Monday, June 9, 2014

Fruit of our Labor - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson, serving in the Arizona Mesa Mission / Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(Note to reader: Highlighted words link to additional information. Some names are omitted for privacy. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)

Outing to the Mesa Temple
Hola familia!!

This was the greatest learning experience week ever. Sometimes, when things aren't progressing the way I think they should, I try something different, then something happens. It's almost like the Lord says, "Be patient, Sister Jeppson, I know what I am doing."

Lately we have been working on finding. There have been times when we have spent 3 hours finding. Sometimes we have success, but most times we don't. We have been walking around some apartment complexes and people's reactions when they see us is almost hysterical. They make some crazy dodges, and a lot of the time they won't even make eye contact with us. It is as though they see us as something that will cause them harm. I have been thinking about why people do that. Then the thought came. I thought of our purpose as missionaries (which we recite everyday):

"Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."

The part that stands out to people is the word "repentance." No one likes to be told that they are doing something wrong. And as missionaries, we call people to repentance everyday. Both directly and indirectly. I can see why they dodge us.

When we hear the word "repent," we feel shame and guilt, so rather than facing it, we hide from it. When we know that we need to repent, the natural man says, "You don't need to repent. It wasn't even that bad." We are ALL human beings, we ALL make mistakes, and we ALL need to repent. It's the natural man that holds us back. We hold ourselves captive from true happiness and joy. The atonement of Jesus Christ can free us from those feelings. We have access to the healing power of the atonement through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Repentance really means change.

God knew it would be hard for us, so he gave us commandments to serve as our guides. I recently read a talk from the General Conference by Elder Robert D. Hales. Here is a quote that I liked:

"Obedience brings blessings, and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. Obedience is taught by example. By how we live, we teach our children, “Learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.” Obedience makes us progressively stronger, capable of faithfully enduring tests and trials in the future. Obedience in Gethsemane prepared the Savior to obey and endure to the end on Golgotha. My beloved brothers and sisters, the words of Alma express the feelings of my heart:

“And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him. And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times.”

Zone t-shirt: "Where is your baptism..."
"I bear my special witness that our Savior lives. Because He obeyed, “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess … that he is [our Savior].” May we love Him so deeply and believe Him in faith so completely that we too obey, keep His commandments, and return to live with Him forever in the kingdom of our God is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

On a more up beat note.... we have seen the fruits of our labors this week.

1)  A few months ago we received a referral. We went by multiple times with no success. Last week, we went by with the intention to drop. She wasn't there. So we left a note on her door that basically said call us if you want to learn more. The next day she called us! Couldn't even believe it! We set an appointment and visited her. She is amazing. She accepted the invitation to be baptized, now we just have to set a date!

2) Sunday morning we were on shift at the Visitors Center (VC). There were only two companionships and a senior couple. Sister Ballard (the senior sister) came and got us because a man was requesting information about the nearest ward building in Spanish. When she gave us the address, I realized it was in our area. We went and found him and found out that he wasn't a member of our church, and that he came to the VC for Easter Pageant and has been looking for our church. We exchanged numbers and he came to all 3 hours of church!!

3) PEPE Y PATRICIA GOT BAPTIZED!! The biggest miracle of my mission. It was amazing. It was a little stressful to coordinate everything, but it went so well! President Jenkins even went! Brooke (sister DeMille) came down and spoke at their baptism. It was so good to see her again. On Sunday when they got confirmed, he actually wore a white short and tie! I couldn't believe that either! The ward accepted them and welcomed them. It was a great experience!

Great week!!!

Hope all is going well!!

I would love to hear from you all! I will try to write back as soon as possible!

Love you all!!

Love

Hermana Lindsey Jeppson

Hand Fans and Llamas (June 3, 2014)

Didn't See THAT Coming!  (June 16, 2014)