Monday, June 2, 2014

Faith building experiences are hard.

Little high, little low. Little hey, little ho. 

I found a beautiful scripture that I love! I'll start with that. It is in the Book of Mormon, Moroni 9:25. At this point, Mormon is talking to his son, Moroni and telling him of all the wickedness and evil in the world that will eventually lead to the destruction of his people. He says, "My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever." The stumbling blocks of the world can either build our faith and we can be lifted through Christ, or we can fear and fall. I know that our Savior is here to lift us and this week I have really been figuring out how He can lift me personally. I feel that I have been teaching and testifying to people of how He can save them from falling, but had yet to figure out how that can apply to me in a more personal way. I wish that I could just drop all of my thoughts and feelings from this week into each of your heads so you could understand the growth and understanding I have developed. I have learned SO much and I am truly beginning to understand the power that faith has. Faith in Christ is a power, not just something that is nice to have and a comfort, but truly a power that can change things. I was struggling to see how I have faith and feeling that mine is not very strong. I had an amazing study though, that I would recommend to all of you! It helped me to see my faith in a more measurable and tangible way. I searched and read several scriptures that talked about faith and then searched out the specific action that was being talked about in that scripture. Then I asked myself, "Ok, have I done that action before?" If yes, then yay! I do have faith. If no, then yay! I now had a specific action I could take that would cause me to exercise faith. Try it! Faith is hard. So hard. But, like I said, it is a power and it is worth it.
This week started off with a super great experience. Monday evening, our plans all fell through so we had decided that if that happened, we would go and find someone new to teach! We were walking through this parking lot at an apartment complex, there were lots of people getting home from their Memorial Day adventures. We tried several times to strike up a conversation with these people, to no success. Haha, nobody wanted to talk to us. Some would start talking, then soon after see our name tags and nearly run away or throw out funny excuses of why they needed to take off. It was quite funny, but really irritating too. Come on, we are fairly normal! So, we keep walking around and decide we want to really follow what God wanted us to be doing. Sister Benson told me to pick a door that I felt inclined to go and knock on, since street contacting was not working. We walk for a bit more, then I say, "Ok. 607, that's the one!" So we climb the flight of stairs and knock, and wait. This young girl, about 18, comes out and is so interested! Oh my gosh, it was so cool. We stood and talked with her about the Book of Mormon and showed her the video, "Because of Him" for about 15 minutes. She could not wait to start reading the Book of Mormon and to meet with us again. Moments like that just make everything worth it. We were able to talk to someone who was wanting, searching and yearning to know. I love letting the spirit guide!

Well. We had a heart breaker the next day. Like, reall heart breaker. We went to see Florita again, we were going to help her go through her belongings so she can get rid of her storage unit. We climbed the stairs to her apartment and see on the front porch her large print Book of Mormon we had brought by and a book from Relief Society. Well, she was either studying outside this morning, or she is about to kick us to the curb. It was the latter. I still feel like I am about to cry as I think about it. Florita opened her door, started to explain to us how she needs to stop meeting with us through her teary eyes. She explained how hard it is for her to turn people away, but she can't do it anymore because she was raised differently and doesn't feel comfortable. We are pretty sure her kids talked to her and convinced her that we were a bad influence. She felt so guilty and was torn between them or us, so it is understandable. Our hearts ached as she handed us the books back and we told, yet another wonderful woman, how much we love her and that we still want to keep in touch and help her in anyway she needs. We drove away and the tears just poured down out. Not again! I was so sad and wondering how many more times my heart can handle this, how many more people can I love and then let them turn away? I again felt a little of how the Savior must feel when so many turned away from Him and still turn away from Him. Each time it happens, it is after they have a wonderful experience with the spirit, then they become afraid of change and turn and run, as if it had never happened. My spirit is lifted in joy when they experience the power of the Holy Ghost and love it, but then totally and utterly crushed when they turn away from it. It's ok though. It put me in a position where I could really figure out why I am here and let myself be humbled enough to trust God more than myself. Missionary work is most definitely not easy or convenient. It is hard and draining and it sometimes runs you until you feel broken and like there is absolutely nothing left within your heart to give. I felt like I was experiencing a trust fall with God this whole week. Experiences were pulling my feet out from under me and I was falling, I tried using all of my own resources. Tried and tried and tried, until I really felt beat. And I was falling, hard! Without falling, I never could have been caught by God though. When we feel like we have nothing left to give, we finally are humble enough to tell God, "Alright, that was it, I have nothing left in me. No more love to give, no more ideas of things to do. No more words to speak. Nothing, I have given my all and am finally recognizing that I do need your help." I definitely got to that point this week and I felt so weak! I am so grateful for that though. I needed to be humbled, I needed to recognize that I cannot do this on my own. I finally let myself fall into God's arms. My faith and my heart is becoming stronger because of these experiences, these difficult experiences. 

I love you all so very much. I have to get going! I am doing great and am seriously so beyond thankful for this time I have been given to learn so much. I feel so blessed. Thank you for my letters, emails and packages this week! They brought me so much joy and I felt so close to each of you who reached out to me. You really are inspired in your words, they always speak something sweet and needed to my spirit. I love you forever and always!
{Wonderful Sister Benson and I}

xoxox, Sister Kerr 

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