Week 36 in the Utah Provo Mission

A sister at our stake conference took this picture of Hermana Bonilla and me. The sister has a son out on a mission.

A sister at our stake conference took this picture of Hermana Bonilla and me. The sister has a son out on a mission.

Me quedo en la MISIÓN de OREM!

This morning we received the President’s Call list, and we found out that we (Hermana Bonilla and I) will be staying together for another transfer. I am so excited! She is such a sweetheart, and I learn so much from her every day.

I never expected that when I was called here the Lord would want me to continue half of my mission in the Orem to South Salt Lake area in the new Utah Orem Mission (since I was in Provo for the first 7 months of my mission). I look forward to seeing what miracles the Lord has in store for this area, and I am grateful for this privilege from Him to continue serving.

This weekend one of our stakes had their Stake Conference, and during the Saturday session, a member of the Seventy spoke about his experience as a farmer trying to plow his fields, and after some time he was convinced that his fields were literally growing rocks!! At the beginning he and his helpers would cast out the big rocks, and then when he finally felt that it was all done, more rocks appeared. Smaller rocks, but still more. And he continued throwing rocks out. And he is still throwing rocks out. He then connected that to our lives. We will keep throwing rocks out of our lives. We will continue growing in the gospel and alleviating the burden through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This is a second chance church that we belong to. And a third chance and a fourth chance and all the chances we need — all thanks to the Atonement of Christ.

Recently I thought I was making progress, throwing out rocks and clearing up. And then I became discouraged this last week as I started to see that I still have a lot of rocks to throw out. And then the scripture in Ether 12:27 came to mind. “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” I am now seeing that I still have a long way to go. My heart still needs to be changed by the Atonement of Christ. I want to do this work as the Lord would do it — I want to do it in His way, and yet I keep falling. I keep stumbling. But thanks to the Atonement, Jesus Christ can refine my heart. He gives us experiences to help us become what He knows we can become. We just have to trust Him and keep holding on with faith — faith and hope that everything will work out through Him.

My current zone group.

My current zone group.

Every Wednesday we have the privilege of participating in a church building tour. We start out in the foyer with a painting of Jesus Christ and testify of His divinity and how everything we do in the church helps us remember and turn to Him and follow His example. Then we enter the chapel and talk about how the hymns, talks, prayers, and classes all help us learn about Jesus Christ and understand His teachings. Then we move to the pews in front of the Sacramental table, and we testify of the most sacred time of the week — partaking of the bread and water blessed by the priesthood of God. These few minutes are precious moments where we can reflect back on our covenants with the Lord and His Atonement and Resurrection. Then we enter the hallway with the painting of Christ visiting the Americas, and we testify of how the Book of Mormon helps us come to know Christ. Then we enter the Relief Society room with the baptismal fount and testify of the first step we take in following Jesus Christ — baptism by immersion by one who hold the authority of God — and the gift he Lord gives us through his priesthood afterwards to help us continue following Jesus Christ and obeying His commandments — the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is a very special time where we can testify of Christ and help other become acquainted with what we do in the church.

After the church tour this last Wednesday, we went to our appointment with Juana, and she was having a hard time. We walked to the park with her and talked, but nothing that we were saying comforted her. We sat at a picnic table, prayed, and read 2 Nephi 2 with her. And after we finished reading, we talked about what we each learned. And she got it. She received the comfort and answers she was seeking. Satan wants to make her miserable, but as she keeps trying to follow Christ (however difficult it can be in the beginning), she will be alright. And she was there at church that Sunday with her children! The Book of Mormon truly answers the questions of the soul.

Friday night we had the pleasure of visiting the Salazar family. We talked about their baptism and how they felt that day. Then we tied that in to how we can feel every week — clean, at peace, loved — as we partake of the Sacrament. We read 3 Nephi 18:1-12 and talked about that by partaking of the Sacrament, we construct our life in Christ. And what better home to invite a newborn baby (who just came straight from heaven) than a home built on the foundation of Christ.

Sunday was Fast Sunday, and we saw miracles that day. In the morning after ward council we went with a family to visit a new investigator, Axel. And the member family and he just clicked, and he accepted their invitation to come to church with them. And he was by their side the whole time. The father introduced him to the different members, and he made some friends who just put their arms around him and befriended him. Afterwards he told us how much he appreciated the care and friendship, and he really looked forward to reading the lesson for the Gospel Principles Class and the Book of Mormon.

Later that afternoon we visited Alma and her family, and she was physically weak, in pain, and did not feel well, so they didn’t come to church. BUT they are reading the Book of Mormon together!!

The tender mercies of the Lord are real. They happen every day. Keep serving others and sharing your testimonies!

¡Cristo vive!

Hermana Billings

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