Thursday, July 21, 2016

July 5, 2016 - BEcome a Seeker of Good - I love the 4th of July - Sickness strikes again


HAPPY late 4th of July (: It rained the whole day here and looked pretty much like this! Haha, I was so excited to be in WV on the fourth and have a hot festive filled day outside, but plans changed obviously! I love just making the most of our circumstances and finding the positive where I can. I really didn't used to like rain or snow, but the longer I am here the more I realize that the only thing I can change about the situation is my attitude. President says that his ancestors used to say, "There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing". Haha I have found so much joy in this line and I remind myself of it often. Too often we find faults in everything around us rather than just trying to change our point of view!

I have been pondering the line of scripture: "seek and ye shall find" along with the idea of opposition. I have always thought about it in just the positive way: seek good find good! But I think that God is often trying to teach us that if we seek the bad, we will surely find it. just think about it(: and then decide what you can do to BEcome a seeker of good. The Lord promises us the latter part of that will be finding it! 

This week has been an interesting one to say the least! Sis Lee has been so sick all week. She is usually super tough, so I know it is worse than she leads us on to believe. There were many times where I had to plan alone or study alone or that we couldn't follow the schedule to exactness. I gained a testimony of our mission guidelines and how much they help to keep us focused on the work and successful in the work. I also learned that having the WE attitude is crucial to a companionship or team of any sort really. I would think to myself at times: this sickness is really effecting my ability to work or find or whatever it would be, but then I would stop and the spirit would teach me about us. How this sickness is effecting our ability to work or find or whatever it would be. Rather than making the people on our team our enemies in difficult times, it makes much more sense to remember they are part of us.

John ended up coming to dinner with Bishop Hoskin and his family. WOW are friends in the gospel important! I am convinced that because of the love and support he has received he has been able to stand strong. He expressed how overwhelming all of this was for him and that he just needed to slow down. What great news! He went to the student ward this week and the elders updated us by giving us the news that he got up and bore his testimony! Have I told you I love this gospel? Only God knew that the man we talked to about the restored gospel for only a short 5 min would be the one to be standing in sacrament meeting sharing is pure love for that restored truth he was taught. TEACH WHEN YOU FIND and you will find when you teach(:

A few weeks back a member introduced us to a man he had met fishing. We went back to teach him, but he was just so hard to get in contact with. As we went back to reach him, we met his roommate. I know that God never sends us to an area without a purpose for us being there. His roommate has proved to be one of the most sincere and heartfelt people I have met on my mission. His life has been hard to say the least. As we taught him about the restored gospel and the plan of salvation he just could not grasp the fact that Christ wanted to forgive and heal and make whole someone "like him". WELLL we did not give up hope in letting this man know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and readily accessible to all who will receive it. AS we taught and testified his mind slowly opened up to this idea. We directly invited him to ask for forgiveness and we were just notified over the phone a few days ago that he asked!! His experience is one of my favorites. The next day we went for a lesson and I loved to see this man bear his testimony to us that he knew he had experienced the forgiving power of Christ. A GROWN MAN HAD TEARS IN HIS EYES as he explained to us that he felt someone removing what felt like chains that bound him down. It may be an unseen world to us right now, but I KNOW I KNOW that it is real. I know that the power of the devil is real, but that the power of Christ is also real and that it can remove from us our fear, our doubt and our sin!

For brief moments I wonder again why I left everything I knew to come to a strange land where not one face was familiar. Or why I can't call home to my family when they are in the hospital (this seems to be a reoccurring hard spot for me lately), or why I wake up every day with the biggest smile on my face even though I am flat tired, but then I remember THE PEOPLE. The precious souls (and they ARE here and they ARE worth much in God’s sight) that need to hear this restored truth that WILL bless their families and homes. I think of this man, who tells us that a month ago he wondered if he had any direction or purpose in his life. I wonder what he would have done if he never would have met missionaries. I remember that God is in charge, that he knows us personally, and that he is ALWAYS extending an arm of help, love, and comfort. All we have to do is simply do our part and ask. Friends and family: DO WE ASK? Do we understand the reality of the message we have been given? Do we use it? Do we let it make us better? Do we change because of it?

I have been thinking a lot about how a missionary’s purpose is to teach repentance. So really, to teach change. Teach a better way of life! I wish I could express to you how much I love the calling I have and how much I respect this calling. Although what I do is not perfect, I am grateful for grace and the difference my knowledge of it makes in my service. And I am grateful for my desire to be more exactly obedient to God's commands. Doing so blesses me with more faith!!

Just one more quick story! I know my email is long this week. One night as I was kneeling down to pray I just felt darkness overcome me. I think it may have been the night my daddy was in the hospital. It has been a hard week with many ups and downs and I just was scared and comfortless that night. I felt empty and I felt the power of Satan. I wanted to crawl into bed and lay there, but I continued my prayer. In training with president he shared the first vision with us. Not just the part about Joseph Smith seeing God our Father and Jesus Christ, but the part right before that where he tells us that he was just about to sink into destruction before he saw them and that he called out to God to deliver him from the power of Satan. I FELT THE SPIRIT. He encouraged each of us to memorize the full thing. I had been working to do that and it was in my head. The only thing I felt like doing during that prayer was just thinking and saying those words, hoping and praying I would experience the darkness I felt to be removed from me. As I finished saying the words from Joseph Smith History 16 and 17 ( I FELT SO LIGHT. I felt free from the darkness that not even 5 minutes ago was over me. I know that praying and asking God to comfort us works, just like Joseph Smith did. WOW! I know that the scriptures are true and that we are no different from the men and women we read about in them. If we want to see the same miracles they experienced, all we have to do is ask. (: 

Updates on transfers! They are usually every 6 weeks, but this one is only 5 so they are next week! We find out on Saturday who is staying and going, then on Tuesday we find out where we will be going if we are going. So you will find out Wednesday if we are in for another 6 weeks in amazing Morgantown. Fun fact of the day, the founder of Morgatown was Morgan Morgan. Ha(:

There is much speculation that I am out of here, but you never know(: Wherever I go, I am happy to be here and ready TO SERVE.

Sister Justina Campbell
West Virginia Charleston Mission

HAPPY late 4th of July (: 

So, our ward is very transitional because of Med school and really just everyone deciding to get new jobs. These are some more of the families that are leaving us :(

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