Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

Week 27

Boy does it feel good to repent! I have learned so much about repentance this week! When I say repent, I am not necessarily talking about in prayer (although that is an important part of the process of repentance). I am more talking about repentance as change...improvement. For example...honesty circle here: The branch had been planning this Grill for about 3 weeks. Sis. Pok and I knew about it, we wanted it to be successful, but we weren't really doing any thing about it. On Tuesday, we recognized our fault!...keep in mind the Grill was on Saturday! We hadn't contributed a single thing to this Grill! We hadn't even told a single investigator about it! This is where the repenting came in...I didn't necessarily get on my knees and apologize...I ACTED! We recognized that we were in the wrong. We stopped doing what was wrong. And we started doing what was right! Once we realized that we had been slacking on our end, instead of saying: "Oh well! Too late!", we decided to start doing what was other words: repent! We immediately started making plans for what we could do to help! We called people to prepare a spiritual thought, we put together Family: Proclamation to the World as party favors, we made invites, we called and texted everyone, etc. We changed! We improved! We stopped being complacent, and started being proactive! We repented! And boy did it feel good!

I learned that repentance is always hardest in that moment where you have to humble yourself! It is so hard! You say a rude remark to someone, you realize it was wrong...and then it's that really REALLY hard moment where you have to admit that you were wrong...where you have to humble yourself. But as soon as you do it, you feel so much better!! We feel better because we're repenting! We are tapping into the first steps of repentance...of using the Atonement of Jesus Christ! It is through Christ that we can feel better! It is through Christ that we can be relieved of guilt and shame! What an amazing gift we have! Yes repentance can be hard...but it's only that first step that is hard! If there is something in your life that you recognize you're not doing all that you could, or that you're not doing what you should...I encourage you to take that deep breath, admit (to others if you have to, to yourself, and to the Lord) that you were wrong...and then allow the Lord to help you to change! It's never too late! Even for us...with the Grill on Saturday and our first step of repentance on Tuesday...we ended up having 2x as many nonmembers at the Grill than members! The Lord will always enhance and sanctify your efforts to change, to improve, to repent.

Maybe it's just because Sunday's are the most recent days to when email, but I always feel like I write about Sunday's in my letters home! But again, this Sunday was so great! Such a wonderful Branch (smaller church congregation than a Ward) we have here in Wroclaw and every time I go, I feel edified! I always feels the Spirit and am Always uplifted! What an amazing thing. People we talk to every day say: "I don't need church. I am my own church. I pray every day. I read the Bible every day. Why do I need a church? I'm too busy for church." The list goes on and on. But something that's amazing about the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that the "church" helps you develop yourself. This is a church of people. Yes, I suppose it is an institution...but really, how could anything function without organization? But it is not the institution that receives or gives inspiration. It is the people that make up this church! The people that lead the ward, the branch, the relief society, the stake, the district, etc. are amazing people who we can be strengthened by! Even more amazing about this church is that anyone can be in it! You don't have to pass a test or memorize so many scriptures to contribute! Everyone can contribute! Even if you're not a member! I find this something truly amazing and a true sign that this is the true church of Christ...because Christ Himself would never turn anyone away from participating or contributing if they had a desire to!

Sister Poklinkowska and I are doing wonderfully! We, together, are stretching ourselves. We're trying to replenish our teaching pool and have been looking for more people to teach. In doing so we've been getting out of our comfort zones and trying different ways of talking to people...trying our hardest to be genuine and not just strive to get their phone number, but really try to get them interested in the message! It's much harder because it is a lot more of OURSELVES that we are putting out there...we've started wearing our heart on our sleeves...and gaining a greater understanding of what it means to give our whole HEART to this work. Genuinely telling people how much this message means to me, and having people not care in the slightest, has given me a greater appreciation for what I do know! As I have been sharing more of my own heart, I have recognized how much I really cherish every piece of knowledge that I preach!

Miracle! Yesterday, we ran into someone that we've been trying to get a hold of all week! We were SHOCKED to see her and Również was pretty shocked to see us! But it turns out that she just didn't have credit on her phone to call us but has thinking about us all week!! We obviously set up a meeting and she is so prepared to hear the gospel! We are so excited to see her on Tuesday and so amazed at how the Lord literally puts people in our path! I love the Lord and I love this work!

Funny: Sister Poklinkowska and I were talking about how people probably thought that when we invited them to the Grill that it was a trap for baptism! "Hi ma'am! We're having a party this weekend! It will be at a pool! And everyone is going to wear unique, body length swimsuits!" We were laughing pretty hard about that one!

Sister Kendall Blake

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