Friday, March 10, 2017

His Work

One very special thing I have learned throughout my life, and especially on this mission, is that we are doing the work of the Lord. He wants us to succeed. When we do all that we can, and then rely on him in faith, he will make up the difference for us. My parents have set this example for me throughout my life. I can name so many experiences with this one principle, that has solidified my testimony of it. Whether we are Mission President and Wife, Office couple (as my parents were), missionary, Bishop, or teacher in the primary, it's all His work. He wants it to move forward, and if we ask him, in faith, He will make up the difference where we may lack. I experienced this again as we have been making some changes in our mission. There have been a few instances where I wondered how we would be able to make things work, and then I say a silent prayer and go to work. And things just seem to fall into place.

President Collings and I were asked to speak to the Public Affairs Representatives from the mission branches in Uganda. The morning had been a little bit hectic, and I needed to run to the office to help out some of the missionaries. President Collings went ahead, and spoke to this group, while I worked out the issues that the missionaries were having. As I came late into the meeting, I was overwhelmed with the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us as we are doing our separate assignments in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These people are working in their home towns to help people understand what we do as members of the Church. They are "an example of the believers" to those around them. This is a very different calling than what President Collings and I have, but it's great in the eyes of God, and no less important. He loves each of us. He wants to pour out his blessings upon us. As we act in Faith, he is able to make up the difference. My husband always says, "Don't limit how God can bless you." It's true. If we say we can't, or it's not possible, or I'm afraid so I won't try, he is unable to bless us. If we say, I don't know how, but I will do all I can. It's incredible what he can do for us. Suddenly our faith grows as we see his hand in our lives. Once our missionaries understand this principle, they seem to blossom with confidence, and joy, and ambition. They become "anxiously engaged in a good cause".  Anyway, this is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. I was able to express these thoughts and feelings to the Public Affairs Reps, and really had a wonderful experience with this group.

Immediately after our meeting, we took off to the airport, and traveled to Ethiopia. President Collings was able to do interviews with the missionaries there upon arrival, and then we went to the hotel.
We now have 12 missionaries serving in Ethiopia!

 Sunday, we attended church in Debre Zeit. The building in Debre Zeit is absolutely beautiful. It stands out in this community. Recently, President Collings had the impression that we needed to make our church buildings more accessible to people. They have always been behind gates, with three guards. He asked that the gates be open during the day. I'm sure there are a lot of people who are curious about the Debre Zeit building as well as the other three, and we want them to be able to come in and ask. The missionaries have had several people just walk in, and ask to know more about the church since we have asked that the gates be opened. It's been a blessing. Our senior couple just started teaching a family who said they tried to come in to one of the church buildings two months ago, and the guards would not let them in. They were grateful to have found representatives of the church, and we are happy that people will find the buildings more accessible now.

It was Fast and Testimony meeting on Sunday, and was wonderful to listen to the testimonies of the branch members. After the Sacrament meeting, we combined the men and women, and President Collings taught them. It ended up being a very nice meeting. We gave the branch members a challenge:
First: As a mission, we will be fasting on March 18, for the missionary work to increase in the Uganda Kampala Mission. We invited them to join in this fast with us.

Second: We challenged them to read the Book of Mormon every day.

Third: We challenged them to prayerfully consider who they will bring to church, whether it's an inactive member, or new investigator.
Branch Presidency  
Debre Zeit Branch  
This young sister has been called to serve a mission, she is waiting on a visa, and will spend her first transfer in the Uganda Kampala Mission. We are ALL so excited about this. Can't wait to have her! 

After church we went with President and Sister Harline on some visits.  We really enjoyed spending time in the homes of three families. We were able to feel the spirit very strong, and tailor a message specific to each one of them. It's beautiful to see how Heavenly Father knows each of them, and helped us to know what they needed to hear. We truly felt blessed as we were able to get to know these families better, and learn more about their conversion to the Gospel.

After these visits, we were able to meet with a family back in Addis Ababa. This is a family that Elder and Sister Harline have been teaching, and they invited us to one of their lessons. This family is ready to be baptized! It was a very neat experience. The wife, made us an amazing dinner, which was a wonderful way to end our Fast Sunday. It was DELICIOUS! We have been able to enjoy such a unique variety of foods from all over the world. This meal did not disappoint!

This week has been full of missionary interviews in the Kampala area. We decided to have the interviews in the mission office so President could help with any issues that come up, and I could get some extra work done as well. It ended up being a great week. I always say we have wonderful missionaries. We felt of their goodness as they came in for their interviews this week. We truly are blessed!

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