Monday, June 10, 2013

Love = Work

Elder Heath Tenney
2922 Dunstan Dr. NW
Warren, OH 44486    

Sent: Monday, June 10, 2013 11:34:53 AM
Subject: Love=work

Hey family and friends!
So 1st of all to answer a few questions from Mom. The ugly ties... haha. So we have this box in our apartment, filled with ugly ties from previous missionaries that they left in the tie box. So every monday is "box tie monday", so we all wear ugly ties on Mondays.
This week was rainy and kind of gloomy all week, so I think people were letting the weather get to them or something because we had SO many appointments cancel haha. But we always got to visit with someone to help them come closer to Christ. It was still a really good week.
I am learning a lot about loving people. I pray every single night for "the pure love of Christ" and I seek to act on it throughout the day. But I seemed to have kind of lost sight of the work part of it. It doesn't just take a few acts of service to increase your love, sometimes it takes a change in lifestyle. So with Investigators and also other missionaries, I tried to work this week and put in more energy, thoughts, and work to increase my love for others. Mom said something in a letter this week that helped me a lot. She talked about how when you love someone, you love the whole package. You love everything. You don't pick and choose, you just have to decide to love-even if that includes loving their faults and loving them through the things that may bother you. People don't change because you want them to, they will change when they want to. So the only thing we can do sometimes is just love them unconditionally and completely. With investigators and my companion, I really need to just love everything. So that is something I have been working on.
On Wednesday we visited Raul in the hospital again. I found out what the problem was, he had serious surgery for some stomach problems that suddenly came up. So he has to just sit down and rest for 6 weeks which means he can't come to church till then. :(
But anyways we visited him in the hospital and his fiance Anna was there. I shared one of my favorite scriptures with them from Moroni 7 that talks about charity. And talked with them about the love of Christ. Then Elder Payne and I sang "Soy un hijo de Dios"(I am a child of God) to them. We sang "Soy un hijo de Dios, y el me envio aqui. Me ha dado un hogar y padres buenos para mi. Guien me ensenen me la senda a seguir, para que algun dia yo con el pueda vivir." As we sang this I thought of my parents and what an incredible blessing they are to me, and I really feel the love of God through them and I know that I really am "un hijo de Dios". And I need him to guide me and teach me so much. The spirit came into the small hospital room. Anna began to cry as we sang. It really didn't make much sense from an outside perspective because we both have horrible voices, but she told us "cantaron con sus corazones. Lo senti" she said "you sang with your hearts, I felt it." I say it every week, but there really is nothing like being able to help others feel close to Christ through their native language. Even though Elder Payne didn't understand the words he was singing and I didn't sound very good, the spirit was there because what we sang is true. We really are children of God and He really has sent us here.
Thursday was one of those days I was talking about where it was gloomy and people didn't seem very happy. We tracted for 3 hours in the rain and everyone just seemed kind of...bleh. So it kind of got to me after a while and I started treating it more like something administrative and forgot the spiritual part of it. And when we finished, I really felt a difference. I didn't feel as accomplished. That night I realized why I didn't feel good and it was because I let it become more of a check list thing, rather than viewing it as saving my brothers and sisters. So I committed to myself that I would do my best to always make tracting or anything I do as a representative of Christ a spiritual effort and not lose sight of the significance of what I am doing. The next day there was a huge difference. It was still kind of gloomy, but I made sure I made it a spiritual effort. Even though we didn't have much success I was happier.
Saturday we had another lesson with the P. family, it was kind of all over the place because people were walking in and out of the house and yelling. But there were definitely moments of peace. We taught Lucy about the plan of salvation. She said she had always felt like we lived somewhere before this earth, and that made so much sense to her. I asked her about how it felt when she held her 1st child in her arms for the 1st time. She said "Oh, I just can't even explain it. So much happiness. And peace. I could tell that there was so much more to her than just this tiny body." It really brought the spirit in. I really don't know how someone could ever hold a new born baby in their arms and doubt that there is a God. The Plan of Salvation really brings me so much peace to know that Heavenly Faher has a plan for me and for all of us. There is no need to worry if we just follow His plan.
Lucy told us that she always feels peace when we come over there and talk with her. She said she never really gets to feel peace anymore because her kids are mostly living in the world not living good lives and she works constantly, but she feels peace meeting with us. I asked her if she would want to feel this peace all the time, and she said "of course". I promised her that she can have this peace all the time. It is the peace that comes from following the plan Heavenly Father has given us, and when she is baptized she can have this peace. Its a peace that comes regardless of financial or family circumstances, it is peace from within. She said she really wants that.
When I said that to her, it wasn't just something I had heard someone at church say once or something like that. It really is true. Peace comes from following Heavenly Father's plan for us. I know that is so true. She hasn't received her answer yet, but keep praying for her please!
Yesterday we met with Mirah to teach her about the Book of Mormon. Mirah is a referral from Issac, a 14 year old boy in the ward. Mirah is his bus driver. This kid Issac is amazing. He loves the gospel so much and he does so much to share it with others. So we went with Issac and his dad over to Mirah's. Brother D., Issac's dad, is so smart. He knows so much about the scriptures and it was really helpful to have him there. He explained so clearly to her how it makes sense that we would have a prophet today. God had prophets in the old testament with his church, and in the new testament after his death, so why wouldn't we need it today? Mirah really thought about this and you could see her mind just pondering this. We read the introduction with her and talked about the peace that comes from the Book of Mormon and how it helps us to grow closer to the Savior. I told her with all of my heart that I know this book is true. It really has changed my life. It continually strengthens me, guides me, and pulls me closer to the Savior. I have no doubt that it is true because I have seen myself and my life transform from consistently studying it. I really do know that The Book of Mormon is the words of Christ, it is a miracle. It will change anyone's life who reads and ponders it with a sincere heart. I don't know if Mirah felt it, I hope she did, but I felt the spirit so strongly telling her about the miracle of the Book of Mormon. It is such a blessing to the world and I am so blessed to share this blessing with others.
I really am doing well. I have felt your prayers a lot (especially Dad's prayers for me to be patient with myself). This work really is a big deal. It's laboring for the souls of God's children, our brothers and sisters. If we just stay focussed on Christ, I know we can receive His power to do it. He is the center of this work. I am so grateful for my Savior who purifies, strengthens, and redeems me. I love Him so much.
I love you all! I hope you have an awesome week!
Elder Tenney

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