Well Sandra is still scheduled to be baptized this week! It's going to be a pretty stressful and emotional week though, I'm sure... It's amazing how hard Satan fights when he knows we're close to such an important decision. When he knows it's going to bring us so much happiness, he really fights to bring us down. So he's working hard to stop Sandra from her baptism. But she is so strong. She's overcome so much in the two months I've known her. She's learned so much and has gained so much joy. She knows this is right, and has such a strong hope and faith in God's love for her. She really struggles with feeling worthy of that love... but she's slowly starting to feel worthy and working to be worthy as well. She's done so well with smoking the last few weeks. We're just REALLY praying that she'll keep pressing forward and be able to make it through this week and the weeks to come. I love Sandra so much and I'm so excited for her baptism... it felt kind of unreal to finally be planning for it this week :) So we're just praying lots and keeping our fingers crossed that all will work out for her this week. I just can't wait for the day when you all can meet her... she really is amazing. She's definitely someone I plan to stay close to forever.
I'm just grateful for my mission giving me the opportunities to meet such amazing people. It's crazy to realize that had I not come on my mission I wouldn't know Sandra or any of the other people I've taught. I wouldn't know these wonderful ward members or any of my great companions. There are SO MANY things I'm Learning and experiencing on my mission that I will hold dear to my heart forever :)
Something I was thinking of this week is family Council.. after the awesome conference talk about family councils. We had our ward Council this week and it hit me how important it really is that we all work together to love, serve, and strengthen each other. In the ward as well as in our own homes. ''The most important work you ever do will be within the walls of your own homes''.. I know that's so true. So it just strikes me how important it is to work together as a family as well :) So I wanted to invite you to start doing family Council like described in conference :) There are so many things we learn from each other and strength to be gained as we share our expériences with each other. :)
Also... tomorrow we're going to the temple :) I'm so excited... I love the temple and am so grateful for the blessings of the temple. This week in many of our visits and dinners with members, we've asked them how the restoration of the gospel has changed their lives. Why the restoration of the gospel is important to them personally. I've been so touched by the responses we've heard. The temple. The Sacrament. Prophets. The Book of Mormon. The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ shows how much our Heavenly Father loves us. He sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ to suffer and die for our sakes. The restoration of the Priesthood power enables us to receive all the blessings that are made possible by the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ. That power from God allows us to be made clean when we're baptized, and to continue to be made clean, improve, and be sanctified as we continue to take the sacrament. It allows us to receive strength and power as we attend the temple. It allows us to be sealed to our families for ever and ever :) (sorry family, you're stuck with my singing, mac n`cheese, and rice-cooking forever ;) ). Really though. The blessings of the restoration of that priesthood power are inumerable :) in the ordinances thereof the power of godliness truly is made manifest. What a huge blessing to be able to work to experience that power in our lives every day :)
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Sœur Heather Shelley :) :) :) :) :)