My dear family,
I hope you are well. what heavy news about Jon and Nicole. I'm sorry that you've had to face this trial yet again. I wish there was something more i could do to help you. i would love to pray WITH you, fast WITH you, To get your mind off things, to try new recipes, play the penny game even if we've already played it uncountable numbers of times, to time random...."matters of business" and some pranks while those "matters of business" Are happening. I miss you both a lot. I'll be sure to continue to include you in my prayers. this morning I studied a few different things but i specifically studied faith. What really touched me was the section on faith in true to the faith. I didn't finish studying but i found a number of scriptures to use when trying to provide comfort to the different people we meet. What a blessing it is to have the gospel and to put it into practice. I was touched this morning on the how we put our faith in Jesus Christ AND in His atonement. I was thinking about what it means to me to have faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and how i can really have access to it. I'll be honest, i don't really get it at all. It is so profound a topic that i don't know if i ever will. But part of having faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement is understanding and applying the fact that he has "descended below it all." We can literally be empowered to carry the burden. Mosiah 24 is one chapter of the Book of Mormon that i love. when i read it months ago it echoed in my mind. specifically verse 12-16. Please read them really quick or maybe really slow if you can. I know God hears our prayers. Not just the things we pray for. When we say that God hears our prayers we often think first to the fact that he hears our pleas but even more he hears our expression. I know he understands. I had the opportunity to teach Gospel Principles at church this sunday about prophets. It reminded me of a story that maybe can be of comfort. When dad was diagnosed with his stage 4 cancer i was so confused. i tried to decide if faith really ever changes the outcome of anything here or no or if it only changes the outcome of the things to come. I prepared 1 question for general conference. One was simple understanding of whether or not God REALLY really understood me, loved me, and cared for me. frankly, i believed it and had been taught that my whole life but i don't think i really understood. The first session came and went, the second, the third, and then the fourth came. the Closing prayers was said and my heart sank because my question hadn't come. I during that prayer that i would need to study the liahona. It was my last attempt to hold onto faith. I think maybe that simple decision was the "trial of my faith" because the simple acts of President Monson as he interacted with members radiated love for the people. I didn't talk to president monson....i was in the upper balcony but i watched from far. My answer had come as i felt suddenly and strongly of God's pure love for me, sister burrup, through his prophet. I love that experience because it's simple. nothing extraordinary but so personal to me. As you exercise faith with every "last attempt" to hold on you will know that God is fully alert and aware of your situations. I'm sorry again Jon and Nicole. there are better things to come. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, "your joy will be as full as is your sorrow." The Atonement is infinite and far-reaching.
Well, maybe i can be a source of some good news at a time like this. For starters, transfers are next week. Not this week. Sister Nieto and I are so happy to have another week together but we were laughing hard when the announced it in our last district meeting. Sister Nieto and i have a lot of fun together just being our goofy selves while enjoying the work. She has a talent for drawing so every morning when i'm in the shower she slides a new funny picture she has drawn under the door. Sounds kind of weird but it's hilarious. During morning sports playing soccer i straight up kicked an elder, elder marques, in the shin. i felt bad because i absolutely missed the ball. I apologized and didn't think too much of it until the next morning at morning sports he had his shin all bandaged and was on crutches! He told me he had a small fracture on his tibia and would be on crutches for a couple of weeks....all this just to find out it was a big joke! the whole zone was in on it. It was funny. i didn't really believe it or maybe i'm just prideful and felt dumb. i"m not sure which. For even better news, we have made some good progress on a ward mission plan. The bishop has asked us specifically to help the families start family home evenings. We are excited because it is working! We were invited to give a lesson tonight in a an fhe with 3 families. Also, we are working with several new couples. We have been doing lots of finding through our area book. It's a lot of weeding out but it has been neat. We are just starting to teach someone named isai. he doesn't know more than a few words in english and is so so humble. We said hi to him and he just bombarded us with sincere and good questions. We will have our first lesson this wednesday at the church if all goes as planned. Lots of blessings this week.
Well, I love you all so so much! Thank you for your support and love! Another favorite scripture is dyc 6:34-37. emphasis on vs 36. We can point every thought upward. imagine 100% of our thoughts being directed to him. Talk about power! I love you and Hurrah for Israel!
My love and Prayers,
How i love Los Feliz! We are working with two member referrals and a family friend of 15 years right now! It seems that when we endure the rough weeks with faith and work, work, work the blessings come! During our last district meeting we set goals district goals to specifically work better with the bishopric. With the suggestion of Elder Anderson and the inication of Elder Slick we were able to make and present a possible ward mission plan to the bishop and ward mission leader. We are still working to finalize it but the 5th sunday this month the bishopric and the missionaries will be giving the third hour classes to present it to the entire ward. We are really excited and believe it will help the ward a lot to focus our efforts and strengthen members and friends in the area. President, I love this work. I love the area and i Love my companion. Sister Nieto and i have had some very good talks the last 2 weeks. I'm a little worried about her. She has been frustrated with herself and hard on herself. She is a good missionary but doesn't give herself much credit. I'm going to be praying extra for her this week. thank you for the opportunity to serve with her. I thank the Lord daily! God bless you for your work and service. Hurrah for Israel!