Wednesday, September 4, 2013

So Grateful for Eternal Families

Hi family,

Man, how is everything going?  I like your pictures.  Thanks for sending those :)  I miss you Kolton, Kaden and Keeks!  I think you have gotten bigger?  That is also crazy that Kory's mission president is 7 feet tall! Wow!  Will you tell Nana and Grandma Diss I say hi and I love them? 

We had a very busy week this week!  To start off, we had a young men and young women activity on Wednesday.  That was seriously so fun.  I remember we did something like it when we were in the Las Sendas ward... so what we did was go to all these businesses and ask if the youth could come and do service.  They divided up into teams and so it was a service scavenger hunt.  We had them do goofy things too, but they had to take a picture doing everything.  They did dishes for restaurants, took out trash, washed windows, watered flowers, took shopping carts into the stores, had to find goofy things in stores and then to end they took a picture doing a pyramid and then we had fruit pizza and of course, we shared a spiritual thought.  It was the best.  The youth are still talking about it and all the leaders have been saying thank you over and over again.  They said the youth never say that they have fun. haha  It was great because we got to go around and do service with them!  We earned the trust of businesses and also met a lot of people and the youth brought a non-member.   So that was a way fun night.

We also saw our investigators, The Stamm's.  We have had to be very creative with them because they don't have that "full" desire to want the gospel.  They will listen... but they are content.  We didn't want to lose them, so we felt so strongly that we should get some fellowship going on.  We had a game night at the McIntyre's home.  It was all of these married couples around my age and then me and sister Coontz were awkwardly there. haha No, it wasn't too awkward.  Some of those couples are just super lovey dovey and we want to throw up...  ;) jk we love them.  The game night turned out sooooo good.  We shared a message there as well.  The spirit was so strong and a lot of the members bore testimony and the Stamm's thanked us and they are all going to hang out again!  Soo..... over time... at least they are friends for now.  They said they will come to church too, so they will realize soon enough :)

Then there is Michael... we talked about the temple with a lot of people this week.  Michael was one of them.  Me and Sister Coontz were doing our 12 week training yesterday and revelation just started flowing in for Michael and so used that in our lesson yesterday.  Something in him totally flipped... I don't know what it was, but Heavenly Father's hand is in everything. :)  He said he wants to become closer to God and he thinks making these steps could be it.  He also opened up a lot more.  He LOVES Steve Nash...soooooo we talked about basketball a little bit haha.  He used to live in Cali.

Then Lisa and Jim.... man oh man.  I love them so much.  THEY CAME TO CHURCH.  Finally!  We were so so happy when they showed up.  Then we took them on a tour of the Johnson Home.  Me and Sister Coontz took them up to the Revelation room (it was her first time there too :))  So I told them about everything that had happened and the room was very quiet.... me and sister Coontz sang "I know that my Redeemer Lives".  They just closed their eyes and really focused on the spirit that was there.  We asked them how they were feeling and they said it was so peaceful and calm... we told them that the temple is like that too.  We told them to go home and write down the feelings that they were having, so that they would never forget it.  There was a look in Jim's eyes that I have never seen.  He usually is such a chatter box.  Tears were coming to my eyes as I looked and thought about the progress they have made... They have had such a dramatic change.  We love them. 

We also took quite a few tours this week.  We took one with President Vellinga's nephew and his family.  They kept saying, "this better be good or we will tell your mission president". haha rude.  It was really good :)  And they gave us two referrals! 

We talked about the temple/ Plan of Salvation with Michael, Lisa and Jim and Kathy.  We learned a lot this week regarding the temple and the covenants that we make in the temple.  We have Elder Bowen from the 70 next week and so we have also been asked to study more about it as well since he is coming.  He actually lost one of his children.  His baby inhaled chalk and stopped breathing.  He said there was a point that he said, "why me?"  He ended up getting bitter and angry.  He said that he prayed for a change of  heart because he could tell that guilt, anger and self-pity were consuming him.  The Lord ended up giving him a new heart.  He was able to look forward with hope, rather than backward with despair. 

Bitter, almost unbearable pain can become sweet as we turn to our Heavenly Father.  It would be sad if we didn't feel sad when we experienced trials and pain or in his case, a loss of a child.  The fact that we are allowed to love deeply and love eternally is such a blessing.  I am so grateful for eternal families.  I am grateful the the Lord has promised us that He wont leave us comfortless.  I know we will see our family again after this life.  Like Grandpa Diss and Uncle Mike and all the children that you lost, Mom.  It is such a happy plan, a comforting plan and to have temples is such a blessing.  In the temple, the veil is thinner than any where else on earth.  We are able to seal our families together so that we can live for eternity.  I love this plan that our loving Heavenly Father has given us and I love that we have temples.  I can't wait to go back to the temple when I get home :)

Have a wonderful week... I love you all so very much.

Sister Kelsi Denae Johnson

picture of the Amish people

The Amish People

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