Monday, August 11, 2014

Always improving

LUIS GILLON, Argentina — FAMILY OF MINE WHOM I LOVE SO MUCH!!!! How are you!?!? I hope you had another fabulous week. I know I sure did! It has been a little crazy but great.

I would like to tell you how my morning started off today. A lady from our ward came over and taught us how to stretch out and then gave us massages.... I WAS IN HEAVEN! How blessed are we?!?  Gotta love tender mercies of the Lord ;)

We had a great week with lots of miracles. I would just like to tell you one, not that numbers matter, but this made me so happy to see on Sunday. We had 103 people attending sacrament meeting, eight of them being less active members and four of them being investigators! WOOO! Miracles. We haven’t had that many people come to church in a while. I love seeing people come to church and feel the Spirit. The Familia Velasquez is continuing to progress and are getting ready for their baptism in 2 weeks! WOOO!

Hermanas Newman y Mills with the Velasquez family.

I sent a million and five pictures and that took up a lot of my time to write this email so I will make this another quick one. But I just wanted to share an experience I had a couple weeks ago. I don’t know why but I forgot to share this.

We have interviews with President every 3 months. We always talk about how we are doing, if we are still worthy and what goals we want to make. I made previous goals to finish reading The Book of Mormon in Spanish and be writing in my journal daily before our next interviews. Well, interviews came around, and I found myself improved, but I had not completed my goal. I have two lessons I learned from this experience, but let me finish the story first.

President looked at me with his usual smile on his face and asked me how I was doing and the normal stuff. I replied that life was great and I loved serving here. He soon got to the goals part. He looked at me and simply asked, ¨How are your goals going? ¨ I sheepishly said that I hadn’t completed them. I told him that I was sad that I had to tell them that I didn’t do them. How sad it was to tell my mission president that I hadn’t completed my goals! I was horrified. Well, my mission president, being the awesome man he is, chuckled and said, ¨Hermana Newman, I didn’t say you had to be perfect at your goals. But... did you at least improve?" I told him that I had and that I was almost done with the Book of Mormon, just had a little bit left to go. With a big grin on his face he said, ¨Well that I am happy with, hermana. That is the point. To always be improving!"

Sara and her companion doing some planning. Without power. Again.
I learned two lessons from this. First (if we take this true story and just change the mission president for the Lord), I learned how loving and merciful the Lord is. He takes imperfect people like me, loves me, helps me to feel good, and gives me encouragement to keep going and be better! He doesn’t expect us to be perfect — he just expects us to improve daily! That’s the beauty of it! And the cool thing is, He is there every step of the way. We don’t have to wait 3 months to have the interview. We can just get down and pray to our Heavenly Father and he and His Son will help us.

Second, I learned something about preparedness. Now don’t get me wrong, I tried my hardest to accomplish my goals, but yes, I did fall. But during the meeting with president, I just looked at him and said, ¨President, I am having a hard time telling you I didn’t complete my goals. I never want to have to tell my Savior I didn’t complete them. ¨ As I sat there and looked into his eyes I KNEW that from that day on, I had to try harder and do better. I am aware I cannot be perfect, but I can be better and I can be prepared. I can be prepared for that day when I see my Savior's face. I want to be ready with a big smile on my face ready to say to Him, ¨I did it. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith!¨

Idaho-born Hermana Newman representing the Beehive State in Argentina.
This story might not make a lot of sense or matter to some of you. But it was a big wake up call to me. We can always be doing better. We should be pushing ourselves to be better. If you are comfortable in where you are right now, GET UP and do something. If we are comfortable, we are not progressing. Remember: ¨Ripe things rot, green things grow.¨ Do what you have to do to grow. It will not be easy, but it will be the best thing we can do. We are all in this together. We are here to help the Kingdom grow!

Have a great week. Make miracles happen. Go be those instruments of the Lord. Write me next week and tell me about the missionary moments you have or miracles you see! Love you with all my heart!

- Hermana Newman :)

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