Week 23 in the Utah Provo Mission

My current zone.

My current zone.

Despite the little snowstorm (it lasted only two hours or so), we still met in the chapel and had the Technology Conference. It was powerful. The spirit was so strong and changed my whole view of technology, email, Facebook, and my iPad, and it increased my determination to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. This coming Wednesday we are receiving our new iPads.

And for the next 6-8 weeks we won’t be using Facebook. During this time, we will be receiving extensive training about how to use our iPad with more efficiency and dedication to the Lord’s work. One comment really struck me. Why are missionaries being allowed to use so much technology? Well, it’s not just to help further the work of the Lord — we are being trained in the mission field how to use technology for light and goodness, so we can then go out and help others do the same. Technology will stay here in the world — it’s not going away, and there is more to come. And what better place to learn how to use it for good than in the walls of our own home!

I love the caption on this Facebook post.

I love the caption on this Facebook post.

About the Sermon on the Mount [that you are teaching the children in your Primary class this next Sunday], I would mention something about what we can learn from the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon at the Temple. Both in sacred places. Both to his disciples (therefore, we are included.) Two witnesses, and that promise in 3 Nephi 12:1-2 which doesn’t exist in the NT version.

The first three questions can be answered through the experience I had this week. 1. What has been your biggest challenge this week? 2. What has been your biggest concern? 3. What has been your biggest success?

These past weeks I’ve been really struggling emotionally. I don’t know what has been going on — I’ve never felt like this before for such a long period. It hasn’t been fun. I felt down about myself, stressed, frustrated, etc.

But I am proud of myself that I never stopped working. I didn’t give up. I acknowledged what I was feeling to my leaders, to my companion, and to the Lord and appealed for His help. I turned to my patriarchal blessing and the scriptures, seeking for guidance and peace. And the Lord has been teaching me what He says in Isaiah 59:8-9. This work isn’t about numbers — it’s about love, service, the eternal welfare of the children of God, our intentions behind our actions, our conversion, our obedience and charity towards our brothers and sisters, loving them enough not to keep our mouth closed and following the spirit. And through all this, a few phrases and scriptures stood out to me. (I underlined the parts that struck my heart.)

Moses 1:39 “…this is my work and my glory–to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

One of our investigators before he was baptized. What a glorious day!

One of our investigators before he was baptized. What a glorious day!

Alma 29:9-10 “… and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

” And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joythen do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; ….”

Words of Mormon 1:7-8 “And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

“And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of God, yea, the redemption of Christ; that they may once again be a delightsome people.”

The work of the Lord (“my work”) = this is my glory = this is my joy. And through all of this, I have realized that I have been going through a tiny bit like what Moses experienced in Moses 1. As I reflect back, I have realized that Satan really doesn’t want the servants of the Lord to share their testimonies of finding joy in doing the work of God, so he wants to try and tear down those servants.

I was reading Jacob 5:70-75 a few days ago and these parts struck me:

72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; ….

74 … the Lord of the vineyard had preserved unto himself the natural fruit, which was most precious unto him from the beginning.

75 … behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.

(Jacob 5:72-75)

Members of one of the wards--we are sharing lessons to them.

Members of one of the wards–we are sharing lessons to them.

That natural fruit is His children — they are precious to Him, and here I am, working at His side. What an honor this is!

My goals this week: SMILE. BE HAPPY. FIND JOY IN THE WORK. CALL UPON THE LORD AND EXERCISE MY FAITH IN HIM. BELIEVE. LOVE. SERVE.

  1. Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?

My favorite people this week are Alma and the Sons of Mosiah from the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon SO much, and this week throughout my studies, their examples stood out to me, and the example of Nephi in 1 Nephi 17:1-3, 19, 50-51 did as well. Whenever I’m sad, I can turn to the scriptures and they help me calm down, breathe, and keep going forward with an eye single to the glory of God.

  1. What has been your most significant tender mercy?

The most significant tender mercy I have had this week is the ability to notice the many angels whom the Lord has sent in my life and are with me right now. My always supportive family, my companion and previous companions, my district, my zone, the families in our ward and stake, my leaders, and so many more. Angels aren’t just the ones you can’t see — they are those people the Lord places in our lives in the very moments we need them.

Small package that my first companion, Hermana Martinez, sent me.

Small package that my first companion, Hermana Martinez, sent me.

I love you. Thank you for all of your support and love. I can feel your prayers working in me as I strive to become more like Christ as I engage in His work.

Hermana Billings

[The end of Mom’s last e-mail:

Love you beyond infinityyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy… (Can you top that?)

MY REPLY: Yep. I love you “to infiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinity and beyoooooooooooond!!!!!!!!!!!” 😉 ]

Ready to be washed and cleaned.

Ready to be washed and cleaned.

Happy cookie BEFORE being eaten.

Happy cookie BEFORE being eaten.

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