Monday, February 17, 2014

Eight Months!

A sweet sister from the ward came to a lesson with us on Valentine's Day.. that fell through. But she made us chocolate covered strawberries and then there was a party at the church and they gave us some leftover tulips.

Hello family!

Can you believe it? I've been out eight months. Oh my goodness. Time really goes by so quickly as a missionary. In lots of ways I still feel like a new missionary. But I remember when I first came out and I talked to someone who had been out for eight months. And I thought that was so long. Crazy.

This week was.. pretty good. It was really slow and it seemed like no one would talk to us. Sadly both of our investigators, Donna and Pat, kind of dropped us. Not exactly but it's a slow moving process. But all is well. We just have to keep having faith and know that Heavenly Father is preparing individuals. And then we have to go out and work hard and find those individuals who are ready to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. Well I'm trying to think of what happened this week. My love for the Walkers have just increased. We had a lesson with Sister Walker and Pat. It went pretty well except that Pat told us she doesn't have time for us right now. She felt the Spirit but said she's too busy right now with projects and stuff. But anyway, Sister Walker is wonderful. I love her so much. There are just so many good people here in this ward. So many good members everywhere. The Walkers have been my grandparents this transfer. We were over there one day to bring them fudge filled squares to say thanks for their help and they invited us in and made us toast and hot chocolate. They are just the cutest. 
We have a new investigator named Azeb. She's from Ethiopia and has a little two year old boy, Noah. He is adorable. She's really sweet and open. She said over and over that she'll never convert though. She likes to learn about God and Christ but she won't change. We talk to a lot of people like that. Three of our investigators are like that, actually. But we just have to trust that the Holy Ghost will soften their hearts. The Holy Ghost is pretty amazing. 
I was studying today and wanted to share with you some of the things that I learned. It was just so good. I was reading President Uchtdorf's talk from the October 2010 General Conference. It's called "Of Things That Matter Most" and it's wonderful. You should all look it up. Anyway, he talks about simplicity. He shared a story. "It wasn't long after astronauts and cosmonauts orbited the earth that they realized ballpoint pens would not work in space. And so some very smart people went to work solving the problem. It took thousands of hours and millions of dollars, but in the end, they developed a pen that could write anywhere, in any temperature, and on nearly any surface. But how did the astronauts and cosmonauts get along until the problem was solved? They simply used a pencil." This made me laugh. I read the talk three times actually and every time I just had to laugh at that part. President Uchtdorf said, "There is a beauty and clarity that comes from simplicity that we sometimes do not appreciate in our thirst for intricate solutions." It's so true. We just need to simplify our lives. Being on a mission the last eight months has really helped me see that. It's the simple things that matter most. Family. Studying the scriptures and the Church magazines. Praying. Counting our blessings. Listening. Laughing. Repenting daily and partaking of the Sacrament each week. The life of a missionary is so simple. To strengthen peoples' faith in Jesus Christ. It's the most important thing. When we center our lives on Christ then we are truly happy. It's easy to get distracted with To Do Lists, work, school, TV, phones, computers, clothes, sports, music, business, etc. but we would do well to simplify our lives like President Uchtdorf suggests and think about what matters most--families and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It makes me think about what I treasure most. It mentions at least five times in the scriptures about laying up for ourselves eternal treasures (Matthew 6:20) What matters most to me is my family and the gospel. But it's important that I don't just say that. My thoughts, desires, and actions need to reflect that. I'm so grateful for President Uchtdorf. I've read a few of his talks lately and they're just so wonderful. It's like Heavenly Father knew they'd be perfect for me. I love the prophet, President Monson, and all the general authorities and their inspired messages that we can read and study in order to build our relationship with God and get closer to Him. 
I love this gospel so much. It really is such a blessing in our lives. I'm so grateful to be a missionary here serving at this time in beautiful Seattle. I know that Christ is our Savior and I love Him so much. I'm grateful that God loved us enough to allow His perfect son to go through such horrible things so that we could return to live with Him again some day. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. Families are forever. I love you all so much and pray for you everyday. CTR! 
Sister Veronica White

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