Yea, I know that I am anothing; as to my strength I am weak;therefore I will b not boast of myself, but I will cboast of my God,for in hisdstrength I can do all ethings; yea, behold, many mightymiracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his nameforever.
About a week and a half ago Sister Ebersole and I chose that scripture as the theme for this past week. Talk about inspired! We had no idea how fitting and how needed that scripture would be.
I am grateful for trials.
It has taken me a while before I could actually say that with sincerity. But I truly am. When I have trials I know that it means that Heavenly Father knows that I am ready to take on a heavier load, I am ready to learn, I am ready to grow, and that I can make it through this trial. I know He will never give me anything that I won't be able to handle in this life without His help. This past week has definitely brought me to my knees more than ever before. Being diagnosed with diabetes was most definitely not something that I was expecting while on my mission. [I always kept thinking, "Eh! One disease is enough, right?" Apparently not!] It honestly didn't hit me until the next day. However, I know that Heavenly Father is going to help me through this and I am going to be just fine!
I am grateful for the priesthood.
It just so happened that interviews with President Vellinga were this week. Ours fell on Friday, which was by far the hardest day this week. I love President Vellinga so much and always look forward to my interviews with him every three months. Towards the end of the interview he asked me if I had any questions for him. I sat and thought for a minute, then just asked, "President, how am I doing?" He looked at me and said, "Sister Olds, you are doing outstanding. I don't have to worry about you at all." Those words are like gold coming from your mission president! I told him that I sometimes worry about myself and He goes, "What?! Why?!" And then went into explaining everything that has been going on lately and what I have been feeling. He gave me some wonderful advice and encouragement. President Vellinga is honestly one of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. At the end of the interview we knelt down to pray and he said the shortest prayer I have ever heard in my life. Of course I was confused and so when I looked at quizzically he says, "Sister Olds, would you like a blessing?" Immediately tears ran down my face. He said that was why he ended the prayer so shortly. Heavenly Father truly knows each of His children so well and what they need most. He also know when they are too stubborn or prideful to ask for help. That blessing from President was one of the most incredible blessings I have ever received. I cried through the whole thing. [And everyone knows how much I hate crying!] I know that that blessing was straight from Heavenly Father, everything he said brought me so much comfort. That thing that hit me most was when he said, "Heavenly Father is so proud and pleased of all of your hard work." That was what I needed. So many different things have been happening lately and I have been way too hard on myself and thought that He was disappointed with me and that I wasn't doing enough. That is not the case at all. He loves me. He is proud of me. And He is here to help.
I am grateful for Heavenly Father's trust in me.
Yesterday we had lunch at one of my favorite member's homes! She ended up telling me the huge impact that Sister Stringham and I had had on her family, as well as her daughter. We had no idea as to anything that had been going on, or the difference we were making. Through sobbing cries she thanked me profusely for rescuing her daughter and bringing her back to the fold of God. She said that as a mother she will be eternally grateful to us for the influence we had on her daughter. She said how she knows that Heavenly Father sent the two of us here to this area, at this exact time, just for her daughter. I sat there listening with tears in my eyes. We had had no idea the difference we were making simply by being who we are. It was such a testimony builder to me of how we need to constantly be Christlike examples because we never know how that will effect someone else. I thanked Heavenly Father profusely last night for the trust and confidence that He has in me to help one of His daughter's back to the path. That experience reminded me why I am out here and that I truly am blessing the lives of others, even if I don't see the evidence.
I am grateful for my friends and family.
You all brought me to tears today when I opened my email to see 40 new emails from supportive friends and family with words of encouragement and love. That was an amazing surprise! [I promise to respond to them all eventually! I don't have enough time today unfortunately.] You honestly have no idea [well, unless you have served a mission] the difference that it makes knowing that you have so much support back home from so many different people. Every letter, every email, every word of encouragement helps me so very much. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I love you all so much.
I am grateful for the Atonement.
I will never fully understand the full depth of this incredible act of love, but I will forever be grateful to our loving Savior for his amazing sacrifice for all of us. I encourage you all to share this amazing Easter video with everyone you know! It is so simple, yet so powerful. This is such a wonderful time of year to remember all the the Lord has done for us.
I am grateful for this gospel.
The more experiences I have out here on my mission, whether good or bad, the firmer my conviction is that this is God's true church. I am so grateful for the knowledge of this gospel that helps me make it through these hard times. I am grateful that I get to share the happiness that comes with this knowledge to so many others. I am also grateful for both of these talks: [1 & 2] that helped me so much this week, and that this song has constantly been playing through my head this week.
The Lord lives. He knows and loves each one of us more than we could ever comprehend. I pray that none of you ever forget that He is always here to help us along our rocky paths, as well as our smooth paths.
P.S. Tracted into a guy sharpening a machete. Yep...that was terrifying. Definitely didn't push any when he told us he wasn't interested!