that we met in the bus a few weeks ago. We were able to teach her
about the restoration and the power of the Book of Mormon. It was so
great she accepted it all and said she felt like this was an answer to
her prayers and God sent us to her. What was sooo cool is that we had
one of our recent converts come with us and she did such an amazing
job teaching and testifying about the restoration. It was theeee best!
When I first got to the area she was having a hard time getting to
church... We have been working with her a lot meeting with her once a
week and she has been coming to church! She also just received her
temple recommend and her patriarchal blessing. Ah, I love her so much
and I am SO happy for her! I am also very excited for Diamond, I know
the gospel will help provide peace in her life.

On Saturday we had the opportunity to witness a sealing of a family in
my old area. The kappelmans sealing was one of sweetest experiences on
my mission. It was my very first live sealing. The spirit was so
strong... Seeing their whole family there.. Dressed in white! It was
almost as if they were glowing. True joy. TRUE JOY. Is found in the
gospel of Jesus Christ! I am so grateful for the power of the
priesthood and that we have the opportunity to be sealed to those that
we love for all of eternity! Families are forever! Our ultimate goal
is to be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father with our
families! It was so wonderful to see all the people I love from my old
area! It was honestly like going back home to family. Such a tender
experience! All of these relationships I will forever cherish! I feel
so blessed.

Sunday was a day full miracles. For starters. Jess came to church,
always a good day. I can't even get over how amazing she is. Also,
three less actives we have been working with CAME TO CHURCH! It was so
great! Later Sunday evening we had a fireside for all of the new
members and recent converts. We felt prompted to invite Jess to come..
It was PERFECT for her. All of the testimonies given strengthened her
own testimony and answered many of her questions. As a closing hymn we
sang "I am a child of God." She had never heard it before, and as we
sang the spirit was so strong. By the fourth verse she couldn't sing
any longer--tears streamed down her face-- she felt Gods love for her
and knew that she is a child of God. It was such a tender experience.
Jess is very special and I love her so much! Sunday evening after the
fireside we had about an hour until curfew. Sister Webber and I prayed
and felt like we needed to head to the lake to do some contacting. God
led us to a man named Michael. When we walked up to him and introduced
ourselves he said that he had just been praying to God. He told us he
already had a Book of Mormon and wanted to learn more. #miracle. Later
that night we received a referral from some other missionaries for a
solid investigator. God truly does answer prayers. Sister Webber and I
have been working hard and praying to expand our teaching pool. I know
the Lord is blessing us In so many ways. This truly is his work!

This week I have been studying and pondering a lot about covenants.
God must have known because sister Webber and I were asked last minute
to teach Sunday school on "The Lords Covenant People". I have learned
so much and have gained a greater understanding of the new and
everlasting covenant. The promises that we make with God are so
important and as we obey and keep our promise... We are blessed beyond
measure. True happiness comes from obeying and honoring the
commandments of God.  One of my favorite scriptures this week is, "I,
the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I
say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10). The lord is BOUND; there is such
an incredible power in that statement. As we are faithful, and put God
first in our lives we will find joy and happiness, safety and
protection, and peace and comfort. I know this is true. I have
witnessed and felt of the happiness that comes from making and keeping
sacred covenants with Heavenly Father.

I have received so much peace and comfort through the gospel. I know
families are forever and that I will have the opportunity to see
grandma again! I can already feel her here with me.. I know she is
happy, and wants us to be too. Stay strong.. And find peace and
comfort through Jesus Christ. I am praying for you. I love you!

Sister Rachel Parke

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