Monday, September 1, 2014

Knock it Off - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

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

Dear Familia,,

It's great to hear that everything is going well! Sounds like you are all adjusting back to school. It's weird, because here in Mesa, all the kids have been back in school for a month.

The heat is going down. Slowly but surely. We are definitely over the worse. It wasn't as bad as last year though!  YAY for Fall!! So fun!!

We have had some great experiences. But I do have to say that it has been one of the hardest weeks I have had in a long time. We had an investigator drop us (which hasn't ever happened to me, I always have dropped them before they have dropped us). It was hard, like someone took my most valued possession and broke it and stomped on it and buried it in the ground. She still likes us and wants us to come by, but she told us she didn't want to learn anymore. I didn't take it personally, but she is someone who really, really, really needs the gospel. I love her so much, and seeing her make the decision to stop progressing really broke my heart.

Then we had some other ups and downs. But all was made up on Saturday. I felt a million times better on Saturday.

Our ward mission leader got sick this week, and he was suppose to teach the 5th Sunday lesson, so guess who got to teach it for him.... that's right... US!! We didn't have much time to prepare because we have had meetings and lessons and shifts at the VC (Visitors' Center). SO on Friday we made a quick outline on points we wanted to cover, then we went to church early on Sunday and prepared it then. It was an hour and a half long lesson. The branch president took the first 45 minutes, then we took the last. It actually turned out really well. We got a lot of participation and at the end, we showed a clip from "The District," and then we did role plays. They all practiced inviting their friends to learn more. We got great feedback. A member family actually requested that we practice with them when we go to dinner this week. So that was great!

Last night I had a nightmare. I'll paste what I posted in my journal.

"Last night, I had the scariest dream....I can't even begin to describe the fear I felt. That's when I woke up. As I laid in bed for a half an hour, I laid there in fear. This morning I am reading in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 22. It is the last book in 1 Nephi and it prophesies of Israel. It is talking about how Israel will be scattered, the gospel will be preached in the last days, and the kingdom of the devil will be destroyed. I especially enjoyed the last few verses, starting from verse 22. It says "the righteous need not fear." In verse 23 it goes on to explain what will happen to the wicked and it classifies who the wicked are. In 25, he numbers His sheep and knows them all. He knows their hearts and fears. In 26, Satan has no power because of the righteousness of God's people. 27, all shall safely dwell if we repent. 30 and 31, testimony of the truth as well as a mandate to follow the commandments. We need not to fear, as long as we are keeping the commandments. When scary things come along, it is important to remember that we 'shall safely dwell in the Holy One of Israel' if...[we] will repent."

What a great promise. See this is why we need the Book of Mormon, to calm our fears and anxieties. Doesn't this give you a desire to be obedient. Seriously, if you are righteous you don't have any reason to fear. When hard things come, or if you are tempted, keep your head up and shoulders back.

Obedience is the first law of Heaven, and faith is the first principle of the Gospel. It's not a coincidence that they go together that way.

But of course, we are all human, we all make mistakes. We all have been disobedient at some point. But this is why Jesus Christ came and suffered, to help us over it.

I feel really strongly about this. The commandments are there to protect us and not restrain us. What gets on my nerves is hearing this phrase: "I hate being Mormon because there are so many rules."........... (Imagine the look on my face right now, it's not a pretty sight).

If you find yourself saying that, knock it off. That's all I have to say.

I'm not here to judge, but to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and to preach the gospel. I'm preaching right now...be obedient to the commandments that God as given you and you will have NO REASON to fear. I testify that this is true.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Sister Lindsey Jeppson
Mesa Arizona Mission

Fruits of my Labor (September 8, 2014)