Monday, July 24, 2017

THANKFUL 7-23-17

This week was amazing. We had two back to back exchanges, and the theme I felt they should be as I prayed was something, so simple... "Being Thankful". I think being thankful for all we have is something that I know I take for granted. I will tell you how much easier it was to teach, and testify this week, as I did so with a thankful heart. I know my time is running out here in NZ, it hasn't hit me, nor do I think it will for about 6 weeks, but I am so thankful that Heavenly Father sent me here. I am so thankful that specifically he knew that I needed to be here on this Island to find his children, who needed hope, and Jesus Christ. As you will remember, when I served in Sunnyhills, we taught Aimee Keen-Laird, who was less active, she would never come to church, BUT we never gave up on her, well now when I moved to Frankton, she has moved here now, and SHE HAS BEEN COMING TO CHURCH!! She said because we never gave up, even when she had no desire, she knows that the Lord sent me BACK to her, when she was ready. She said, "I feel like Heavenly Father really knows me, not only did he send you from all the way across the world, but he even sent YOU back to my ward, when I was ready, because he knew I would need you." Simple things like this make every SINGLE thing we go through as missionaries soooo worth it. I really am so thankful, I am eternally thankful for all that I have been given, he really does know my life in great detail. 
D&C 78:19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

I was able to go on exchanges with Sister Fina'i this week, a sister I have served around since my first day on the mission, who leaves today to return home to Sydney, Australia. I love her so much, I can't explain the sacredness of our exchange, nor do I think I am meant to. I am grateful she was able to come to Frankton for her last exchange, because this is where she started her mission, and she was TRULY able to see the fruits of her labors, as we taught people she had found previously. It was a really unique experience, and it just made me so thankful for the exact people he places in our lives. I will really miss she, Sister Taula, and Sister Fuggle. Lots of my heart will leave with them tomorrow, but I know it's a blessing I even know them, I am so thankful!

We had the most sacred experience this week, once again I will only write a little about it, because it was so special. We had this member bring their non-member friend into the Visitors Centre, and we were able to teach them. It seemed like no matter what we said, it was really exactly what the member needed to hear, we felt the spirit so strong, we both cried as we bore testimony, which we rarely do, the spirit was just surrounding us, we were able to help this member and His non-member friend. At the end of the lesson, we asked this non-member for his contact details, to send local missionaries, and he then told us, that they are both return missionaries, and they were doing a role play... We were NOT angry at all, they both just wept, all 4 of us did, and they thanked us for finding a concern, that they thought they were acting, but was real. The two friends were able to talk about the things the member had opened up about, and they were both Return Missionaries. They just wept, and thanked us for this sacred, celestial role play that truly helped not only them but us. As we left this situation, we just cried together knowing that was exactly what we needed, and Heavenly Father had sent it to us in a different look or way than we had expected, it is hard to explain what I felt, I just truly felt that Heavenly Father really is aware, and he does love me, and US so much!!

This week Elder Zundel gave a training on Examining our lives. It was beautiful and he read these two scriptures. 
Alma 5:14&26
14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?
It was such a beautiful training, and I want to ask you those same things, if you have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, can you feel so now? He then explained the most beautiful thing that I have ever heard, he told us how the sacrament works. He said they take a whole piece of bread, and in front of us brake it, we each receive a UNIQUE piece of bread, and no two pieces are the same, it's the exact same as the Atonement, we each use the atonement different, no two people and their sins are the same, we partake of broken bread, because we are broken people, but through Christs atonement we may be whole. I know that Christ loves to fix broken things, that is why the reminder we take each week of Him, is broken. WHAT A BLESSING. We are so blessed, and I know his Atonement is unique for you. I know he loves you so much, and will bless you, as you strive to be more grateful. 

I am thankful, for the very breathe I have, the food I have the means to have, the clothes on my back, the family supporting me at home, the friends who want me to be my best, the sunsets, the people, the rain, the trials, the tears, the joy, the pain, the happiness, and the ABILITY to know truth. We really are so lucky, and I encourage you to continue to be thankful so that you may be made glorious! 

Sister Maddie DeLoach 

p.s. was able to go into sunny hills on exchanges and see Shania who was an investigator who is now baptized:)

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