current weather for West Bakersfield, california

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 5, 2016

I’m not quite sure what to say about this week because it felt like 2 days... 

It’s not as hot anymore, thank goodness, they say you aren’t safe until October though... But mornings have been cool and breezy and gorgeous! You know, when we're inside studying! Haha.  The smog’s getting better, still pretty bad, but it strengthens my lungs, right?.......

We were able to teach H., this sassy awesome old southern grandma a ton, but sadly she moved to Oklahoma on Saturday.... but once she's settled down she'll meet with missionaries there, so hope is not yet lost!! She said she really wants to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and so we had some awesome discussions on the restoration and the blessings that come from sincere prayer. At one point when she was telling us a story she just stopped and started praying and crying and telling God everything that was on her mind, and then she swooped back into the conversation! It was kindda strange at first because I had no idea what was going on but she just has that kind of relationship with Heavenly Father, she LOVES talking to Him and telling Him everything, it was pretty inspiring actually.

We also had an open bag of dog treats in our trunk and a stray dog followed us for over half a mile on a busy street, so we learned a valuable lesson... AND, a DIFFERENT dog, this German Shepard, got out of its fence and started booking it towards us with a look of death in its eyes, but we said prayers in our hearts and it just turned and ran in another direction. God loves us <3

We helped this part member family move from our area to a new ward, but something went terribly wrong in communication because they thought that we would be able to drive them and their things to their new place and WE thought we would help them pack up boxes. So we had to rush to find a member in the NEW ward they're moving to to help them get their stuff and themselves to the new place. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because they were scared to switch wards and missionaries, but they saw how willing the new members and elders were so it helped them transition well! 

We're working with some pretty cool people. We got E., a nice old hippie who is real chill.  Its’ so much fun to teach him, and he read the Book of Mormon a few months ago so he already knows what we talk about when we get there. And there’s this 23 year old  named V., she has a daughter and is going through a divorce and got hired to be a kindergarten teacher 2 weeks into the school year and was give 2 weeks to plan the curriculum for the rest of the year... needless to say, she's a bit stressed, but it was amazing to see her countenance literally change when we shared a scripture with her, it looked like she actually had weight lifted off her shoulders. Sometimes I take the gospel for granted since I can feel the Spirit and gain peace all the time, but it was cool to see how even just 15 seconds given to study of the Book of Mormon can make a HUGE difference!

We got a call from a man in Washington who found our number on the church website and wanted to learn more about Christ. He has a Jewish background and says he doesn’t know anything about Jesus or the bible. Throughout the week we've called him, answered questions, given him scriptures and articles and helped him recognize the Spirit. It almost doesn’t seem REAL. Literally, we'll ask if he read and he says "oh I read all of it, a few times, I just feel peace when I learn about Christ, you know?" "Yeah, do you want us to send you more?" "Would you do that please?! Thank you so much!" It’s like that every. Time. We. Talk. To. Him. He asked us what he can do to be happier, to have his questions answered, to talk to God, go feel peace, and he does everything we tell him to and LOVES it! Someone who asks everything this church can answer! It’s the coolest thing ever, he'll be moving to Bakersfield in a week and the odds of his coming to our area is slim but it’s been humbling to be able to teach him about the foundation of Christianity and a happy life. Pray for A.!

Sister Liebelt, who was
Sister King's trainer
Bakersfield, CA, September 2016
Sister Liebelt, my trainer, who finished her mission a few months ago, came to visit this week, and we wore basically the same outfit!

So my favorite line from Preach My Gospel has always been "all that is unfair about life can be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ." It’s in the section on the atonement in the chapter about the plan of salvation and how it is through Christ that we can return to God and find happiness NOW. But it kindda hit home when I read part of Elder Renlund’s talk from this last general conference. He said, “I can emphatically state that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, ultimately, in the eternal scheme of things, there will be no unfairness. ‘All that is unfair about life can be made right’ [Preach My Gospel, 52]. Our present circumstances may not change, but through God’s compassion, kindness, and love, we will all receive more than we deserve, more than we can ever earn, and more than we can ever hope for. We are promised that ‘God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away’ [Revelation 21:4].” 

Sometimes, either on my mission or in life, I feel like I've been denied something. An experience, and object, a relationship with another, guidance or relief from a trial. I've learned recently that often times, God won’t give us EVERYTHING we need or EVERYTHING we ask for, after all, we're here to grow and learn and become better and that can’t happen without opposition! But this line really helps me to see WHY we have the hard times and WHY we have a savior. He does so much more for us than we could ever do for Him. Even "giving up" a year and a half isn’t a sacrifice because I gain more than I give. I've seen Christ change lives, mostly my own, and I can’t deny him. I am grateful for a loving Savior that supports me even when I don’t deserve it, who accepts me even when I’ve denied Him, who gives me a second chance even when I don’t deserve it. The beauty of the gospel is the fact that it’s never too late, ALL that is unfair, unhealed, unnoticed, unaccounted for, WILL be made up and perfected in the long run. I can’t imagine life without my Savior, without this gospel, without my family and without my mission. 

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