Monday, June 15, 2015

Now THIS is my JOY...

Bula Vinaka!
Time is going way way way WAY too fast. I can't believe sara ga that I'm down to two weekly emails left. But I'm trying to savor every last minute of this sacred, beautiful calling! And this week was lovely. We saw a lot of miracles! And so many of our investigators are about ready for baptism! Unfortunately, I think I'll miss the harvest season, but I'm SO excited for them and there is just so much JOY in the work! 
During church this week the spirit taught me something really good....I was thinking about how much energy and hope and just how much of ourselves we put into getting our investigators to church every Sunday. And then sometimes, actually, pretty often, they don't come. Despite our very best efforts and our prayers. And how it would be SO easy to just stop caring. Then your heart would be safe. It wouldn't get broken over and over and over again. But then the Spirit told me... " NEVER STOP CARING." That is what it means to serve with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength. It requires part of us. Actually ALL of us. And sometimes it hurts. And sometimes we get disappointed. But lucky we are blessed with the Grace and power of God to patch us up and give us the strength to do it all over again. So today I'm thankful for Grace. And for the power to keep Caring! And for the Holy Ghost who taught me this simple lesson. 

One of the biggest lessons I learned this week came from Joeli. Just like they mostly do. First of all, he wrote a Poem. About changing! And it's so beautiful! Especially if you know him. And Second of all at the end of one of our lessons he asked us...... "What's the difference between Happiness and Joy?" So we thought for a minute and gave him our opinions.  Then he told us what he thought. And I'll never forget his definition of true JOY..... "I think it's when your spirit leaves your body and is going up to God and it turns back to your body and gives  a thumbs up and a 'one eye' (wink)." So funny! But true! I was just so filled with JOY when he shared with us, because you can truly see joy radiating from him. Our Savior and His Gospel IS the true source of JOY. 
So then, of course, I couldn't stop thinking about JOY all week. And I decided to sign up for a spiritual feast on the topic of JOY and boy, did I feast. I'll just give you a tiny little sneak peak into what I learned......
First of all.... if you look up JOY in the topical guide, you'll probably notice that a good chunk of the scriptures listed are tied back to missionary work. :) And more particularly to Alma the younger and the Sons of Mosiah. And I went through and circled how often they used the words JOY in Alma 26 and Alma 29. Try it. If that's not proof that Missionary Work is a pretty sure source of Joy, I don't know what else is. I have seen the truth of their words in these last 18 months......
"And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with JOY; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me....."
"....yea, this light had infused such JOY into his soul...."
"Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy." 
......and there are soooo many others! Sorry I don't have time to write the references! I testify that It's true! There is pure joy in this work! And in seeing the Atonement of Jesus Christ change people.  I also love this quote that I found this week.....

"I believe that as we deepen our understanding of the Savior, we will have an increased desire to live joyfully and a conviction that joy is possible." ~ Jose Texiera
"Now this (missionary work) is my JOY, and my great thanksgiving; yea and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."
Loloma Levu,
Sista Matheson

Joeli and Camari! LOVE these two!  
The BOMB poem that Joeli wrote this week. Does it get any more #golden? 
I'm going to miss the Magnus family SOO much! We helped them move this week. :( 

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