February 2011-August 2012

16 April 2012

April 16, 2012 One at a Time

Our lessons this last week have been SO GOOD. I LOVE THE SPIRIT! And I LOVE teaching after HIS manner. It's a skill that will serve me for the rest of my life. I've seen so many miracles happen--one heart at a time--this week as individuals have been touched by the Spirit and have recognized and accepted to do what God WANTS them to do. Leticia and Adriana are stoked about their baptisms on Sunday! A recent convert family came to church for the first time in 2 months! A former investigator recognized how much harder his life is without the gospel and the Spirit! Youth understanding that God KNOWS THEM--personally--and that He LOVES them unconditionally! All of these things are so small to the world, but that is how the Spirit works. One kind act, one lesson learned, one true doctrine finally understood, one heart finally changed to DO the Lord's will. This is how God "brings to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." This is how the Gospel of Jesus Christ works. One miraculously changed life at a time. And how grateful I am to finally understand that!
Speaking of which, I got some REALLY exciting news this week. Kevin, a 14 yr old that I found knocking back in JULY, is FINALLY getting baptized on the 29 April! And I get to be there for it!! This kid has been through SO much. He's such a good example to his family, even though a few of them are inactive members. He's had to work so hard over the last 9 months to finally get the permission from his mother to be baptized. I look up to him so much. And I'm so excited that this special day will finally come true for him! :)
I don't have much else to say about last week. On Wednesday I get to go back up to Sylmar for exchanges with Hermana White and I'm SO excited! How I miss it! How I miss her! And that is a big blessing for me, too, since I'll have an opportunity to get some pics with people before I go home. :) So I love you all! And I hope that you have a great week!!
Hermana Blackburn

09 April 2012

April 9, 2012 I fought the good fight...

Whelp, after even more of a decline in health over the last few weeks, and lots of hours of prayer, President Martin, the Lord, and I decided it was time for me to go home. There are LOTS of emotions, obviously. But mostly, I just feel at peace. The decision is right. And every time I've panicked about it and started doubting myself, the answer has come again clearly. I know that my mission is over. I have accomplished the things the Lord had prepared for me. I have given my heart to Him, and He has changed me. I have overcome myself. And that is nothing short of a miracle! I have been used by the Lord to help change other people's lives, and that has been the greatest gift of all. I will be forever grateful for the chance I had to officially represent the Savior and His true church to my Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters here in San Fernando. I love them so much! And it will be SO hard to leave them! But the Lord has made it clear that He has accepted my mission. I have fulfilled His purposes here. And I have no regrets. So, at the end of this transfer I will finish my mission honorably (2 May). Thank you so much for all of your love and support. It has meant so much to me!! Thank you for all your prayers on my behalf! There is no way I would have been able to make it this long without all of you! I love you all!!
Ok, so that being said... since I've made that decision, things have been going much better in our area. The weight of decision has been removed, and we have been full of power and authority as we've been teaching. In particular, we set 2 baptismal dates with Leticia and her 10yr old granddaughter, Adriana. They will get baptized on the 22nd of April and they are soooo excited! Leticia came to a baptism last night (and thankfully it was a really beautiful, reverent service) and she was almost giddy with excitement for her own baptism. This woman is amazing! And I feel SOOO blessed to be able to teach another family who is so ready for the gospel as I finish up my mission. She has had such a hard life, and she's just so happy despite it all. We taught her the Plan of Salvation on Friday and her sweet soul was just filled with the light of truth. She couldn't believe how she'd lived her whole life without knowing God's Plan for her! It's such a wonderful blessing to teach people who are PREPARED to receive the gospel rather than trying to convince people to know for themselves!
Anyway, I think those are the only things I really wanted to tell you all this week. Just know how much I love you and how grateful I am for you all in my life!!
Hermana Blackburn

02 April 2012

April 2, 2012

I would never be able to put into words how grateful I am for General Conference... for living prophets and apostles who lead and guide us in this crazy world. I am SO grateful for the Restoration of the FULNESS of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I took some pretty hefty questions into General Conference regarding my future, and I know that my answers are all in there somewhere. I just need several more hours of studying the talks and listening to the Holy Ghost to decipher them. But I'm grateful that God loves me enough to GIVE me personal revelation so that I know exactly what HE wants for ME to do!
I wish I had something more to share from the last week... my new companion is pretty oblivious to just how much PAIN I am working through, but it has been a blessing so far because she just keeps pushing me and pushing me. I think I've definitely found my limits though over the last couple weeks. And my absolute 200% is probably her 75%, so she feels bad for not working harder and I feel bad that I just really have nothing left to give. So we'll see what the Spirit leads me to do at the end of this transfer. But she really is SO patient with me, because I know being my companion has not been easy for her. So I'm really grateful that God is teaching us both the things that we need to shape us into better disciples of Christ, better wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters.
So did anyone else catch that bit in General Conference about writing missionaries REAL LETTERS? Yeah... I just want to say AMEN to that! I will anxiously await a REAL LETTER from all of you! :) haha
The Gospel is true. God LOVES us. And He is ALWAYS watching out for us, even when we don't recognize it. Happy Easter!! CHRIST LIVES!!!!!!!!
Hermana Blackburn

Reflections of Christ