February 2011-August 2012

23 May 2011

May 23

Wow. I only have one more week with my trainer. I'm trying not to panic... but I feel like I'm about to jump off a cliff into ice cold water... **DEEP BREATHS** haha... ok So that might be a little dramatic, but when I really take time to think about it, that's really how I feel!

This last week was full of many... learning experiences... haha. Well, it just really felt like Satan is having way more success with the friends we are teaching than we are. Good thing I know I signed up to play for the winning team. But it's just SO sad to watch people figuratively sit down on their own road to Damascus for various excuses and not want to commit. It's not a testimony thing. It's not an understanding thing. It's a "this might be hard to do good things with my life, and I don't think I want to put in the effort right now" thing. The quotes that Skylar shared in his email from Elder Holland and President Lee about discipleship... SO TRUE. Is it easy to do good? Sometimes no. Is it easy to stand up to your family and be the example for them? Many times no. Is it easy to change things in your life in order to come closer to the Savior? Definitely not. But isn't having your Family with you FOREVER way more important than upsetting some of them right now? Isn't getting to live with God and progress throughout eternity way more appealing than being addicted to coffee or tobacco? OF COURSE IT IS PEOPLE. THINK OF THE BLESSINGS YOU'RE REJECTING!!! But sadly, too many people get caught up in only what they can see right now, and they don't care about anything else beyond that... even people who HAVE the gospel in their lives.

But we had 3 major miracles yesterday! Three less-active families that we've been working with... Las Familias Ceja, Lopez, y Vegas... They ALL came to church yesterday!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!! Why am I so excited? This is something seemingly so insignificant. But yet I KNOW that this is one of the things that will help each of their families become more united and successful in every aspect of their lives. If I had understood before coming on my mission just how important attending church is for me, I would crawl on my hands and knees every Sunday to be able to partake of the Sacrament each week. I am ashamed that I ever approached it casually. What a sacred opportunity to partake and be made clean every week through the power of the Atonement and the covenants I have made with my Heavenly Father at Baptism and in the Holy Temple. So what does this mean for these families if they continue? It means that their children will begin to develop an understanding of who they really are in a world that would have them believe anything else but that we are children of God. It means that they will be able to withstand more temptations and strengthen their testimonies of the Love that God has for them and that ANYTHING is possible with God. It means that they will have less contention and more love and harmony in their homes. It means that they will know who they can turn to in times of need. It means that they can work together as a family to enter the Temple and be sealed together for all eternity by someone possessing the proper authority of God. And what more could anyone really want in this life? I really don't know! I can't think of anything else that would ever take precedence over the peace I've received from knowing that my family is together forever! So dear family, if nothing else, do THESE things: Go to church. Read your scriptures. And Pray. ALL TOGETHER. 10 minutes every day. That leaves 23 hours and 50 minutes of every day for you to do whatever else you want. Just 10 minutes. Deal?

Ok well we did have some major breakthroughs with a couple people we are teaching... namely, that THEY PRAYED. Miracles happen when people pray. Seriously. I've seen them happen this week! It's incredible! Especially last night as Carlos Tovar, a husband and father of 6 children, prayed out loud in front of and for his family. Precious. Experiences like that make everything else we go through as missionaries totally worth it!
So mom, thank you for all of the times we ever prayed together. And thank you for your diligence and patience any time we ever tried to read our scriptures or have Family Home Evening. They truly are the threads that have helped turn our family into a rope that can pull through anything. And that is the most precious gift you could've given me aside from being sealed to dad for forever! So THANK YOU!!

Yesterday our district leader showed us a movie, "Facing the Giants." Wow. Incredible. It's a football movie so I know you'll all LOVE it. But seriously, I don't have enough time or enough words to tell you how incredible this movie is. Find it. Watch it. Love it. Live it.

I gotta run! We are going to the Hollywood sign today!!!! :) Well I love you all so very much! I apologize for a more preachy email, but that's what happens when a missionary has a hard week. No one else will listen so we make our families and friends listen instead! :)

Loves loves loves!
Hermana Blackburn

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