Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Amy's February 17th email home!

Hello my wonderful family and friends!

Thank you again for your continual support. I love your emails and letters!! You are all amazing. MEGAN!!! I can't believe you're going to serve a mission!!!! THAT'S SOOO AWESOME!!! I love you so much!! You are going to make a fabulous missionary. Yay! I could just jump up and down I'm so excited! I'm in a computer shop right now though, so maybe that will have to wait. ;) Ahhh! So exciting.

Briana, I just received your DearElder letter this morning. Thank you sooo much for your letter. You are awesome and have always been a great strength to me. Love you lots!!

Christina, it sounds like you've had a blast this past week! Mom and Jerry, too! I'm glad you were able to take a bit of a break. You deserve it.

This morning we had zone training. President had talked to the zone leaders and encouraged us to bear our testimonies to one another. We see each other each week, and we share our testimonies every single day to our investigators, but it's not often that we share them with each other. The spirit was super strong. Our zone is often very crazy and has a hard time being serious, so it was really neat to hear their testimonies.

This last week has been great. I am learning SO much every week. I've really been praying for strength and guidance from the Spirit this week. I have discovered that even when you're tired, you can still feel the spirit and teach with power and authority! I knew that before, but I really felt that this week. I was really tired at points, but as we went to the houses of different investigators, I prayed to feel Heavenly Father's love for them and for me. As I did that, I was amazed at how much love I felt for these people!! Heavenly Father really loves each one of us, and wants us to return to Him!! He's our FATHER in Heaven. There is one family in particular that we are really focusing on right now. We are teaching the father, Brother Igloria, and he has such a strong desire to grow closer to Christ and has a strong testimony of Him. He asks many questions and really wants to know. I felt such a strong love for him and for his family. We were able to share that with him and the spirit was really strong. As I opened my mouth to speak, I knew exactly what to say. It was simple, but the spirit was strong, and the message was clear. It was a huge testament to me that the spirit works. The amazing thing was we planned to talk about the Plan of Salvation, but we were led by the spirit to teach about prayer instead. It was what he needed to hear. Dad, like you said in your email, we are not the real teachers. The spirit is the teacher. If the person is ready to listen to the spirit, he will testify to what is being taught and will help them learn and grow and have a desire to change. As missionaries, we are literally set apart from the world for a year and a half or 2 years. We are literal representatives of Jesus Christ, and we have been called by a living prophet to teach the gospel to the world. It is pretty intimidating if you think about it! But we are not alone. We aren't the true teachers, so if we are prepared, we shall not fear.

We had an opportunity to hear from Elder and sister Neilson (brother of Elder Neilson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles) and Elder and Sister Packer (son of Elder Packer of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles). Inspiring! We are still establishing the church here in the Philippines. It is still fairly new, and we get to help strengthen it and find people to teach!

I know that Heavenly Father loves me. I know he loves YOU, too! He is constantly aware of our lives and knows what we need to grow. Sometimes in our lives He gives us trials, and it's easy to get discouraged. But because of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the perspective it gives us, we know that it is through those times of trial that we grow stronger! Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us and will mold us into the person he knows we can become if we let Him. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ!! I love the scriptures!! I love reading and studying the conference talks! We have a living prophet and living apostles to guide us today and tell us what God wants and expects of us today. "Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." (Alma 32:3).

I love you all.
Sister Harston

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