57: Do hard things

IT IS SO HOT! And it’s only getting hotter! Luckily where we live there’s a pool… but we only keep our feet in there when we’re reading our scriptures. No swimming for missionaries.

Anyways, the work is trucking along at its steady pace. There’s not a whole lot to report this week- we’re teaching some pretty cool people as always, but pretty much all of them are either flakey or on probation (which just makes the process longer if they desire to be baptized).
I’m having a blast with my buddy “Senorita Becky,” and we’re working and praying hard for miracles.
Being on my mission has taught me a lot. One of the things I’ve learned is the importance of doing things even when you really don’t want to. Haha. One of the things we do here in the California Riverside Mission is OYMs, or “Open Your Mouth.” Every day we’re each required to have gospel conversations with 10 people, outside of our lessons and planned activities. Since we’re in the car most of the day, it’s a little harder to just talk to people between appointments. So that means at the end of the day we have to get the rest of our OYMs, usually at a parking lot. And I really don’t like it. Haha. But I do it. Sometimes I drag my feet a little bit, but I see it as a trial of my faith. Through these OYMs, I’ve really grown my testimony of the principles of faith and obedience. It requires faith to be obedient, and it takes a lot of faith to be obedient when we don’t want to be. BUT you know what? When we exercise faith, God ALWAYS blesses us! And the more faith we exercise, the more He can bless us! We all have things we need to improve on, commandments we need to obey a little better. Whether it be reading the scriptures, keeping the Sabbath day holy, or even taking better care of our bodies- when we make an effort to keep these commandments, God can bless us.
I got the chance to share my testimony of this principle this week with a guy named A. We’d been teaching A for a few weeks, but he just wouldn’t come to church. We saw him this week and had a good heart-to-heart with him. He told us he was going through some hard stuff right now, and didn’t think he’d be able to keep learning or be able to come to church. It was too hard. I told him I was glad that it was hard for him to go to church. We talked about how much he needs God’s blessings right now, and that he needs a lot of help to overcome his challenges. Since going to church was hard for him, if he could do so he would be able to receive enormous blessings. He said he’d come… someday.
I know that God loves His children. He wants to bless us. He just wants us to be happy. That’s the reason for EVERYTHING that He does. Sadly, we are the ones that distance ourselves from Him and prevent Him from giving us the blessings He so greatly desires to give us. I just want everyone to understand this! Living the gospel is hard- but it’s SO WORTH IT! We can be SO MUCH HAPPIER when we live how God told us to- that’s WHY He said it!
I love you all! Make good choices!
Sister Howell

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