Letter received June 1, 2015
Hermana Ras here. So this week things were definitely looking up! With the exception of one minor (actually MAJOR) bummer... Hermana Wood is being transferred!!! I'm actually gonna cry. We have had SO much fun here together even in the hardest of times. I seriously love this girl and have learned SOOO much from her. IT's cool, Canada's not that far from California, is it??
I don't know if you guys remember this mom & dad, but a few years ago (September 2012ish) we had a conversation in our kitchen where I expressed to you my desire to serve a mission. We had talked about it before but I specifically remember this conversation because I was complaining about how I would never get to go because 21 was just so far away. I specifically remember whipping out D&C 18:15-16, which states: "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"
I was upset because the guys had the opportunity to leave at 19 and for that reason they were gonna be happier than I was!!!!
It was kind of a joke. I hope. It kind of scares me that I thought that way before the mission to be honest... but anywho! Now we know the outcome. WIthin just a number of weeks, the announcement was made that sisters could then leave at 19 years old. I will never EVER forget that glorious morning and the tears in my dad's eyes as he looked at me in that very moment. And then instagrammed it :)
So why do I bring up this story? Well because I have learned something very different about that 18th section of the Doctrine & Covenants. Verses 10-14 read: "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hat risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people."
Here's the real deal. It's not about my happiness + joy. It's all about the LORD'S JOY! Why are we called to cry repentance unto this people? Because He suffered all that He did for these repentant souls and how GREAT is His joy in seeing them use His sacrifice. WE are called because the worth of souls is great in God's sight, not just ours.If we're thinking about our personal happiness then we have COMPLETELY missed the mark. It is ALL about the Lord's will. To quote Presidente Williams, "This life isn't about you, it's about the Lord."
Of course there is more joy in it for the humble servants than I can express, but that's not the reason I'm here. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that fact.
In all these weeks of complaining about the lack of success we have had here, I'm afraid I have been blind to one major success. Sweet Hermana Yolanda is of GREAT worth in the sight of God. She is a less active that surprises us everyday. She alone has seriously kept us going during this last transfer. We taught the her about the Holy Ghost and she was SO excited that she didn't have to be bored or lonely ever again! We taught her the plan of salvation and she explained to us about how she remembered the pre-mortal life.
We taught her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and she read the whole thing in literally a month. I LOVE HER! And The Lord does, too. My joy is so great because of her. And I know the Lord's is, too.
Thanks a million for all the love and support always!!! I got the million and 10 birthday cards this week... thank you SOOO much!! I love you all and love being a missionary. Stay tuned next week to see who will be my lucky fifth companion!!! Craziness.