Sunday, August 17, 2014

Be an example of Christ

I'll start this week off with a question:
"Do those who know you but don't know Christ, want to know Christ because they know you?"

That is a good question to ponder. Are our thoughts, words, and actions reflecting something our Savior himself would think, speak, or do? I have really thought over this the past week or so and as my companion and I have had some intense companionship inventories I have learnt a lot about how much more i need to be refined. It can sometimes be a daunting thought HOWEVER I have faith that as I go forward with hope in the Lords perfecting power He can change me. 
I have never before faced the challenges and discouragements that I am now facing on my mission. My area seems harder than ever before and so does my desire to keep going. Yet I know that it is all for a purpose. Before every great blessing there must be a trial of our faith. It is what we do in those moments of trial that determine our true discipleship. I want people to be able to look at me and say "Wow she is a true example of a disciple of Jesus Christ". I want others to want to know Christ because they know me and know what I stand for- because that is what He stands for. 
Yesterday I had to give a talk at church-scary! And I wasn't given a topic so I had the opportunity to pray about what to speak on and I talked about how to convert our hearts to the Lord. It was something I really enjoyed doing, and I learnt a lot. I can honestly say (my bishopric back home close your eyes and dont read haha) I love giving talks because they give us the opportunity to search things of importance and to really reflect on what we believe and also on what our brothers and sisters need to be strengthened in. Talks are teaching opportunities. 
So yes enough with that soap box for now...
We saw a lot of miracles this week. One of the best was with a woman named Tamara (she says the black woman version-not how mom pronounces it). Anyway we were walking to go visit an inactive member we have never met before. As we were walking we saw a woman at a park with her three little kids and then on the other side of the sidewalk, in the road, there was this more overweight woman REALLY struggling to get a huge coffee table in this tiny trailer. She was really struggling. So I went over to help the struggling woman and at the same time Sister Vos started to talk to the mom but then realised I wasnt near her side anymore she came to help me and the struggling woman. After a good 6 minutes or so of figuring out how to get the table on the trailer we finally did it. The woman was really grateful, we were glad to help. We forgot about the mom and went to visit the member-who wasnt home. That was okay though we werent upset about it. Well as we were walking again past the park we saw the mom, Tamara, there still. We awkwardly made eye contact with her like 3 times then we both looked at each other and said "yup" and walked over. We began talking to her and she told us that she hasnt had her kids baptised yet because they dont know where to do it. She was baptised catholic and her partner is greek orthodox. Her partners parents told her that if she doesnt get the kids baptised they are damned. When she told us that her face screwed up real tight. That was one sign. Well we introduced the Book of Mormon and then my companion said just as I was also thinking it (companionship unity at its best) "Well we believe that children do not need to be baptised till they are eight years old, that is the age we know that they are old enough to make decisions for themselves. Babies are innocent and are saved through Christ" she looked so shocked and said "FINALLY! Someone who agrees with me! I thought I was the only one who thought kids shouldnt have to be baptised". She was seriously so happy. We talked a bit more and gave her a Book of Mormon and then exchanged information. She was so excited to see us but said she was busy but told us to call her in two days for sometime the next week. We were so excited.
Sadly, however, when we called back she told us her partner doesnt want her to see us and she has to respect his wishes because she loves him. She said she was really upset about it and she thought we were lovely and it was interesting what we had to share but she couldnt see us. It really broke my heart but at the same time we recognised she was using her agency and we had to respect that. At least she has a Book of Mormon in her home. It just got me a bit down because we have found SOOO many people placed in our path that are prepared and we can see them learning and getting baptised but for whatever reason they just stop. I also lay in bed at night and ponder if I did enough or what more I could have done or shouldn't have done, whatever. But always the spirit testifies to me that I did do my part, that my invitation to learn more was enough. That is so calming to me since I am such a worry wart haha. Thankfully my Heavenly Father is so patient with me.
I realise that I have a really bad habit of negative self-talk and that is something that I am really working on changing. Thankfully I am here on a mission trying to change it and not back in the real world with all of you. The Lord knows how to help keep my head up from the churning waters, and that is by having me out here preaching the gospel. I am immensely grateful for the time allotted to me to serve as a full time missionary.  It has been the greatest experience of my life thus far. I only wish I could share this same joy with all of you-especially my inactive or nonmember family members. But I have the hope that someday you will want to know Christ because you know me and my siblings and my parents. That is all us members of the Lords church here on earth- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints- can do, "be an example unto the believers". 
I dont really know all that the Lord has in store for me here in this area, in this companionship, or for the last few months of my mission but I know that as I continue to do my best and just BE that example that I will see His miraculous hand unfold before me. 
Well I love you all. Hope you have a great week!

Sister Boiteux

p.s. if anyone ever has any gospel questions they are studying let me know them so I can study along side you! I LOVE QUESTIONS! :) 

Bye Sister Clegg! See you in America in 4 months!!

Dinner with the Senior Missionaries-They are AWESOME!

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